Undergraduate Research

Historic letter and envelope from the Maine Women Writers Collection Each semester, students from UNE and other local universities have the opportunity to complete research projects using the Maine Women Writers Collection's archival materials, artists' books, periodicals and published volumes. We take materials to classes to expose more students to our resources, and we invite professors to consider holding a class in the Collection to give students a more hands-on research experience. We are committed to supporting interdisciplinary collaboration and research, and use our collections to further this goal whenever possible.

Past projects of note:
Elizabeth DeWolfe's Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies class participated in a Wikipedia-Edit-A-Thon, creating pages for women of note. Many Maine women were highlighted in this project, with students using the MWWC to do primary source research. WikiEdu highlighted the project on their blog.

Joseph Gousse, a recent UNE graduate, completed a portion of the research for his thesis "Institutionalized Racism and the Politics of Justice: Disproportional Incarceration of Native Americans in the State of Maine" using the Donna M. Loring papers. As the first student to use this rich collection, Joseph had the opportunity to speak directly to Donna Loring about his thesis, and gained important insights using materials written by Maine's tribal leaders.

"The Maine Women Writers Collection is UNE's best kept secret when it comes to research...."
—Joseph Gousse, UNE Political Science graduate

A book by Rebecca Goodale opened like an accordion

One of the most exciting projects that the MWWC has been involved in is a collaboration between book artist Rebecca Goodale, Michelle Steen-Adams in the Department of Environmental Studies, and Stephen Burt in the Department of Creative and Fine Arts. Students in Michelle Steen-Adams ENV 104 classes had the opportunity to explore the environment around them using a combination of artistic and scientific observation. 

Students were offered instruction in drawing skills, had the opportunity to meet Rebecca Goodale and hear about her process of creating books about Maine's threatened and endangered plants, and view and handle the MWWC's large collection of Goodale's books. Throughout the semester, students worked on their own ecological observation booklets, and created a final book to be exhibited in the Jack Ketchum Library on the Biddeford campus. This fusion of arts and science offered students new ways of looking at their environment, and provided a unique forum for building observation skills and confidence.

We have hosted classes of Book Arts and History students from USM, English classes from SMCC, and worked with English, History, Political Science and Environmental Studies students from UNE.

English 310 Writing and Women’s Health
Professor Jennifer Tuttle developed an assignment for her advanced humanities course on “Writing and Women’s Health” in which students would have the option of writing their analytical essay on primary sources in the MWWC. Students wrote about a variety of items, from Abraham Myerson's The Nervous Housewife (1920) to May Sarton's journals. Many of the students focused on artist's books in which Martha Hall explores various aspects of her experience with breast cancer.

AMS 308 Women and the American Experience
The “Women and the American Experience” class, led by Professor Elizabeth De Wolfe, spent a semester studying primary source material in the Maine Women Writers Collection. Students selected, researched, described and transcribed original material from the Maine Women Writers Collection for display and study on the UNE website.