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Date: 1898

The 1898 Microcosm included a brief history of the women's Harman Literary Society, as well as a list of its active members. Since its creation in October of 1896, the Harman Literary Society showed activity and creativity on campus. Along with the Belles Lettres and the Union Philosophical Societies, the Harman Literary Society participated with them to put on a program in celebration of Washington's birthday.

"The Dickinson Dorcas Society" was featured in the 1898 Microcosm that made fun of some of the female students. It included 14 female "members" along with an interpretation of their names, what they are famous for, what committees they are apart of and what their "good work" was. Each category is a satire on the individual, poking fun at their traits, both positives and negatives.

Date: September 1898

The student handbook of 1898, published by the Young Men's Christian Association, contains the first mention of women, specifically of the Young Women's Christian Assocation. Included in the welcoming address, the Young Women's Christian Association is aknowledged as a contributing organization to the student handbook. Pages 16-17 of the student handbook provide a brief overview of the organization as well as its mission.

Date: 1899

The 1899 Microcosm showed the first mention of the Phi Alpha Pi Fraternity of female students. Phi Alpha Pi was a local fraternity created in 1898 and consisted of 10 female students. This chapter at Dickinson lasted briefly because it then "died a natural death from want of support." Until 1903, the Phi Alpha Pi remained a local organization when Pi Beta Phi, a national sorority, then absorbed it.

By 1899, the Harman Literary Society for women had doubled in size. In 1898 there were only 9 women who were apart of the society. By 1899 though, the organization now had 18 women involved.

The 1899 Microcosm included a poem dedicated to "our co-eds." This poem pokes fun at how the female students have changed the atmosphere at Dickinson, as well as the male students themselves. The poet remarked that the female students came to Dickinson "like the star of Hope...to our legal prison, with their bright and winsome ways." The poem goes on to further praise the co-eds, saying to "let us toast them, swearing ever that, till life for each one ends...shall you want warm-hearted friends."

According to the 1899 Microcosm, Sara Marvel is the first woman to attend the Dickinson School of Law. She not only attended the law school, but also served as the Junior Class secretary.

Date: 1900

The Omega Psi Sorority was created in 1899 and included 7 female members. This local sorority lasted until 1907, when it was adopted into the Chi Omega organization.

After a year of its creation, the Phi Alpha Pi Sorority is still going strong. The Sorority still consists of 10 members. The picture in the Microcosm of these women significantly shows them all wearing very masculine bows and white blouses.

In her senior oration "The Protestant Sisterhood," Olive Taylor discussed the centrality of women in religious communities throughout history. She argues that women's activity as reformers and missionaries within the church in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was unprecedented. For the first time, she asserted, protestant women were leaving the private sphere and working independently within the public sphere. However, Olive argued, women were still being the motherly figures they were born to be.

In an editorial opinion and comment section of the Microcosm, co-education was amongst many of the diverse topics written about. The author argued about the value of co-education to society, arguing against the education of women alongside men. He felt that educating women has developed the idea of "women's rights clubs, mothers' protective unions, female temperance, political and religious agitators" that is only hurting society.

The 1900 Microcosm humorously writes a piece about the top ten reasons why parents should send their daughters to Dickinson. Some examples of reasons for women to study at Dickinson are that, "nobody knows where Dickinson is...therefore [it is] an excellent place for girls not studiously inclined", "no one is allowed to study or be silent in the girls study hall for more than five seconds at a time. Singing and dancing are especially encouraged", and that "several members of the faculty are still young and unfettered.

"The Soul of the Violet or Soliloquy of a Co-ed" is a poem written in the 1900 Microcosm about unrequited love. It is written from the perspective of the woman, whose love was not returned from the man she loves and so is forever haunted by the flowers he had once given her. All day she thinks about the violets, even when she must "muse in drear Ladies' Hall", she is constantly reminded.

The 'Third Floor Disturbance Club' is a fabricated organization by the Microcosm that meant to poke fun at some of the femles living in Ladies' Hall. According to the Microcosm, the ladies are to meet anytime from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. and are expected to discuss and gossip about the goings-on at the college. The author then goes on to tease the 6 committee members stating what comittee they represent.

The Dickinson School of Law in the 1900s Microcosm mentions that Sara Marvel, the first woman to be studying law there.

The 1900 Microcosm was the first year to show women participating in the Gamma Literary Society. This literary society is special to the Preparatory School and included four female members. No further information is known about the society.

Date: c1900

This image was created by Charles Beetem (class of 1904), circa 1900. The drawing depicts a female Dickinsonian thinking about different Dickinson men.

Date: c. 1900

This photograph shows an unidentified group of women in front of Denny Hall, circa 1900s.

Date: September 29, 1900

After three years of being dormant, the Harman Literary Society was revived once again in the 1900s. In the Harman Literary Society Minutes, it documents the beginning of the society again in September 1900. The minutes list Josephine Brunyate (Meredith) as being the President of the organization, Ethelyn Hardesty as Vice-President, Helen Schaeffer as Secretary and Georgia Cranston as Treasurer. The society decided to meet every week at ten o'clock on a Saturday morning in Denny Hall.

