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Rutgers University Libraries

History and College Life : Coeducation

This guide presents select resources on Douglass and Rutgers Colleges' history. Originally created for the History and College Life seminar taught by Prof. Nancy Hewitt, Fall '12. .

Images from Rutgers Collections




Sample Subject Headings

Coeducation -- New Jersey

Coeducation -- United States 

History -- 20th century

Sex differences in education

Sexism and higher education

Women college students

Women's colleges


Towards a New History of Douglass College includes student essays on many topics, including coeducation, in the Douglass Scholars Program in 2003. article on first women who entered Rutgers 40 years ago.

Article from Rutgers Magazine titled "Trailblazers" on the first women who came to integrate Rutgers College in the fall of 1972. 

Debates on pros and cons of co-education still continues. Wilson College, PA made the decision to admit men in January 2013. The article about the process is here

Coeducation at Rutgers

 Coeducation was one of the topics articulated in the social protests in the 1960s and 1970s. At Rutgers New Brunswick, many voices pro and anti coeducation were heard before Rutgers College started enrolling women in 1972. Items such as letters, documents, yearbooks, the Targum and other student newspapers illustrate the various arguments and give the opportunity to discuss the issue of equality in access to education then and now. 


Archival Collections

Records of the Douglass College. Office of the Dean, 1887-1973. See Dean Margery Somers Foster Papers (1970-1979)

Records of the Rutgers University Office of the President (Mason Welch Gross)

Rutgers Women: a Living History. a collection of interviews of women, Rutgers College 1976, the first coed class at the university. SC/UA.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 is a database with many primary sources in full-text. Do a search for "college" to find relevant material. 

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