HAMDEN – “Mission Girls,” an exhibition that tells the story of Irish women’s emigration from 1883 to 1950, is on display at the Arnold Bernhard Library at Quinnipiac University, 275 Mount Carmel Ave.
“These women were a unique phenomenon in western European immigration,” said Maureen Murphy, the library curator. “They frequently traveled on their own and in greater numbers than their male counterparts. They brought out their siblings, nieces and nephews and they sent money home to finance land and stock. These women also played a role in creating Irish America, helping to establish its churches, schools, parish societies and organizations.”
Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac, said, “These brave, pioneering women were the backbone of Irish America.”
The exhibition also tells the story of the Irish women who cared for the immigrants upon their arrival at Our Lady of the Rosary for the Protection of Irish Immigrant Girls.
“The exhibit pays tribute to the Archdiocese of New York, who with the mission, set the gold standard for immigrant care,” Murphy said. “It was a model for the kind of welcome and help this generation of the Irish diaspora and members of other immigrant communities received.”