Friday, March 7, 2008

Women at Queen Mary Online: A Virtual Exhibition

A new online exhibition which explores the significant role of
women in higher education through the decades is being
launched at Queen Mary, University of London.

Women at Queen Mary Online: A Virtual Exhibition,
celebrates the role that women have played throughout the
history of the four institutions which make up the College
today.The online exhibition includes several virtual tours and
is structured around a number of themes, including the four
colleges which underpin the College (Queen Mary and
Westfield Colleges, and St Barts and The London Schools of
Medicine and Dentistry); a history of QM women from 1850
until the present day; women of achievement and women´s
voices, including dramatised archival material and interviews.

The Virtual Exhibition includes material from last year´s
public exhibition and much more, including early photographs
of women students and teachers, alumnae memorabilia and
the stories of QM women from across disciplines throughout
the College´s history. The `Women´s Voices´ virtual tour
includes more than 60 audio clips which provide a fascinating
insight into the lives of women from different generations
and communities entering higher education for the first time
from the 1850s onwards.

The Women at Queen Mary public exhibition was on display at
the College from October to December 2007, and a
roundtable discussion of graduates from each decade since
the 1930s opened the exhibition on 4 October. Dr Colette
Bowe, Queen Mary alumna and Chairman of the College
Council, commented on the colossal change in the condition
of women that has taken place in the last century. Reflecting
on the roundtable event, Dr Bowe said: "one of the oldest
participants, who went to university in the 1930s, commented
that she was very lucky to go. That became a key point for
me. I was a student at Queen Mary in the 1960s and my
generation felt completely entitled to be at university. This
made me reflect on the gigantic social change that took place
in only 30 years."

A recording of the roundtable discussion, chaired by Professor
Lisa Jardine, is available on the Virtual Exhibition, as are
clips from interviews with Dr Bowe and others. The sound
clips include the voices of successful QM women from the
1930s until the present day, including Professor Maud
Godward, an avid motorcar driver who studied Botany at East
London College, just before it was renamed Queen Mary
College; Dr Dorothy Russell, the first woman to be appointed
Chair of Morbid Anatomy at The London Hospital Medical
College; Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, who trained at Barts in 1850
and was the first fully-qualified woman doctor of medicine;
and Principal Constance Maynard, the first head of Westfield
College who played a central role in the establishment of the
first residential women´s college in London.

Visit the Women at Queen Mary Virtual Exhibition and learn
more about the fascinating history of women at QM:

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