Women in the Archive

Archival highlights in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library.

A diverse range of women’s stories can be found throughout the holdings of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. Both thematically and chronologically, it provides some of the myriad routes for discovering the history of women. It is not a final survey of the library’s offerings, but rather a living document that will be augmented continuously.

As much as these records highlight the breadth of women’s history to be found at New-York Historical, they also underscore the notable silences. There remain obstacles to locating women, including imprecise finding aids that have dismissed women’s presence. We acknowledge that decades of cultural biases and collecting practices—at this institution, as at others—have enabled some voices to be elevated and caused others to be stifled. The Indigenous, the enslaved, the impoverished: these populations are among those most underrepresented. It is our intention that by featuring current holdings and recognizing the gaps, researchers can embark on fresh journeys that explore how the lives and legacies of all women have shaped the American experience.

We hope that this guide will prove valuable, and encourage further exploration through our robust online catalog, and in discussion with our staff.