Monday, October 31, 2011

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, announces the availability of Mary Lily Research Grants for research travel to our collections.

The Sallie Bingham Center documents the public and private lives of women through a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. Collections of personal papers, family papers, and organizational records complement print sources such as books and periodicals. Particular strengths of the Sallie Bingham Center are feminism in the U.S., women's prescriptive literature from the 19th & 20th centuries, girls' literature, zines, artist's books by women, gender & sexuality, and the history and culture of women in the South. An overview of our collecting areas can be found here:

Mary Lily Research grants are available to any faculty member, graduate or undergraduate student, or independent scholar with a research project requiring the use of materials held by the Sallie Bingham Center. Grant money may be used for travel, photocopying, and living expenses while pursuing research at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Applicants must live outside of a 100-mile radius from Durham, NC. The maximum award per applicant is $1,000.

The deadline for application is January 31, 2012 by 5:00 PM EST. Recipients will be announced in March 2012. Grants must be used between April 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

For more information and to download a copy of the application form, please visit:

Applicants are encouraged to contact Kelly Wooten, the Bingham Center’s research services librarian, before submitting their application. In our experience, those who spoke with a staff member about their projects produced stronger applications. Contact information is listed below:

Kelly Wooten

Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Box 90185

Duke University

Durham, NC 27708-0185

Phone: 919-660-5967



Monday, October 31, 2011

Paper proposals are invited for a half-day symposium entitled “Women and the Civil War,” to be held April 27, 2012, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The symposium in being organized in connection with an exhibit at the university’s Hornbake Library, Women on the Border: Maryland Perspectives of the Civil War, which draws on materials in the University Libraries’ Special Collections. The exhibition focuses on the lives and experiences of ordinary women living in Maryland during the Civil War, using letters, diaries, photographs, sheet music, rare books, and other special collections materials as sources. A digital version of the physical gallery exhibition is being planned and will launch within the next few months. To learn more about the exhibit please visit:

The symposium will provide a forum for discussing the multitude of roles women played in the war and the many ways in which the war affected them. The keynote speaker will be Thavolia Glymph, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Duke University. The symposium committee is especially interested in scholarship relating to Maryland women and the Civil War or to women’s experiences in the border states. Proposals relating to these topics will be given preference, but proposals relating to other aspects of the topic of women and the Civil War will also be considered. The committee welcomes proposals from graduate students as well as more experienced scholars. Papers should be no longer than twenty minutes when delivered. Paper proposals (500 words or less) and brief presenter bios should be e-mailed to Elizabeth Novara at

Submissions deadline is November 15, 2011, and the program committee expects to notify successful applicants by December 15, 2011.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WCRT Minutes from SAA Annual Meeting 2011

Women’s Collections Round Table

Annual Meeting 2011

Chicago, IL

August 24, 2011

  1. Co-Chairs for 2011-2012 were installed:

    1. Virginia Corvid, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    2. Kathy Hertel-Baker, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

  2. Co-Vice Chairs for 2011-2012 were elected:

    1. Alex Krensky, Duke University

    2. Elizabeth Novara, University of Maryland

  3. Report from 2012 Program Committee

    1. Theme is ‘Beyond Borders’, focusing on collaboration

    2. Session proposals are due October 3rd

    3. WCRT can endorse two proposals

  4. Discussion of WCRT Blog and website

    1. Will look into having e-mail sent to members when the blog is updated

    2. List of potential session topics

    3. “State of Women’s Collections” – discuss on the blog, at the meeting, session proposal?

    4. How do we get repositories to submit news for the website?

    5. Do we need a newsletter or just the blog?

    6. Agreement that e-mail notifications are needed for blog/website updates and as reminders to submit stories

    7. Question was asked about members posting directly to blog – Leadership will discuss.

  5. Discussion of 2012 meeting and potential Session topics

    1. Audio/visual equipment requests for the WCRT meeting need to be submitted by April 1, 2012

    2. Possible session topics:

      1. Institutional Cooperation

        1. between Educational institutions and the orders that founded them – what happens when the records of Women Religious end up in institutions outside the Order?

      2. How Women’s collections are displayed online 9and in other media)

        1. Can we use traditional tools or do we have to be innovative?

        2. Is there a clearing house for information on Women’s Collections?

      3. Gender and Race

        1. Focus not just on white women

        2. Pull women’s stories/collections out of ethnographic collections and take an ethnographic look at Women’s Collections

      4. WCRT should work together with other Round Tables and Sections that deal with under-represented communities and look at the pros and cons of ‘identity specific archives’.

