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Center for Women's History

Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.

About the center

Our Center for Women’s History is the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum. At the Center, we explore the lives and legacies of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, the Center demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and sexuality exercised power and effected change. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and creating new opportunities for historical discovery.

 

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"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.

Major funding for the Center for Women's History programs provided by

The Estate of Jean Dubinsky Appleton
Claudine and Fred Bacher
James Basker and Angela Vallot
Joyce B. Cowin 
Deutsche Bank 
Diana and Joseph DiMenna
Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation 
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation 
Richard Gilder and Lois Chiles 
Susan and Roger Hertog
Susan and Robert Klein 
The Leonard & Judy Lauder Fund 
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 
Jennifer and John Monsky
Amanda and Neal Moszkowski
Jean Margo Reid
Pan and Scott Schafler
Michelle Smith 
Eric J. and Daria L. Wallach 
Susan Waterfall
Leah and Michael R. Weisberg

Public funding for the Center for Women’s History
provided by

The New York City Council 

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs 

Empire State Development and I Love New York under 

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Development Council Initiative 

Institute of Museum and Library Services 

By Theme

Broad thematic categories have been identified based on N-YHS holdings and are used here to sort collections in a way that suits the bulk of the records contained. Naturally, each collection encompasses numerous thematic elements; this is not meant to be a definitive ruling, but rather suggestions intended to establish structure and research paths in an extensive archive.

Arts and Literature | Business and Legal Affairs | Charitable Efforts | Community and Civic Engagement | Education and Teaching | Labor | Political Action | Science, Medicine, and Health | Social Worlds and Inner Lives | Additional Highlights

 

Arts and Literature

Emma Thursby Papers, 1706-1940 (bulk 1880-1920)
[Online Catalog]
Documents the career and personal life of internationally-known concert singer Emma Cecilia Thursby (1845-1931), including her financial dealings and family relationships. She toured widely and was famous for her soaring soprano voice and unusually-talented pet mynah bird. Size: 8.0 Linear ft. (16 boxes)
Graphic Collection:Emma Cecilia Thursby photograph collection, ca. 1820- 1940
Library Blog Post:The Ties That Bound: Corset Controversy in the Victorian Era
Museum Collections:Portrait, 1879;Presentation Tray, 1879;Decorative Jewelry Box, 1872;Music Stand, ca. 1875
Exhibition:Beauty’s Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America(on view 2013-2014)

Kellogg Family Papers, 1749-1945
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Contains three boxes of material on prominent New York actress Gertrude Kellogg(1843-1903), including her personal correspondence, a diary for 1859, theatre scripts, and ephemera related to her career and international travels. The collection also contains four boxes of material on her sister Fanny Kellogg (1848-1946), including correspondence, a recipe book and an address book. Size: 16.0 Linear ft. (31 boxes)
Museum Collections: Gertrude Kelley Paisley Shawl
Museum Collections: Kellogg Family Portrait

Louisa May Alcott letters, ca. 1860s-1870s
[Online Catalog]
Correspondence of author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), best known for her novel Little Women. This collection relates primarily to her professional life. It contains seventeen letters to James Redpath (1833-1891), most undated, all concerning various matters relating to the publication of Alcott's stories by Mr. Redpath. Size: 18 letters.
Library Blog: Louisa May Alcott Letters

The Causeries du Lundi Records, 1880-1996
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Includes member and meeting information of Causeries du Lundi, a weekly women’s writing group founded in 1880 and still active today. Founder Elizabeth Hamilton Cullum, granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton, encouraged members to express opinions and interests outside of traditional domestic and social duties. Many papers, which were read aloud during meetings, discuss history, art, literature, and travel. Size: 7.3 Linear ft. (18 boxes)

Florence Nightingale Levy Papers, 1899-1946 (bulk 1908-1926)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Materials related to Levy’s career as an arts administrator, curator, and educator. Levy held numerous prominent positions in the art world, including founder and editor of the American Art Annual and general manager of the Art Alliance of America. Size: 0.4 Linear ft. (1 box)

