Miss America Collection

Miss America Collection

Miss America Collection

“Here she comes . . . Miss America!” This week Rowan received the first set of Miss America Organization historical materials. 

Miss America

The College of Humanities and Social Science, along with Campbell Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication, have successfully negotiated Rowan’s digitization and stewardship of the Miss America archive. This collection of photographs, artwork, interviews, film and video recordings, scrapbooks, business records, correspondence, news clippings, and even jeweled scepters and satin sashes represents the entire history of the Miss America pageant since its inception as a bathing suit competition in Atlantic City in 1921. The competition has been an enduring feature of American culture, producing idealized images of female beauty and achievement. However, the pageant has also been a space to challenge those images, both inside and outside the competition hall. This collection will be an invaluable source for the study of American history, culture, women’s history, business history, media studies, and many other topics. Student interns, such as Theatre student Grace Fox, and Rowan library staff will be digitizing the material over a multi-year process, led by Director of Research Engagement and Scholarship Dr. Robert Hiliker and Digital Scholarship Specialist Michael Benson, with project coordination by Dr. Katherine Turner, American Studies Program. ​