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The revolutionary idea of a library for working women in New York City can be traced to 1830, but it remained dormant for twenty-eight years until a group of prominent New Yorkers revived the cause. In 1858 an address by Henry Ward Beecher and other influential citizens reviewed the benefits of such a library, and after two years of planning the women's library became a reality. New York City was unique in providing a library just for women; however, financial support dwindled, and it was forced to be taken over by the Women's Protective Union by 1870.


This work was originally published in Information & Culture.



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