Jessie Tarbox Beals photograph collection, 1900-1940 [graphic]
[Online Catalog]
[Digital Collection]
Black and white photographs by Beals (1870-1942), a self-taught New York photographer known as the first woman press photographer. Primarily images of New York City and portraits of noted residents – particularly artists, writers, and performers. Size: 2.3 Linear ft. (6 boxes, approx. 400 images)
Library Blog: Alice Foote MacDougall
Featured in Hotbed exhibition, Joyce B. Cowin Gallery, November 3, 2017 - March 28, 2018

Rose O'Neill collection, 1900-1953 [graphic]
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Materials concerning artist and poet Rose Cecil O'Neill (1874-1944), best known for her creation of the Kewpie cartoon character. Among the documents are eight original drawings, three photographs of O'Neill (one by Jessie Tarbox Beals), the checklist of a 1922 exhibition in New York, and a reproduction of a poster illustrated with O'Neill's Kewpies advocating women's suffrage. Size: 2.21 Linear ft. (one box), 2 flat folders.
Women at the Center Blog:Women’s History Month

Helen Maria Turner Papers, 1904-1957
[Online Catalog]
Documents painter Helen Maria Turner’s artistic career, including diaries of trips to Europe; photographs of her work; and correspondence written by and to dealers, museums, and purchasers. Also included is a scrapbook of memorabilia, letters to her mother, family photographs, and Turner’s 1922 passport. Size: 0.92 Linear ft. (3 boxes)
Museum Collections: Portrait of Augusta Brown, signed H.M. Turner, c. 1879
Museum Collections: Portrait of Laurette Pintard Turner, signed H.M. Turner, 1901
Museum Collections: Cragsmoor Studio, painted by Turner, n.d.

Hannah Campbell Papers, 1958-1997
[Finding Aid]
Correspondence and papers of Hannah Campbell, a writer and magazine editor who lived in New York City from 1958 to 1982. Campbell worked for publications including Cosmopolitan and Reader’s Digest, and in 1964 authored a book on the history of brand names. Size: 4.73 Linear ft.

Westbeth Playwrights' Feminist Collective, 1971-2015 (bulk, 1971-1975)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of the short-lived but groundbreaking Westbeth Playwrights' Feminist Collective (1972-1976), one of the earliest feminist theater groups in the United States. The collection includes scripts, publicity material, articles and reviews, some correspondence, ephemera, and photographs of select production scenes and WPFC members. Size: 1.04 Linear ft. (3 boxes)

 

Business and Legal Affairs

Alexander Papers, 1668-1818 (bulk 1717-1786)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid – Series 3]
Series 3 documents the business affairs of Mary Alexander, a prominent female merchant specializing in haberdashery. It includes correspondence, receipts, bills and papers relating to her land holdings and estate. Invoices sometimes feature samples of fabrics requested or purchased by Alexander. Papers concerning other female family members appear throughout the collection.Size: 28.0 Linear ft. (60 boxes) Series 3: 2 boxes.
See Also: Mary Alexander Letter/account book, 1756-1766.
See Also: Mary Alexander receipt, 1752 August 6
Library Blog Post: “Fabric Samples from an Early New York Businesswoman”

Martha Bradstreet papers, 1772-1868 (bulk 1815)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
[Digitized Collection]
Mainly consists of correspondence and legal documents relating to Martha Bradstreet's attempts to regain the title to land in Utica, NY, originally part of the property of her father’s stepfather General John Bradstreet, and which she believed to be rightfully hers. The case was complicated by ambiguous documentation of sale and the terms of her aunt’s will, and was ultimately decided against Bradstreet in 1831. Size: 1.0 Linear ft. (2 boxes)

Judith Crommelin Verplanck Receipt book, 1801-1856
[Online Catalog]
Receipt book kept by Judith Verplanck and other members of the Verplanck family. Records kept in Judith Verplanck's lifetime are dated New York, and include a receipt for state and corporation tax on the family's house at 15 Wall Street and a receipt for medical services to Judith Verplanck. Many of the later receipts are for servants' wages. Size: 1 vol (ca. 154 pages)
Museum Collection: Silver Tankard, ca. 1760

