Prepared by Melanie Xu, Summer Research Fellow and University of Pennsylvania undergraduate
Over time, the University of Pennsylvania has gradually become a more diverse institution, not only in their student body and faculty, but also in their administration, academics, and student organizations. The University Archives and Records Center documents this transition through administrative reports and records, student and alumni activities, campus and popular publications, and personal papers. These materials reflect both the experiences of individuals at Penn and the University’s collective attitudes towards diversity, as well as how that has changed throughout the last century and a half.
This guide is designed to be a jumping-off point for researchers trying to find relevant documents pertaining to diversity at Penn. Materials are sorted into the following categories: Admissions, Centers and Organizations, Women at Penn, Minorities at Penn, and Significant Figures. Entries contain the name of the collection and/or specific documents, the box and filing or folder number, and a short description of the contents. Documents that have been digitized are linked, and may or may not include a box and filing number.
Administration, Students, and Faculty
Almanac Supplement (Feb. 17, 1976), UPL 1090.35
This bulletin contains goals, policies, and procedures comprising the University’s Affirmative Action Programs. It details grievance procedures, salaries, promotions, and hiring procedures for both academic and non-academic personnel, and also sets numerical goals and time frames for making progress in implementing these policies.
UPF 8.5S Box 159, FF 13
This 1992 report discusses the University’s efforts at becoming a more diverse and inclusive institution, specifically referring to efforts at increasing minority presence on campus, in terms of admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic support, and fellowships. This document is divided into sections, “Faculty,” “Undergraduate Studies,” “Graduate and Professional Studies,” “Precollege,” “Community,” and “General Academic and Support Programs.”
International Students and Personnel, UPL 95.6
This collection contains directories of international students and staff from 1964 to 1976, including home addresses, departments, and majors.
For more on international/exchange students in general, see Office of the President Records (UPA 4):
Box 20, FF 16 – Exchange Students
Box 27, FF 28 – American Council on Emigres Scholars
Box 32, FF 29-31; Box 81, FF 28-30; Box 129; Box 176; Box 180 – Foreign Students
Box 50, FF 32-28 – Foreign Scholars, students, studies, visitors, etc.
Box 84, FF 28 – Bockus International Alumni Society
Box 294, FF 30-Box 297 – Inter-Institutional Cooperation Program
Almanac Supplement (Jan. 15, 1982), UPL 1090.35
The first section of this document discusses “practical actions that might adopt to increase the number of members of minorities in the faculty and student body.” This is divided into “Possible administrative changes,” “Faculty Appointment and Promotion Policy,” and “Minority Student Presence.”
Admissions Policy for the Undergraduate Schools of the University of Pennsylvania
UPA 4 Box 183, FF McGill Report
August 1, 1967
The University’s admissions policy establishes diversity as an admissions goal, and lays out qualifications of incoming students. Also sets guidelines for the composition of the incoming class.
See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 312, FF 25-28 – Minority Recruitment
UPA 4 Box 31, FF46
This folder includes records regarding the enrollment of Jewish, Italian, and black students at various medical schools (e.g. Penn, Temple, Jefferson), law schools, and other institutions across Philadelphia from the years 1920 to 1950.
Centers and Organizations
The GIC was established in 1984 to provide support for minority students – specifically, black-, Latino-, Asian-, and Native-American communities on campus. Its records consist of reports, minutes, and other documents from 1973 to 1995. These documents are from various student organizations, including, but not limited to, the Women’s Center, the Black Student League, and more, the full listing of which can be found in the collection guide.
Box 2, FF14
Established in 1982, the LGBT Center provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied (LGBTQA) students, staff, and faculty on campus. Its records consist of news clippings from various publications on campus pertaining to LGBT issues, correspondence, event planning, policy making, and activism.
See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 276, FF 4 – Gays and Lesbians at Penn
Office of the President Records. Martin Meyerson Administration, UPA 4 Meyerson
Box 326, FF 8-9
This collection consists of papers from President Martin Meyerson’s office discussing the establishment of DuBois Residential Program (a residential space for students interested in black culture). This was met with much resistance from students and faculty who viewed this program as racial discrimination and a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. While correspondence with Meyerson’s office form the vast majority of this collection, it also contains excerpts from newspapers/pamphlets and flyers.
Describes the history of International House of Philadelphia, and its role as a support system for international students on Penn’s campus.
Online Exhibit: "Dealing with Global Engagements: The History of the Office of International Programs"
Feature on the history of study abroad and foreign exchange programs at the University of Pennsylvania, separated by department/region.
Women at Penn
How Fare Women?, UPP 9100 H834, and Return Engagment, UPP 9100 H979
1955 and 1970
This collection includes a 1955 report on women’s education and employment (H834), as well as a 1970 “how to” and “where to” guidebook on finding employment in Philadelphia (H979). It provides information on employers, sample jobs, requirements, salaries, and etc.
"Daughters of Pennsylvania," UPP 15.2 M648
This pamphlet describes the role, status, and contributions of women in Penn history, and advocates the establishment of a separate college campus for women.
