About the Exhibit

Frances WIllard on her Bicycle, 1894.

Frances Willard on her bicycle, 1894. Northwestern University Archives

This exhibit examines the complex ties between Frances Willard and the “Classic Town” — Evanston, Illinois — that helped shape her vision of the world and her role in it.  It illustrates stages in Willard’s life from her student days at the North Western Female College to her growing career as an orator, a writer, and a leader of women, whose motto, “Do Everything,” reflected her advocacy not just of temperance but of women’s rights, social justice, and world peace. The exhibit was on display at the Northwestern University Library from January to April, 2010, and featured historic photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Northwestern University Archives, along with items on loan from the Frances Willard House Museum and the Frances Willard Memorial Library & Archives.

About the Digital Exhibit

This Web site seeks to replicate the experience of viewing the “Radical Woman in a Classic Town” exhibit by reproducing images of all the photographs, documents, and artifacts used in the exhibit, matched with all the descriptive captions. The Index in the banner lists the “Chapters” in the virtual exhibit. Each “Chapter” represents one of the themed display cases in the original exhibit. A final section lists resources for further reading and research.

Sources of documents, photos, and artifacts have been abbreviated as follows:

Northwestern University Archives: NUA
Frances Willard House Museum or Library & Archives: FWHA

Physical Exhibit Curator: Janet Olson (Assistant University Archivist, Northwestern University Archives)
Virtual Exhibit Curator: Yvonne Spura (Archives Assistant, Northwestern University Archives)
Site designer: Lynn Sukyoon Hong (Exhibits Committee Intern, Northwestern University Library)


The curators gratefully acknowledge the help and support of colleagues from the following departments or committees of the Northwestern University Library: Digital Collections, Exhibits, Facilities, Preservation, Public Relations, Special Libraries, and, of course, the University Archives.

Special Appreciation goes to The Frances Willard Historical Association, 1730 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, for lending significant items from the Frances Willard House Museum and from the Frances Willard Memorial Library and Archives.

Northwestern University Archives
110 Deering Library
Evanston, Illinois 60208-2300
(847) 491-3136

[email protected]/


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