The Center for Local History’s Community Archives contains many collections pertaining to women’s history, and the history of Arlington County. But the names of these women were often not well known. Though frequently hidden in the background until now, these women were nonetheless groundbreakers and trailblazers, important forces working for better education, libraries, and conservation. They helped found Arlington’s first hospital, and they fought for civil rights. Their contributions to the growth and development of their community were immense, and Arlington today would not be the same without them.
The story of documenting women has historically been one of exclusion and absence. Through our archival collections and oral histories we show that while women have sometimes been “quiet,” they have not been “silent.” These women were active in almost every aspect of civic life, and their contribution was instrumental in influencing the character of the Arlington community, and in the development of this community from a rural to suburban county.
We have focused primarily on Arlington's early pioneers (c.1900-1975), as stories and contributions are not well known and should be brought to light, acknowledged, and celebrated.
Because there are always more layers of history to find and examine, the Center for Local History continually seeks community donations and oral histories. Contact the CLH at 703-228-5966 or by email.