The Library of Virginia >> Exhibitions >> Working Out Her Destiny
  Working Out Her Destiny
Where are the Women:
Examples from the LVA Collections


Shaping Public Opinion

Women's Organizations



Service to Country

Votes for Women


Where are the Women:
Examples from the LVA Collections



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Much of what we know about women and women's history comes from public documents, newspapers, and other records that preserve information about people who were not famous. Most people live ordinary lives and do not leave behind diaries, family letters, memoirs, or records that provide historians with detailed information about how they lived, what they thought, and how their lives intersected with other people's lives. Once in a while an extraordinary circumstance results in the production and preservation of documents that allow us to learn about the lives of people who would otherwise be invisible. Some examples of such circumstances include participation in a public event, involvement in a crime, or disclosure of a family or financial scandal. Documents that result from extraordinary circumstances often contain valuable information about the lives of ordinary people.