The Barnard Center for Research on Women: 1971

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As the 1960s drew to a close, a growing chorus of voices within the Barnard community began calling for an official College response to the changes wrought and challenges posed by the Women’s Liberation Movement. After months of impassioned, contentious discussion among students, faculty-members, administrators, and alums, the Barnard Women’s Center (later renamed The Barnard Center for Research on Women) was founded in the fall of 1971. This selection of public and internal papers from the Center’s first year documents the fledgling research institution’s attempts to solidify its place within Barnard, define its purpose outside the academy, and achieve full expression of its commitment to women’s “dignity, autonomy, and equality” (Charter, the Women’s Center, Barnard College). Beneath it all, a much quieter story about individual women, bound as much by friendship as they were by political conviction, can be glimpsed. It is out of respect for privacy that some items have been excluded from this digital collection. Documents concerning employment matters, as well as those containing explicitly personal information or private remarks, have been removed. Items published elsewhere, except where attached to institutional documents from the Center, have also been excised. As we continue to digitize materials from the BCRW collection, more materials will be added.

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