University News

$3.5 million campaign planned for Pembroke Center

The fund, which has already received $1 million, will help digitize a feminist archive

Staff Writer
Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Pembroke Center holds a large collection of papers and oral histories from leading feminist scholars.

The Pembroke Center is in the midst of a $3.5 million fundraising drive to support the growth and accessibility of its two archives: the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive and the Feminist Theory Archive.

Pembroke Center Associates Council Chair Nancy Buc ’65 LLD ’94, a former member of the Corporation’s Board of Fellows and Board of Trustees, kickstarted the campaign with a $1 million contribution last April, though the campaign has been in progress since last year, wrote Pembroke Center Director and Professor of Anthropology Kay Warren in an email to The Herald.

“The archives are and will be an incredible academic and intellectual resource,” Buc said, adding that growing the endowment will allow the center’s archivist and director to have sufficient funds for any number of priorities. These goals include the expansion and digitization of the archives, the instatement of a full-time archivist at the center and the use of the archives in research by students and scholars, Buc said.

“One of the main purposes of the endowment is to allow us to grow the archival collections,” said Christy Law Blanchard, Pembroke Center director of program outreach and development.

Funds raised by the capital campaign will support the ongoing digitization of Farnham Archive oral histories and will finance the compilation and digitization of other archive materials. “There’s a lot of work to make it a more rich experience for the user to visit the (archives’) website,” Blanchard said.

The Feminist Theory Archive — a collection of papers and documents from leading feminist scholars — will also be improved from the endowment, Warren said. Because the Feminist Theory Archive’s documents span multiple generations, they take various forms — from original manuscripts with handwritten edits to complete hard drives.

The endowment would help current archivist Wendy Korwin-Pawlowski “develop the expertise in how to handle all these materials and process them,” Blanchard said.

Korwin-Pawlowski was selected from a national search three years ago to oversee the two Pembroke Center archives because of her “specific fit with Brown,” Warren said. Korwin-Pawlowski currently works part-time, but the endowment will pay her to work full-time and will provide funding for the hiring of assistants, Warren said. As archivist, she will continue to help make each archive more accessible and will propose questions to connect ideas related to both archives, Warren said.

While improving the archival materials’ accessibility and organization, the endowment will also provide funds to pay scholars to do work, to allow students to assist them and to fund undergraduates’ senior theses, Warren said.

“Archives are living material,” Warren said, adding that because the archives keep expanding, the digitization project will only continue.

The capital campaign’s public phase has no set end date, Warren said, adding that she gives lectures to groups of Brown alums, who she said have been receptive to the campaign.

Warren said as part of her push for the campaign, she highlights the benefits of the archives’ growth for current students. With the digitization of the archives, students will be able to more readily access historical memory and be part of a larger world project, she said. Students “will begin to write the history,” she said.

Since her gift to the endowment, Buc has also met with prospective supporters of the capital campaign, she said. “The response has been good — it just takes time,” Buc said, adding that she hopes the campaign will meet its $3.5 million goal by this spring but is uncertain this target date will be met.

Buc was an undergraduate at the University when Pembroke College was still separate from Brown, she said. “We knew that a lot of our opportunities weren’t the same as the men’s,” she said. “I would hope that scholarship at the Pembroke Center provides insights and context and knowledge about (today’s) world and mine.”

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  1. Another reason why I will not donate to Brown, if so much money is wasted on digitizing Butler & Co… As if the world needs more feminist literature

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