Historically, if you weren’t wealthy, white, and male, access to formal education was limited. That never stopped women and girls from striving to get as much education as possible. Teaching and learning at kitchen tables, in church basements, in one-room classrooms, and at Ivy League universities, women continue to use their agency to push for equal educational access. According to findings published by the Pew Research Center in June 2019, women are now half of the U.S. college-educated workforce.

Collection Objects

Learn about these featured stories or see more examples of education in our collections.

Conversation Kit



Smithsonian American Women book cover.

Smithsonian American Women

Remarkable objects and stories of strength, ingenuity, and vision from the National Collection.

Smithsonian American Women book cover.