Center for Women's History
Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.
About the center
In 2017, a substantial portion of the New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor will reopen as the Center for Women’s History, a cutting-edge museum and scholarship hub. This landmark initiative will be the country’s first permanent, public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. It will highlight the significance of women’s history to the study of the American past and demonstrate how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture exercised power and brought about change even before they could access the ballot box. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center will combine permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant program of talks and debates to enrich the cultural landscape of New York City.
"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.
Major funding for the Center for Women’s History is provided by
Joyce B. Cowin
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Jean Margo Reid.
Public funds provided by
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in Partnership with the City Council
Empire State Development
The Center will offer families opportunities to connect with America’s past through the eyes and lives of women. Kids and their grown-ups will meet both known and new historical figures through our Living History Days, and dig into stories through Sunday Story Time.
All programs are free with Museum Admission
Living History Days
Recommended for all ages
American Women in Song
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
In celebration of Women’s History Month, acclaimed historical musician Linda Russell will explore the women of the past as reflected in the popular songs and stories of the day—in their own words! Discover historic love songs, laments, ballads, work songs, parlor ditties, and suffrage anthems, and listen to excerpts from women’s diaries and letters. You can even try out some of her instruments, including the mountain and hammered dulcimers, pennywhistle, guitar, and limberjack.
Find Women’s History in Your Family
Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Explore paths for discovering women’s history in your own family history! Join culinary historian Lavada Nahon as she shares some of the most important historical resources that her mother passed down—some of her ‘artifacts’ might surprise you! Flip through antique recipe cards and books, take a look at Lavada’s apron, and learn about other overlooked household items that tell important stories for living historians like Lavada.
Meet Dolley Madison!
Saturday, March 11th and 12th, 2017, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
The “lady presidentress” didn’t just save a painting of George Washington during the War of 1812—she was the most influential woman in Washington even before her husband became commander-in-chief! She helped fund the Lewis and Clark expedition, repair the White House, and build the Washington Monument, among other things. Meet Dolley and hear her story of navigating fame and Washington, DC. See her early 19th-century gown and accessories up close. Dolley was famous for meeting everyone important, so don’t miss your chance to be a somebody!
Yes, Women Fought in the Civil War!
Saturday, March 18th, 2017, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Did you know that as many as 1,000 women fought in the American Civil War? You might not be able to tell if you took a look at a historical reenactment today. In celebration of Women’s History Month, meet living historians who recreate and share the underrepresented and contested contributions to war efforts in the North and South by women who openly served in combat roles and women who disguised themselves as men to enlist, as well as individuals who may not have identified as one gender.
Families can enlist in the company of living historians to learn a military drill or the steps to firing a cannon. After all, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman—a New Yorker who disguised her gender to fight—wrote, “I can drill just as well as any man!” Or, learn how women disguised their appearance and how reenactors accomplish the same masquerade today, discover how easy it was to pass the medical exams that permitted so many disguised women to join the ranks, and read letters from women describing their experiences.
Ladies of Trenton
Sunday, March 19th, 2017, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Give three cheers for the ladies who fought the American Revolution from the home front! Meet living historians portraying the Ladies of Trenton, who organized in the summer of 1780 and surprised Washington with a tremendous contribution of $15,488 to the Continental Army, then stationed in New York and New Jersey. The ladies’ committee will be situated in a sewing circle all afternoon to reenact their other donations to the Continental Army, which included 380 pairs of stockings for soldiers! Ask how their funds were used, explore the garments they are making, and listen to stories from their community in war-torn New Jersey.
Sunday Story Time
My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin
Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 11:30 am
Is she Rosa the civil rights activist or Marie the scientist? Could she be Annie the cowgirl or Sally the astronaut? One thing is for sure, Isabella sure likes to pretend to be a lot of different people. Join us to learn about a few of Isabella’s favorite female role models that you can emulate, too!
Tar Beach written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold
Sunday, March 12th, 2017, 11:30 am
Tar Beach is the dreamy story of young Cassie Louise Lightfoot flying over New York City, narrating her life. Through Cassie’s voice, Ringgold tells the story of family, hardship, and tradition in this heartwarming tale.
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
Sunday, March 19th, 2017, 11:30 am
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a leader of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, but her social activism began all the way back when she was a young girl. Join us to learn about Stanton’s perseverance and triumphs.
Here Come the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Sunday, March 26th, 2017, 11:30 am
Here Come the Girl Scouts! is the story of Juliette (Daisy) Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Daisy never wanted to be a proper young lady—she had a thirst for adventure and excitement! This led her to inspire generations of young women to learn, work hard, and push boundaries.
Support for Sunday Story Time provided by Macy's.