Date: circa 1901

This photo depicts Kathryn Kerr and Josephine Brunyate at a local creek. The caption reads, "Cleanliness is next to godliness."

This photo depicts Kathryn Kerr and her beau Elmer Williams at a "cave hill." The caption below the photograph reads, "In the spring the young man's fancy lightly turns to the thought of love." The caption further explains that Kerr and Williams were eventually married.

This photo depicts the room Kathryn Kerr and Josephine Brunyate's shared during their college days. The caption reads, "Where things happened. Room 264 Pomfret Street."

Date: 1901

In her essay titled "The Evolution of the Fittest Education," Sarah H. Kistler analyzed the education system in the United States. She wrote that education "should be the whole system of preparation of youth for the life and work coming to the individual, to help on the pregress of the race by his influecne with, and work for , the fellow man.

Date: c. 1901

Taken from Ethelyn Hardesty's personal scrapbook is this photograph, which shows a group of unidentified women enjoying tea, crackers, and cards. Hardesty's caption, "business is business" suggests that this leisurely activity is one that went on regularly amongst the early co-eds of this time.

Also taken from Ethelyn Hardesty's personal scrapbook, this photograph documents a group of unidentified women in their nightgowns, getting ready for bed.

Date: September 8, 1901

Ethelyn Hardesty's diary chronicles her senior year at Dickinson College. The diary spans from September 8, 1901 to June 15, 1902. The entries are brief and record her daily activities. A transcription of the dairy is available in the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections.

Date: October, 1901

The picture shown is a group picture of the female students from October 1901. As labeled in the picture, the women are as follows: 1. Ruth Barrett, 2. Ethel Hardesty, 3. Emma Reeme, 4. Anna Frank, 5. Unknown, 6. Isabel Goldsmith, 7. May Hull, 8. Anna Spears, 9. Gertrude Super, 10. Ada Filler,11. Emma Super, 12. Kathryn Kerr, 13. Gertrude Heller, 14. Lucy Treverton, 15. Edith Cahoon, 16. Anna Emerick, 17. Hopkins, 18. Florence Rothermel, 19. Zoe Davis, 20. Kathleen Gooding, 21. Helen Wright, 22. Mrs. Morgan, 23. Mabel Kirk, 24. Mrs. Love "Matron, Ladies Hall", 25. Mrs. Gooding, 26.

Date: 1902

The Preparatory School section of the Microcosm had a page dedicated to a few women of the school. Not much is said about the purpose of the page except for a quote that "If poetry be thought in flower, Goodness is thought in fruit." This page is perhaps to recognize these 11 women for their good works and deeds.

This photo depicts Katheryn Kerr in her room at 264 W. Pomfret Street. The caption explains that Josephine Brunyate and Kathryn Kerr rented from Mrs. (Mother) Pague when Lloyd Hall was full.

This photo depicts a group of female students eating pickles on the steps of Lloyd Hall. The women are from the class of 1902.
 
 

"A Leaf from the Diary of Darwin's Spirit" is a humorous poem written by H. Curran Wilbur for the 1902 Microcosm. Basically, Curran is writing as if he is Darwin observing the curious case of female students at college. He claims to have found "another product of evolutionary law...the "Co-ed" with her mortarboard and gown." Co-eds are a strange case to him because they are "supposed to be a woman, but it looks more like a man.

A school-spirited Kathryn Kerr smiles for the camera while proudly flying her Dickinson flag.

A picture from 1902 showing the men and women of Dickinson enjoying each other's company and the general outdoor splendor.

Date: c. 1902

This circa 1902 picture shows the ladies relaxing in Ladies' Hall. The women are identified as follows: 1. Isabel Goldsmith, 2. May Hull, 3. Zoe Davis, 4. Jess Rudisill, 5. Unknown, 6. Helen Wright, 7. Ada Filler, 8. Emma Super, 9. Edith Super, 10. Lillian, 11. Ruth Barrett, 12. Anna Spears, 13. Mary Spears, 14. Carolyn Eppley, 15. Mary Colburn, 16. Lucy Treverton, 17. Ethel Hardesty, 18. Emeline Thompson, 19. Mrs. Morgan, 20. Mrs. Love, 21. Mrs. Gooding, 22. Gertrude Heller, 23. Mary Love, 24. Emma Reeme, 25. Ann Frank, 26. Unknown, 27. Edith Cahoon, 28. Kathleen Gooding, 29.

Date: September 1902

Bible Study for women was a weekly event held in the female resident
hall. Pages 22-23 of this 1902 student handbook, published by the Young
Men's Christian Assocation, states the mission of Bible study and
details information on location, time, and membership of religious
services. According to the student handbook, Bible study was "an
important factor in leading the young women of the college to a better
and higher life." Separate Bible study meetings were held for women and
men.

Date: 1903

In the 1903 Microcosm, each of the members of the Junior Class of 1904 is pictured along with a brief paragraph about themselves. Mary Elizabeth Colburn was fortunate to have one Microcosm staff write about Co-education in her paragraph.

