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Women's Development Corporation Records

Identifier: Ms-2016-012

Content Description

These records document select activities of the Women's Development Corporation (WDC) of Rhode Island from 1979-2015. Materials include professional correspondence from WDC staff to peers, funding agencies, politicians, and clients; commendations received by the WDC; research notes and reports; administrative records, including meeting minutes and bylaws; public relations materials; press coverage by and about the WDC; project documentation, including design sketches, presentation drawings, photographs, and planning materials; audio-visual recordings; electronic records on DVD; and furniture models used in the participatory design planning process.


  • 1979 - 2015


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Women's Development Corporation Records must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Historical Note

The Women's Development Corporation (WDC) is a non-profit housing developer in Rhode Island. The WDC was founded in 1979 by a group of architects, designers, community planners, and historic preservation professionals. The founders included Susan Aitcheson (Program Director, Vice President from 1979-2012, and President from 2012-2016), Katrin Adam, and Joan Forrester Sprague. Alma Felix Green was the first Executive Director in 1980 and retired as President in 2014. The WDC designs, develops, constructs, and manages sustainable housing for low and moderate income families, individuals with special needs, and elderly residents. Between 1979 and 2016, the WDC had developed over 1600 housing units.

Additional sources:


8.5 Cubic Feet (Three records boxes, three small flat boxes, one large flat box, one roll of drawings, one large flat folder of drawings, 16 foam board presentation panels.)

Language of Materials



The Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) is a Rhode Island based housing developer and non-profit founded by a group of architects, designers, community planners, and historic preservation professionals. These records document select activities of the WDC from 1979-2015.


This collection was arranged with respect to the original order and the Shephered/Lowell Standard Series and Subseries for Architeture and Landscape Design. The collection reflects the following series and subseries:

  • Series I: Photographs
  • Series II: Professional Papers
  • Subseries A: Correspondence related to the profession
  • Subseries B: Awards, certificates
  • Subseries C: Research Notes and Data Collection
  • Subseries D: Files, articles, clipping, materials
  • Subseries E: Women's School of Planning and Architecture
  • Series III: OFfice Records
  • Subseries A: Administrative articles, bylaws, meetings
  • Subseries B: Housing Planning Group Meetings, 1980
  • Subseries C: Public Relations Activity
  • Subseries D: Published Materials
  • Subseries E: Exercises and analysis
  • Series IV: Project Records
  • Series V: Participatory Design Workshop, 1990
  • Series VI: Aduiovisual and Electronic Media
  • Series VII: Exhibits and Artifacts

Acquisition Information

The Women's Development Corporation Records were donated to Special Collections in 2016.

Separated Materials

Separated materials consist of books relevant to the firm's ideals preceding the work, with subjects covering aspects such as participatory design, guides to low-income housing design, housing for Low-Income single women, different types of households, and cohousing.


  • New Households, New Housing , Karen A. Franck, Sherry Ahrentzen
  • Singular Women: Housing for Low-Income Single Women Without Dependents. Ann Forsyth
  • Participatory Design. Theory and Techniques. Henry Sanoff.
  • A Practical Guide to Low-and Moderate-Income Housing. Charles Edison and Bruce Lane

Women's Development Corporation Records, 1979-2015
In Progress
Michelle Noceto, Samantha Winn
© 2016 Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US