Virginia Scharff

Virginia Scharff

Author and Professor of History Emerita, University of New Mexico

Virginia Scharff is Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at the University of New Mexico. Her books include Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age (1991); Twenty Thousand Roads: Women, Movement, and the West (2003); Seeing Nature Through Gender (2003); Home Lands: How Women Made the West (coauthored with Carolyn Brucken, 2010) and Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West (2015). A number of her books, including The Women Jefferson Loved (2010) were named New York Times “Editor’s Choices.”

Scharff is the Women of the West Chair and Senior Scholar at the Autry Museum (2003-present). She is a Fellow and former Executive Board member of the Society of American Historians, was President of the Western History Association and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians.

Under the name of Virginia Swift, Scharff is author of four Mustang Sally mystery suspense novels, published by HarperCollins. She is working on a series of historical novels, featuring four women who meet as students in a convent school in Paris on the eve of the French Revolution.