Center for Women's History

Explore women's history through exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and immersive multimedia.

About the center

In 2017, a substantial portion of the New-York Historical Society’s fourth floor will reopen as the Center for Women’s History, a cutting-edge museum and scholarship hub. This landmark initiative will be the country’s first permanent, public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. It will highlight the significance of women’s history to the study of the American past and demonstrate how women across the spectrum of race, class, and culture exercised power and brought about change even before they could access the ballot box. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center will combine permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant program of talks and debates to enrich the cultural landscape of New York City.

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"Miss Rose Bower of North Dakota" Woman playing trumpet, wearing "Votes for Women" sash. Gelatin Silver Photograph, New-York Historical Society.

Major funding for the Center for Women’s History is provided by
Joyce B. Cowin
Diane and Adam E. Max
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Jean Margo Reid.


Corporate support provided by


Public funds provided by
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in Partnership with the City Council
Empire State Development



Photo by Michael Cole

Named one of Life magazine's "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" and the first member of the LGBT community to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King carries a legacy far beyond her 39 Grand Slam titles. Over her long career, she leveraged her role as a public figure to champion human rights, challenge discrimination, and fight for gender equality.

In 2016, Billie Jean King donated items from her legendary career—both as a tennis player and as an activist—to the New-York Historical Society in celebration of our Center for Women’s History, open April 29, 2017. A selection of items from the Billie Jean King Archive will go on display in the new Center.

In anticipation of the opening of the Center for Women's History, get a sneak peek of items from her archive in a special display on view now. This installation highlights her 1970s advocacy on behalf of women in sports, featuring items from the Billie Jean King Archive, donated to the New-York Historical Society in 2016. See the white lace dress she wore when she won the US Open in 1971 and Wimbledon in 1972; the racket she used during her 1975 grand slam title win at Wimbledon; and the Essex Bowl she received after winning the Essex County Country Club Ladies’ Invitational Tennis Tournament a record three times. 

Creative: Tronvig Group