Celebrating Women’s History Month with the University Libraries

Special Collections window display; the words "special collections" are in the foreground with a display of books behind it


To celebrate Women’s History Month this March, the University Libraries are providing a number of displays, exhibits, and events for the Virginia Tech community. The University Libraries, Women’s Center, Holtzman Alumni Center, and Virginia Tech Alumni Association are all playing a part to celebrate women through the ages, including their contributions to architecture, literature, agriculture, culinary arts, social activism, and visual art – both at and outside of Virginia Tech.


Mallory Foutch, Women’s Center Program Coordinator, explains the importance of this year’s theme for Women’s History Month:


a series of posters hanging on a wall; the one in focus reads "Courage, Resistance, and Leadership: Women in American History"

“Courage, Resistance, and Leadership: Women in American History” is a poster exhibit with an interactive digital display located near Newman Library Rooms 114/115


Women’s History Month at Virginia Tech serves to capture all we have done as a community towards gender equality and creates a vision for where we can go moving forward.  With this year’s theme, “Nevertheless, We Persist,” we hope to shine a light on women who have historically persisted at Virginia Tech to move our community forward and create a call to action for folks wanting to continue the work moving forward. We are inspired by the solidarity, community, and power created when our collective voices are in action toward creating a more just and equitable world through acknowledging the historic and current contributions of women in our community and beyond.  As a community, through coalition building, listening, and reflection, we persist.


“Coeds: The History of Women Students at Virginia” is a University Library Special Collections exhibit housed this month in the Holtzman Alumni Center. Although the university began admitting women in 1921, acceptance of them took much longer. This exhibit takes you through the individuals who played significant roles in creating the Virginia Tech community you know today.


“Courage, Resistance, and Leadership: Women in American History” is a poster exhibit and book display on the first floor of Newman Library, near Room 114 and in the Special Collections Reading Room windows, respectively. The exhibit and display showcase women represented in the Special Collections holdings and on the Women’s History Month website.


A display of books, the one in focus is about Nikki Giovanni

Special Collections book display bringing together historical women from Virginia Tech and beyond


“Together | We: Troubling the Field in 20th Century Architecture” is a digital display featuring pioneers from the Special Collections’ International Archive of Women in Architecture. This Special Collections window display recognizes those who were not only outstanding in their field, but who also had to overcome barriers to professional networks and organizations.


The “What’s Cookin’ @ Special Collections?!” blog is going into its sixth year of celebrating Women’s History Month by paying homage to women in the food industry. This year, the blog will take a look at culinary legends Martha Lee Anderson (pamphlet author for Arm & Hammer), Betty Crocker, and a Randolph Macon College alumnae who authored a cookbook manuscript located in Special Collections.


There will also be a series of Wikipedia events sponsored by the Women’s Center. These events will focus on authoring and updating Wikipedia pages in all disciplines, as well as learning about Creative Commons Licensing, as part of Open Education Week beginning March 19:

  • Wikimedia Share-a-thon, Tuesday, March 20 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Newman Library Multipurpose Room
  • FlowGround Session Wikipedia Editing Workshop, Wednesday, March 21 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Newman Library Athenaeum (room 124)
  • Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30 at 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Newman Library Multipurpose Room


The 2018 International Archive of Women in Architecture Symposium is sponsored by the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Diversity Committee along with the International Archive of Women in Architecture and will concentrate on transformative women in architecture. This event will take place Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30 at 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.