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University and Life Experience

University and Life Experience: Higher Education and Women's Lives in Twentieth-Century Britain

This project is constructing a digital resource on the life histories of women who attended Girton College, Cambridge between 1918 and 1990. The data collection for the project ran 1995-98, with support from the Spencer Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy. Our subjects’ lives were explored through the College Registers, questionnaires and interviews. For over 7000 students in this period, the Registers provide birthplace, paternal occupation, school of origin, university subject and degree, and first-destination employment. Five hundred former students completed detailed questionnaires on their family lives, careers, religious and political outlook. A further 60 women gave recorded interviews. All of this data is housed in the Girton College Archive.

The second phase of the project, begun in 2010, is directed to constructing an online archive which will make this rich collection of material, together with a photographic gallery, available to scholars around the world. Data will be presented as text, audio file and searchable databases. Phase two has support until 2013 from the Isaac Newton Trust, the Spencer Foundation, and the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust. It is hosted by the Library, Girton College.

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