I have chosen to go through the student handbooks and photographs for the ‘60s. I really enjoy looking at photographs because of what they can tell you about a certain time, situation, people, and styles and so on. When I was looking through the photographs of the ‘60s on the Mary Washington archives website I was a little disappointed that there were so few that had been uploaded to the internet. In the digital archives online there are 125 photos spanning from 1960 to 1969. 1965 and 1964 have the most photos with 25 and 24 respectively. When browsing through all 125 photos there were only a few that dealt with the classroom. From those we might be able to garner some kind of idea of what a classroom experience might have been in the 60’s at Mary Washington. From the other photos we can get an idea of what the environment of the school itself was. There are photos of protests and everyday things students did on campus. I think by getting an idea of what the overall atmosphere was like at Mary Washington it will help to also get an idea of what the classroom environment would have been like. I plan on going to the photo archives in special collections this week to try and find some more photographs that show more classroom life.
As far as the student handbooks go there are 10 handbooks for each year of the decade. The student handbooks from 1960-1964 were titled Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia. These handbooks were much smaller than their later counter parts, they were about pocket sized but contained about the same amount of pages. In 1963 the student constitution was introduced and in 1965 lists of student clubs and academic departments and their heads of departments are listed. In every year’s handbook the honor code is made prominent and its importance stressed. From these handbooks we can also find out the Academic probation rules, the required number of credits a student had to take each semester, and class standings. There are also rules for what is expected as far as behavior and dress. When going through these handbooks it was definitely entertaining reading how different our student handbooks are from their predecessors.
Something I found amusing:
One of the safety rules listed in the 1960-1961 student handbook made sure that “Students are reminded smoking in bed is dangerous” in between warning students about the dangers of walking along the road that is now Campus walk and crossing Route One at College Ave.
Here is one of the photos I came across. I thought this photo demonstrated some aspects of the classroom experience and also of the social aspects of the 60s.
Debate Team, 1968
The University of Mary Washington Digital Archive
When I was in special collections looking through the student handbooks I came across Freshmen handbooks for the first half of the decade as well. I’m not sure if they would be anymore helpful than the regular student handbooks but I am going to look into them some more.