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Jackson College for Women Records

Call Number: UA033

Scope and Contents

This collection is sharply focused on student activities specific to Jackson College including records of the student government and social groups and activities. There are also three scrapbooks of the Jackson College Athletic Association, which include clippings and photographs of athletic events.

Also included in this collection is material related to women at Tufts prior to the establishment of Jackson College in 1910.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1910 -- 1985
  • Creation: 1871 -- 1985


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.The collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

Named after Cornelia Maria Jackson, who bequeathed funds to Tufts to help "remove the disabilities of women," Jackson College was founded in 1910 as a coordinate college to Tufts. An alternative to both women's colleges and fully coeducational schools, coordinate colleges provided women with a separate, and supposedly equal, education at a women's college that existed in conjunction with a men's school.

Women were first admitted to Tufts College in 1892, some forty years after the college's founding, and their presence was a continual source of debate among the faculty, administration, and Trustees. As an alternative to coeducation, President Frederick Hamilton, himself an opponent of coeducation, argued for the establishment of a separate, coordinate college. This compromise resulted in the establishment of Jackson College. Caroline Davies, the first woman to serve on the Tufts faculty, and the first female administrative officer, was named as the first dean.

Segregated instruction lasted only a few years, and by the time the catalogue for 1913 was published all mention of separate classes for women was gone. From 1917 to 1963 women graduates received Tufts degrees only. From 1963 until 2002, women's diplomas carried an identification of Jackson College.

Socially, however, the concept of Jackson College remained strong until the 1970s. Jackson College had its own student government, clubs, and other student organizations. The Jumbo, the undergraduate college yearbook revived in 1917, had separate sections for Tufts College and Jackson College through the 1960s.

Although no longer a separate part of the university, Jackson College is still a legal entity and the title of the undergraduate division of the university remains the College of Liberal Arts and Jackson College.


10.75 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

1 Artifact(s)

55 Digital Object(s)


This collection is organized into two series: Jackson College records; and Unprocessed accessions.

Custodial History

The collection contains material gathered by Russell Miller in preparation for writing his two volume history of Tufts, "Light on the Hill." Some photographs have been removed to the University Image collection, but there are several boxes of photographs that are grouped at the end of the collection.

Related Materials

UA039, Classes Collection, DCA

Processing status

This collection is partially processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States