Research Blog #1

My part of the research covers the course catalogs of the 1940s and studying the academic department and faculty files during that same time period.  Since this is the decade that contains A) the months before the United States entered World War II, B) the years the US fought and finished the war, and C) a few post-war years, it will be interesting to go through all the files to see what kind of changes Mary Washington College (as I will be referring to UMW as, since that was its name during that time frame) went through during this tumultuous time.

Going through the course catalogs in Special Collections will give us an idea on what classes were offered at MWC, and what were the requirements for particular majors then.  Going through these catalogs will also give us a look on what subjects were of most demand during the ‘40s.  For example, would interest in German and Japanese classes decrease due to the outbreak of World War II?  And how would Russian studies be affected as the Cold War dawned?  These are just two topics that could be answered by looking through the catalogs.

The academic department history and faculty files will clue us in on who the professors were at MWC during the ‘40s.  Such information will not tell us how the teachers conducted their lessons like other sources will, but they will tell us their professional qualifications, and how employment was affected in the last years of the Great Depression, throughout World War II, and during the time of post-war.

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