The “Miss Manners” of Maryland: “Information Please”

“Information Please” was a small handbook of rules, regulations, and strong suggestions produced by the Associated Women Students (AWS) organization and distributed to all incoming female undergraduates during the 1950s and 1960s. AWS was a self-governing body of women students that established and enforced standards of conduct for women students and sponsored cultural and social activities.

The handbooks contain a detailed description of the functioning of the AWS as well as policies governing dormitory hours, fire drills, signing in and out of the dorms, quiet hours, and male and female visitors allowed. It also includes standards of dress for common university settings, e.g. the classroom, afternoon tea, or a football game.

Information Please booklet cover, 1963

The university archives’ collection of these handbooks have all been digitized and are available for viewing and downloading here.

The University Archives also holds the administrative records of the AWS, which consist of five scrapbooks dating from 1957 to 1961 and 1964 to 1967. The scrapbooks document the various activities sponsored by AWS and include minutes, by-laws, constitutions, publications, and news clippings. There are also photos of individual members, group meetings, and various activities of the association. A finding aid describing these records is available in ArchivesUM.


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