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Herstory: Navigating Women’s History Month Through the Pages of Library Collections

March 13, 2024

Women's History Month items collage

Welcome to a journey through time, knowledge and creativity as we embark on a celebration of Women’s History Month. In this exploration, we invite you to delve into the rich tapestry of women’s stories and achievements that often find their place within the pages of library collections, illuminating the diverse narratives and empowering voices that have shaped and continue to shape the world.

The hidden gems below from our collections here at The Claremont Colleges Library pay homage to the remarkable contributions and talents of various women, past and present.

Immortal Longings book cover
Immortal Longings

From our Braxton Collection popular leisure reading titles by women authors (description excerpts have been pulled from the publisher):

  • Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter: Sharp but vulnerable, funny yet unsettling, Ripe portrays one millennial woman’s journey through our late-capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life.
  • People Change by Vivek Shraya: At a time when we’re especially contemplating who we want to be, this slim and stylish handbook is an essential companion—a guide to celebrating our many selves and the inspiration to discover who we’ll become next.
  • Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong: Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games… [but before] the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for–her lover or her kingdom.
  • Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie: Thought-provoking, compassionate, and full of unexpected turns, Best of Friends offers a riveting take on an age-old question: Does principle or loyalty make for the better friend?

From our Special Collections & Archives:

  • Photo of Marilyn Noble and several children
    Photo from the Marilyn Noble Scrapbook

    Gloria Oden Papers: This collection contains materials from between 1955 and 2010 relating to the poet Gloria Oden. It predominantly consists of correspondence and poetry, but also includes photographs, newspaper clippings and VHS tapes. Oden began writing poetry at a young age, and in 1952 self-published her first book of poetry, The Naked Frame. She continued publishing poems in magazines throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and in 1978 published a second book of poetry, Resurrections. The book, about the murder of her mother and older sister, went on to be nominated for the 1979 Pulitzer Prize.

  • Marilyn Noble Scrapbook from the Claremont Barrios Digitization Project: This scrapbook compiled by Marilyn Noble contains photographs – many of which feature children and residents participating in various activities and events in Claremont and beyond – as well as articles, newspaper clippings and ephemera related to Claremont’s Arbol Verde neighborhood. A Pomona College graduate, Noble is a former Arbol Verde resident and community leader, who assisted in numerous neighborhood academic, recreation and social programs.
  • Lastly, in honor of the countless women doing extraordinary things every day outside the limelight, please check out Petrifactions (circa 1845) by H. C. R. – who is believed to have been a woman by the bookseller. This notebook is part of the Special Collections Miscellany Collection and makes a contribution to science through a mixture of writings, diagrams and drawings of fossils and mollusks.

As the pages of history turn, let us carry forward the lessons, legacies and inspiration discovered within these materials, ensuring that the celebration and acknowledgment of women’s achievements endure beyond the month of March.