Galatea Collection

(Rare Books & Manuscripts) The Galatea Collection is a group of approximately 5,000 volumes focused specifically on the history of women. Among many other topics, it represents a particularly rich source for the study of the 19th-century women's rights movement in America.

Highlights of the collection include nearly complete runs of The Lowell Offering (1843-1845), Woman’s Era (1894-1897), and Woman’s Journal (1870-1917), as well as original printings of the proceedings of many of the major 19th-century women's rights conventions, beginning with the first edition of the proceedings of the Seneca Falls Convention, in 1848.

In addition to monographs, rare periodicals, and ephemera, the collection contains many annotated books, inserted correspondence, original manuscripts, and copies either donated by, or associated with, their authors.

History: The nucleus of the Galatea Collection was presented to the BPL by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, opens a new window in 1896. Unable to identify any other institutional collection focused on women's history specifically, Higginson built the Galatea Collection with the intent of donating it to the BPL. A catalog of the Galatea Collection, opens a new window was published in 1898 and after the initial gift, Higginson himself continued to contribute materials to the collection. Throughout much of the 20th century, BPL librarians added to the collection, increasing the number of volumes nearly five times over.

Online access: Materials can can be retrieved through either of the online catalogs, opens a new window via a title search for Galatea Collection (Boston Public Library).

The collection is documented in the Research Publication’s microfilm series, The History of Women

Pictured: The Woman's Era (vol.2, no.1) April, 1895 (BPL P.90.978K.1); The Lowell Offering (vol. 1, no.1) October, 1850.