The University Record, June 17, 2002

History of women at U-M now online

By Wanda Monroe
University Library Public Relations

The Scholarly Publishing Office of the U–M University Library has released “Women’s Voices: Early Years at the University of Michigan,” an electronic version of the book originally published by the University’s Bentley Historical Library.

The book stems from a survey conducted in 1924 by the U-M Alumnae Council.

The council mailed 10,000 questionnaires to women who had attended the U-M in 1870, when women were first admitted, to 1924. The survey was intended to gain a broader understanding of the accomplishments of the University’s alumnae. The survey responses are held in the University Archives at the Bentley Historical Library.

“Women’s Voices” is “a collection of these responses completed by the first cadre of women students to attend the U-M. The pages of these questionnaires record the voices of over 3,000 women who were among the first in the nation to experience higher education in a coeducational environment.” The publication contains numerous photographs from the Bentley archives and extensive quotations about many aspects of campus life.

These surveys, according to Bentley Library Director Francis Blouin, “reveal a dimension of University life not often found in administrative records—the voices of those students who experienced the University through its courses, faculty, student associations and physical space. The excerpts from the Alumnae surveys allow those Michigan women to once again raise their voices and share their University experiences with new generations of students and alumni.”

“This is the first in a series of publications on the history of the U-M that the Bentley Historical Library and the Scholarly Publishing Office plan to make available in electronic form,” said Brian Rosenblum, electronic publishing specialist for the University Library Scholarly Publishing Office. “Making these resources available online will benefit larger numbers of researchers on campus and around the world.”

This collection is freely available to the University community and to the public via the Web. It can be viewed at or at by clicking on “Women’s Voices” under the exhibits heading.

For more information about the Scholarly Publishing Office, visit the Web site at