Learn how to search Lesley's extensive collection of holdings, including our library of historical publications, important documents, and an image and media library.
EDITH: Digital Repository
EDITH, our online catalog, stands for Essential Digitized Image and Text
Holdings. This database contains descriptions of all materials held by
the Lesley University Archives, including Finding Aids, and our digital
library, which consists of images, audio files, movies, and electronic
files like PDFs that are official records of the University.
Search the EDITH collections.
These materials are comprised of records created by administrators,
faculty, staff, students, and alumni in their various official
capacities. The collection consists of historical records of each of
Lesley University's programs and departments. The collection also
contains publications by the university and Lesley students, including
Ph.D. dissertations.Collection Highlight.The Archives has collected the records of
the university's most innovative programs and courses of study that have
had a profound impact on higher education in America. These collections
include the following:
The records reflect the philosophy behind the programs, the
curriculum development, the recruitment of distinguished faculty and
field practitioners, and the development research projects. These
collections are important not only for the history of the university but
also for the history of higher education in America.
The photograph collection contains over 10,000 items, including black
and white and color photographs, slides, film negatives, and contact
sheets from the early twentieth century to the present that document
Lesley University. Subjects range from student life, building projects,
faculty and staff, commencement, and campus and alumni events.
This collection consists of over 50 interviews conducted by a professional oral historian with faculty, staff, alumni, professor emeriti,
and other professionals associated with the university. There are
approximately 300 hours of interviews. The oral history project began in
2007 and is ongoing; approximately 20 interviews are added to the
collection each year.
Collection Highlight. One of the strong subject areas covered in the
oral history collection is Lesley’s role in the open education movement
in America during the second half of the twentieth century. Interviews
were conducted with former faculty andProfessors Emeriti
who are internationally recognized scholars of the open education
movement. In addition, personal papers and publications of these faculty
were collected, including those of Nancy Langstaff,Professor Emerita
and scholar of the open education movement, detailing her experience as
the Kindergarten teacher at the White House during the Kennedy
Rare BooksThis collection contains rare
books on a variety of subjects, including obscure texts related to the
pedagogy of early childhood education and rare art magazines and
published artist folios from the university's art school.
Collection Highlight. Within the rare book collection there is a
collection of curriculum books that date to the first decade of the
university's existence, when it was called the Lesley Normal School, a
Kindergarten and elementary teacher training school exclusively for
women. During this time, students were required to study the pedagogy
developed by Friedrich Froebel, founder of the modern Kindergarten
movement, in which children's artist expression was cultivated through
various art "occupations," such as painting, sewing, and paper folding.
Lesley students were required to create curriculum books of the Froebel
Occupations, which they would use, after graduation, as a basis for
their Kindergarten classes in public schools and settlement houses
across the United States.
The books, of which only 12 survive, are of exquisite detail and beauty
and demonstrate the skill necessary not only for Kindergarten teachers
during the turn of the twentieth century but also for Lesley Normal
School students. In addition, the curriculum books give an insight into
the history of women in academia, showing the kind of work required by
female professors of their female students.
ObjectsThis collection includes a variety of objects from
textiles to jewelry; from ceremonial ceramic plates to sliver platters;
and from metal typefaces to silk embroidery art.Collection Highlight. The Archives has collected several textiles
from the first half of the twentieth century, including a long, pleated
gym suit and leather shoes from the 1930s, a wool blazer with the
Lesley seal embroidered on the front breast pocket from the 1950s, and
small collection of green wool beanies that freshmen were required to
wear. These textiles give a glimpse into the daily lives of students at
an all women’s institution in the early twentieth century.
Audio Visual Collection
This collection is composed of video and audiotapes of various campus
events, including commencement, Lesley-related on-air interviews, and
Manuscript CollectionsThis collection includes personal
papers related to the distinguished careers of faculty and alumni based
on subject-area interests (i.e., politics, leadership, teaching, art,
psychology, business, and entertainment).
Collection Highlight. Within the manuscript collection there is
correspondence between Cambridge artist Maude Morgan, who was a Trustee
of the university's art school, and artist John von Wicht. Morgan and
von Wicht were at Yaddo, an artist community in Saratoga Springs, New
York, together in the summer and fall of 1956. The correspondence
includes drawings by both artists.
Search Digital Images
Libraries - Main
Sherrill Library: 617.349.8850
College of Art and Design Library: 617.585.6670
University Archives: 617.349.8573