The primary and secondary resources listed below are held by the Institute Archives and Special Collections Department. Since evidence of women at Rensselaer can be found throughout the archives’ holdings, the list is not exhaustive. It is intended only to highlight collections which are known to have significant concentrations of information on this topic.
Subject Files | Arranged alphabetically by subject, these files contain news clippings, articles, reports, illustrations, and other items that give a summary of a topic as well as providing cross references to additional materials in the archives. The subject files are a good place to begin your research. Topics include:
- Curtiss-Wright Cadettes.
- E. Jane Devereaux Memorial Scholarship.
- Emily Roebling Scholarship.
- Enrollment Statistics.
- Girls Tech Club.
- Grand Marshals and Presidents of the Union.
- Outstanding Husband and Wife Award.
- Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame.
- Rensselaer Athletics Hall of Fame.
- Troy Female Seminary.
- Troy Ladies’ Home Missionary Society.
- Troy Orphan Asylum.
- Women (includes a variety of sub-topics regarding women at RPI).
Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb Oral History, November 23, 2013 and January 6, 2014.
Women’s Club of RPI. Records, 1935 – 1990 (AC 5)| Documents the social and cultural role of women on campus.
Faculty/Alumni Files | Information about students, faculty, staff and trustees, including vitae, articles, publications, clippings, etc. Examples include Rensselaer’s first female president, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson (1999 to the present) and the Institute’s first women graduates, Lois Graham and Mary Ellen (Rathbun) Kolb (RPI Class of 1946).
Board of Trustees. Records, 1824 – 1960 (AC 4 and AC 7) | Minutes of trustees meetings, reports, and financial materials on the Institute.
Student Life Collection, 1866 – present (MC 50) | Documentation of social, religious, political, cultural and scientific student organizations and activities, such as:
Photograph Collection – Individuals (AC 18, AC 16) | Alphabetically arranged prints and negatives of people affiliated with Rensselaer.
Photograph Collection – Subjects (AC 19, AC 17) | Prints and negatives of activities, events, and places at RPI and Troy, New York.
Department of Physical Education and Athletics. Records, 1906 – 1984 (0-325) | Correspondence regarding intercollegiate and intramural sports programs.
Sports Collection, 1951 – 2011 (AC 31) | Schedules, programs, and news clippings of both men’s and women’s athletic teams.
Online Institute Histories | Items digitized from the original publications held in Rensselaer’s Institute Archives and Special Collections department.
- Baker, Ray P., A Chapter in American Education(New York, 1924 &1925).
- Greene, Benjamin F., The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: It’s Reorganization in 1849-50, Its Condition at the Present Time, Its Plans and Hopes for the Future(Troy, 1855).
- Nason, Henry B., Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1886 (Troy, 1887).
- Ricketts, Palmer C., History of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York, 1895, 1914, 1934).
- Rezneck, Samuel, Education for a Technological Society(Troy, 1968).
Publications by or for women at Rensselaer:
- Passages: A Newsletter for Women Students (1986 – 1987).
- Women Connect (1992 – 1996).
- Early Catalogs (1826 – 1901).
- Bound Catalogs (1852 – present).
- Review (1964 – 2000).
- Campus News (2000 – present).
- Register of Students (1930, 1949). Earlier registers can be found in the catalogs.
- Alumni Directory (1960, 1966, 1972, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1999).
- Directory of Faculty, Staff, and Students (1947-48 – 1965-66).
- Directory of Faculty and Staff (1966-67 – present).
- Student Directories (1966-67 – 1999-2000).
- Student Handbook (1896 – 1915).
- The Rensselaer Hand Book (1915 – 1968).
- Information for the Undergraduate Student [at Rensselaer] (1966-67 – 1970-71).
- Handbook for Students at Rensselaer (1971-72 – 1978-79).
- The Rensselaer Handbook (1979-80 – present).
- The Transit (1865 – present). Yearbook.
- The Polytechnic (1869, 1885 – present). Student newspaper.
- The Pup (1924 – 1951).
- The Bachelor (1953 – 1971).
- The Unicorn (1972 – 1983).
- Polemic (1980 – 1986). Humor magazines.
- Rensselaer Engineer (1947 – 1994). Scientific and engineering magazine; see the March 1963 and September 1988 editorials regarding women students at RPI.
- People First (1984 – 1989). Rensselaer Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Association.