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Published on Jul 9, 2012
On May 1, 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago opened its gates to an expectant public eager to experience firsthand its architectural beauty, technological marvels and vast array of cultural treasures gathered from all over the world. Among the most popular of the fair's attractions was the Woman's Building, a monumental exhibit hall filled with the products of women's labor, including more than 8,000 volumes of writing, by women and collected by women -- the first important library of its kind. Hundreds of thousands of women visited the library and took what they learned to develop local libraries.
Speaker Biography: Sarah Wadsworth is associate professor of English at Marquette University and author of "In the Company of Books: Literature and Its 'Classes' in Nineteenth-Century America."
Speaker Biography: Wayne A. Wiegand is F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus at Florida State University and author, most recently, of "Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland, 1876-1956."