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WOMEN, HISTORY OF (Miriam Holden Collection)


Frontispiece to vol. 1 of Bibliotheque des dames(1716)
Frontispiece to vol. 1 of Bibliotheque des dames(1716)
Frontispiece to vol. 1 of Bibliotheque des dames(1716)
  • Miriam Y. Holden Collection on the History of Women. General collection is on the first floor of Firestone Library. (This section has location designator: Holden.)  The Holden rare books (600+ volumes) are housed in the Department of Special Collections. Location designator: ExHolden. They were catalogued in 1983. For particulars refer to: "The Miriam Y. Holden Collection on the History of Women" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XLI, 2 (Winter, 1980) pp. 163-168 [full text] and [full text]. Also see the finding aid for the Miriam Holden Manuscript Collection. It lists letters of Miriam Holden with various New York collectors and antiquarian booksellers.

    According to the 1954 edition of Private Book Collectors in the United States and Canada, Miriam Holden's collection was titled "Women's Work, Status and Achievements, Their Role in Religious, Cultural and Social Progress." [Note: Editions of Private Book Collectors prior to 1948 do not mention Miriam Holden as a collector of women's history. Among such collectors mentioned prior to 1948 are Hala Jean Hammond (writer, contributor to History of Woman Suffrage in the United States, lived in Muskogee, Oklahoma) , Marguerita Mergentime (artist and textile designer in New York City), and the sociologist A. B. Wolfe.]

    In 1961, Miriam Holden published a brief memoir of her life as a collector. See: "Collecting Books on Women" in The Antiquarian Bookman (27 November 1961, pp. 1967-1969). [full text]

    Also consult the 1970 Princeton Club of New York exhibition catalogue based on the Holden Collection, Woman's Achievement [(Holden) Z7961 .W55]. Also note: An Informal Display Arranged for members of the Hroswitha Club in the Rare Books Room [at Princeton] 23 October 1968 [(ExB) 0639.739 no. 36bis] [full text] . Since the Club was exclusively women, all items selected for display related in one way or another to women. Needless to say, these items were in the Library before the Holden Collection arrived, so no Holden books are listed in this catalogue. See also the exhibition catalog for "Women and Writing: A Thousand Years" prepared by Jean Preston [(ExB) 0619.739 no. 56]. This exhibition focused on writing by, for and about women, with examples ranging from the earliest writings to the early 20th century. See also the exhibition catalog entitled Gender in the Academy: Women and Learning from Plato to Princeton: An Exhibition celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Undergraduate Coeducation at Princeton University prepared by Natalie Zemon Davis, Stephen Ferguson, Anthony A. Grafton, et al. [full text] [(ExB) 0619.739 no. 60].

    At this link is a PDF of Xeroxes of the titlepages of the books making up the rare portion of the Holden Collection.  The Xeroxes were made in 1979 as a means of providing bibliographical discovery of these books.  As noted above, by 1983, all Holden rare books had been catalogued into the Library's main catalogue.



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