Almanac (Apr. 13, 1971), UPL 1090.35
March 23, 1971
The Committee on the Status of Women discusses the presence of women on campus, and the disparity in the numbers of male and female faculty members. It also suggests measures to increase the number of female faculty through recruitment and promotion. Finally, it includes commentary on the wage gap between genders.
The Alumni Register, UPM 8115
1918 (Vol. 20, No. 4), p. 301-317
This book contains a series of editorial debates regarding making Penn entirely co-ed (some schools/departments already accepted women). It also contains figures on the existing number of women in departments, as well as a historical overview of their presence on campus.
The General Magazine, UPM 8115
1933 (Vol. 36, No. 1), p. 23
This publication contains an address delivered by Merle Odgers, the Dean of the newly-established College of Liberal Arts for women.
The Pennsylvania Gazette (Apr. 15, 1933), UPM 8125
This publication contains an article advocating the establishment of a college specifically for women, as opposed to making the entirety of the University co-ed. This article also describes how a women’s college would function in relation to the rest of the university, in terms of its administration, teaching, and facilities.
College of Liberal Arts For Women Records, UPB 3
These form the records for the College of Liberal Arts for women. This collection consists of:
UPB 3.1 – Faculty minutes, 1933-1974
UPB 3.2 – Includes committee reports and curriculum discussion
UPB 3.3 – includes membership lists, reports and correspondence regarding coursework in the women’s college and the proper education afforded to them. Also includes correspondence and minutes of meeting on the merger of the women’s college and Arts and Sciences faculty
UPB 3.6 – Budget correspondence, committee reports, etc.
UPB 3.71 – Registration forms with names, photos, and biographical information; some contains letters of recommendation
Office of the President Records, UPA 4
Various files in the presidential records over the years address the College of Liberal Arts for Women, as well as the presence of women in the university as a whole:
College of Liberal Arts for Women 1930-1955 – Box 1, FF 69; Box 11, FF 48; Box 19, FF 30; Box 45, FF 39; Box 73 FF25-26; Box 124; Box 188 (Bruton Report); Box 251, FF 24-25
Women Students 1930-1950 – Box 9, FF48; Box 17, FF 69; Box 41, FF 54-56; Box 106, FF 2-6
Women’s Medical College (students, Committee on Opportunities, etc.) Box 26, FF 59-62
Development – Women’s campus – Box 30, FF 27
Women’s Dorms – Box 46, FF 48-50; Box 76, FF 16-18; Box 78 FF 11, 32; Box 127; Box 159; Box 164 (as Women’s Undergraduate Housing)
Women’s Activities – Box 63, FF 56
Women’s Studies – Box 67, FF 39-42
American Association of University Women – Box 68, FF 26; Box 116; Box 182; Box 238, FF 12-13
Dean of Women, advisory board and selection – Box 146
Women’s Hospital – Box 201
Women’s Programs – Box 355, FF 26-36
Office of the Provost. Vice Provost for University Life Women's Oral History Project Records, UPA 6.11
These records document “the experiences of over 100 prominent female University of Pennsylvania students, administrators, faculty and faculty family members.” This project takes the form of biographical materials – i.e. newspaper articles and scrapbooks – as well as tape and cassette interviews of the women in question. Also included are project organizational documents, such as budget estimates, minutes, and interviewer guides.
Online Exhibit: "Women at Penn: Distinguished Early Graduates, Faculty, and Benefactors of the University"
Contains a list of prominent 19th century women at Penn, and gives a brief description of their lives and contributions.
Minorities at Penn
Historical Facts of the Black Veterinarian, UPP 15.97
This book is dedicated to the history of black veterinarians, both at Penn and other institutions. It contains an article on pioneer black vets at Penn, as well as a list of the charter members of the Revolving Emergency Fund (a club of black vets, established by the author of this document, William H. Waddell).
Almanac (Mar. 21, 1978), UPL 1090.35
June 9, 1977
The Task Force on Black Presence wrote this report discussing the progress of the university in strengthening the presence and improving the experiences of black students and faculty. This report is divided into the following headings – Affirmative Action, Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Report of the Subcommittee on Curriculum, and Improving University Life for Black Students, Faculty, and Administrators.
This collection contains documents pertaining to the center’s history, including information on Afro-American studies coursework, center correspondence, minority presence development, journal articles, news articles, and more.
This box contains publications by the African American studies department, including poems, essays, and scholarly paper anthologies. Topics addressed include race, social-economic dynamics, and religion.
"Blacks at Penn, Then and Now"
A Pennsylvania Album, 1990
This expose on the experience of black pioneers at Penn in the early 20th century describes the racism and other adversities they faced, as well as the organizations and programs established by these students in response. It contains references to significant figures such as Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander and John Baxter Taylor, as well as organizations like Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, the Afro-American Studies program, and DuBois College House.
This collection contains records of the first black fraternity on campus – includes charter information, rosters, history, correspondence, and records of activities from 1966 to 2002.
