Women's Work: Stories of Persistence and Influence

Published on June 04, 2019


  • Digital exhibition showcases Arlington's women trailblazers

  • Learn about their stories at http://arlingtonwomenshistory.org

  • Visit the Center for Local History to explore Arlington's history

Two years in the making, Arlington Public Library presents the stories of women trailblazers and their far-reaching impact on politics, education, business, social activism and public libraries.

The curated digital collection contains stories, photographs, letters and memorabilia and spotlights both individuals and groups of Arlington women who dedicated their work to improve the lives of others.

Have you ever thought about what you would give up your freedom for? When you see a problem, do you turn it into an opportunity? Do you enjoy Arlington's vibrant, mixed use, and walk-able neighborhoods?

If these questions resonate for you, meet the women who inspired them.

  • Find out why Gertrude Crocker became a three-time political prisoner for the right to vote. Through her participation in the national suffrage movement, over 83 million women are registered to vote in the United States.

  • Learn about Margarite Syphax, who witnessed black families in Northern Virginia being denied fair housing because of segregation and started a successful real estate company to serve everyone.

  • Get insights into how Ellen Bozman led the transformation of a Metro corridor to a flourishing walk-able community surrounded by parks, apartments and offices, shopping and restaurants.

"All of these women were active in almost every aspect of civic life and their contributions shaped the character of Arlington," Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh said.

The Library's online exhibition of Arlington women and their achievements is culled from the Center for Local History's (CLH) Community Archives, which contains many collections pertaining to women's history and consequently the history of Arlington County. This digital access project was completed using FY 2018 funding in the Department of Libraries budget dedicated to increasing public access to government records and archival materials.

Because there are always more layers of history to find and examine, the CLH continually seeks community donations and oral histories. Learn more.