The original Women’s Literary Department was created for exhibition at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair. It comprised more than 1,400 items
At the Fair’s conclusion, the director of the Women’s Literary Department, Maud Howe, declared herself determined “to keep this beautiful sisterhood of books together” as a permanent library. But circumstances intervened and, within months of its presentation to a local arts society, the physical collection was scattered and lost.
This Beautiful Sisterhood of Books recovers Maud’s library for new readers and researchers. Directed by Katherine Adams and Jacquelyne Thoni Howard and sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University, it is a collaborative project, an archive-in-process, that will continue to grow with help from people like you!
You can browse the library catalog – it’s searchable by genre, author, state, and keyword.
You can go deeper – consult original research on individual books, authors, and the history and politics of their appearance at the 1884 World’s Fair.
You can contribute – help us complete the archive or let us publish your research on the 1884 New Orleans Exposition and its beautiful sisterhood of books.