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Searching for Archival Material
Archival material includes unpublished records such as letters, diaries, financial records, and photographs. Information about our archival collections may be found online in the Subject Guide to the Collections. You can also browse the A-Z list of archival collections (the link is below). Our finding aids are processed at different levels. Some include item-by-item level descriptions and others are processed at the folder or box level.
Archival Women's History Collections
Rare books and manuscripts by and about women run throughout all of RBSCP’s collections. It is hard to separate our “women’s” collections from our collections as a whole, as we hold material related to women in politics, education, the sciences, literature, philanthropy, activism, Victoriana, and many other subjects. Our collection strength lies in the number of areas in which we have material related to women. We have substantial holdings related to the American suffrage movement, 1848-1920. Much of this material relates to women’s activism work in the suffrage, abolition, and temperance reform movements. Our collections are also strong in material that demonstrates how the role of women and girls changed throughout the 19th century. We are currently adding more 20th and 21st century material to our collections, especially material that shows women entering the workplace, joining the military and other traditionally male fields, changing social customs, and changing models of motherhood.
Links to Finding Aids
This list represents just a few of our many manuscript collections related to women's history.
Correspondence between Susan Brownell Anthony and Rachel Foster Avery. Avery was the corresponding secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Anthony's adopted niece.
Emma Biddlecom Sweet papers
Correspondence, photographs, printed material. The collection contains letters to Sweet from Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and other suffrage leaders. Sweet was a suffragist who served intermittently as Anthony's secretary between 1895 and 1906.
Hazel Diamond Macy diaries
A collection of 166 personal diaries written by this Rochester resident.
Isabella Beecher Hooker and John Hooker papers
Correspondence and papers of Isabella Beecher Hooker, a leader, lecturer, and suffrage activist. She founded the Connecticut Women Association and was a friend to both Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, helping them found the National Woman Suffrage Association.
National Organization for Women, Rochester chapter records
Local Campaigns and National Campaign Materials. The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966 by activists Betty Friedan, Reverend Pauli Murray, and Shirley Chisholm. In 1970, activists in Rochester formed a local chapter of the national organization. Since then, their members have succeeded in ending the sex-segregated help wanted ads in Gannett newspapers, published in Rochester, wrote and published the first edition of the Rochester Area Women's Business and Services Directory, as well as participated in 1989 and 1992 marches held in Washington, D.C.
Susan Brownell Anthony papers
Letters, photographs, printed material, and ephemera from and about Susan B. Anthony.
Women's rights ephemera collection
Newspaper articles, buttons, pennants, stamps, and other ephemera related to the women's rights movement.
Assistant Director, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation