Free Children's Admission on July 27 - National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl!

grid of pictures of women from different types and with different styles

What’s Her Story: Women in the Archives

About the Exhibition

At the heart of every story is an archive, and at the heart of every archive is a story.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, What’s Her Story: Women in the Archives reveals compelling stories of women found in the Autry’s collections. This exhibit will showcase Assistance League of Los Angeles, Caroline Boeing Poole, Gladys Knight Harris, Native Voices theatre ensemble, and Women’s March participants as 20th and 21st century women who documented their activities and created archives as a way to preserve a legacy in their own voice. Also featured are stories of Bertha Parker Cody, Manuela Garcia, Clara Forslund, and an “Unidentified Woman,” whose lives were documented in archives made by other creators: friends, colleagues, government agencies, and other institutions that produced written and visual records.

What’s Her Story also looks behind the scenes to share how the work of archivists brings the more hidden narratives to light-- weaving in and out of primary source evidence to color in details, amplify voices, and begin the discovery of women’s stories. In personal diaries, photographs, letters, music, objects, and ephemera, you will meet women philanthropists, solo sojourners, political activists, artists, and a pioneering anthropologist.

The sections below build on the in-gallery exhibition to explore what other narratives can be found when examining all these archives side by side. This “exhibit microsite” continues What’s Her Story by looking at broader concepts such as women serving as history keepers throughout time, female imagery and stereotyping; and the dynamic history of a city.

Surveying archives can also be used to locate the inherent risks threatening the loss of information in order to find solutions to discover, recover, and preserve these pieces of evidence into perpetuity.

What's Her Story: Women in the Archives Sponsors

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of the American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

Free parking for Autry visitors.

Tuesday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Food Trucks are available on select days, contact us for details at 323.495.4252.
The cafe is temporarily closed until further notice.