Skip to main content

Records of the Biblioteca Femina

Identifier: 9/1/12

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Biblioteca Femina Records fill one box and span the years 1932-1973, with the bulk of the records dating from 1933. The records consist mainly of correspondence, reports, and newspaper clippings dealing with what eventually became the Northwestern University Library's Biblioteca Femina book collection.

Collection Descriptions date from 1933-1973, arranged chronologically, and include a description of the collection when it was first beginning, and the types of books that were being donated and subsequently included in the collection.

A folder of General Correspondence includes letters from Koch, Seton, and others who played a large part in creating this collection. The letters also include requests for the list of books from the The One Hundred Best Books by American Women during the Past Hundred Years, published by the National Council of Women, as well as national and international inquiries asking for help locating the volumes. The documents are arranged chronologically.

Seton's correspondence with potential authors/donors includes a number of questionnaires designed to gather information for the International Women Writer's Conclave, slated for July 17-19, 1933. The writers were asked to identify themselves and then to state their affiliations, their literary genre of choice, and list any important works they authored, among other information. The documents are all dated 1933.

Newspaper clippings include an announcement of the Women's Council's donation of books to Deering Library, as well as a slated appearance by Grace Thompson Seton. Pamphlets include a Partial Survey of Women's Work in the Literary Field by Grace Thompson Seton, and a pamphlet from "Biblioteca Femina: By a Woman Writt," an exhibit displayed in the Special Collections Exhibition Hall at Northwestern in 1983.

Reports document the cataloging and growth of the collection from 1933-1947. Reports include a list of authors arranged alphabetically by country, and also list board members and people involved with the gathering of the collection materials.

Publications include three items, a short story, Arbor Avium (published in 1913, donated to Northwestern in 1933) by Elsie Allen Baker, a copy of The One Hundred Best Books by American Women during the Past Hundred Years (published in 1933), signed by T.W. Koch in 1934, and The Promise (published in 1956, a gift from the author in 1970) by Helen Cady Rockey, a book of stories.


  • 1932-1973

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



These records document the Northwestern University Library's Biblioteca Femina collection of books by women, which was formed in 1933. The records span the years 1932-1973 (with the bulk dating from 1933) and include correspondence between Northwestern librarian Theodore Wesley Koch and feminist/author Grace Thompson Seton, as well as reports and newspaper clippings relating to the collection.


Newspaper clippings and pamphlets are arranged chronologically.

Method of Acquisition

The records of the Biblioteca Femina were acquired by the University Archives prior to 1974, and were given the accession number 74-111.

Related Materials

See also: University Archives Subject Files: Biblioteca Femina.

Separated Materials

A few duplicate items were discarded.

Processing Information

Regina Gorham. September, 2008.

Guide to the Records of the Biblioteca Femina
Regina Gorham
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US