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Gateway to Women's History

About the Gateway to Woman's History Collection at TWU

The Woman's Collection named in Memory of Lou Halsell Rodenberger in the Blagg-Huey Library at Texas Woman's University represents a major research collection on the history of American women. The Library first began collecting the biographies of great women in 1932 at the suggestion of its president, Dr. Louis H. Hubbard, "to serve as role models" to students. The collection has since grown to over 78,000 books, 6,200 cubic feet of manuscript collections, 25,000 photographs, approximately 2,000 periodical titles, 600 oral history projects, and major manuscript and book collections on microform. The Woman's Collection also houses the University Archives, which provide rich research materials on the history of women's education in Texas. An international cookbook collection offers insight into culinary and cultural history.

Educating Women

The Woman’s Collection traces the evolution of educated opportunities for women. Changing public attitudes towards women’s physical and mental capabilities, the experiences of women teachers, and the struggle to establish competitive sports for women, all form part of the legacy. You’ll find in the Woman’s Collection:

Activism and Accomplishment

Public Libraries and pure drinking water didn’t just happen. It took the commitment and leadership of determined women. Resources in the Woman’s Collection record the trials and triumphs of these dedicated women through their individual efforts and the organizations they founded. Topics of interest include:

Women and War

Women have always contributed to the defense of our nation. Their participation is documented in the papers of women who served in the armed forces or otherwise participated in the war effort. TWU is proud to record and preserve the service and memories of courageous women from the 18th through the 21st centuries who have served at home and abroad in times of conflict. Collections and information include:

Women in Aviation

The Woman’s Collection has devoted substantial resources to the history of women in aviation. In 1992, TWU became the official archive for the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II (WASP). The holdings now include collections of the Women Military Aviators and the Whirly-Girls International (helicopter pilots). Major acquisitions include:

The Cookery Collection

It’s not surprising the oldest books in the Woman’s Collection involve cooking. Practical concerns such as food preparation, preserving, and home remedies affect us all. What is more human than sharing what tastes good? While the homemaker in the kitchen was the target, these cookbooks reveal the influence of America’s marketplace and political reality. From abundance to diets, from prohibition to war, TWU’s collection of cookbooks richly illustrates decades of America’s changing relationship with food.

An Excellent Resource

Researchers, historians, educators, and scholars find the TWU Woman’s Collection to be a rich and varied source of valuable information and visual resources for everything from publishing to lesson planning. The TWU staff is committed to the success of its researchers and welcome inquiries by telephone, mail, and online. Web pages and an online catalog provide access to information about the collections.

Topics for Research

The Woman’s Collection is rich in resources about Texas women and their organizations. The collection is widely known as the official archive of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II (WASP). It contains one of the nation’s largest culinary libraries and maintains a growing online digital photograph collection. Other highlights include:

How You Can Help

Private financial support is critical to our efforts to preserve women’s history, continue the preeminence of this great archive, and acquire space for archival expansion. Unrestricted gifts to the Woman’s Collection meet current needs and provide the greatest flexibility. Restricted gifts may be directed to the following areas:

Donating research materials, photographs, or other historically significant artifacts also is a great way to make a tax-deductible contribution to the TWU Woman’s Collection.

Additional opportunities for giving may be further explored by contacting the Coordinator for Special Collections, P.O. Box 425528, Denton, TX 76204-5528; 940-898-3743 or

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