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Women's History Month

WMU Archival Collections

Caroline Bartlett Crane (1858-1935) and the Everyman's House 

The collection contains material about her personal and public life as a Unitarian minister, founder of The People's Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a social and urban reformer, suffragist, and conservationist. Papers include correspondence, speeches, sermons, articles, travel journals, scrapbooks, autobiographical material and photographs. Papers about women's issues of the early twentieth century include correspondence with suffragists, Anna Howard Shaw, Susan B. Anthony, and Jane Addams. Information on the Kalamazoo Civic Improvement League, League of Women Voters, health, visiting nurses, and sanitation, divorce laws and women in the church and rural life in the mid 1920s. Material about social reform issues includes prison and poorhouse investigations and reform, juvenile delinquency, legislative reform of meat inspection, municipal sanitary surveys, the Salvation Army in England, old age security, and unemployment. Material about housing in the 1920s includes her book, Everyman's House, photographs and design plans for the house, which was a winner of Herbert Hoover's "Better Homes of America" campaign. Anti-war and World War I materials include the papers of the Women's Committee Council of National Defense (Michigan Division), Henry Ford's Peace Ship, disarmament; preparedness, and the League of Nations. Forestry and conservation interests included state park status for Rose's Island in the Kalamazoo River, and tourist guides of Michigan parks and campgrounds. 

WMU Oral Histories

Oral Histories at WMU

Oral histories collected by the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections. Includes the WMU Centennial Oral History Collection, a collection of oral histories by Western alumni, faculty, staff, and friends collected 1987-2003 for the WMU Centennial in 2003.

A few examples include: 

More Oral History Resources

WMU Special Collections

The Carol Ann Haenicke Collection of American Women's Poetry

The Carol Ann Haenicke Collection of American Women's Poetry was dedicated on October 28, 1993 and hailed as "the beginnings of a distinctive scholarly resource."  The collection was named for Mrs. Haenicke, a librarian and the wife of the president of WMU at that time, Dr. Diether Haenicke.  The collection began with a purchase from Dr. Harrison Hayford, of Northwestern University, with the help of Dr. Katherine Joslin of Western Michigan University's English Department.  It is primarily comprised of books, but it also contains archival sub-collections (see the links on this page), as well as artists' books and broadsides. The collection is focused on "breadth, inclusiveness and scope rather than for qualities that conventional collectors value more highly, such as rarity or mint condition of the books."  The collection continues to grow each year.

To the right, an early edition of Emily Dickinson's poems (1896), from the Harrison Hayford Emily Dickinson sub-collection.

Materials from the collection can be located through Library Search. 

Pauline Johnson Byrd Collection, 1922-1988

Pauline Johnson Byrd was the first African American graduate of Kalamazoo College. This is a physical collection and is held at the Zhang Legacy Collection.

Pauline Johnson materials include autobiography of Pauline Johnson, diaries,1931-1982, biographical information, family information, and correspondence. Also includes Johnson's writings, scrapbooks, information on Douglass Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and material from Mrs. Johnson Says, a column written by Johnson,1978-1984.

Merze Tate, Western Alumna

Merze Tate

Dr. Tate hails from Blanchard, Michigan and was the first Black student to receive an undergraduate degree from Western State Teacher's College in 1927. To the right, Merze Tate receives the distinguished alumni award in 1970. Image courtesy Western Michigan University Archives. 

"KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Professor. World traveler. Journalist. Inventor. This 20th century renaissance woman may not have made it to the moon, but Dr. Merze Tate's resolve to boldly blaze her own path puts her among Western Michigan University's brightest stars. " Read more at "Merze Tate: A trailblazing Western alumna who made an international impact." Read more about Merze Tate: WMU News article Feb. 1, 2021

Discover more about Dr. Tate

WMU Libraries has a large selection of Tate's scholarly works as well as secondary resources on her.