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Newnham College : Steamboat Ladies Gown, between 1904-1907

Newnham College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>While Cambridge resisted women’s calls for degrees, other universities were moving forward. In 1904 Trinity College Dublin (TCD) decided to award women degrees and agreed also to grant degrees to suitably qualified women from Oxford or Cambridge. By the time that the scheme ended in 1907, more than 700 Oxbridge women had taken advantage of this scheme. They were known as the ‘steamboat ladies’ due to their mode of travel.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This gown was purchased in Dublin by one of the ‘steamboat ladies’. When TCD appointed its first female professors in 1968, the Principal of Newnham gave the gown as a gift to one of the first women to be appointed, Newnham alumna and linguist Barbara Wright. The note is from Newnham’s Principal Eleanor Sidgwick, informing students of their eligibility for the Dublin degree.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Courtesy of Newnham College, University of Cambridge</p>

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