"Annie Jump Cannon, 1863-1941: Census Taker of the Sky," design, Maria Hollenbach. [Blue Hill, ME]: Organization for Equal Education of the Sexes, Inc., c1987. Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Through April 1: Women in science

Library exhibition features 'Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination'

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8:26 a.m., March 4, 2013--The University of Delaware Library has announced a new exhibition titled “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination,” which will be on view through Monday, April 1, in the Information Room on the first floor of the Morris Library.

The exhibition celebrates Women’s History Month and recognizes women’s contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM fields.

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Women have long been underrepresented in these fields due to educational barriers and biases, and many of their contributions have gone unrecognized. Rather than be the exception to the rule, women in STEM fields work to change scientific culture, promote gender equality in the sciences, and encourage girls’ interest in science and mathematics from a young age. 

Women’s History Month raises awareness of the essential and influential roles women play in the development of our shared history. Women’s History Week was recognized by Congress in 1981, and in 1987, Congress designated the month of March to the celebration of Women’s History in perpetuity. 

Each year, the National Women’s History Project identifies a theme that highlights the myriad ways in which women have contributed to community-building and nation-building.

The exhibition features items from Special Collections that highlight the contributions of women scientists and celebrates a commitment to inspiring future generations of girls and women to pursue scientific study.

Delaware native Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) was an accomplished woman of science who discovered variable stars and other firsts in her career. She was the “Census Taker of the Sky” who classified 230,000 stellar bodies.

An endowment was established at the University of Delaware in her name and Harry Shipman currently holds the named chair, the Annie Jump Cannon Professor of Physics and Astronomy, funded by the endowment. The University also named a residence hall, Cannon Hall, after Annie Jump Cannon. In Sharp Laboratory on the North Green, a named conference room was established wherein a portrait of her hangs.

The exhibition features items from Special Collections that highlight the contributions of women scientists and celebrates a commitment to inspiring future generations of girls and women to pursue scientific study.

“Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination” is curated by Maureen Cech, assistant librarian, Manuscripts and Archives Department. Laurie Rizzo, assistant librarian in the Special Collections Department and Anita Wellner, library assistant III in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, assisted with the exhibition preparation and installation.

The exhibition is available online.

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