How are we different – and similar – to girls who lived decades or centuries ago?  What can the artifacts that girls left behind tell us about our present and future?

At Girl Museum, we aim to find out.

Realizing that many “history of the world” programs routinely left out the stories of young girls, we scoured the globe for objects that would bring to light girls’ daily lives, struggles, and heroism.  Each week in 2017, we’ll add a new story about an object integral to understanding the history and current culture of girlhood. The result is 52 Objects in the History of Girls, which showcase their incredible lives, the issues they faced, and what it says about being a girl.

Teachers & Students
Want to infuse your classroom with critical thinking and a passion for the mysteries of history?  

Check out our Educational Guide for fun activities aligned to US and UK educational standards. You can also download fun Coloring Pages featuring objects from this exhibition!

Credits
This exhibit was inspired by our personal passions and the podcast series, A History of the World in 100 Objects. It was produced and written by the senior team at Girl Museum, including Hillary Hanel, Tiffany Rhoades, and Katie Weidmann.  Images were created by Erina Shiflett.

Where in the World is…?

Want to know where these 52 objects come from? Or find ones in or near your country? Check out our map documenting the locations of our 52 objects.

Now, journey with us to explore the history of girls…

as told in 52 amazing objects.

Heroines Quilt VII: Jacqueline Wilson

Heroines Quilt VII: Jacqueline Wilson

My love for reading started when I was in primary school, with most books I read being written by Jacqueline Wilson, my favourites including The Story of Tracy Beaker and The Bed and Breakfast Star. As a child, many of my favourites stories saw the main child...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Yoko Tsuno

Heroines Quilt VII: Yoko Tsuno

Reading has always been an escape and I have been an avid reader since I learnt my letters. Reflecting on my childhood, one female character stands out: Yoko Tsuno. Yoko is a female electrical engineer of Japanese origin living in Belgium. With her two male best...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Eowyn

Heroines Quilt VII: Eowyn

I’ve loved the Lord of The Rings movies and books ever since I was young, but it’s a series that doesn’t contain a lot of female characters, which always frustrated me. I loved fantasy stories, and I knew that girls could be just as exciting and powerful heroes as...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Natalie Portman

Heroines Quilt VII: Natalie Portman

My childhood heroine is Natalie Portman. Growing up, she really stood out to me as a heroine because of the pursuance of her education. She already had fame due to her role as Princess Amidala in Star Wars, but still strove to complete her degree in psychology from...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Tiffany Aching

Heroines Quilt VII: Tiffany Aching

As children my sister and I would borrow as many books as we could from the library at a time – most of them already read by the time we arrived home. One of these beloved library reads introduced me to the brilliant Tiffany Aching.  Tiffany is the heroine of Sir...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Daiane dos Santos

Heroines Quilt VII: Daiane dos Santos

The year was 2007. I was dancing around the living room and trying to do (very dangerous) tricks on the couch. The Pan-American Games were playing on TV. And a girl dressed in Brazil’s national colors was competing in gymnastics. Daiane dos Santos, at the time 24...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Kim Possible (again)

Heroines Quilt VII: Kim Possible (again)

Kim Possible is an American Disney Channel animated series that ran for five years in the early 2000s. The fictional main character and heroine is Kim Possible, a well-rounded crime-fighting teen. One of her many slogans is: “Kim Possible, she can do anything.” She is...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Artemisia Gentileschi

Heroines Quilt VII: Artemisia Gentileschi

I must say that I struggled quite a bit trying to think of a girlhood heroine or any hero of mine when asked to write on this topic.Throughout my life, even as a child, I didn’t particularly idolise anyone. Certainly, I enjoyed watching cartoons, tv shows, movies or...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Laila and Mariam

Heroines Quilt VII: Laila and Mariam

The first feminist book I ever read was A Thousand Splendid Suns. I was a few years younger than Mariam and Laila when they first started their journeys the first time I read the book. The first thing I felt was that these girls seemed like women to me. Mariam and...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Beatrix Potter

Heroines Quilt VII: Beatrix Potter

As a young girl, I constantly had my head in a book. With two older sisters who were allowed to go out and play, it was a way to keep myself entertained. I quickly fell in love with the mode of escapism. So much so, that as I grew older, I often still opted for a...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Fairy

Heroines Quilt VII: Fairy

My childhood heroine was an invisible fairy watching over me as I skipped a run in my blossoming garden, as I cooked flower petals on my cooking stove made of plastic and wood, as I spoke to my Barbie dolls after a tiring day at school. That invisible fairy would...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Kim Possible

Heroines Quilt VII: Kim Possible

My girlhood heroine was Kim Possible (and even Shego from the same cartoon – the show features two very strong female characters). During each episode, Kim proved how one could do well in school, be captain of her High School cheer squad, and save the world from...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Leslie Knope

Heroines Quilt VII: Leslie Knope

I began watching Parks and Recreation during my teenage years. I immediately admired the character of Leslie Knope. The series follows Leslie, a persistent optimist and committed public servant, as she works to fulfil her many ambitions. Leslie provides an important...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Beezus

Heroines Quilt VII: Beezus

I was an avid reader throughout elementary and middle school, often spending every day between the shelves of my schools’ libraries. I still read but “avid” would be an overstatement. In elementary school, I tore through series week after week, often finding a...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Abigail Adams

Heroines Quilt VII: Abigail Adams

Thinking about a heroine to write about for this post was difficult. There are so many females that I would consider to be heroines throughout history and in my personal life. Throughout history, females were often overlooked and were expected to stay at home taking...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Grizabella

Heroines Quilt VII: Grizabella

One of the most memorable parts of my girlhood was informed by musicals. My mum introduced me to musical theatre from a young age. Watching musicals, both in the theatre and on video, gave me the opportunity to see women performing on stage in powerful and exciting...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Stargirl

Heroines Quilt VII: Stargirl

I encountered Stargirl for the second time in my life recently, when I noticed that there was a Disney Plus adaptation of the Jerry Spinelli book. This encounter brought back memories of my childhood obsession with the elusive and spellbinding character of Stargirl....

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Heroines Quilt VII: Kat Stratford

Heroines Quilt VII: Kat Stratford

Remember when you had a limited DVD collection and had to watch the same 3 films over and over? My younger sister and I must have watched 10 Things I Hate About You approximately 637 times. She had a crush on Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and I had my heart set on...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Tippi Degré

Heroines Quilt VII: Tippi Degré

One of my favorite book to read when I was young is Tippi Degré’s My Book of Africa. Tippi is a French girl who was born and spent her youth in Namibia with her wildlife photographer parents. As a 10 years old girl, Tippi talks sincerely about her dear friends from...

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Heroines Quilt VII: Leia

Heroines Quilt VII: Leia

I can still remember my siblings and I squeezed together on the couch as my dad turned on Star Wars for the first time. The dramatic and iconic music opened the movie, and from the first moment, we could not look away. After that, we watched the movies too many times,...

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