Beatrice Winser (1869-1947) was the director of the Newark Public Library and the Newark Museum.
Early in her career at the Newark Public Library, Winser offered books to public school classes that didn’t have access to libraries at school. She also opened libraries in union halls and made sure the library paid attention to the needs of its patrons. In 1915, Winser was appointed as the assistant director and secretary of the Newark Museum. She became the first woman in Newark’s history to become a member of a governing body when she was appointed to the Newark Board of Education that same year.
In 1918, Winser became a member of the Women’s Committee for the New Jersey College for Women. She was a charter member of the New Jersey Library Association, founded in 1890, and served as the association’s president in both 1907 and 1921. Additionally, Winser was a member of the American Library Association Council of Fifty from 1909 to 1913 and served as second vice president in 1931.
Toward the end of her productive career, Winser became the archivist of the New Jersey branch of the World Center for Women’s Archives (NJWCWA). Its purpose was to collect and preserve in a central archive all historical records related to women.
Crist, Timothy J. “Beatrice Winser: Librarian, Museum Director, and Advocate for Women’s Equality.” NJS: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6, no. 1 (2020): 21-34.
Robb, George. “Propaganda, Censorship, and Book Drives: The Newark Public Library in World War I.” NJS: An Interdisciplinary Journal 5, no. 1 (2019): 101-126.
Questions to Explore
What inspired Winser towards her goal of creating access to books for everyone?
How was Winser able to be appointed to the Newark Board of Education?
Why was preserving historical records related to women important to Winser?
Kingdon Frank. 1940. The Librarian : Beatrice Winser. Newark N.J: publisher not identified. https://www.worldcat.org/title/29968910
Newark Museum. 1948. Beatrice Winser 1869-1947. Newark N.J: Newark Museum. https://www.worldcat.org/title/24956173