Compiled by Sarah Finger
How did I choose what to include in the history?
The title of Tim Shary’s work is A History of Student Activities and Achievements at Hampshire College. I have decided to continue using this title for my work because I believe it accurately describes the history both Tim and myself compiled. The history I compiled came from student newspapers available in the library on microfilm and in the archives. I realize this means that I am relying on an incomplete record of events, and should not be considered a comprehensive history of the school. This compilation is a picture of what students did and achieved at Hampshire College, but is limited to those activities that students at the time deemed news worthy. In Shary’s introduction he wrote that he “tried to limit the number of personal accounts as much as possible,” and I have tried to do the same. The events which I choose to include were those which I believed to have an impact on the lives of students at Hampshire as well as those that would be of interest to readers. For a most part I left out daily occurrences such as sports events, dances, music performances, and personal stories. I also chose not to include activities such as labor issues that students were not involved in including hirings, firings, and union disputes, unless they directly affect daily student life. When these things were included it was because of something extraordinary about them.
What is the importance of this project?
It helps students in the preserve their sense of community and belonging and learn about past students. I have found that there are a number of reoccurring student struggles at Hampshire and it is useful to know what has been tried before at the college. Many academic and social policies have changed over the years and it is important for students, faculty and staff to be reminded of how and why these changes took place so as not to repeat problems. A recorded history allows the community to examine the college and think about what it was and can be. A wonderful place to begin is to see where we came from and how the college grew up as a community. The compilation of achievements and activities allows us to remember and to know that what we have is worth working for.
How can I continue the project?
First, anyone can continue compiling the history from memos, publications, and personal accounts. Both Tim Shary and I relied on a limited number of sources to write our part so more information can always be collected. For me it was useful to understand that students at Hampshire can change things they do not like and create new things to enhance their education and experience at Hampshire. I used this as a HACU Div I, Tim was paid by Community Council to do it in conjunction with cataloging all the Council records.
Some reoccurring issues in Hampshire’s history:
* financial aid
* community space
* race and gender issues
* communication - newspapers, what makes a paper or info source, what works in the diverse Hampshire community
* community governance
* pet policy
The archivist, currently Susan Dayall, is a wonderful resource and a great place to start. She has been at Hampshire for a number of years and has done a good job creating and organizing the archives. The archives are currently located on the third floor of the library, and can be accessed through the archivist. Available in the archives are Hampshire College publications of all kinds, including catalogs and course guides, newsletters, and bulletins, student-produced newspapers and magazines, college governance committee minutes and reports, planning material from the early years of the college, photographs, transcripts of interviews and speeches, and correspondence files from college offices.
The archives web site has online documentary histories of Hampshire College, created by the archivist, Susan Dayall. In addition to being on line, all the volumes are available in the library. Each volume contains a number of edited documents that trace the history of the college.
Faculty and staff are also great places for support, especially if this is going to be Divisional work. Some wonderful faculty I have found are David Kerr, Lynn Miller, Aaron Berman, Penina Glazer, Mike Ford. There are a number of faculty and staff alumns, as well as people who have been at Hampshire for a while. Almost everyone I have talked to are happy to share their memories of Hampshire. The Dean of Faculty’s office should be able to tell you which faculty and staff are alumns and how long people have worked at Hampshire.
Community Council has records of meetings, motions, actions, and correspondences from 1972 to the present, as part of the binder project. All of the records are cataloged up through 1991, as part of Tim Shary’s project he created a data base for the records. The catalog of the records should be available in the Council office as well as in the archives. Many of the records are also available in the archives.
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