Exploring American Girlhood through 50 Historic Treasures

Who are the girls that helped build America?

Conventional history books shed little light on the influence and impact of girls’ contributions to society and culture. This oversight is challenged by Girl Museum and their team, who give voices to the most neglected, yet profoundly impactful, historical narratives of American history: young girls.

Exploring American Girls’ History through 50 Historic Treasures showcases girls and their experiences through the lens of place and material culture. Discover how the objects and sites that girls left behind tell stories about America that you have never heard before. Readers will journey from the first peoples who called the continent home, to 21st century struggles for civil rights, becoming immersed in stories that show how the local impacts the global and vice versa, as told by the girls who built America. Their stories, dreams, struggles, and triumphs are the centerpiece of the nation’s story as never before, helping to define both the struggle and meaning of being “American.”

This full-color book is a must-read for those who yearn for more balanced representation in historic narratives, as well as an inspiration to young people, showing them that everyone makes history. It includes color photographs of all the treasured objects explored

Book cover, Exploring American Girlhood through 50 Historic Treasures

Use code RLFANDF30 to get 30% when you order from Rowman & Littlefield

Meticulously researched and captivating, Exploring American Girlhood through 50 Historic Treasures illustrates and elevates the cultural impact and historical legacies of girls through art, stories, and artifacts. This book showcases girls’ contributions, resilience, courage, and agency in a way that will give readers a new respect for girls – and empower girls to assert their vital position in society.

Jessica R. VanLanduyt

senior vice president of guest experiences, Atlanta History Center

While “treasures” may conjure up images of crown jewels, the focus here is on day-to-day objects, homes, and occasionally the bones of the girls themselves. […] The authors faced an incredible challenge in choosing only 50 entries and have succeeded in showcasing a vast range of the American experience of girlhood.


America Library Association

I love this book, starting with the smell which smells like the rare, fancy books I found in our local library. Much more important, of course, is the level of scholarship, quality of the writing and photographs. I had no idea that you would tell the story through objects. Absolutely brilliant. Congratulations of the highest order are due you. I’ve collected a few of this sort of book over the years, but your technique is superior as you’ve created a path through the history with the objects. The others more-or-less stuck with collection content and didn’t create an overarching narrative, as you have so brilliantly.  

Mary Case


Material history so often gets left out of a lot of historiography; this book does an excellent job of situating artifacts back into their proper importance. There were some sources here that I was familiar with, others not. This is a book that can be read from cover to cover or non-sequentially. I can imagine many undergrad classes using this volume to shed light on the changing nature of girlhood within the wider context of American history.

Brandon Westlake

Remer and Isselhardt bring together a fascinating collection of historic sites, archaeological evidence, artifacts, literature, and music to tell the rich and complex story of girlhood in America. Readers will enjoy the stories of familiar treasures they may recognize from their own childhood while being challenged to consider their lives against the sweeping backdrop of millenia of girl culture in North America. This groundbreaking book gives voice to American girls from diverse backgrounds and epochs, restoring historical agency to these traditionally marginalized groups.

Susan A. Fletcher

director of History and Archives, The Navigators

Get 30% off

978-1-5381-2089-7• Cloth May 2021 • $33.00 • after discount: $23.10
978-1-5381-2090-3• eBook May 2021 • $31.00 • after discount: $21.70

About the Authors

Ashley E. Remer is the founder and Head Girl of Girl Museum—the first and only museum in the world dedicated to celebrating girlhood. She holds a first class MA in the History and Criticism of Art from the University of Auckland. Ashley has worked internationally as an art historian, writer, editor, curator, and critic. She has collaborated with artists, NGOs, scholars, educators, and girls across the globe, examining girl culture and sharing it to raise awareness and promote change. Her research focuses on girlhood in various contexts, having curated exhibitions on girls in the British Empire, New Zealand, Japan, and more. Among her publications are numerous articles, including ‘Girl Museum: An International Project’ (Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol.3 No.2, March 2011) and ‘Becoming- Girl-Museum’ (Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, No. 22, Summer 2011). She is also the co-chair of the Girls’ History and Culture Network.

Tiffany R. Isselhardt serves as Girl Museum’s Program Developer, where she oversees exhibitions, podcasts, community outreach, and social media. She holds a Master’s in Public History from Appalachian State University, and has previously worked with the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, Theodore Roosevelt Center, Museum Hack, and the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University. Her research focuses on uncovering the hidden history of women in order to advocate for gender equality, and her publications include contributions to Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 2017), Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (ABC-CLIO, 2018), The Museum Blog Book (MuseumsEtc Ltd., 2017), and the Tuckasegee Valley Historical Review.

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