Records of B. Altman & Co., 1876-1955
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Employee records, financial records, legal papers, estate material, correspondence, and miscellaneous items, such as a 1936 study of shopping habits. Twelve volumes of employee records include summaries of workers’ lives. Size: 3.5 Linear ft. (2 boxes, 18 vols.)
Library Blog Post: Spring Fashion, circa 1890s
Library Blog Post: High Class Freight: The Titanic and its Cargo
Museum Collections: Ephemera including a Fan Box, c.1910-1930, Charge Card, c. 1960-1970, and Shopping Bag, c. 1980-2000.

Emma C. Juliand Papers, 1897-1905 (bulk 1903-1905)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Juliand was a real estate broker and resident of New York City. This collection contains correspondence and papers related to her real estate business, as well as her attempts to secure a widow's pension for Sarah J. Copeland. Size: 0.25 Linear ft. (1 box)

The Bonnie and Richard Reiss Wall Street Oral History Archive, 1950-1980
[Webpage]
Includes interviews with five women who built their careers at a time when women and other marginalized groups were notably absent from the top tiers of the financial world. Female interviewees are Beth Dater, Jane Gould, Alice Jarcho, Doreen Mogavero, and Bernadette Bartels Murphy.

 

Charitable Efforts

Papers of the Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged and Indigent Females in New York City, 1813-1883
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of the Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged and Indigent Females inNew York City, established to provide aid to previously affluent women rendered impoverished by age and circumstance. The women of the society met regularly and visited pensioners with donations before opening an asylum in 1838. The collection includes meeting minutes and fiscal records, as well as pensioners’ rolls detailing demographic information. Size: 0.41 Linear ft. (1 box)
See Also: Constitution and first and second annual reports of the Association, 1814
See Also: Annual Report and by-laws of the Association, 1816

The Broadway Tabernacle Church and Society Papers, 1835-1980
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Organizational records focusing on the church’s internal machinations as well as its many community outreach programs that ranged from abolitionism to temperance to women’s suffrage. A wide range of material is contained, including reports and minutes from the Women’s Fellowship, Women’s Club, and Society for Women’s Work.

Ladies’ Christian Union Records, 1850-2001 (bulk 1858-1960)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
[Digitized Collection - Partial] also available through [NY Heritage Digital Collections]
Records of the Ladies' Christian Union, an organization that provided affordable housingto young women in New York City. It documents 150 yearsof efforts to assist youngwomen working and studying in New York City. Size: 9.5 linear ft. (17 boxes)
Library Blog: Where to Live in New York: The Women of the Ladies Christian Union

New York Foundling Hospital, 1869-2009
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
[Digitized Collection - Partial]
This extensive collection, arranged into 17 series, documents the programs and administration of the New York Foundling Hospital and the St. Agatha Home for Children, which merged into the Foundling in 1977. The Foundling opened in under the auspices of the Sisters of Charity, as a Catholic haven for abandoned babies. It was one of the principal organizations sending children to live with families in the country, in a program known today as the "orphan train." Size: 79.0 Linear ft. (79 boxes, 253 vols).

Bible and Fruit Mission to the Public Hospitals of New York City, 1877-1978
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of The Bible and Fruit Mission, founded in 1874 by a group of affluent Protestant women. The purpose was to visit patients in New York City Hospitals, bringing them necessities, bibles, and the gospel. The collection consists primarily of fiscal records, meeting minutes, donation journals of the organization. Size: ca. 3.5 ft. (9 boxes).

