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Transylvania student digitizes documents from admired 1920s alum


Under the guidance of librarians, Hannah Mooney ’19 digitized materials on an accomplished Transy graduate, making them available to the public.

Jane Haselden, who graduated from Transylvania University in 1926, served as a WWII civil aviator at a time when not many women even had a pilot’s license.

Despite her high-flying achievements, letters from her college days document concerns familiar to today’s students, such as asking parents to bring familiar items from home and wearing out one’s favorite clothes.

Fast-forward nearly a century and another Transylvania student, senior Hannah Mooney, takes an interest in Haselden and spends an internship at the school’s library digitizing papers and photos related to the life and times of the aviator.

The fall-term internship proved to be a unique learning experience for Mooney—”a wonderful opportunity for me to explore the field without a commitment to graduate school and for me to obtain professional experience for my resume,” she said.

Mooney is a writing, rhetoric and communication major with a history minor and an interest in women’s history.

Professor Scott Whiddon oversaw the internship experience and library staff taught Mooney how to describe digital objects using international standards—and how to make these documents available to the public online. She also created a guide to the collection, and wrote an article for future publication.

The correspondence she digitized is from a collection dated 1922-24, when Haselden attended Hamilton College. Other items from Haselden include an album of photos from a trip to Mexico, believed to be taken in 1936 after she had returned to Transy to serve as dean of women and assistant professor of French.

Haselden, who earned advanced degrees from the University of Kentucky and Columbia University, also held academic posts at UK and Centre College. Additionally, she served on a panel that drafted Kentucky’s civil aviation regulations, and, in 1990, she was memorialized for her efforts in the International Forest of Friendship in Atchison, Kansas.

Browse more of the Transylvania library’s online collections here.

This article was submitted to 1780 by Jason Cooper, Transylvania’s technical services librarian.