"She Roars" at PUL

Tara McGowan presents in Cotsen Children's Library

Tara McGowan '90 tells stories of the oral tradition, celebrating women, to her fellow Princeton alumni at Cotsen Children's Library during the 2018 'She Roars' conference. Photo by Stephanie Ramírez, Princeton University Library


Princeton University alumni were recently invited to Firestone Library to hear stories about women of the oral tradition and to view rare and unique materials in women's history as part of the University's annual "She Roars" conference, which celebrates women at Princeton. 

At Cotsen Children's Library on October 4, three Princeton alumnae - Susan Danoff, class of 1975; Joanne Epply-Schmidt, class of 1982; and Tara McGowan, class of 1990 - orally told stories from international folklore about strong, feisty, and imaginative women. The alumnae share a professional background in storytelling and performing. Danoff founded a non-profit organization that brought long-term storytelling programs to about 16,000 low-income and special needs students to support literacy and learning; Epply-Schmidt, an ordained minister, has focused the last 10 years of her ministry primarily engaging incarcerated young people personally and intellectually with storytelling and world folklore as well as performing and teaching storytelling in private and public urban secondary schools; McGowan specializes in Japanese storytelling and visual culture and teaches workshops and storytelling programs in schools, museums, and libraries. 

Alumni viewing materials in the Miriam Y. Holden Collection

Princeton alumni viewed the Miriam Y. Holden Collection, which documents the history of women, in PUL's Department of Special Collections. Photo by Stephanie Ramírez, Princeton University Library

Alumni were additionally invited to explore one of PUL’s treasures in women's history – the Miriam Y. Holden Collection. Miriam Y. Holden, born Miriam Young, amassed one of the country’s greatest private libraries on the history of women. "To reveal women’s part in the making of long history,” she assembled a collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, clippings, photographs, cartoons, letters, and other materials about women and their achievements. After her death in 1977, her husband, Arthur C. Holden (a 1912 alumnus), donated the collection to Princeton University Library.

The materials include the original women's rights pamphlets by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone; the records of Neshoba, a New Harmony-like community established by Francis Wright at Neshoba, Tennessee, for Black people in 1837; copies of the Lowell Offering, a magazine of compositions written by girls who worked in the Lowell mills in the 1840's; a 1788 edition of the Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollenstonecraft; and works by Hroswitha, canoness of the Benedictine Monastery of Gandersheim, Saxony, in the 10th century.

The “She Roars” conference drew more than 3,300 alumni to campus from Thursday, October 4 through Saturday, October 6. The event’s full schedule included more than 90 events and more than 200 presenters.

To learn more about the Miriam Y. Holden Collection, visit the Library Finding Aids.

Written by Princeton University Library staff