The Records of the Travelers Aid Society of New York, 1917-1979
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of the Travelers Aid Society of New York, an organization founded in 1905 to assist women travelers, and eventually expanded to aid all travelers. The collection consists of board minutes, annual reports, mid-twentieth century press coverage and speeches. There are also a series of photographs, including photographs of clients, portraits of board members and employees, and event and publicity images. Size: 4.5 Linear ft. (10 boxes).
Library Blog: Grace Hoadley Dodge and The Travelers Aid Society

 

Community and Civic Engagement

Woman’s Municipal League Records, 1909-1928
[Online Catalog]
Documents the activities of Louise and Birdie Morgenstern as members of the Woman’s Municipal League in New York City, Riverside Branch. The League was organized in 1897 to promote the rights of women, social and political reform, civic improvement, etc.; later merged with the Citizens Union of the City of New York. Size: 1 box.

Women’s League for the Protection of Riverside Park Records, 1916-1938
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Variety of documents concerning the formation of the League and their activities regarding the preservation of Riverside Park and Upper West Side Improvement Plan. The collection contains correspondence, pamphlets, annual reports, clipping scrapbooks, minutes, cashbooks, and photographic materials. Size: 5.5 Linear ft. (11 boxes)
Blog: A Piece of High Line History

Shirley Hayes Papers, 1948-2001 (bulk 1952-1979)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Shirley Hayes (1912-2002) was a long-time resident of Greenwich village, where she was active in numerous community organizations. During the 1950s, Hayes successfully led the battle for a car-free Washington Square Park, defeating Robert Moses' plans for a four-lane highway. This collection contains information on her many local activities, her political involvement, and her job at WNYC. Size: 9.03 Linear ft.
Library Blog:“The Battle of Washington Square Park”

Margot Gayle Papers, 1959-2005 (bulk 1975-1990)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Margot Gayle was an inveterate preservationist and journalist, active in many New York City endeavors to preserve historic areas and buildings. This collection contains her research materials, newspaper columns, photographs, and various publications related to her efforts as a preservationist. Size: 9 Linear ft. (11 boxes)

Elizabeth and Felix G. Rohatyn papers, ca. 1900?-2017 (bulk 1975-2012)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid – Series V]
Series V documents the philanthropic efforts of Elizabeth Rohatyn, focusing on her work on the boards of three organizations: French Regional & American Museum Exchange (FRAME), Teaching Matters Inc. (TMI), and the New York Public Library (NYPL). Additional series include numerous personal photographs as well as schedules and event materials, providing insight into the role she played in diplomatic relations as the spouse of a U.S. ambassador. Size: 14.75 Linear ft.

Joyce Matz Papers, 1969-2017
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Papers of PR consultant and historic preservationist Joyce Matz (1925–2017). As chair or co-chair of the Landmarks Committee of Manhattan Community Board 5, Matz fought to protect iconic New York City structures like Town Hall and St. Bartholomew’s Church from alteration or demolition. She often provided pro bono publicity for various groups that lobbied to oppose outsized developments. Size: 22 Linear ft.

Westside Crime Prevention Program records, 1981-2006 (bulk 1990-1996)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Documents the aims, internal workings, and external outreach of the Westside Crime Prevention Program, a community-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making life on the West Side safe and secure. Freelance writer Marjorie Cohen organized and led the program as Executive Director, helping develop a Neighborhood Watch and Safe Haven program. Size: 2.0 Linear ft.

 

Education and Teaching

Catharine Maria Sedgwick letters, 1838, undated.
[Online Catalog]
Includes a letter from successful writer Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) to Professor Alonzo Potter discussing the importance of female education, dated New York, May 9, 1838. Size: 2 letters.
See Also: Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Facts and Fancies for School-Day Reading, 1848
See Also: Catharine Maria Sedgwick, A New-England Tale, 1822
Museum Collections: Catharine Maria Sedgwick Engraving, 1832

Rutgers Female Institute Scrapbook, 1867-1869
[Online Catalog]
One scrapbook kept by Mary Matilda Ferguson while a student at Rutgers FemaleCollege in New York City. The volume includes administrative records, particularly thechange in status and name from Rutgers Female Institute to Rutgers Female College in1867. Also included are newspaper clippings; commencement announcements, addresses,and programs, and two editions of a literary magazine. Size: 1 vol.

