Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Collections at SJSU

San Jose State University Special Collections & Archives has been working to build collections that document women's social movements in the Bay Area and records that document women in politics. San Jose became known as the "Feminist Capital of the World" in 1974, when Janet Gray Hayes was the first woman to be elected mayor of a city with a population over 500,000. She and others created a female dominion in local politics from 1974-2000. Gray Hayes donated her political papers to University in 2003, and we continue to build on her legacy. A few examples include:

  • Silicon Valley YWCA Records (1903-present)
  • San Jose League of Women Voters (1945-2002)
  • National Organization of Women San Jose Chapter (1971-2005)

We recently brought in the records of the Women's History Museum Records, which document the early the formation of the International Museum of Women. To learn more about IMW, visit their website at:

These are some of the happenings in our archive, and the WCRT leadership team would love to post information on your holdings and new collections. Consider sending a brief post and we will publish it for you.

Danelle Moon
SJSU Special Collections & Archives

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection provides online access to archival materials documenting the experiences of women in Muncie, Indiana from the 1880s through the 1930s. The collection includes diaries, minutes, and correspondence, photographs and other documents from the wealth of resources available in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. The collection is organized based on the six areas used by Helen and Robert Lynd in their seminal sociological studies of Muncie, or “Middletown,” conducted in the 1920s and 1930s.

This project was supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library. If you have any questions about this or other collections in the Digital Media Repository, please feel free to contact:

John Straw
Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections and Digital Media Repository Project Coordinator
Ball State University Libraries
Alexander M. Bracken Library
Muncie, IN 47306

Monday, February 22, 2010

Radical Woman in A Classic Town: Frances Willard of Evanston

Social reformer Frances Willard (1839-1898) earned a world-wide reputation for her charismatic speaking and for her leadership of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the largest and most powerful woman's organization of its time. But Willard always maintained a bond with Evanston, her hometown from 1858 until her death. She also had a strong connection to Northwestern University, where she was the first Dean of Women and a Trustee. This exhibit, curated by Assistant University Archivist Janet Olson, examines the complex ties between Willard and the Classic Town that helped shape her vision of the world.

On view January 18 - March 19, 2010, at the Northwestern University Library, Evanston, IL.

More information

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Girls' Studies Conference; Call for Proposals

Reimagining Girlhood: Communities, Identities, Self-Portrayals
State University of New York College at Cortland
Submission Deadline 03/01/2010


Director School of Communication at James Madison University.
Author of Growing Up Girls, and Girl Wide Web: Girls and the Negotiation of Identity

In an attempt to interact with and to advance the continuum of girls’ culture, the Women’s Studies Program and the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies at the State University of New York College at Cortland will host a two-day conference in Fall 2010 titled “Reimagining Girlhood: Communities, Identities, Self-Portrayals.” Regional, national, and international scholars, activists, and experts will discuss the (r)evolution of Girls’ Studies and Girls’ Culture. The conference committee invites individuals, groups, scholars, teachers, feminists, activists, and girls of all ages to submit proposals on interdisciplinary scholarly and creative work that address all aspects of girlhood.

Proposal formats include: Individual papers, Digital Media and Films, Panel Proposals, Roundtables, Poster Sessions, Performance Art, Audio Recordings, Zine Exhibitions, Photographic Submissions, Radical Crafting

For individual papers, please submit an abstract limited to 250 words. For complete panels, please submit an abstract for each presentation and include the affiliation of each panel member. For poster sessions and art, please submit an overview of 250 words. All proposals must include speakers’ name(s), affiliation(s) and contact information (address, e-mail and telephone number). Please also indicate preference for Friday afternoon, Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon. Sunday will be available to visit the Women’s Rights National Park in Seneca Falls, New York.

Send your 250 word proposals, abstracts, or poster sessions to:; or by March 1, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discarding Women's History: Seeking Stories of Rescuing Women's Archives

At many libraries and archives, women's papers have been either buried in men's collections (husbands or other relatives) or even discarded, mainly because the librarians working with MSS at the time didn't think they were important enough to keep. Librarians as the Newberry Library in Chicago discovered a particularly stunning collection of a woman who was a vaudeville actress and later became a radio journalist. Her entire life & work (including recordings & photos) was documented in the materials she gave, however, the librarian in charge of MSS at the time wanted to discard them, but keep the papers of this woman's husband, who was a newspaper journalist. Fortunately no one got around to actually doing this and the materials were later rescued and processed as part of an NEH journalism grant.

The Newberry featured an exhibit on these Hidden Women collections two years ago, and also a colloquium, with both generating a lot of positive interest. A current Newberry staff member is also a radio producer, and she's pitching a story about these collections to a couple of NPR shows. If you know of similar instances of women's materials getting overlooked or even thrown out because they were women's materials and therefore deemed unimportant, please contact
Heather Radke (heather.radke at with your stories.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shirley Chisholm Project Archives

The Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism is a repository of women’s grassroots social activism in Brooklyn since 1945 and ongoing in the present. Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress and the first African American and the first women to mount a serious campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for the Presidency.

In the spirit of Chisholm’s legacy as a path breaking community and political activist, this website contains digitized materials about Chisholm’s life and work, as well as materials representing the wide range of women’s activism throughout the borough of Brooklyn. The archive consists of documents and other materials, including oral histories, from people who knew or worked with Chisholm, as well as from the extraordinary diversity of women’s activism in Brooklyn since 1945.

The archival material collected by the Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women’s Activism is available for viewing in the Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections, which is located in the Brooklyn College Library, City University of New York.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"We Demand": History/Sex/Activism Conference

"We Demand": History/Sex/Activism In Canada Vancouver, British Columbia
August 25-28, 2011

On August 28, 1971 over two hundred lesbian and gay activists gathered on Parliament Hill to demand the federal government bring an end to laws and practices that criminalized, marginalized, and stigmatized lesbians and gays. Acting in solidarity with their central Canadian allies, Vancouver activists staged the same action on the steps of their city's Court House. It was the first recorded national political action undertaken by gay liberationists and lesbian feminist activists in Canada.

"We Demand" marks the fortieth anniversary of the 1971 action. The conference seeks to showcase current work on all aspects of the history of sexuality in Canada, from pre-contact to present times.

Keynote speaker: Ann Cvetcovitch, author of An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures

Other confirmed speakers include Mary Louise Adams, Karen Dubinsky, Gary Kinsman, and Steven Maynard.

We are currently accepting proposals for panels, individual papers, roundtable discussions, poster sessions, and other means of communicating ideas and generating discussion. We welcome submissions from scholars, archivists, educators, public historians, and past and present political activists from all sexual fronts.

Panel and round table submissions should include a session title, a brief description of the panel or round table, abstracts for each paper of no more than 250 words, and a brief biography or one-page c.v./resume for each presenter and for the session chair. Individuals should submit a 250-word abstract plus a brief biography or one-page c.v./resume. Those submitting proposals for other types of presentations should contact the organizers for further instruction.

The deadline for submission is 1 June 2010.

Please send queries and submissions to:

Conference organizers:
Elise Chenier
Department of History, Simon Fraser University

Patrizia Gentile
Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's and Gender Studies Carleton University

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Travel Grants: Cornell University

Cornell University Library welcomes applications for its 2010 Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants. We are delighted to be able to offer select scholars financial assistance when they visit to research sexuality with sources in Cornell's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

Application deadline: March 31.
See details here:

Brenda J. Marston
Curator, Human Sexuality Collection
Library Liaison to the Cornell Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program

Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-5302