The library subscribes to almost 100 women's, feminist, and women's studies periodicals and has substantial numbers of issues of other, often short-lived magazines and newsletters. It also houses a considerable collection of ephemera related to women, the women's movement, women's studies, and feminism, filed in some 200 broadside boxes. The book collection is over 18,500 and steadily increasing.
The library is dedicated to Nellie Langford Rowell (1874-1968), pictured at left, an active volunteer in the women's community and mother of the library's main benefactor, Mary Coyne Rowell Jackman (1904-1994). It offers resources to students, faculty, and staff at the university, as well as the wider community represented by the library's founders. The library is administered by a volunteer board from the various sectors of women's studies at York as well as members from external community groups.
During term time, the library has open hours of 43 hours a week including four evenings to serve the needs of evening or part-time students. A YUL card or yearly membership entitles users to borrow books; a Xerox machine is available to make copies of material that does not circulate. Some regulations and rules apply to library use.
York University houses some 50 small libraries that are unaffiliated with the main library system but exist alongside it to supply special needs for collections of material in specific areas. The Nellie Langford Rowell library is one of the largest of these. Over time, the library has become an efficiently organized resource for women at York and in the larger community. We believe that it has also remained the sort of woman-friendly space that it was in the early days at the New Feminists and Woman's Place.
You can call the library at (416) 736-5735.