Anna M. Perry Diaries, 1881-1887
[Online Catalog]
Diaries kept by Anna M. Perry, a school teacher of Kent Cliffs, Putnam County, New York, covering the years 1881-1887. Entries record Perry's teaching experiences, social activities, church functions, travel, and the weather. Size: 10 volumes.

Grace Dolson examinations and teaching evaluations, 1887-1890
[Online Catalog]
Grace Neal Dolson (1874–1961) was a Cornell graduate and philosophy professor atWells College. This collection contains academic papers, including reports evaluatingDolson as a teacher, and various Normal College examinations possibly belonging toDolson. Size: 19 items.

Ellen Dunlap Hopkins Papers, 1894-1910 and 1935-1939.
[Online Catalog]
Materials primarily related to Ellen Hopkins' activities in England assisting Helena, Princess Christian, in founding a royal school of applied design for women. Includes items on the Royal School of Art Needlework and one envelope chiefly on the New York School of Applied Design for Women. Size: 0.4 linear ft.
See Also: Marie Audrée De la Montanye papers, 1936-1938

Anna S. Mayer collection, 1907-1915
[Online Catalog]
Records related to the career of Anna Mayer, a math teacher at the Wadleigh High School for Girls in Upper Manhattan. Includes algebra book receipts, notes, a letter from a student's father, and postcards from the Department of Education of the City of New York. Size: 39 items.

Eva Costello Lavin letters, 1914-1917
[Online Catalog]
Correspondence between Eva Costello, a teacher in New York City, and future husband John Lavin. The letters provide descriptions of a young woman living in the city and working as a teacher during World War I. Topics include teaching issues, women's suffrage, social commentary, family matters, and Lavin’s Red Cross work. Size: 19 items.

Marian Langzettel Papers, 1916-1936
[Online Catalog]
Founder of the Froebel League School, New York City. Collection includes correspondence, lists of parents, members and contributors, and index cards bearing the names and addresses of students and their parents. Size: 0.46 Linear ft. (1 box)

Lillian Jaffe Salt papers, 1920-1940
[Online Catalog]
Materials regarding Lillian Jaffe Salt, a Latvian immigrant born in 1905. Includes a Hebrew Technical School for Girls student handbook, a program for a 1921 senior class, three written class assignments, and an alien registration form. Size: 6 items.
Library Blog: “The Education of Lillian Jaffe Salt

 

Labor

New York City Indentures, 1718-1727, 1792-1915
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Indentures in this collection are organized by sex, and includes fifteen volumes of contracts binding young girls to periods of domestic servitude. The collection also consists of foundling records from the Alms House and later the Department of Public Charities as well as deeds of manumission and free papers for African American city residents. Size: 11 Linear ft.

New York House and School of Industry Records, 1868-1954
[Online Catalog]
Records of the school and philanthropic institution located in Greenwich Village. During most of its existence, the institution sought to provide employment to needy women by teaching them sewing and textile skills. Following its 1951 merger with Greenwich House, it trained elderly people for modern employment. Size: .75 Linear ft.

Gentleman’s Pocket Directory for 1876-1877.
This pocket-sized guide includes, alongside entertainment venues and tourist activities, the addresses of known brothels with female proprietors’ names, listed under the veneer of boarding houses. It provides a glimpse into the world of prostitution in nineteenth-century New York, and the women who earned money running brothels. Size: 1 vol.

Records of the New York Exchange for Woman’s Work, 1878-2003
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of the New York Exchange for Woman’s Work, a charitable institution whose mission was to provide a retail outlet for the handiwork of needy consignors. The collection includes board minutes, corporate, financial, and real estate papers, advertising materials, clippings, photographs, and ephemera. It also contains a series of menus and recipes from the Exchange Restaurant and photographs of the Exchange shops and its members, employees and customers. Size: 7.25 linear ft. (18 boxes + 3 vols).
Museum Collections: Series of items purchased during the final week of the Exchange’s Operation, 2003.

