19 Images Of Women Reading From The NYPL’s Digital Collections

In 2015 the New York Public Library made news when they announced that they’d begun a massive image digitization process of their collection. Currently they’ve digitized over 673,951 items and with their really excellent cataloging and search tools you can find some really great things on here. The other day I was playing around in there and started looking up two of my favorite subjects: women and reading. Here for your pleasure are some of my favorite pieces I stumbled across: 19 images that range in mediums, subjects, time periods, and themes (some are sweet, some gorgeous, some cheeky) of women reading.

The Writing Lesson – Morris Shulman

The Good Child – William Redmore Bigg (AKA The Latest Terror In My Nightmares)

Nora endeavouring to read – Eliza Fenwick

Young Woman reading in garden – Francis William Topham

Woman reading a book outside

Young woman reading near lamp

Le Compte – Paul Gavarni

Women and girls reading near swingset where younger children are suspended in hammock like swings, July 1910 – Lewis Wickes Hine

Comfort (I’m putting this image on my vision board)

Heidi reading – Jessie Willcox Smith

French Woman Reading, 1770s – Pierre Thomas Le Clerc

Reading Lady – Sekka Kamisaka

Star pupil, 82 years old, reading her lesson in adult class, Gee’s Bend, Alabama, May 1939 – Marion Post Wolcott

A Sibyl Reading – Raphael

Reading the Bible in the ‘storefront’ Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois – Russell Lee

Women reading, April 30, 1910, Siegel-Cooper Company. – Lewis Wickes Hine

Young women around tables reading, P.S. 63, Recreation Center, May 1911 – Lewis Wickes Hine

Woman reading a book, Milanaise, 1400 – Stewart Watson

Boston Sunday Herald

Do you have any other favorite images of women reading? Check out even more classic paintings of people reading here.

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Constance Augusta Zaber: Ms. Constance Augusta A. Zaber is a New England writer and general artist interested in history, sex practices, libraries, what she’s going to eat next, and Virginia Woolf. Visit constancezaber.com for links to her stores and her sex blog. Follow her on Twitter: @constancezaber.