  6. New Business

    1. Discussion of SAA trading cards and observation that there are ‘a lot of dead white guys’ represented, and very few women are represented in the collection

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicago 2011: Working Women's History Project book lists

The Working Women's History Project preserves and promotes the stories of historical and living Chicago women who have made significant contributions toward achieving justice and equality in the areas of labor, women’s, human and civil rights.

Check out their webpage for all their activities such as collecting oral histories.

They've also got a great book list and children's book list.

I highly recommend the second book on the list: Exploring the Dangerous Trades: The Autobiography of Alice Hamilton, MD. One of my (Cassie's) favorite historical figures!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicago 2011: Women's History Tour

If you want to explore while in Chicago, check out the Women's History Bus Tour, information provided by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum.

Can't make it to Chicago this year? Check out the Women's History Virtual Tour to see and learn from where ever you are.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Check out some of the great collections relating to Chicago women at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Collections highlight women's activism during the progressive era.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't forget to check out the WCRT sponsored session!

75 Years of International Women's Collecting: Legacies, Successes, Obstacles, and New Directions
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 8:00am-9:00am
Room: Columbus C/D

A retrospective analysis of three international women's collecting projects across 75 years illuminates the projects' successes and obstacles, which speak to the historical, national, professional, and interpersonal contexts of their founding. Panelists also chart out the projects' legacies and their transmutations into the digital realm. Under examination are the World Center for Women's Archives in New York, Aletta Institute for Women's History in Amsterdam, and International Museum of Women in San Francisco.

Danelle Moon (Chair)
Director, Special Collections & Archives
San Jose State University
From Paper to Bytes: Creation of the International Museum of Women (IMOW)

Anke Voss, MSLS , MA
The Urbana Free Library
Salvaging Their History: Initiatives and Challenges in the Early Development of Women's Archives and Documentation

Rachel Miller, MLIS
Processing Archivist
Center for Jewish History
Kick Her in the Shin for Me: The International Women's Archives Projects of Two Warring Suffragists in the 1930s and Their Digital Footprints in the 2010s

Big thanks to Rachel for organizing and proposing this panel!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicago 2011: Leather Archives and Museum

The Leather Archives & Museum is a library, museum and archives pertaining to Leather, fetishism, sadomasochism, and alternative sexual practices. The geographic collection scope is worldwide and includes all sexual orientations and genders. The library collection contains published books, magazines, scholarly publications, films and electronic resources related to the subject matter. The museum collection contains original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals. The archival collection contains unpublished papers and records from notable activists, artists, businesses and organizations related to the subject matter.

SAA has a scheduled tour on Wednesday, August 24. See more information here (including directions!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicago 2011: Jane Addams Hull House Museum

Headed to Chicago and have some spare time on your hands? Consider a trip to the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. From the Museum's website:

"Hull-House, Chicago's first social settlement was not only the private home of Jane Addams and other Hull-House residents, but also a place where immigrants of diverse communities gathered to learn, to eat, to debate, and to acquire the tools necessary to put down roots in their new country. The Museum is comprised of two of the settlement complex's original thirteen buildings, the Hull-Home and the Residents' Dining Hall. These spaces were used variously over the years, including as a nursery school, a library, and a salon for social and political dialogue.

When Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr first opened Hull-House in 1889, they had very modest goals. They imagined a place to offer art and literary education to their less fortunate neighbors. The role of Hull-House, however, quickly grew beyond what either Gates or Addams could have imagined and continuously evolved to meet the needs of their neighbors. The residents of Hull-House, at the request of the surrounding community, began to offer practical classes that might help the new immigrants become more integrated into American society, such as English language, cooking, sewing and technical skills, and American government. The residents were the women and men who chose to live at Hull-House; they paid rent and contributed to the activities and services that the Settlement was committed to providing to their neighbors. These services included, but were not limited to, a nursery and a kindergarten, a public kitchen, and access to public baths and a playground. Hull-House became not only a cultural center with music, art, and theater offerings, but also a safe haven and a place where the immigrants living on Chicago's Near West Side could find companionship and support and the assistance they needed for coping with the modern city."

To get there, jump on the Blue Line west (toward Forest Park) to the UIC/Halsted stop. Walk two blocks south to 800 S Halsted street.

