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About This Collection
This collection is for everyone in New York, and includes the following:
- Materials about feminism and women's history
- Resources on contemporary and historical feminist issues and women's history
- Services for librarians who would like to add more materials on feminism and women's history to their own collections
Citywide Digital Library
Click the image above to browse this collection in Sora!
How This Collection Is Used at MS 51
Students at MS 51 are extremely avid readers and we have many student activists working through our student government, Stand for the Silent clubs, and GLAM, our gay-straight alliance. Our social studies curriculum and our 8th grade "Reading for Social Justice" ELA curriculum use the collection at various points in the year to support their study of global and US history and social issues affecting our community. The collection has given us an entry point to partner with feminist organizations such as League of Women Voters NYC.
Digital Public Library Primary Source Sets
Black Women's Suffrage Digital Collection
The Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection is a collaborative project to provide digital access to materials documenting the roles and experiences of Black Women in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and, more broadly, women’s rights, voting rights, and civic activism between the 1850s and 1960.
The Equal Rights Amendment
The National Organization for Women (NOW), established in 1966, was one of the organizations that took a leading role in this movement and the campaign for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. While many states ratified the amendment right away, it also ignited sharp debate, including among women and feminists. As the amendment approached its ratification deadline in 1979, thirty of the thirty-eight required states had ratified it and Congress granted an extension of the deadline until 1982. Despite years of protest and advocacy by NOW and other organizations, no additional states ratified the amendment during the extension period and the amendment was not adopted. This primary source set uses photographs, ephemera, political cartoons, video clips, and other documents to explore the women’s rights activism inspired by the Equal Rights Amendment.
The New Woman
Throughout history, and particularly during the Victorian era (mid- to late-1800s), women—especially from the upper and middle classes—had little opportunities beyond those of the hearth and home. The New Woman was a response to these limiting roles of wife and mother. Starting in the late nineteenth century, more and more women remained unmarried until later in their lives, gained education, organized for women’s suffrage, and worked outside the home. Women also supported the war effort during World War I. Such developments allowed greater freedom. This was manifest, for example, in the image of the bicycle rider—wearing bloomers instead of long dresses and free to go wherever, whenever she wanted, by herself or with her friends. But these changes didn’t come easily or without pushback from both men and women who were unused to the notion of women’s independence. The following set illustrates the movement’s ideals, the women who embraced it, and a society made uncomfortable by this seismic shift in the roles of men and women.
Women’s Suffrage: Campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment
On August 18, 1920, Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women across the country the right to vote. This historic moment was largely the result of the work of activists and organizations advocating for universal voting rights. While these efforts started earlier, work for the amendment was the culmination of a twentieth-century women’s suffrage movement. This movement faced formidable political and social opposition and delay in moments of national concern like World War I. This set of primary sources—photos, advertisements, maps, and other documents—sheds light on that struggle toward the Nineteenth Amendment.
World War II: Women on the Home Front
Women entered the workforce in large numbers during World War II, replacing men who had joined the armed forces. Symbolized by “Rosie the Riveter,” these women significantly changed the place of women in labor and in society. From driving street cars to selling war bonds to working in defense industries, women played an important role in helping the country prepare for and win the war. Through this set, readers will learn about the opportunities and experiences of women laborers on the home front during the war.
PBS Learning Media Resources
Civil Rights and the Women's Movement Lesson Plan
Compare and contrast the experiences of African American and white women facing discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s. In a culminating activity, students will then research current areas of discrimination and formulate an anti-discrimination campaign.
Women & Girls in the Criminal Justice System Collection
This collection may be used to support viewing of the documentaries Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, Girls on the Wall, and Troop 1500, while engaging participants in discussions about the criminal justice system; factors that put teens at risk; the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities; and effective responses to these issues. The films and lessons are built around a central question: How can women and girls impacted by the criminal justice system become leaders? Participants will explore the question of leadership and take a step toward becoming leaders and mentors themselves.
