Browse Exhibits (3 total)

The Path to Woman Suffrage in the United States: 1848–1920

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The struggle toward woman suffrage in the United States included decades of debate leading up to and beyond the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Berea College Special Collections and Archives invites you to revisit that journey by encountering sixteen works published for and against the cause of woman suffrage during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.

All works shown in this online exhibit may be studied in the Special Collections and Archives reading room, by appointment.* For persons not able to visit campus, the exhibit provides hyperlinks to free online versions of the displayed texts.

*The Special Collections and Archives reading room is located in the northwest corner of the ground floor of Hutchins Library.


Writings of Paul Laurence Dunbar in the Berea College Special Collections and Archives

One of America’s great poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio on June 27, 1872, the son of parents who had been enslaved in Kentucky. His first book of poetry was published in Dayton in 1893. By the late 1890s Dunbar had become a writer of national and international acclaim. He died of tuberculosis on February 9, 1906 at the age of thirty-three.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's published writings include poetry, short stories, novels, essays, songs, librettos, and a one-act musical. Hutchins Library invites you to encounter early copies of Dunbar's works and to consider his literary legacy in the context of his times and life experiences.

This online exhibit highlights Special Collections copies of works by Paul Laurence Dunbar that were printed before 1910 and Dunbar-related documents from the Archives. All items may be viewed in the SCA Reading Room by appointment.

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Works of Art on the Art of Quilting: Twenty WPA Quilt Block Prints

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Many people know the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a Great Depression recovery program of the United States government that employed millions of Americans in useful public works like building roads, bridges, schools, and parks. In addition to large infrastructure projects, the WPA also hired historians and folklorists to conduct research, writers and librarians to create literacy projects, and artists, actors, and musicians to continue their creative activities in the public interest.

One small WPA program called The Museum Extension Project (MEP) employed curators, educators, and craftspeople in many states to create visual aids for the study of history and cultures. The colorful prints of quilt square patterns on display in this exhibition were part of that initiative. They were published in 1937 by the Pennsylvania MEP office in Penndel (formerly South Langhorne) as an unbound folio titled Quilts: Pieced and Appliqued.

Some questions to consider as you view the prints:

 ¨ Which quilt patterns do you like best, and why?

 ¨ Why might a government program choose to promote quilting during the Great Depression?

 ¨ What can the colors and designs teach us about the women and communities that made the original quilts?

Visitors to the Special Collections and Archives department may view the exhibition by appointment (859-985-3267) or on the weekly 2:00 PM Friday Finds tours between August 26 and October 28, 2022.