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Hidden Lives: Exploring Women's History

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Student Testimonials

"The most exciting thing about this week's way of doing history was how every time you looked in a photo album or memorabilia book or read a letter, you would discover something interesting that you didn't know before.

"Some challenges I found when working with the archive materials were, of course, reading the cursive, but also fading ink, because that is sometimes very hard to read.

"What I liked best this week was trying on the 19th-century clothing. I liked learning about what women wore during that period, and it was interesting to see how restricting the clothing really was."

–Sarah Martin

"Of all the things we did this week in the archives, I really liked looking carefully through the memorabilia books. I liked opening all the little envelopes and reading the cards they wrote to each other.

"My biggest challenge was definitely [reading] cursive. The hastily scribbled notes in the memorabilia books were the hardest. Even though cursive reading was hard, I know how to do it now, and what to look for...

"My favorite part of the week was dressing in the 19th-century clothing. It was really fascinating to experience firsthand the clothing they would be in all day for everything. It was also really fun!"


"It was exciting to work with real, primary documents for research. Usually I just use the internet to find information. This way was better because...I got to put the pieces of the story together myself, challenge my mind, and work like a historian would....

"The new skills I learned would be learning how to piece together information into a story by using information from photographs, memorabilia, and letters."

–Amy Hubbard

"While I loved the archives, the highlight of the week for me was getting to see Sylvia Plath's manuscrips, journal, and typewriter. It was extremely moving as well as endlessly fascinating to get to flip through her poems, books, and dictionary...Even to hear her voice! What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!"

–Ashley Achee

"I loved going to the archives and actually being able to look and decide for ourselves what we thought 'history' is. Also, to see that girls back then weren't all that different from girls today. They liked social events, and playing little pranks, which most teenage girls still do today!

"...I also learned that you can learn a lot from just a picture. You can get a sense of people's personalities or a sense of what they wanted to be seen as."

–Grace Trombley