Women's Empowerment Collection
This collection includes activities and supporting video modules that encourage students to examine key social and political issues impacting women. Students will explore topics such as social change and social justice, equal rights, and civic engagement; they will learn about international struggles and how to take an active role in issues affecting their own communities. The contents in this project may also be used to support viewing of Taking Root, Waiting for the Revolution, Shayfeen.com, and Shadya - four acclaimed documentaries that explore stories of women's empowerment and leadership around the world.
Women's History Month Collection
This collection celebrates Women's History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world. The films tell powerful, personal stories; and the activities encourage students to learn and understand international struggles and take an active role in addressing local concerns.
The Women's Movement Collection
This collection includes resources to support teaching both the first and second waves of the women's movement, Stanton and Anthony through Steinem.
Women, War and Peace Collection
Women, War & Peace is a bold five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. The vast majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs and warlords using small arms and improvised weapons. The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. With depth and complexity, Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.
More Great Online Resources
"We Should All Be Feminists" TED Talk
We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much ... to be successful, but not too successful, or they'll threaten men, says author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this classic talk that started a worldwide conversation about feminism, Adichie asks that we begin to dream about and plan for a different, fairer world -- of happier men and women who are truer to themselves.
Activist New York: Gender Equality Lesson Plans
Lesson plans on gender equality throughout NYC history using museum artifacts from the Activist New York exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. These materials for teachers include primary sources, vocabulary lists, activities, and a bibliography for further research, including links to articles to make contemporary connections to current events. Lessons presented here draw upon the New York State Social Studies Standards and the Common Core Standards.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.
Center for American Women and Politics
Track women officeholders and women running for election across America! The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women’s political participation. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women's participation in politics and government and to enhance women's influence and leadership in public life. CAWP’s education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women’s under-representation in political leadership with effective, imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation's highest offices, CAWP’s over four decades of analyzing and interpreting women’s participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion.
The Combahee River Collective Statement
Primary source document (April 1977) housed at the American Studies Department at Yale University. Seminal statement for the Black Feminist movement.
DocsTeach: Women's Rights
Primary sources from the National Archives tagged for Women's Rights. Includes primary source documents with notes and transcriptions.
The F Bomb
An intersectional teen feminist media platform created by and for socially conscious youth run by Women's Media Center.
Girl Rising is a global social action campaign for girls’ education. Our purpose is to make sure people everywhere are talking about girls’ education, that they understand its transformative power, recognize the barriers girls face to accessing education, and choose to get involved and make a difference. We began in 2013 with the release of the film Girl Rising and have since grown into a non-profit organization.
As the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, Girl Up engages girls to take action. Led by a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates raising awareness and funds, our efforts help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.
Library of Congress Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers
The papers of suffragist, reformer, and feminist theorist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) cover the years 1814 to 1946, with most of the material concentrated between 1840 and 1902. Consisting of approximately 1,000 items (4,164 images), reproduced on five reels of recently digitized microfilm, the collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, drafts of books, scrapbooks, and printed matter relating to Stanton and the woman's rights movement.
Library of Congress Susan B. Anthony Papers
The papers of reformer and suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) span the period 1846-1934 with the bulk of the material dating from 1846 to 1906. The collection, consisting of approximately 500 items (6,265 images) on seven recently digitized microfilm reels, includes correspondence, diaries, a daybook, scrapbooks, speeches, and miscellaneous items.
Me Too Movement
The ‘me too’ movement supports survivors of sexual violence and their allies by connecting survivors to resources, offering community organizing resources, pursuing a ‘me too’ policy platform, and gathering sexual violence researchers and research. ‘Me Too’ movement work is a blend of grassroots organizing to interrupt sexual violence and digital community building to connect survivors to resources.
Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911
An American Memory collection from Library of Congress. Between 1897 and 1911 Elizabeth Smith Miller and her daughter, Anne Fitzhugh Miller, filled seven large scrapbooks with ephemera and memorabilia related to their work with women's suffrage. The Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller scrapbooks are a part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. These scrapbooks document the activities of the Geneva Political Equality Club, which the Millers founded in 1897, as well as efforts at the state, national, and international levels to win the vote for women. They offer a unique look at the political and social atmosphere of the time as well as chronicle the efforts of two women who were major participants in the suffrage movement.
National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection
The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Collection is a library of nearly 800 books and pamphlets documenting the suffrage campaign that were collected between 1890 and 1938 by members of NAWSA and donated to the Rare Books Division of the Library of Congress on November 1, 1938. The collection consists of a variety of materials including newspapers, books, pamphlets, memorials, scrapbooks, and proceedings from the meetings of various women's organizations that document the suffrage fight. (Users should note that the collection mirrors the biases of NAWSA's membership. For the most part, it represents the concerns of well-educated, middle- and upper-class white women living in the North, and especially in New England. There is little in the collection to document the role of Southern women or women of color. Working-class women receive a slightly larger share of attention, but, for the most part, the collection details the experiences of the affluent white women who formed the suffrage campaign's leadership cadre.)
New York Public Library Schwimmel-Lloyd Collection
This NYPL digital collection features selected photographs of feminists and suffragists from the papers of Rosika Schwimmer, from the Schwimmer-Lloyd Collection. The Schwimmer-Lloyd collection consists chiefly of the correspondence and papers of Rosika Schwimmer (1877-1948), her colleague Lola Maverick Lloyd (1875-1944), and the papers of their associates in the European and American feminist, international peace, and world government movements. The papers of Rosika Schwimmer document her career as a suffragist, feminist, pacifist, world government advocate and Hungarian diplomat, and also document the Supreme Court case of United States vs. Schwimmer. Schwimmer's papers, spanning 1888-1948, include her correspondence, professional writings, financial records, diaries, family papers, scrapbooks, photographs, printed materials, and books.
Period Equity is the nation’s only legal organization dedicated to ensuring accessible, affordable and safe menstrual products. They leverage the traditional tools of law, policy and legal advocacy, thought leadership, and media strategy to achieve menstrual equity. They believe that in order to have a fully participatory society, we must have laws and policies that ensure menstrual products are safe and affordable for everyone who needs them.
Room to Read Foundation
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
Full-text eBook of the foundational text in women's history available through Google Books.
What Is the Feminist Art Movement?
Online editorial feature from Google Arts & Culture. The term “feminist art” gets bandied about a lot, often as a way to neatly categorize an artist’s work or even as a reason to dismiss it. But what is feminist art and what sparked a generation of artists to use their work to discuss the inequalities women had faced for centuries? Put simply, feminist art is art by artists created consciously in light of developments in feminist art theory in the early 1970s.
Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party
This Library of Congress collection includes 448 digitized photographs selected from approximately 2,650 print photographs in the Records of the National Woman's Party, a collection of more than 438,000 items, housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The images span from 1875 to 1938 but largely were created in the years between 1913 and 1922. The images depict the tactics used by the militant wing of the suffrage movement in the United States—including picketing, petitioning, pageants, parades and demonstrations, hunger strikes and imprisonment---as well as individual portraits of organization leaders and members. The photographs document the National Woman's Party's push for ratification of the 19th Amendment as well as its later efforts for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Yankee Poster Collection: Women's Equality
The Yanker Poster Collection from the Library of Congress includes more than 3,000 political, propaganda, and social issue posters and handbills, dating 1927-1980. Most posters are from the United States, but over 55 other countries and the United Nations are also represented. This search will return posters identified with the equal rights movement.
