March is Women’s History Month and Kelsey and I want to celebrate it like we did Black History Month. We hope you enjoy virtually exploring our collections featuring women over the coming weeks.
Our department has a well-known, thorough holding of World War I collections, so I thought I would look through them to see how many women appear and how they do so.
These first photos come from a scrapbook collection called “Remembrances of the Great War” from the Hounslow Aerodrome in London. There are 22 photos total, but shared these three to show the women specifically. The caption reads “Maud Mabel Maggie Phyllis Ms. Smith. Osterley Park Camp, 1917.” Looking at Google Maps, Hounslow and Osterley Park are directly east of London’s Heathrow airport.
This woman is named Isabelle Wynkoop Puffer Charde. She was from Newton, Massachusetts. This photo was taken in 1918, sometime between March and August. The book this picture comes from contains the war records of 26 people from Newton who all served in various capacities in World War I.
Jumping to World War II, these women were W.A.V.E.S. (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) who served in Hawaii. Kelsey featured this collection last year, in her post about Hawaii. She also shared a picture of the newspaper clipping.
Looking at these pictures, it’s almost hard to remember these women were serving in a war. Life had to be difficult even if they weren’t on the front lines, but they still made what look like some wonderful memories. I wonder if they stayed in touch with each other after the war?
I love the Hawaiian lei tradition! I have similar pictures of my grandparents covered in leis before leaving the islands. It seems likely that they were happy to go home after the war’s end but maybe a little sad to leave such good friends and a beautiful place.
The women in the world wars were relegated to the sidelines, behind-the-scenes auxiliary work, but they paved the way for women today, who serve side by side with their male counterparts. Women have accomplishes so many incredible feats and continue to do so. We are excited to highlight the women of our collections in the coming weeks!
If you’d like to see the these collections or one of the many others we hold, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for arrangements. We are currently open only to TU students, faculty, and staff by appointments made at least 24 hours in advance. You are also welcome to browse our Catalog and Digital Collections and request photocopies or digital scans of materials through the same email. Kelsey and I fulfill requests as quickly as possible, but especially large requests or a high volume of requests may take us up to 4-6 weeks. We are happy to help you as best we can and we hope that you stay safe and healthy!