La Universidad de Pennsylvania
UPA 9 Box 3, FF 18
This October 1910 pamphlet was written in Spanish, and contains descriptions and images of the university in the early 20th century.
Hispanic Studies at Penn: From Rennert to Sebold, UPP 15.19RL
This article on the history of the Hispanic Studies Department was written by prominent faculty member Otis H. Green, upon his retirement. It was included as a supplement to the Hispanic Review in 1972.
For more on Latin American Students and Studies at Penn, see Office of the President Records (UPA 4):
Box 14, FF 5-7 – Proposed Latin American Center
Box 22, FF 10-12; Box 312, FF 24 – Latin American students
Box 34, FF 8 – Latin American teachers
Box 43, FF 37 – Latin American relation
Oriental Studies in the University, UPP 15.1
Department of South Asia Regional Studies Records, UPB 1.9SA and W. Norman (William Norman) Brown Papers, UPT 50 B879
These two collections contain documents on the South Asia Regional Studies department. The former consists of administrative documents, such as student/faculty lists, budgets, and other paperwork. The latter documents William Norman Brown’s establishment of the department, through his notes, drafts, papers, and correspondence.
Japan Alumni Club
1908 Alumni Register, p. 63, and 1909 Alumni Register, p. 61
Students from Japan had been attending the University of Pennsylvania as early as 1879. By the early 20th century, a thriving alumni club by the name of the Same Window Society had emerged, and appears in various alumni records.
Box 7, FF 66; Box 8, FF 6
One folder is titled “Minority Students” and the other “Pioneer Black Vets.”
Claire Fagin Papers, UPA 4 Fagin
Closed to researchers until 2019
Fagin was the first woman to become president of the University of Pennsylvania, serving as the interim president from 1993 to 1994. She was also instrumental in the development of the Penn nursing program. These papers are not open until 2019.
This collection consists of correspondence between two families, one from Japan and one from Philadelphia, in the late 19th/early 20th century. This collection consists primarily of letters between the two families, as well as family history and background documents.
The first board-certified black ob-gyn in Philadelphia, Dickens was a faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a practicing physician. In terms of diversity, she also served as the Associate Dean of Minority Admissions at Penn. Her papers cover both her work in medicine and in Minority Affairs. The former is documented through articles, grant proposals, notes, and correspondence; the latter is documented in minutes and reports.
A graduate of Wharton, Alexander was a defense attorney in many civil cases involving racial discrimination and/or segregation. He was married to lawyer and fellow Penn alum, Sadie Tanner Mossell. This collection consists of personal and professional correspondence, legal organization/action, government service, publications, and more.
See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 232, FF 19
The first black woman in the United States to earn a PhD, and later also the first to be admitted to the Pennsylvania bar, Alexander served as a member of numerous boards and committees, including Truman’s Committee on Human Rights. A prominent lawyer in Philadelphia, Alexander left behind a breadth of records throughout her personal and professional life.
A faculty member in the history department, Engs served as the Director for Minority Faculty recruitment and played a large role in increasing the presence of minorities in Penn’s faculty and study body. This collection consists of mostly papers from Engs’s professional and academic life – it includes his work as a student, his teaching and writing as part of the history department, and projects he undertook.
Flower was a prominent faculty member in the Philosophy department, known best for her publication, History of Philosophy in America. This collection contains her publications, research, and manuscripts, as well as personal papers and correspondence, photographs, and audiotapes of her research.
As an educator and pioneer in women’s education, Klein served as the principal of the Philadelphia High School for girls from 1963 to 1976, where she developed and implement new programs to increase opportunities for girls. As a graduate of Penn, Klein served on various alumni associations, in addition to being the president of the American Association of University Women. Her records primarily document her involvement with Phi Beta Kappa honor society, although that represents but a small fraction of her life’s work.
Molloy was one of the founders of the University City Historical Society, as well a poet and writer for publications such as the Saturday Evening Post, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and more. This collection documents Molloy’s life in West Philadelphia in the form of scrapbooks, correspondence, poetry, essays, and other materials.
Dr. Emily Mudd was a sociologist and Professor of Family Study in the Department of Psychiatry, whose achievements include founding and directing the Marriage Council of Philadelphia, serving as the consulting editor of the Kinsey Report on the Human Female, and playing an instrumental role in establishing the Philadelphia branch of Planned Parenthood. Her papers consist largely of her publications of the sociology of gender and women.
The first woman to serve as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Stevens is known for her research on the field of medicine in the US and UK. Her work includes comparative studies of British medicine, as well as research on medical welfare in the United States. This collection is comprised of four sections: specialization and national medicine in the UK, medicine in the US, her work on the health service in Tanganyika, and other academic writings.
Faculty at the Wharton School, Thomas is known for her work on population studies, sociology, and economic growth. Her papers include her studies of migration in Norway and Sweden, population growth and distribution, and more.
As a member of the class of 2000, Tucker’s papers represent the extracurricular opportunities available at the University. Her documents especially provide insight into her involvement with Penn Hillel.