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sepia-toned photo of flappersPhotos from the 1920s-30s era are part of a digital archive created by history students exploring everyday life of flappers in and around Windsor.

Students soliciting support for historical archive

Following the overwhelming community response to student presentations on life for the “modern girl” of the 1920s and ’30s in Windsor, at the Walkerville Brewery in March, professor Christina Burr and the UWindsor history department have launched a fundraising campaign to help underwrite the next phase of the project.

Their goal is to build a digital archive around the histories of local modern girls, or “flappers,” in Windsor and the surrounding area during the 1920s and 1930s.

The project was initiated in January 2018 with the assistance of Matthew McLaughlin and Breanne Ramsay, students in Dr. Burr’s fourth-year seminar course on “the Modern Girl Around the World.” Kessia Carpenter and Megan Cote took the course in the fall of 2019 and joined the research group.

These students are studying young, single women during the period between the two world wars, focusing on education, leisure activities, sports and athletics, wage work, consumption, and the fashions and style of the flapper. The online archive will be composed of photographs, scrapbooks, memoirs, newspaper materials, and oral histories from the community.

Burr noted the public presentations in March attracted great interest.

“A lot of people came forward with photographs at our event at the brewery,” she said. “They want to be interviewed for this project, but we currently don’t have the resources.”

To extend the project, the history department is seeking donations to offset costs, including student salaries, expenses for transportation to collect resources and interview people, equipment purchase, and funds to host community events.

To support the project, specify “Modern Girl History Project” under the designation “Other” on the online donation form. Contributions over $50 will be acknowledged in the archive with the consent of donors.

For more information, contact Burr at burrc@uwindsor.ca.

—Susan McKee