OK, I’ll Do it Myself

For the past half century, Caroline Schimmel has collected narratives of women overcoming obstacles in the wilderness. When she began collecting books by and about women, few scholars, librarians and dealers paid any attention to these subjects. Over time, she began to add artifacts associated with adventurous women, including sharpshooter Annie Oakley’s gloves.

Color photo of Libby Custer, Collection of Caroline Schimmel.

Schimmel’s collection now totals nearly 24,000 volumes covering more than three centuries, recounting American women’s adventures throughout the globe.

In the spirit of those adventuring women, Schimmel assembled a museum exhibit in which she shared a small sampling of her rich collection of books, photographs, manuscripts, and material culture. She also designed her own exhibit catalog, which she graciously shares with our readers here in electronic form. Hard copies of this volume may be ordered from Oaknoll Press. Schimmel donated the fiction portion of her collection to the University of Pennsylvania’s Special Collections library in 2014.

Collection of Caroline Schimmel.

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