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Chatham University Student Handbooks

Identifier: 2020.001

Scope and Contents

The Chatham University College and University Student Handbook Collection is comprised of handbooks created to introduce students to rules and policies of the university.  Handbooks also provided a brief history of the institution, an overview of campus traditions and annual events, popular college songs, and advice for students. The main components of the Student Handbooks are the academic calendar, welcomes by the President and various other organizations, Student Government Constitution and Student Conduct, House or Dorm rules, student associations, athletic opportunities, locations of buildings and offices, college traditions, college history, honor system/code, and important people. While some student handbooks give attention to the social aspects of campus life, including college songs, ghost stories, and proper manners/dress, many student handbooks purely outline academic expectations, college services, student organizations, and general school policies without the personal guidance aspects of the earlier books. Some issues are not included in the collection and the collection does not include materials created after 2015.


  • created: 1923 – 1982, 1985 – 2003, 2011 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access. The records are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Biographical or Historical Information

Chartered on December 11, 1869 by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Female College was initiated by Reverend William Trimble Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church with the intention of providing “for young ladies what colleges of the first class accomplish for young men.” The campus was situated in the affluent Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a building that held the previous distinction of being the largest private residence in Allegheny County.  A Board of Trustees which included Rev. Beatty and several members of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, led the selection of college administrators and the development of college curriculum aiming to “furnish [students] the means of a thorough, well-proportioned and liberal education adapted to their wants in life.” In 1890 the name of the institution was changed to Pennsylvania College for Women, and in 1955 the name was changed again to Chatham College in honor of William Pitt, First Earl of Chatham and namesake of the City of Pittsburgh. In 1994, Chatham College expanded around its historic undergraduate women’s college by beginning to offer graduate programs to both men and women with a special emphasis in the health science fields.  University status was granted in 2007 and the institution is thereafter named Chatham University.  Additional campus locations, including one in the East Liberty neighborhood called East Side and one in Gibsonia called Eden Hall Farm, were added in 2008. In 2014, Chatham University’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution to implement coeducation within all colleges and schools while creating structures and programs that preserve the University’s commitment to women’s education and leadership.

Note written by Molly Tighe


6.00 archival_boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in six boxes and placed into folders chronologically. The arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of original order.

Related Materials

Chatham University Yearbooks Collection Chatham University Student Newspapers Collection Chatham University Course Catalogs Collection

Archon Finding Aid Title
Emily Ahlin and Molly Tighe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Chatham University Archives Repository

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh PA 15232 US