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Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

The Helen Hawkins Memorial Research Library


Our Mission:

"The Women’s Museum of California strives to educate and inspire current and future generations about the experiences and contributions of women by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the documentary and visual evidence of those experiences"

The Helen Hawkins Memorial Research Library aims to provide the community a broad collection of reference materials that document women’s history and the female experience. With approx 4,000 works in the collection, the interdisciplinary nature concerning women’s history is reflected in our holdings - offering resources on a wide variety of disciplines such as women in the arts, women’s health & reproductive rights, women in the military, biographical works, LGBT studies, law & politics, and finally seminal works on the first and second waves of the feminist movement.

The Women’s Museum of California also houses a historically significant special collection containing rare and out-of-print volumes dating from the mid 1800’s. A prized collection is a first edition set of Susan B. Anthony’s and Ida Husted Harper’s “The History of Women’s Suffrage”, the only known 1st ed. to exist in California.

The majority of the collection is comprised of printed works including books, journals, and periodicals. A small collection of audio-visual materials are available, including early sound recordings (vinyl) and our oral history collection that includes interviews from prominent women in the Unitarian Universalist Church and San Diego’s Hall of Fame Inductees.

The General Library Collection circulates to Museum members as well as WMC volunteers and interns.  The library is available during regular operating hours or by special appointment.  To learn more, please contact the Collections Manager. 

You can view our collection online via LibraryThing below