Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More on Elsie Metz

Elsie Metz 1902
Continuing with my research on Elsie Metz, I turned to Google Books as a resource. It is amazing what you can find on this site. It has a search bar just like google.com, but it looks for your search terms within the context of books and magazines. I have suggested to house researchers that they enter their address, street and town to see what results they might find. But the same approach works for genealogy as well. When I searched for Elsie I was able to find references to her in a number of publications, including the yearbooks from the University of Cincinnati. If the scanned images are in the public domain, you can download them onto your computer. If they are not in the public domain, you can still do a screen capture to save the information to your computer. This photograph is Elsie's senior picture at the University of Cincinnati in 1902.

As I looked at each of the four yearbooks in which she appeared, I was struck by the fact that while there were 141 students in her freshman class, only 48 graduated in 1902. I guess the drop out rate for college students was high even in the early 1900's! But the bigger surprise to me was that 26 of the graduates were female - over half the graduating class! In the year 1900 only 2.8% of the female population went to college, and women obtained 19% of all undergraduate degrees in the United States. So what made this graduating class different? It would be interesting to know, but I am not sure I will have the time to seek out the answers to that question.

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