For my portion of our group project on UMW in the 1950s, I am going to be working mostly with the alumni magazine (the Mary Washington College Alumnae News) and “faculty files.” As of now, I am planning on working more with Alumnae News than I am with faculty files, although as the semester progresses I’ll continue to try and work with faculty files as much as possible.

I’m excited to be working with alumni news for a variety of reasons. First, it’s always in a school’s interest to put its best foot forward when addressing alumni, so a new course, department, or addition to the faculty is definitely going to be highlighted in the Alumnae News. While other aspects of the magazine will be less useful for our project–things like newly-built or renovated buildings, or a recent celebration (nonetheless, the requisite discussion of Devil-Goat Day will, I’m sure, make it into our final project), they still provide important context about what was going on on campus outside of the academic departments and classrooms. Also, because the alumni magazine is geared towards providing a sense of context to alums who have left the school (potentially a great while before the magazine’s publication), context within the school is provided in the alumni magazines in a way that it would not necessarily be in a yearbook or newspaper. That will, I hope, make the information I find more readily accessible from a modern standpoint, and help me to see in 2012 what Mary Washington was saying in 1950.