The exhibit, Haven’t a Studious Inclination: College Life in the Early 20th Century, was on display on the first floor of Marcil Hall on UNE's Biddeford Campus from Fall 2016 to Summer 2017. It drew on the letters of Barbara Banker Kamar, who summered on Chebeague Island, Maine and attended Mount Holyoke College in the late 1930s, as well as material from Sanford native and Wheaton College student Elizabeth Willard, and Bangor native and Smith College student Ethel Godfrey Loud. The exhibit included letters, photographs, menus, flyers, a pennant and a fan.
An accompanying exhibit, I Feel Strongly Against More Study: Artifacts of College Life from the Early 20th Century (Fall 2016-Summer 2017), gathered material from various sources within the Maine Women Writers Collection, the St. Francis College History Collection, and the Westbrook College History Collection. The exhibit was in the Abplanalp Library's large glass display case, which was the former fashion model case for Westbrook College. Taking advantage of the spacious case, a college dorm room from the early twentieth century was re-created. The inspiration for the exhibit stemmed from Kamar’s delightfully detailed and entertaining letters. In her frequent letters home, Kamar talked about family and friends, her courses at college, her many outings and activities, and her seemingly never-ending need for just a bit more money.
These files are a very small portion of the exhibit. To see all the files, visit the full exhibit page here.
Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England
Quotes used in the exhibit: Haven't a Studious Inclination: College Life in the Early 20th Century, on display at UNE in 2016.
Barbara Banker Kamar
Handwritten letter from Barbara Banker (Kamar) to her mother, dated 1938 March 1, discussing general events at college and her thoughts on future schooling.
Barbara Banker Kamar
Handwritten letter from Barbara Banker (Kamar) to her mother, dated 1936 May 25, discussing finances, exams, and the logistics of getting home from college.