Papers of Leonard Larsen, 1942-1945
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
The majority of the collection is correspondence between Helen Larsen and her husband Leonard, a U.S. Army officer serving in Europe. During her husband’s deployment, Helen supported herself as a factory worker in Buffalo, NY and gave birth to a son, Kurt Larsen. Like many other wartime women workers, Helen was fired in 1945 to make room for returning servicemen. Size: 2.0 Linear ft. (4 boxes)

Martha L. Mills Papers, 1943 Aug-1943 Dec.
[Online Catalog]
Forty letters written by Martha L. Mills to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James N. Mills of Statesville, NC, while she was serving with the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps and Women's Army Corp in Florida. Letters describe, often in candid detail, her training, duties, surroundings, social life, and daily routine as a member of the Women's Army Corps, in addition to relating her observations and opinions of other women in the corps. Size: 0.25 linear ft.

 

Political Action

Printed Collections Subject File – Women [graphic], undated
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid - Box 10]
Two folders of photographs focused mainly on the suffrage movement. Items largely relate to parades and demonstrations in the 1910s, including several images of victory celebrations following the 1917 vote granting suffrage in New York. Many of these photos were used by the New York State Women's Suffrage Party for publicity purposes and leaders such as Carrie Chapman Catt and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw are featured prominently. Size: 2 folders. Available by appointment.

Abby Kelley Foster letter to Nathaniel P. Rogers, 1841 July 3.
[Online Catalog]
Lengthy and impassioned letter about the evils of slavery and the efforts to be made byabolitionists to speed slavery to an end. Abby Kelley Foster was an active abolitionist,pacifist, and supporter of women's rights and temperance. She lectured widely againstslavery in the 1830s and 1840s, though she was condemned by some for speaking to malegroups. Size: 1 letter.
Library Blog:19th Century Women Activists

Amelia Bloomer collection, 1851-1894
[Online Catalog]
Writer, editor and activist Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894) was active in the temperance movement and later in the women's rights and women's suffrage movements. Collection includes newspaper clippings, including an obituary, and several letters from Bloomer. Size: 11 items.
WAMS: Amelia Jenks Bloomer
WAMS: Bloomers Lithograph Resource

Rebecca Anne Smith Janney correspondence, 1853-1885.
[Online Catalog]
Collection of 10 letters to Ohio suffrage leader Rebecca Anne Smith Janney from Amelia Bloomer, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony. Janney was a Quaker active as a leader in the women's suffrage movement in Columbus, Ohio. Size: 10 letters.

Susan B. Anthony letters, 1862-1895.
[Online Catalog]
Seven letters from Susan B. Anthony (1820-1888), a key figure in the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Letters detail her speaking engagements, as well as speeches by Frederick Douglass, Theodore Tilton, Julia Ward Howe, and Mary L. Booth. Other letters regard remaking a dress and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 80th birthday celebration. Size: 7 letters.

Katherine Duer MacKay collection, 1882-1909, undated
[Online Catalog]
Collection of documents related to Katherine Duer Mackay (1880-1930) and to the EqualFranchise Society, an organization that worked to secure women's suffrage. Duer Mackaywas the founder and first president of the Society. Size: 7 items.

Henry R. Luce papers, 1894-2004 (bulk, 1932-1967)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid – Series VII]
Series VII of the collection consists of materials on Luce’s wife, Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987). Luce was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives (D-CT) and served as ambassador to Italy from 1953-1956. She was also a successful writer, having been managing editor of Vanity Fair and author of the play “The Women.” Size: approx. 8 boxes in Series VII; entire collection is 101.2 Linear Feet (205 boxes).
Library Blog: Clare Boothe Luce – The Playwright” ; “Clare Boothe Luce – The Congresswoman” ; “Clare Boothe Luce – The Ambassador
Library Blog: Introducing the Henry R. Luce Papers

 

Science, Medicine, and Health

Horticultural Society of New York, 1811-ca. 2010 (bulk, 1900-ca. 2010)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records of the still-active Horticultural Society of New York, founded in 1900 “to collect and diffuse information on all topics relating to the culture of plants” and to “stimulate the knowledge and love of horticulture.” Includes information on their sponsorship of numerous flower shows and various educational and beautification programs throughout New York City. Size: 119.29 Linear ft.

