willard banner

A virtual exhibit


About the Exhibit
          About the Virtual Exhibit


Chapter 1: A Classic Town: Frances Willard's Evanston

Chapter 2: Willard Learns to Lead

Chapter 3: Willard and Northwestern

Chapter 4: Radical Woman

Chapter 5:  The Woman's Christian Temperance Union    

Chapter 6: Willard's Death and Her Legacy


Social reformer Frances Willard (1839-1898) was known world-wide for her charismatic speaking and for her leadership of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the largest woman's organization of its time. But Willard always maintained a bond with Evanston, her hometown from 1858 until her death.
Using historic photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Northwestern University Archives, along with items on loan from the Frances Willard House Museum in Evanston, this exhibit puts Willard in the context of the Classic Town (as she called Evanston) that helped shape her reformist vision.

About the Exhibit

"Radical Woman in a Classic Town: Frances Willard of Evanston" was created by the Northwestern Unviersity Archives as a Main Library exhibit in the Northwestern University Library. It filled eight display cases and was in place from January 18-April 16, 2010.

About the Virtual 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 above lists the "Chapters" in the virtual exhibit. Each "Chapter" represents one of the themed display cases in the original exhibit, and is made up of a separate document in PDF format for ease of access. A photo at the beginning of each chapter shows the placement of items in the display cases. Images were scanned at a moderate resolution to keep the file sizes small. The Credits information at the end of each PDF document provides additional details about each pictured item, and identifies the source of the item.

Exhibit Curator: Janet Olson

Virtual Exhibit Curator: Yvonne Spura

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.

For More Information, contact the Northwestern University Archives, Evanston IL 60208, (847) 491-3136



"Evanston is remarkable in nothing if not in the ability, individuality and enterprise of its women."

—Frances E. Willard, A Classic Town