Today, March 1, marks the beginning of Women's History Month. If you are looking to more deeply explore topics related to women's history in Missouri, you will find many resources at SHSMO research centers and here on our website.
MOda 200: Missouri Style Makers, Merchants and Memories
Opens March 11 at the Center for Missouri Studies in Columbia
In collaboration with the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection, this coming exhibition highlights the evolution of Missouri style and the important role of the apparel industry—from rural dressmakers to urban retail and manufacturing giants—in the state’s economic development.
March Collection Spotlight: Rose O'Neill Papers
Rose O’Neill was a self-trained artist who periodically lived in the Missouri Ozarks throughout her adult life. She built a successful career as a magazine and book illustrator and, at a young age, became the best-known and highest-paid female commercial illustrator in the United States. Her collection includes personal correspondence of O'Neill and her family members and friends.
SHSMO On Demand
"Earnest Endeavour": Missouri Women and the Work of Civil War Commemoration
As part of the SHSMO Fall Lecture Series, we welcomed speaker Amy Laurel Fluker, the Robert W. Reeder I Professor of nineteenth-century American history at Youngstown State University. Watch as Fluker discusses Civil War commemoration in Missouri as pursued most often by women and from both sides of the conflict in a free video from SHSMO On Demand.
Fluker's book, Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri, can be ordered from SHSMO's Richard Bookstore.
"Votes for Missouri Women!"
In 2020, as the US commemorated the centennial of the 19th Amendment that gave women the vote, the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection collaborated on the two-part series "Votes for Missouri Women!" and created the exhibition Missouri Women: Suffrage to Statecraft.
Now available as an online exhibition, Missouri Women: Suffrage to Statecraft includes clothing and artwork from statewide collections that highlight roles of Missouri women in the national suffrage movement, as well as trailblazing women in Missouri politics before and after ratification of the federal amendment.
The two-part series "Votes for Missouri Women!" features radio host Kevin Walsh talking with noted scholars and historians about the women's suffrage movement. In part one, Walsh talks with historian and activist Margot McMillen about the circumstances surrounding a silent protest for women's suffrage in St. Louis that took place on the opening day of the 1916 Democratic Convention. Part two explores the 2020 Center for Missouri Studies exhibition Missouri Women: Suffrage to Statecraft. All videos are free as part of SHSMO On Demand.
Experiences of African American Women in Missouri
Designed to offer the community opportunities to reach a new understanding of present-day Missouri, the African American Experience in Missouri Lecture Series features nearly two dozen presentations exploring the lives of African Americans in Missouri's past. The videos linked below feature the experiences of African American women in Missouri. All videos are free and on demand to audiences everywhere.
- #SayHerName: Black Women and State Violence in the Case of Missouri v. Celia, A Slave
Martha S. Jones shares the deeply powerful and very tragic story of Celia, who was purchased by a local man in Callaway County and suffered tremendously for years before she eventually stood up for her basic human right to decide her own fate.
- Troubling Freedom: Black Working-Class Women's Self-Organization and the Struggle for Racial Justice in St. Louis before the 1960s
Keona K. Ervin, author of the award-winning Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis, discusses how Black women effectively grounded working-class struggle in movements for racial justice and set the stage for the defining campaigns of the explosive 1960s.
- Margaret Bush Wilson and the Promise of America: A Pragmatic Civil Rights Vision
Priscilla Dowden-White explores the life and legacy of St. Louis attorney and NAACP leader Margaret Bush Wilson. In her lifelong struggle to advance freedom and equality for African Americans, women, and all those who were excluded from the mainstream of society, Wilson blazed a courageous trail marked by landmark legal decisions and major civil rights advances that opened doors to equal opportunity for all.
Women's Experience Research Guide
SHSMO collections reflect the evolution of gender roles and women’s status with the experiences of Missouri women documented in scrapbooks, professional and personal papers, organizational records, correspondence, news clippings, and more. The Women's Experience Research Guide is a portal to resources that document the history and experiences of women in Missouri.
Women’s clubs and societies have a long history in Missouri and were important for women to organize for social, educational, civic, professional, or philanthropic purposes. Our Women's Societies Research Guide will connect you to resources that explore the history of these clubs and societies.
The research guides include many free online resources–such as on demand videos, Our Missouri podcast episodes, scholarly articles from the Missouri Historical Review, and digitized collections and photographs. The guides will also connect you to resources like newspapers, manuscript collections, and oral histories that are available for free by visiting one of the Society's six statewide research centers.
National Women and Media Collection
From Nellie Bly and Katharine Graham to Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour, many women have made their mark—and their name—through journalism and media. However, as in many industries, women historically have encountered numerous challenges and setbacks as they worked to find a foothold across a variety of roles, from writers to editors to producers. Yet, they have persisted and worked to gain influence and create opportunities in media through their contributions to radio, television, film, newspaper, magazines, podcasts, and more.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the National Women and Media Collection (NWMC) documents the experiences of female journalists and other women working in media. Find resources to explore this topic in the National Women and Media Research Guide or view digitized materials in the NWMC Digital Collection.
Our Missouri Podcast
Our Missouri is a podcast about the people, places, culture, and history of Missouri. Engaging with subject matter experts, host Sean Rost explores topics related to the state's complex history and culture, from publications about Missouri’s history to current projects undertaken by organizations to preserve and promote local institutions.
Over a dozen episodes are related to women's history, like episode 2, "Prairie Fires" with Caroline Fraser; episode 43, "Gateway to Equality" with Keona Ervin; episode 51, "Bridging Two Eras" with Virginia Laas; and episode 59, "Gender & the Jubilee" with Sharon Romeo.
These episodes and others related to women's history are linked on the Women's Experience Research Guide. You can also find the Our Missouri podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and here on the SHSMO website.