Digital Scrapbooks

Notable Women of Simmons University Digital Scrapbook Collection

The University Archives is pleased to invite the Simmons community and beyond to view and experience, online, the lives of early Simmons University women through their digitized scrapbooks.

Current Scrapbook Collections

Mission Statement

The Notable Women of Simmons University Digital Library captures and makes accessible the lives of early college women through their scrapbooks and other memorabilia. These records not only offer insights into a student's college experiences, but also provide an entrée into understanding the social conditions and historical period in which these women lived, the first half of the 20th century. The collections aim to portray the lives and times of these pioneers, highlighting their intellectual achievements and leisure activities, as well as the cultural and historical context of their experiences while attending Simmons.


In 2005, the first digital collection was created from the scrapbook of Marion Pearl Ayer, a 1917 graduate of the Simmons University Business Program. Subsequent virtual scrapbook collections have highlighted the college experiences of other early 20th century students and graduates of Simmons University . Viewable images include photographs, letters, notes, train tickets, dance cards and other forms of printed material that document residence life, sporting and cultural events, group outings and romances. In addition to student life, these mementos offer a glimpse of early 20th Century Boston, especially in the Fenway neighborhood, home of Simmons University.

Curriculum at Work - Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences

Since Notable Women's inception, graduate library and information science students in a digital libraries course (taught by SLIS Professor Candy Schwartz), have been entrusted with scrapbooks from the Simmons University Archives to digitize and present in an electronic format. The students are responsible for the semester-long endeavor from conception through creation. Their work encompasses all aspects of the production process, including content, descriptive metadata, digitization, web development, intellectual property, and marketing. The library is built using open source software and the technical resources of the University.