Reference Blog Entries

The Amazing Efforts of Elizabeth Blackwell

Katie's picture

Elizabeth Blackwell, circa 1850Across the country there are schools and medical centers named after Elizabeth Blackwell. You may remember the Elizabeth Blackwell Center here in Columbus,which was closed in 2014, but had opened in 1985 as the city’s first free-standing women’s center. There is even a Blackwell Award given by Hobart and William Smith Colleges to women whose lives exemplify outstanding service to humanity But who was Elizabeth Blackwell? Let's take a deeper look into the first woman to be granted a medical degree in the United States.

In the 1840s, after many life events pointed her in this direction, Elizabeth (shown right, circa 1850) realized that becoming a doctor could be a real moral victory for women. She began to apply to medical schools and was declined by 28 of them before New York’s Geneva College finally accepted her, almost as a joke. The joke was on them when she graduated at the top of her class! Facing hostility and skepticism from other physicians and members of the community, she borrowed money from a friend to open up a clinic of her own in the slums of lower Manhattan, The New York Dispensary for Poor Women and Children. It soon became a success and the workload grew so heavy that Elizabeth’s sister, Emily, who was a medical student, joined her at the clinic to help out with patients.

Elizabeth Blackwell spent the rest of her life in the medical field, healing the sick, opening a medical school for women, and lecturing extensively on hygiene, nutrition, family planning, and sex education. She faced male opposition her whole life, but never let that deter her from her dream of becoming the first female doctor in America and inspiring other young women who, like her, were eager to make a difference in the world and were not going to let convention stand in their way. Check out some of these great resources from our Reference department to learn more about this amazing woman!

For additional information on this incredible woman or anything else, feel free to stop by our Reference department - we've got some pretty incredible women down here too!

Prepare for the New SAT

Megan's picture

Multiple choice answer sheet and pencil

Looking for study materials for the new SAT? The LearningExpress Library has you covered with multiple practice tests for each section. LearningExpress will automatically grade your answers, and provide explanations for any questions you’ve missed. To access these exams:

  1. Go to, hover the mouse over “Research” and click on “Databases”
  2. Scroll down to LearningExpress Library and click on it
  3. If you're at home, you'll be asked to enter your library card number and PIN - do so
  4. Hover the mouse over “All Centers” and click on “College Preparation Center”
  5. Click on “Prepare for your SAT
  6. Be sure to choose the appropriate New SAT practice test on the left-hand side

Good luck!