New-York Asylum for Lying-In Women, 1823-1831
[Online Catalog]
Society founded in 1823 for the “medical treatment, nursing, and necessary care” of mother and infants during confinement. Minutes of the visiting committee recording the personal circumstances and histories of patients and applicants for admission; visits with prospective patients; health updates; patient names, dates of admission and discharge, births and deaths, and names of children born in the asylum.

American Institute of the City of New York for the Encouragement of Science and Invention records, 1828-1983 (bulk 1828-1940)
[Online Catalog]
Documents organization history as well as its efforts to encourage American inventionsthrough Annual Fairs, publications, adult programs and lectures, and children's sciencefairs. Series II, focusing on the children’s fairs, includes correspondence with entrantsand prize winners, many of whom are young girls. Size: 272 Linear ft.

Nursery and Child's Hospital records, 1854-1934 (bulk 1880-1920)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Records relating to the hospital, founded in 1854 by Mrs. Cornelius DuBois. They include account books, monthly reports to the State Board of Health, scrapbooks concerning the annual charity ball, and various printed pamphlets and ephemera dealing with hospital history and regulations. Size: 2.0 Linear ft.

United States Sanitary Commission records, 1861-1867 (bulk 1864)
[Online Catalog]
The bulk of the collection consists of receipts and requisitions dated 1864, listing supplies provided by the Sanitary Commission. It also includes rosters of people employed by the Sanitary Commission in 1865; a booklet to record fundraising attempts; some lithographed ephemera; letters on administrative matters; and a long letter written in 1867 by an unnamed woman about her experiences as a nurse during the Civil War. Size: 0.45 Linear ft. (1 box)
Library Blog Post:Women in Nursing During the Civil War

Laura Morgan Papers, 1866-1889
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Collection of mostly ephemera related to Laura Morgan's years as a student at the Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary and as a doctor in the mid-19th century. Documents include Morgan's medical student admission ticket to Bellevue Hospital, admission tickets for Medical College lectures, event invitations, an 1870 commencement program, and information on lectures given by Morgan. Size: 23 Items.
Library Blog:Laura Morgan, M.D.

Society of the Lying-In Hospital Records, 1869-1874
[Online Catalog]
Applications and recommendations addressed to the Society, founded in 1798 for the financial and medical assistance of destitute mothers and pregnant women. Records typically include the woman’s name, marital status, and address, as well as a description of her financial and domestic circumstances, reputation, and other remarks. Size: 1 box.

J. Milton Mabbott Notebooks, 1885-1902
[Online Catalog]
Descriptions of obstetric and gynecological cases, recorded by New York City physician and obstetrician John Milton Mabbott. Includes patient examinations, diagnoses, and case histories. Lengthy entries provide sexual histories of individual patients, accounts of examination, course of treatment, patient progress and outcome of the case. Some instances of abortions, venereal disease, and patient complications are recorded. Size: 2 vol.

Orrin Sage Wightman Collection, [graphic], 1895-1945
[Online Collection]
[Finding Aid]
Collection of medical doctor and avid photographer Orrin Sage Wightman (1873-1965). Series 3 contains images of a nurses training program in New York City, documenting their daily labor alongside numerous images of nurses in recreational settings. Size: 13.0 Linear ft.
Women at the Center Blog:Student Nurses

 

Social Worlds and Inner Lives

Mary Guion diary, 1800-1852 (bulk 1800-1808)
[Online Catalog]
[Digitized]
Diary kept by Mary Guion Brown beginning when she was 17. She records, in considerable detail, the personal and social life of a young girl in Westchester County, N.Y., including daily activities, involvements with suitors and courtship, visits to friends and relatives, local news, social events such as balls and spinning bees, and reflections on life. Size: 1 vol. (387 pages)

Butler-Laing Family Papers, 1804-1892 (bulk 1864-1871)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
The Butler-Laing Family Papers come from three generations of an American family from the northeast. These papers chiefly shed light on the daily lives of women of the Butler Family. The bulk encompasses Mrs. Laing's detailed diaries and letters from travels in Europe and correspondence with her grown daughter Mary. Size: 2.5 Linear ft.

