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Chatham University Archives Image Collection

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What's online

The Chatham University Archives Image Collection chronicles the students, faculty, and university community as academic pursuits, university events, student life and social activities have grown and changed throughout the university’s history. Also featured are images of the Shadyside campus. Images were selected for inclusion in the online collection based on their depiction of the dynamic life of an undergraduate women’s university.

What’s in the entire collection

The photographic collections in the Archives at Chatham University document the history of Chatham University. Chartered in 1869 as Pennsylvania Female College, Chatham University was founded to provide women with college education “of the first class” comparable to that which men could receive at the time. One of four original eastern women’s colleges that still limit baccalaureate degrees to women, it was furthermore one of the earliest women’s liberal arts colleges established as a college rather than as a seminary. In 1890 the name became Pennsylvania College for Women and in 1955, Chatham College. In 2007, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted Chatham university status and the name became Chatham University. Graduate programs, post-baccalaureate certifications and programs in the School of Continuing Education are currently open to men and women.

About the Chatham University Archives

The Chatham University Archives, housed in Jennie King Mellon Library, contains official institutional records, annual reports, university and community publications, financial records, student publications and tutorials, yearbooks, alumni and alumnae records, student and institutional scrapbooks, architectural drawings and/or renovations plans dating as far back as 1869. The history of the university is further attested by an array of photographs, slides, drawings, maps, souvenir programs, and models of the campus. Memorabilia are present in a wide variety of formats from athletic costumes to personalized napkin rings. The Archives also features the Rachel Carson Collection which documents the environmentalist’s undergraduate career (1925-1929) at the Pennsylvania College for Women.