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Women's Resource Center Records

Identifier: SFHL-RG6-Q031

Scope and Contents

The collection is organized into seven series.

  1. Series 1, meeting notes and student records, includes meeting minutes, budget proposals and notes from buisness meetings, and the records of student groups affiliated with the Women's Center.
  2. Series 2, log books, includes log books kept at the Women's Center between 1989 and 1993, and also between 2007 and 2010. These log books were written in by students staffing and spending time at the WRC, and often functioned as journals for the students who wrote in them.
  3. Series 3, founding documents, includes the original Women's Center proposal, as well as surveys about the possibility of a women's center and other early documents.
  4. Series 4, student papers, relevant to women's issues or gender studies, which had been collected in the WRC library before the 2013 fire.
  5. Series 5, publications, consists mostly of issues of Common Speaking, the publication of the Women's Center.
  6. Series 6, correspondence and miscellaneous, includes letters received and sent by the Women's Center, photographs from the 1994 WRC scrap book, and articles about Alice Paul (for whom the Center was originally named).
  7. Series 7, women's studies notes, includes syllabi, readings, and student papers from the 1994 and 1995 women's studies capstone class.


  • Creation: 1974-2013


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

In the early 1970s the Swarthmore College Women’s Liberation Movement began to work towards the creation of a space explicitly for women on campus. In 1973, the Swarthmore Women’s Coalition published a proposal for a Women’s Center. The Women’s Center opened unofficially on February 16, 1974, and was in full operation the following month, located in two rooms on the second floor of Bond Hall. However, the Women’s Center continued to struggle to obtain funding. In 1975, the Center was officially named Alice Paul Women’s Center in honor of the well-known suffragist and Swarthmore Class of 1905. In the early 1980s, the Center moved to a new location in one of the Lodges on the south campus. In the early 1990s, the Center changed its name, becoming the Women’s Resource Center and became explicitly “nonpartisan.” in an effort to become more inclusive.

The folder titled “Early History and Founding Documents” contains documents relevant to the founding of the Women’s Center on campus. The Swarthmore College Women’s Center Organization Statement can be found in the folder titled “Women’s Center Proposal, surveys, and letters.”


3.25 linear ft. (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Swarthmore College Women's Resource Center was founded in 1974. It was named the Alice Paul Women's Center until the name was changed in the early 1990s to the Women's Resource Center. This collection includes records relating to the founding of Swarthmore’s Women’s Center, minutes, logbooks, and other papers.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acc. SCA 2013.019

Related Materials

See also the Intercultural Center Records, 1988-2013, in Friends Historical Library.

Processing Information

In June 2013 the building which houses was the Women's Resource Center was struck by lightening. The collection is composed of materials salvaged from the Women's Resource Center fire which destroyed most of the materials stored on the third floor including the book collection.

The surviving records were removed from burned binders and folders, rehoused, and organized. In some cases, there are two copies, both the original and a scanned print-out, due to the damage sustained by the originals. When doing research, the copies should be used to preserve the originals.

Women's Resource Center Records, 1974-2013
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA