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How Gibbs Catalogs Changed
This 1924 catalog is designed like a dance card that well-born women would use at formal dances to keep track of partners for each dance. Notice the card stock for the cover, the very modern style of the logo, and the binding. Rather than use a commercial binding, Mrs. Gibbs chose to have a white cord just like a dance card. This hinted to prospective students and their parents that the school was above the ordinary.
After the World War I drafts in 1917, Mrs. Gibbs lost the male part of her audience. She simply changed the focus on the title page to “Katharine Gibbs School of Secretarial & Executive Training for Educated Women.”
Below are 21st-century catalogs including the last Gibbs catalog in the world (right). The student body is again both male and female, the dress code is gone, computers are being used, and some students are in medical scrubs because the medical field is growing. The 2001-2003 catalog says Katharine Gibbs without “school” while the 2009-2010 edition says Gibbs College. The catalogs are for only the Boston campus because by this time each campus published its own material.
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The Barbizon and Gibbs Then and Now
Katharine Gibbs: Beyond White Gloves is acknowledged at the end of The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. “That you were able to preserve so much of the history of the school for future generations is a true gift to us all.”
STAND ABOVE THE CROWD! EXCELLENCE IN ALL YOU DO!
These taglines from later marketing material sum up what Gibbs means.