Museum is open Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Saturdays

Monday, May 02, 2011

Tutorial for Archival Research on Women's Human Rights

New from the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Women's and Gender Studies, an introductory tutorial on researching women's human rights in archives. Created by Amelia Koford as a project for a dual master's degree in Information Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, the tutorial serves as a resource for the School of Undergraduate Studies Signature Courses on women, gender, and human rights supported by the Embrey Women’s Human Rights Initiative. While the guide focuses on UT resources it also contains some general tips and strategies. Check it out here:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Guide to Women's History Research in Archives

An online guide to women's history research is now available through the University of Wisconsin's library research guides. Link to it directly here

Or find it under History-General and Gender/Sexuality/Women's Studies in the library research guides.

The guide is designed for new and intermediate archival researchers and includes lists of women's archives, tips for finding women's history materials in archives or online and an introduction to archival research. I created the guide as part of a practicum at the University of Wisconsin's Women's Studies Librarians' Office. My hope is that the guide will help ease the steep learning curve that accompanies the switch from libraries to archives, will promote women's archives and will help researchers find hidden women's history collections.

Please comment if you know of a women's archive I missed and feel free to link to the guide.

Friday, April 01, 2011

In 2008, the Council on Library and Information Resources awarded a grant to the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (AARL) and Emory University to process "hidden" civil rights collections. At AARL, the collections are the Andrew J. Young Papers and the NAACP-Atlanta Branch Records. While processing the Andrew J. Young Papers, it revealed a "hidden" collection within this "hidden" collection: the papers of his wife of forty years, Jean Childs Young. Due to the content and amount of material, it became a collection separate from her husband's and is now available for research.

As the wife of a well-known minister, civil rights activist, politician, ambassador, and business leader, Jean Childs Young supported and participated in her husband's activities, but also created her own identity and career through working as an educator and activist. A few highlights of her contributions:

  • She was as an elementary school teacher, coordinator of curriculum for Atlanta Public Schools, helped establish Atlanta Junior College (now Atlanta Metropolitan College), and founded the Mayor’s Task Force on Education. In the late 1960s, she worked to incorporate black studies into elementary school curriculum, twenty years before mandated by the Atlanta Public School system.
  • President Jimmy Carter appointed her as Chair of the 1979 International Year of the Child, where more than 100 countries participated to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child and to raise awareness about children's rights. Her involvement with children's advocacy extended to UNICEF, the Children's Defense Fund, and she co-founded the Atlanta-Fulton Commission on Children and Youth.
  • In 1970, she founded the group "Women for Andrew Young," the first local campaign geared towards women, which reconvened for her husband's four Congressional campaigns, two Atlanta mayoral campaigns, and Georgia gubernatorial campaign. She also participated in the early 1980s ERA movement, Mondale/Ferraro campaign, and the League of Women Voters.
Jean Childs Young's papers reflect her work in education, politics, children's advocacy, church, and her personal life and family. The finding aid is now online. For additional information about AARL, please visit the website.

Contributed by Cheryl Oesteicher, Project Archivist
Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History

**If you are interested in spotlighting a collection, project, or event related to women's collections, please email a blurb to the WCRT Steering Committee:**

Friday, January 28, 2011

Member Spotlight: Chicago History Museum

We'd like to introduce a new feature on the WCRT blog! We will be spotlighting various members' projects related to women's collections. If you have a project -- processing, exhibits, events, anything! -- that you would like to brag about, we'd love to have you submit it to share on the blog. Email WCRT co-chairs Meghan Lyon ( or Cassie Schmitt (

Today's inaugural spotlight comes from the Chicago History Museum:

In 2009, the Chicago History Museum (CHM) was awarded a National Historic Publications and Records Commission Basic Processing grant to reveal hidden manuscript collections. Archivists began by conducting a cataloging and assessment survey of CHM manuscript collections of 0.5 linear feet and larger. Over 1000 collections totaling nearly 20,000 linear feet were surveyed. Survey objectives included determining collections’ ideal minimal processing level; flagging found-in-collection materials lacking adequate accession information; updating MARC records; and assessing collections’ physical and intellectual access, potential research value, and conservation concerns. Survey data was then used to establish a prioritized list of collections to be processed to the series level. Among the factors considered when assessing potential research value was the relevance of a collection to gender and women's studies. Because of this effort, a number of women-related collections were processed as part of the NHPRC project. The project team is pleased to present a selection of these collections with the Women’s Collections Roundtable and larger scholarly community.