Book Lists from Our Collection
Related MyLibraryNYC Teacher Sets
Educators participating in MyLibraryNYC may borrow Teacher Sets related to feminism and women's history to . A link to the borrowing page is below, but here is a list of the related Teacher Sets:
- Picture Book Biographies - Women's History (Set III) with DVD (Grades 0-3)
- Women's History - Biographies (Grades 4 & 5)
- Women's History with DVD (Grades 4-8)
- Women's History (Grades 6-12)
- Women's History (Grades 9-12)
- Women of Science (Grades 8-12)
- #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy & Mary Beth Leather 10-copy set
- Audacity by Melanie Crowder 10-copy set
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 10-copy set
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 10-copy set
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 10-copy set with DVD
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 10-copy set
- Julia Alvarez Assorted Set (Grades 9-12)
- Radioactive! How Irene Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling 10-copy set
Women & the American Story Curriculum
Over the last half-century, scholars have brought more and more of their stories into the foreground. The New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History continues and expands on this essential work as the nation’s first permanent public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. Women & the American Story, or WAMS for short, is the educators’ companion to the Center for Women’s History, addressing a difficulty that teachers have long encountered in their classrooms: the scarcity of material to bring women’s stories into the mainstream history curriculum. Units are being added through 2021!
In Her Words
Twice-weekly newsletter on women, gender and society from The New York Times.
Twice-weekly Substack from journalist Mona Eltahawy covering global feminist issues.
Feminist author & cultural critic Roxane Gay's Substack newsletter.
Email newsletter from NYC's own feminist bookstore and activist center.
Feminist Organizations in NYC
Feminist Press at City University of New York
The Feminist Press is an educational nonprofit organization founded to advance women's rights and amplify feminist perspectives. FP publishes classic and new writing from around the world, creates cutting-edge programs, and elevates silenced and marginalized voices in order to support personal transformation and social justice for all people.
League of Women Voters NYC
The League of Women Voters of the City of New York is a non-partisan organization whose purpose is to promote informed and active citizen participation in government. Founded in 1919, the League of Women Voters was an offshoot of the Women’s Suffrage movement. While the League's legislative priorities change to reflect the needs of society, our organization remains true to its basic purpose: to make democracy work for all citizens.
NOW (National Organization for Women) NYC
As the grassroots arm of the women’s movement, the National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since our founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.
Planned Parenthood of NYC
Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.
Women's Media Center
In 2005, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem founded the Women’s Media Center (WMC), a progressive, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media and, thereby, ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard. To reach those necessary goals, we strategically use an array of interconnected channels and platforms to transform not only the media landscape but also a culture in which women’s and girls’ voices, stories, experiences and images are neither sufficiently amplified nor placed on par with the voices, stories, experiences and images of men and boys.
New York Heritage Digital Collections
Kathleen Oser Collection
The Kathleen Oser Collection contains a vast assortment of documents, newspapers, magazines, and photographs relating to the National Organization for Women (NOW) as well as to significant political, social, and cultural events (at the local, state, and national level) during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Her collection includes documents related to various organizations and groups, including: Planned Parenthood; National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL); Mohawk Valley Friends of Choice; Conscience-Catholics for a Free Choice; Family Planning Advocates of NYS, Inc. (FPA); and United Farm Workers. Additionally, the collection contains documents related to: Civil Rights; feminism; sexual abuse and rape; harassment; marriage and divorce; childcare; nuclear arms; poverty; and sexism. Pertaining directly to NOW, the collection contains: documents from the 1970s and 1980s; do it NOW publications; NOW National Times publications; and documents on the local NOW chapter (Utica) and the Central New York chapter.
Recognizing Women's Right to Vote in NY State
This exhibit charts the development and evolution of the Women's Suffrage movement in New York State. Early suffragists drew inspiration from native cultures and learned activism from other movements. As their movement coalesced, activists began practicing civil disobedience. Suffragists trumpeted their cause through a variety of media. Along the way, they faced divisive issues of race and strident opposition from male and female anti-suffragists. World War I demonstrated the importance of women's contributions outside of the domestic sphere. Women in New York State won the right to vote through a November 6, 1917 referendum.
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