In October of 1917, fifteen women booksellers, who had been excluded from the all-male Bookseller’s League and from attending the league’s annual convention, met in Sherwood’s Book Store at 19 John Street in downtown New York. They met again on November 13 of that year with thirty-five women present and formed a permanent organization, the Women’s National Book Association (the original WNBA!), electing its first president, Pauline Sherwood. WNBA’s unique characteristic was a membership open to women in all facets of the world of books—publishers, booksellers, librarians, authors, illustrators, agents, book production people—the only criterion being that part of their income must come from books.
Today, our organization remains vibrant, with over 800 members in 10 chapters around the United States. For more about our history, check out the New York Chapter website.