Feminist Scholarship in “Made At NYPL” Exhibit @nypl

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I recently visited the New York Public Library to see the exhibit Made at NYPL, a celebration of “a small by representative sample of original works that were produced using the Library’s unique and extensive resources.”  Among the featured works are two that likely are familiar to law profs:

  • Annette Gordon-Reed & Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Imagination  (2016)
  • Barbara Goldsmith, Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull (1999)
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)

Two excerpts from Friedan’s book capture how important the library was (is) to writers:

Without that superb institution, the Frederick Lewis Allen Room of the New York Public Library and its provision to a writer of quiet work space and continuous access to research sources, this particular mother of three might never have started a book, much less finished it.

I sat for many days in the New York Public Library, going back through bound volumes of American women’s magazines for the last twenty years. I found a change in the image of the American woman, and in the boundaries of the woman’s world, as sharp and puzzling as the changes revealed in cores of ocean sediment.

It’s an informative exhibit, for anyone who lives in the city or happens to be passing through.  More info is available here.


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