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Three children work with their father to create a craft.
Visitors participate in a Family Day program in the Jefferson Building. Photo by Angela Napili/Library of Congress. Note: Privacy and publicity rights for individuals depicted may apply.

Join Us for Family Days at the Library: Celebrate Women’s History on March 9

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Visit Us in Person

On Saturday, March 9th, the Informal Learning Office continues a series of monthly, in-person family programs. We look forward to welcoming you to this unique opportunity to explore the Library collections while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

A black and white image of a woman in a hat and dress sitting in a very early race car holding the steering wheel.
Race car driver Joan Newton Cuneo, Harris & Ewing, between 1910 and 1917. (Harris & Ewing Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

This month, we are celebrating the multi-disciplinary contributions of women. During the program, explore stories of women in the collection such as Nannie Helen Burroughs, Mary Pickford, and Maria Tallchief. Photos of some of the women featured in the Library’s vast collections will be featured on a communal mural commemorating female change-makers. Participants will be invited to add to this mural with drawings or descriptions of women they admire in their own lives. You’ll also be able to learn about the By the People transcription project and try your hand at transcribing Clara Barton’s papers. Later, grab an activity sheet to explore the Not an Ostrich exhibition and learn more about the some of the women depicted. Using the activity sheet, reimagine the artwork of the Jefferson Building by recreating paintings of allegorical women with drawings of individuals you admire.

Then, at 2:00 p.m. join us for a conversation with Chelsea Clinton, author of picture book “She Persisted” and related “She Persisted” chapter book series; Rita Williams-Garcia, a celebrated author of novels for young adults and middle grade readers; and Meg Medina, current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Book signing to follow. All ages are welcome.  An event-specific ticket is required to attend the book talk.

The free, drop-in activities will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This program is designed for kids and families, but all ages are welcome to join. All materials are provided. There is no charge for the event, but you will need to pre-register for free passes for entry. A limited number of walkup tickets are available daily. ADA accommodations can be requested five business days in advance at (202) 707-6363 or by emailing [email protected].

A black and white photo of a group of African American women in uniform skirts, jackets, and hats.
Nurses Land in England, August 21, 1944. (Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

Join In from Home

If you can’t visit us for the March 9th program in person, you can still participate! Keep reading for additional resources to discover in the Library of Congress’ collections.

Take a look at the Library’s Free to Use and Reuse photosets for an easy entry into researching women’s lives at the Library of Congress. Two sets that may be of interest are the Women’s History Month and African American Women Changemakers collections.

There are also a number of virtual exhibitions featuring women’s struggles and achievements to be found on the Library’s website. Learn about the long campaign for women’s voting rights, explore the stories of the activists involved, and discover their strategies in the online exhibition “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote.” I was especially interested to learn about Sofia Reyes de Veyra and Milagros Benet de Newton, whose stories were new to me.

A black and white photograph of a group of women holding signs advocating for women's suffrage.
Suffrage envoys from San Francisco, c. Nov – Dec 1915. (Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress).

You could also investigate the online exhibition “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists” to learn more about the women who contributed to the visual arts in North America. I enjoyed the variety of drawing styles, especially those featured in the magazine covers section.

An illustration of a woman in a brown dress waving to something in the distance. At her feet are a baby and a dog.
Golden Eyes with Uncle Sam (dog), Nell Brinkley, 1918. (Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

Finally, check out the “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words” online exhibition to explore the Library’s wide collection based on Rosa Parks’ papers. Learn about her life and expansive work outside of her most famous refusal to give up her seat on the bus. I found learning about her long-term national and global influence deepened my understanding of her activism.

A bronze statue of Rosa Parks seated on a bench.
Artist John Hair’s seated statue of Rosa Parks. Carol Highsmith, November 24, 2019. (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

If these exhibitions don’t have the answers for the questions you have, we also have resources to help you take a deep dive on your own! Learn about the many collections related to American women in the Manuscript Division in this resource guide. Or, review all of the resource guides related to American women’s history on this Library of Congress Resource Guide subject page.

Once you’ve had your fill of research, it’s time for an activity! Take a moment to think about a woman you admire, whether from history or in your own life. It might be someone you learned about through the Library’s resources, or someone of whom you had prior knowledge. Once you have someone in mind, stretch your creative muscles by writing them a letter. What would you like them to know? What sort of impact have they had on you? Are there any questions you would like to ask them?

A black and white photograph of a woman speaking into several microphones. There are three people behind her listening.
Representative Loretta Sanchez…with others behind her at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus press conference, Maureen Keating, July 1997. (CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

Whether you can join us on March 9th or not, we hope you enjoy exploring the Library’s collections and learning more about the women featured within them. Happy researching!

Comments

  1. Good luck :)

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