Gilbertsville Historical Records Collection: Documenting Its Women in History

The Word on Women

The library itself was organized by 21 women of the community as the first Free Association Library in Otsego County. The twenty-one women committee included Mrs. Chapman, who purchased the property, hired the architect to turn the building into a library, paid for the renovations, and gave it to the Association.

The scope of the collection ranges from 1650 to present.

  • Index to women's names cross-referenced to Marriage file.
  • Letters, diaries, scrapbooks of women members of Bushnell, Gilbert, Harris, Lillie, Prentice, Palmer, Washbon families and others.
  • Records of the Gilbertsville W.R.C., Eastern Star, Presbyterian Women's Association.
  • Letters of Maria Hollis Strongitharm (1806-1824) to her family in England.
  • Records of the Butternut Valley Garden Club, Red Cross & D.A.R.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Hannah Bates, 1832-1898; member of the 3rd graduating class (1854) of Female Medical College of Pennsylvania.
  • Helen Gilbert Ecob, 1850-1924, suffragette, influential leader in the cause of world peace and an organizer of the Flushing Peace Society, writer of books and articles concerning humanitarian and social issues.
  • Antoinette Bryant Hervey, suffragette & photographer 1857-1945; graduate of Granville (Ohio) Female College 1880 and Wellsley College 1886.
  • The records of the Gilbertville Academy and Collegiate Institute (1839-1894) include the names of women students who generally comprised at least half of the student body. The Academy was a private high school during the time when state-sponsored education was complete by the 8th grade. Many of the women graduates went on to study at and graduate from the best women's colleges in the country.

"The Word on Women: A Directory of Historical Records Collections Documenting Women in History in Upstate New York

From the Town of Alfred in Allegany County to the Town of Wrights Corner in Wyoming County, women have been part of the history of upstate New York. They have been activists, doctors, lawyers, scientists, actresses, writers, marketers, aviators, artists, politicians, educators, athletes, philanthropists, soldiers, as well as spouses, mothers, friends and companions. This directory covers collections about women that are held in twenty-eight counties of four New York State regions. In Central New York there are sites in parts of Herkimer, Madison, Oneida and Onondaga counties. In the Rochester region there are sites in Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming counties. In South Central New York sites are found in Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins and Yates counties. And in Western New York sites are located in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties. "The Word on Women" is not in its final form. Rather it is meant to be considered a beginning of an ongoing effort to improve the documentation of women and women's organizations who purposefully or not contributed to events of the past that shape our present lives. We hope you will find this information useful and inspiring.