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Physical Exhibits in Special Collections

Graphic for the exhibit.

Daughters of Our Lady: Finding a Place at Notre Dame

September - December, 2022

In 2022, the University of Notre Dame celebrates fifty years of being a coeducational institution. Daughters of Our Lady: Finding a Place at Notre Dame joins the year-long celebrations occurring throughout campus. This exhibit presents a selection of correspondence, articles, documents, and other materials from the Notre Dame Archives that record the journey toward coeducation.

The transition to fully include women in all aspects of student life was a long, winding, and sometimes bumpy road. Since the 1910s, women have been studying at and earning degrees from Notre Dame. For the most part, their experiences were exclusive to the Summer School Program, which was established in 1918. However, by the 1960s, it was clear that Notre Dame, like its peers, had to pursue coeducation to remain a relevant, top-tier university.

Notre Dame became coeducational in the fall of 1972, but it would take years for women to be fully integrated into undergraduate life. Women struggled for representation in the classrooms, in student organizations, and on the athletic fields. This exhibit takes a look back at the pioneering women who have helped shape Notre Dame for over one hundred years.

This exhibit was curated by Elizabeth Hogan (Senior Archivist for Photographs and Graphic Materials).

Related Events

Open Houses:

Exhibit curator, Elizabeth Hogan, will be available to walk you through the exhibit and answer questions. No registration necessary.

This and other exhibits within the library are generously supported by the McBrien Special Collections Endowment.

Spotlight Exhibits

November-December 2022 | Hesburgh Library Special Collections: A Focus on W. B. Yeats

The poet and playwright Willam Butler Yeats (1865-1939), a leader in the Irish Literary Revival, visited the University of Notre Dame on two occasions. This spotlight exhibit displays just a few examples from the extremely rich Yeats Collection in the Hesburgh Library Special Collections.

This exhibit is curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements (Irish Studies Librarian).



October-November 2022 | "Rosie the Riveters with a Vengeance" and Other Wartime Contributions by American Women

Recent acquisitions to the library's specialized collections in American history focus on women during World War Two (1939-1945), offering markedly different perspectives on how American women contributed to the war effort. The first is a book of cartoons created by an executive secretary to a Rear Admiral, in which she pokes fun at her superiors and war-time working conditions. The second is a scathing report by the National Urban League on racial discrimination within the defense industry, which hit African American women hard. As a result of pressure from sources like this one, eventually 600,000 African American women entered wartime industries. The last piece is a hand-made directory for members of a unit in the Women's Army Corps, the women's branch of the US Army. This unit saw a year of active service in Italy from 1943 to 1944.

This exhibit is curated by Rachel Bohlmann (American History Librarian and Curator of North Americana).

For more information about the book of cartoons featured in the exhibit, read the post on the RBSC blog.



For information about previous spotlight exhibits, please refer to the History of Spotlight Exhibits page.

Upcoming Exhibits

Spring 2023

An exhibtion on the Art and Craft of the Irish Book

Fall 2023

An exhibiton on Enslaved Peoples of the Western Hemisphere, early modern to modern period

Spring 2024

An exhibtion in conjunction with the Medieval Academy of America's Annual Meeting, to be hosted at Notre Dame

Suggest an Exhibit

Many of the exhibits presented by the Department of Special Collections are produced in collaboration with members of the Notre Dame teaching and research faculty and are scheduled to coincide with significant academic conferences at the University. If you have a suggestion for a future exhibit and/or would like to assist in producing one, please contact Special Collections at 631-0290 or by e-mail.