Right Here I See My Own Books
April 23rd, 2013Filed under: Stories
Sarah Wadsworth and Wayne A. Wiegand. Right Here I See My Own Books: The Woman’s Building Library at the World’s Columbian Exposition. Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press (2012).
President’s commentary: Will the mine of material from the World’s Columbian Exposition ever give out? This fascinating book proves that the vein is still rich. The last thing you might think of in connection with an international fair is a library, but it turns out that the Woman’s Building had a library of 8,000 books. This may have been the very first effort to gather volumes exclusively written by women, at least on a grand scale. The role of Bertha Honoré Palmer was critical. It was her dream that the library would become part of a permanent collection, but this never came to pass. The collection was disbanded, but now, at least, we know the story and can reflect on what it means for a variety of themes that greatly interest today’s historians.