General Museum Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Sunday
12:00 - 4:00 pm

2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103
San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (619) 233-7963
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© 2019 by the Women's Museum of California


"If I see anything vital around me, it is precisely that spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity." - Marie Curie


The Women's Museum of California Archive collection houses nearly 300 linear feet of material documenting the life and work of prominent female leaders and organizations' commitment to women's rights and representation.

Our archive collections include the first women’s studies program developed at San Diego State University, collections from U.N. Conferences on the Status of Women, the National Organization of Women (N.O.W.), the Older Women’s League (O.W.L.), California Women for Agriculture, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.), National League of American Pen Women, League of Women Voters, National Women’s Political Caucus, the American Association of University Women, and finally Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Care Clinic of San Diego.

The personal papers & archival collections of prominent women include our founder; Mary Maschal, California suffragist sympathizer Alice Park, Nancy Reeves, Lucy Killea, and Alice Barnes.

Please allow two to four weeks for a response to your research request.

A portion of the Women's Museum's audio and video files have been digitized and can be found on the internet archives. This collection includes audio from San Diego NOW meetings and oral interview with San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame inductees. 


Helen Hawkins Memorial Research Library

The Helen Hawkins Memorial Research Library aims to provide the community a broad collection of reference materials that document women’s history and the female experience. With approx 4,000 works in the collection, the interdisciplinary nature concerning women’s history is reflected in our holdings - offering resources on a wide variety of disciplines such as women in the arts, women’s health & reproductive rights, women in the military, biographical works, LGBT studies, law & politics, and finally seminal works on the first and second waves of the feminist movement.


The Women’s Museum of California also houses a historically significant special collection containing rare and out-of-print volumes dating from the mid 1800’s. A prized collection is a first edition set of Susan B. Anthony’s and Ida Husted Harper’s “The History of Women’s Suffrage”, the only known 1st ed. to exist in California.


The majority of the collection is comprised of printed works including books, journals, and periodicals. A small collection of audio-visual materials are available, including early sound recordings (vinyl) and our oral history collection that includes interviews from prominent women in the Unitarian Universalist Church and San Diego’s Hall of Fame Inductees.


The General Library Collection circulates to Museum members as well as WMC volunteers and interns.  The library is available during regular operating hours or by special appointment.  To learn more, please contact the Collections Manager. 


Thank you for considering a donation to the Women's Museum of California. Your tax-deductible donation supports the organization's mission to collect, preserve, document, and make available materials that inspire and educate present and future generations about women's history.


We are interested in receiving materials that are historically significant, authentic, in excellent condition, and connected to women's history in California.


Potential donors should contact Julia Friedman, the museum's Collections Manager, to confirm that the materials are within the scope and mission of the collections prior to bringing their donation to the museum. Contact information is provided below. If you contact the Collections Manager by e-mail, please provide as much of the following information that you can where applicable:

  • A description of the artifact you are offering to donate (What do you know about the history of the artifact, measurements, type of material, etc.)

  • How is the artifact related to women’s history in California?

  • When and how did you acquire the artifact?

  • Please describe the condition of the artifact, and how it has been stored.

  • If you can, please provide a few photographs of the artifact.


Drop-in donations are not permitted. Only the Collections Manager can accept donations. An appointment with the Collections Manager MUST be scheduled before donations are brought in and transferred over to the museum's custody.