March 8th is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. The theme for this year's International Women's Day is “Make It Happen,” and part of that is the celebration and education of women's achievements. Here at New York Heritage, it is understood that by better understanding our past we can make a better future. Luckily, in New York State, there is a rich history of women with outstanding achievements in many areas.
The College of Saint Rose is an excellent collection to start delving into. This college was founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet as a Roman Catholic college for women. Contained within the college's archives are yearbooks, candid pictures of the students, and the student publication, the Canary Trills.
Women were prominent in the halls of the medical profession, as shown in the Lourdes Hospital collection. This collection contains photos and the Diary of the Daughters of Charity. This diary spans thirty years, and contains descriptions of the building of various areas of the hospital, correspondence of the staff, and a list of all of the nursing students that passed through those halls during that time frame. The women who served at Lourdes were integral to the health and successful recovery of all of the patients who passed through.
New York's history in the sporting world contains many famous women. Ithaca College had a bowling alley in the basement of Hill Center, which spawned one of the first women's sports at Ithaca College.
Lake Placid, one of the centers of world speed skating, had many famous female speed skaters, including Elsie Muller, who set the world record for multiple speed skating races and went on to compete in the Olympics.
Feel free to explore the collections in New York Heritage to discover even more successful women, and how they have changed the shape of New York and its rich history.
- By Eric Alan, Regional Services Librarian, Northern New York Library Network