OK, I’LL DO IT MYSELF
An exhibition of narratives of intrepid women from the Caroline F. Schimmel Collection of Women in the American Wilderness will be on display at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, University of Missouri-St. Louis, August 28 to October 29, 2017; the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, January 19 to March 28, 2018; and the Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania, in Autumn, 2018.
The 144 books, photographs, manuscripts, and memorabilia by 101 women, dating from 1682 to 2015, include Maria Sibylla Merian’s hand-printed and colored copy of Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (1705), a prodigeous scientific study of the flora and fauna of Surinam, sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s travel trunk, photos, gloves, and a color-printed envelope she shot through the heart; and film and TV star Dale Evans’s scruffy rhinestoned pink boots. Five editions of Florida settler Mary Godfrey’s gruesomely illustrated account of the “horrid massacre” of her entire family in 1825 reveal changes to the text made by New England publishers who updated it with the freshest news of Andrew Jackson’s dastardly Second Seminole War. In the tiniest handwriting and using every inch of the 10×16″ sheet, newlywed Myra Eells pens a letter to a fellow missionary in 1840 vividly describing her first year in Oregon Territory, building a home from nothing in the wilderness and trying to earn the trust of the several local bands of Native Americans, all of whom spoke different dialects.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Library Service at Columbia University, Caroline F. Schimmel has gathered nearly 23,000 narratives and representations of women in the American wilderness –Pole to Pole–over the last 45 years. The fiction portion, except for some items in her exhibition, was donated to Penn in 2014. She continues to seek the known and unknown intrepid women in both fact and fiction.
A full-color 96-page catalogue will be available from the exhibition venues or via Paypal for $25 + $5 postage.
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1 University Blvd. (car access via the parking garage on West St.); St. Louis, MO 63121, Amanda Schneider, 314.516.7248
DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750396, Dallas, TX 75275-0396; Terre Heydari, 214-768-3637
Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3420 Walnut Street, Phila. 19104; Regan Kladstrup.