WCC Library Special Collections & Archives

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About this site

The American Women of African Heritage Spirit of Women Archive is a collaboration between The American Women of African Heritage, Inc. (AWAH) and the Harold L. Drimmer Library at Westchester Community College.

The creation of the Spirit of Women Archive was an outgrowth of AWAH’s mission to celebrate and preserve the legacy and accomplishments of outstanding women of African heritage in Westchester County. In June 2008 several representatives from AWAH, including President and Founder Toni Cox-Burns, Delores Scott Brathwaite and Sandra Ross, met with Westchester Community College President Dr. Joseph Hankin to discuss establishing an archival repository at the college.

It was up to AWAH’s next President Gwen Cort to work with the college and make the archives a legal entity. Eventually it was decided that Westchester Community College Foundation would serve as the sponsoring agent on behalf of the College and the Harold L. Drimmer Library would receive, catalog, preserve and make the collection available to the public. Finally in 2013, the collaboration between Westchester Community College, Westchester Community College Foundation, The Harold L. Drimmer Library and American Women of African Heritage, Inc. was realized as the AWAH Spirit of Women Archive.

AWAH members Thelma Gordon, Theresa Murphy, and Renee Willis Smith met with and interviewed prospective inductees. A videographer, Melissa Elian, was engaged to produce videos for the archive featuring two of the inductees, Hon. Lois Bronz and Dr. Mary Lane Cobb. There are still many potential inductees whose amazing life stories are in process of being documented and will become part of the archives in the future.


This site has been created with the Omeka software platform and is using the Seasons theme (Autumn). Omeka is a free, flexible and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives and scholarly collections and exhibitions. Omeka was created by The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Objects in the collection are described using the Dublin Core metadata standard.


This site is a project of Yvonne Rode, Special Collections Librarian in the Harold L. Drimmer Library, Westchester Community College but would not have been possible without the help of many people. Thanks to Jose Chavez (Senior Technical Assistant) and Randrae Pitter (Technical Assistant) in Media and Instructional Technologies along with Tony Scordino (Vice President of Information Technology), Garrett McAlister (Assistant Director of Technology) and Dave Anton (Server Engineer II) in Information Technology for their continual support on this project.

Special thanks to Planned Parenthood Federation of America for permission to republish materials from the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau.

About AWAH

American Women of African Heritage, Inc. (AWAH) is a Westchester County (N.Y.) organization with a mission to empower women and girls of African ancestry, and enrich their lives and the lives of others within the African-American community.

AWAH seeks to nurture and enrich women and girls, serve social, cultural and educational exchange, intergenerational dialogue, promote unity among women, celebrate and preserve the legacy of pioneering women and strengthen civic involvement and bonds of cooperation within our community.

About Westchester Community College

Westchester Community College was founded in 1946 as the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in White Plains. It currently enrolls approximately 13,000 full- and part-time credit students and an additional 11,000 continuing education students. WCC offers more than 60 associate and certificate programs at its main campus in Valhalla and extension sites in New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Shrub Oak, Mahopac, Ossining, Port Chester, Peekskill and White Plains.

About Westchester Community College Foundation

Since its founding in 1969, Westchester Community College Foundation (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) has raised funds to meet college and student needs not covered by public funds.

Recognizing that public education is a public responsibility, the Foundation enables the college to continue to offer access to quality education and the skills for success through its fundraising and programmatic activities.

Copyright and Terms of Use

The content of this website is copyright © Westchester Community College Foundation.

The resources reproduced on this site have been generously donated to Westchester Community College Foundation and are housed in the Harold L. Drimmer Library. Materials have been provided for historical and educational research.

United States Copyright Law specifies that works in copyright can be used in teaching, scholarship or research without obtaining permission from the holding institution under the principle of Fair Use. Please credit materials from this exhibit with proper citation.

Where necessary, permission has been obtained to reproduce materials from the copyright holders.


Please use the Contact Us link above for any inquiries about material on this site or technical issues.