Archival displays

During Michaelmas Term, the library organised two small displays relating to the admission of women to Pembroke: one in the library entrance, and one in J staircase.

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Melisa Trujillo (2006) reports on the J staircase display:

‘The display of archival materials in J staircase, relating to the admission of women to the University of Cambridge and to Pembroke College, and kindly put together by Pembroke’s wonderful Librarian, Pat Aske, is fascinating and thorough. Indeed, it deserves to be seen and discussed at great length.

‘On the left hand side of the display is a collection of handwritten letters, bills and other historical materials relating to the admission of women to the University. The handwritten letter in particular is striking, with such phrases as: ‘I am sick of women’s degrees and chuck everything into the waste paper basket.’ To the right hand side of the display are more recent materials relating to the admission of women at Pembroke, including the matriculation photo from the first year that women were admitted (1984–85).

‘This carefully curated selection of historical documents has a surprisingly profound effect on the viewer, providing a real, material entry to thinking about this particular history that belongs to all of us as members of Pembroke College – a history that is at once curious, tragi-comic, and all too recent.’