Date: September 1903

The 1903-04 student handbook, produced by the Young Men's Christian Association contains parts of the constitution from the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Included in the handbook is the YWCA's mission as well as information on membership, officers, and committees. Officers included, President Edna Albert, Vice-president Anna Emrick, Secretary Mary Hoover, and Treasurer Anna Spears.

Date: 1904

In 1904, the Microcosm printed the first picture of the first women's basketball team at Dickinson.  The Microcosm notes that the women's basketball team performed at the college's Twelfth Annual Mid-Winter Sports. At this event Kathleen Gooding and Mary Hoover's teams competed. The teams were called 'Red' and 'Blue' and the final score shows the Reds winning at 6 points to the Blues 3 points. It lists Misses Gooding, Armstrong, Hertzler and Schaeffer as Guards, Misses Tomkinson and Hoover as Centers, Misses Waite, Morrison, Schwoyer, and D. Hoover as Forwards and Miss Reese as a sub.

Mabel Tomkinson was the captain of the first women's basketball team at Dickinson. The Microcosm lists her as being the "renowned captain of the Girl's Varsity Basketball Team of 1903."

In his essay "Should Women Vote?", H. M. Showalter argues for women's suffrage in 1904. He acknowledges that women are not given the right to vote because they are often the dependents of men like "minors and paupers." Due to their dependence, their vote could be swayed. However, Showalter does not see this as a legitimate reason for denying women the vote. He lists six premises for his conclusion. They are:
1. God created man and woman equal.
2. The Constitution gives equal rights to all.

This excerpt from the Microcosm discusses the beauty of the co-ed. Each woman of the class of 1905  is named and her most striking feature is listed. The identity of the woman in the portrait is not known.

The 1905 Microcosm includes a story abour what Dickinson College would be fifty years in the future: 1955. The Dickinson of 1955 is much different than the Dickinson of 1905. The author highlights the difference in housing for women. He wrote, "There isn't a hen coop any more. We call it the "gilded cage". The college bought the deer park you used to tell me about, enlarged the house, built a gymansium adjoining, and made everything so lovely for the girls that the fellows had to change the name."

In a piece titled, "Dickinson Fifty Years From Now," the Microcosm wonders about what the future has in store for Dickinson College. The writer depicts the story as an Alumnus from 1905 coming to the college with his grandson, who is a member of the class of 1955. One of the most significant things the writer mentions about the year 1955 is how the "co-eds" have changed. They now live in a bigger home, with an adjoining gymnasium built into it. This gymnasium is now full of "dumb-bells...chest weights and rowing-machines and vaulting bars..." and this equipment is only for the women's use.

The "Hen House Geometry" is a literary piece of "axioms, definitions, etc" published in the Microcosm poking fun at mathematics and females. There are thirteen statements in total; an example of one geometric equation is that "the sum of all co-eds equals infinity."  Another clever example is that a "co-ed's smile may be produced any number of times."

"Betsy" was a poem written in the Microcosm basically about a male student's infatuation with a fellow female Chemistry classmate. When "Betsy" comes into his Chemistry class, he falls in love with her and tries to "woo" her, but she is too shy and distant to take notice. This poem is representative of the male and female romances that sprung from both having class together. There was possibly one girl, Elizabeth "Bessie" or "Betsy" Armstrong who was often noted as enjoying scientific labs that this poem could have been written about.

The Microcosm satirically writes about a fictitious debate on the question that is to be "resolved that the co-ed must go." The first "speaker" begins by complaining that there are too many co-eds around they are "to the right...to the left of us...co-ed doctors, lawyers, preachers, [and] wives..." and that they need to go. The second "speaker" argues against the first, saying that the co-ed "must be with us always" because college life would be "sad and dreary" without their smiling faces.

The "Encyclopaedia Collegia" is a humorous and fictitious part of the Microcosm that defines common words in their own way. In this Microcosm, this section defines a "co-ed" as being a bird "similar to the mermaid" with a voice "usually soft and fluffy, but in some species resembles that of a screech owl." They are a "species" that apparently is friendly to man, but can inflict a "fatal wound, always in the heart" and many wonder if it "can be tamed." 

Date: May 1904

Cornelia B. White (Class of 1907), writes a limerick for The Salmagundi, a literary publication by the Harman Literary Society. The limerick is of, but what else, the Harman Literary Society. She praises how the society is "composed of some twenty maids charmin'...their knowledge was something alarmin'."

Date: September 1904

The 1904-05 student handbook, produced by the Young Men's Christian
Association contains parts of the constitution from the Young Women's
Christian Association (YWCA). Included in the handbook is the YWCA's
mission as well as information on membership, officers, and committees.
Officers included are President Edna Albert, Vice-president Elsie Shelton,
Secretary Mary Ranck, and Treasurer Corrine Gaul.

Date: 1905

In her 1905 oration "Dickinson's New Era," Florence Hensel Bursk argues for improved conditions for female students at Dickinson College. Following the Denny Hall fire of 1905, alumnea and friends of the college began donating to the restoration of the hall and the overall insitution. Bursk asserted that such contributions engendered the "birth of a new era" at Dickinson College. Despite the great strides being made by Dickinson during this period, Bursk argued that conditions for female students were lacking.