Catherine Van Schaack papers, 1806-1836
[Online Catalog]
Correspondence including letters to her mother discussing religious matters, friends and family. There are also several letters to Sarah Louisa Jay and other friends of her own age. A diary kept while attending school discusses sermons, experiences at school, travel to Bridgeport and New Haven, and social life in Albany. Size: 22 items.
See also: Catherine Van Schaak Account Book, 1802-1813

Elizabeth H. Wilson papers, 1834-1874
[Online Catalog]
Letters received by Elizabeth H. Wilson, of Clermont, NY. Almost all the correspondents are women and they mostly discuss domestic and family matters. A few letters written in the 1830s refer to the education of Elizabeth and her cousins, one describing a typical day of study. A printed flyer from the Clermont Academy, dated 1837, describes their fees and their curricula for boys and girls. Size: 1.2 linear ft. (3 boxes)

Mabel Newton Betticher papers, 1903-1948.
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
The papers of Mabel Betticher, a public-school teacher of East Orange, New Jersey, consist of three sets of contemporaneously kept diaries: a diary of daily activities, a diary of poems, and a diary of spiritual meditations. The diaries focus largely on spiritual and religious matters, with limited personal information. Size: 3.4 Linear ft. (8 boxes)
Library Blog: “Her Own Trip”: Reflections of 20th Century New York City

Helen Schechter letters, 1918, undated.
[Online Catalog]
Letters from Helen Schechter, a New York City resident of Eastern European Jewishorigin, to Ellen T. Gould. Gould taught Schechter English at Christodora House, asettlement house on the Lower East Side. The letters discuss Schechter's frustration at notknowing English better, the education of her four children, and time at a summer campaffiliated with Christodora House. They also describe her unrequited love for Gould, andher refusal to see these feelings as "sick" or as unreal idealization. Size: 33 letters.

Jane Bannerman Travel Sketchbooks Collection, [graphic], 1955-2011.
[Online Catalog]
74 sketchbooks recording the domestic and international travels of Jane Bannerman between 1955 and 2011. Bannerman studied illustration and advertising at Parsons School of Design (then known as the New York School of Fine & Applied Art). She traveled extensively abroad throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, continually chronicling her experiences through her drawings. She also completed several sketchbooks of New York City. Size: 4.17 Linear feet (10 boxes).
Library Blog: “Jane’s Jaunts”: The Travel Sketchbooks of Jane Bannerman

 

Additional Highlights

Bella C. Landauer Collection of Business & Advertising Ephemera, ca. 1700- Present
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Extensive and image-rich collection of mainly 19th and 20th century advertising ephemera, including American trade cards, lottery tickets, handbills, labels, broadsides, calendars, billheads, price lists, advertising fans, and other materials of history and popular culture. Media range from rough woodcuts to chromolithographs. Size: 134.9 Linear ft. (ca. 800,000 items)
“Female Remedies” Exhibition and Women at the Center Blog
Women at the Center Blog: Comstock's War on Contraception
Library Blog:Sweets for My Sweet

Martha J. Lamb Papers, 1756-1892 (bulk 1876-1892)
[Online Catalog]
[Finding Aid]
Contains a variety of material relating mostly to Lamb's professional life as historian, author, and editor. Much of this collection pertains to Lamb's tenure as editor of the Magazine of American History (1883-1893), but also contains letters received by Lamb regarding her work as an historian and author, a journal (1878-1879), and material for a number of Lamb's articles and addresses, including clippings, reviews, drafts, notes, correspondence, and proofs, and drafts of her History of the City of New York. Size: 7.5 linear ft. (18 boxes, 3 oversize folders)

Creative: Tronvig Group