Women of Fayetteville Collection

Collection Owner:
Cover Image:
Women of Fayetteville Collection
"The Faculty" of the Union Free High School - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
c. 1890 - 1950

Historical Context

Fayetteville Village is located in the town Manlius, which is an eastern suburb of Syracuse in Onondaga County. The village is named after the Marquis de Lafayette, who was considered a national hero in both the United States and France. New York State is home to a great deal of historical women, one of whom was a Fayetteville native: Matilda Jocelyn Gage (1826 - 1898). Gage played a key role in the women’s rights movement and was known for being a great writer. Her house used as a station of the Underground Railroad and has become a historic site where people can visit and learn more about Gage, other suffragists, and the Underground Railroad.

The Coterie, which is defined as “an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose”, was a women’s study group in Fayetteville that broke off from a men’s and women’s Shakespeare Club. It was officially established on October 26th, 1885. The club is still around today, with approximately eighteen active members and twelve honorable members. The club’s goals involve providing the opportunity for friendship and intellectual growth for its members. The group meets once a month at various members’ homes and evening events which may include lectures, discussion of particular authors, or readings of plays by members.

Scope of Collection

The Women of Fayetteville collection includes images of Fayetteville women and their activities dating back to the 19th century. The collection documents their association with social, civic and academic organizations and institutions. Of particular note are digitized documents from the archive of the Coterie, a women’s study group established in 1885 that continues to meet regularly to this day. A goal of the library’s overall digitization project is to expand this particular collection to pay tribute to the wide range of women whose drive and energy fueled the development of their community.