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Title pageAbout the Essay

Low, Elizabeth Anna

I Was a Co-ed.


Unpublished, 1951; Memoir of the 1890s.



In February of 1950, Elizabeth Anna Low began a correspondence with Charles Coleman Sellers, the Curator of Dickinsoniana at Dickinson College. Low, an aging graduate of Dickinson’s class of 1891, hoped to donate a few personal items to the college collections. When writing Sellers, Low began to reminisce about her time at Dickinson. In January of 1951, Sellers asked Low if she would write a brief memoir about her time at Dickinson as one of the earliest female students to enroll. He explained that, “Most of our records, of course, are rather cut-and-dried, official or semi-official stuff. Anything like your letter that opens a glimpse into the intimate, personal side is a most welcome addition. Could you write something of the college rules as they affected the girls, of college customs and amusements, or class-room recitations and the professors?” In late January of 1952, Elizabeth Low sent Sellers her essay, “I was a Coed.” The thirty-five page memoir outlines Low’s time at Dickinson during the early years of coeducation. Sellers was pleased with Low’s account and mentioned that he hoped to publish it in honor of the opening of Drayer Hall, a new women’s dormitory what was dedicated on May 1, 1952. It does not appear, however, that this memoir ever did appear in print in any college publications.

Researched and authored by Caroline Radesky.


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