1. Alpha Gamma Pi records, 1963-1979. 1.5 linear feet.

Correspondence, meeting minutes, membership material, newspaper clippings, financial records, photographs, and other records of Alpha Gamma Pi, an African American sorority organized to recognize progressive women, serve as role models, and provide scholarships. Women were awarded for their academic and social achievements, especially those from low-income backgrounds.

Catalog record

2. Black Women in the Middle West project records, 1980-1985. 4.5 linear feet.

Questionnaires, lists, agendas, announcements, and other records of a grant project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities to collection documentation on the lives of African American women in the Middle West. Completed questionnaires contain biographical information provided by Black women in Illinois and Indiana.

Catalog record

3. Chicago Home Economists in Business records, 1966-1983. 2.5 linear feet.

Financial records, membership information, board meeting minutes, correspondence, newsletters, press releases, and other records of the Chicago Home Economists in Business (CHEIB), an organization that focused on the relationship between home economists, business, and consumers.

Catalog record

4. Chicago Woman's Musical Club records, 1895-1979 (bulk 1914-1979). 6 linear feet.

Newspaper clippings, programs, newsletters, sheet music, music periodicals, correspondence, administrative files, annual directories, scrapbooks, and other records of the Chicago Woman's Musical Club, which sponsored performances of classical music, fostered music appreciation, and awarded scholarships to young musicians and prizes.

Catalog record

Finding aid

5. The Fashion Group of Chicago records, 1950-1987. 4.75 linear feet.

Administrative records, correspondence, financial records, reports, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, and other records of The Fashion Group of Chicago, a local chapter of the international non-profit organization, The Fashion Group. Most materials relate to fashion shows, seminars, and other events hosted by the organization, which sought to promote high-end fashion and provide educational opportunities and resources for individuals interested in the fashion industry.

Catalog record

Finding aid

6. Ann Landers papers, 1947-2002. 106 linear feet.

Scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, and other papers of Ann Landers, primarily regarding her career as an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun Times and later for the Chicago Tribune, and in syndication to newspapers throughout the United States. Scrapbooks contain her newspaper column, "Ask Ann Landers", and other newspaper clippings, articles, photos, etc. about Landers' journalism career, social service activities, and personal matters.

Catalog record

Finding aid

7. National Council of Jewish Women, Chicago Section records, 1899-1973 (bulk 1920-1970). 8.75 linear feet.

Meeting minutes, annual reports, financial records, correspondence, periodicals, newsletters, press releases, brochures, pamphlets, directories, manuals, scripts, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and other records of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Chicago Section, a community service organization. Materials relate to services offered by the NCJW, both locally and nationally, such as job placement for immigrants and youth, scholarships and courses; care packages for servicemen and Jewish orphans during World War Two; and the Council Camp, a Jewish family camp in Wauconda (Ill.). Present are biographical materials pertaining to Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, founder and first president of the NCJW, and president of the Chicago Section for 12 years.

Catalog record

8. Lois Rosen papers, 1963-1996. 14 linear feet.

Correspondence, meeting minutes, conference notes, press releases, publications, periodicals, committee reports, legal and financial documents, newspaper clippings, flyers, and other papers of Lois Rosen, a Chicago social and civic activist from the 1960s-1990s. Most of the collection relates to Rosen's work within the Chicago Commission on Women, the Southwest Community Congress and Rosen's personal subject files. Also present are materials on the Chicago Newspaper Guild and the Chicago Tourism Council.

Catalog record

Finding aid

9. Charlotte E. Senechalle papers, 1950-200 (bulk 1950-1990). 3.75 linear feet.

Correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, reports, and other papers of Charlotte E. Senechalle, primarily relating to her work with school improvement and the conditions of the Cook County Department of Corrections. Included are materials pertaining to Senechalle's work with the League of Women Voters (1960s), Church Women United (1990s), and the Citizens Schools Committee. Observer reports on the Chicago Board of Education (1971-1976) regarding school integration and desegregation and research files on criminal justice, penal systems, and prison conditions in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois are also present.

Catalog record

Finding aid

10. Sister Miriam Wilson's collection on the Pontiac Brothers prison reform movement, 1978-1982. 1 linear foot.

Newspaper clippings, pamphlets, flyers, booklets, handouts, correspondence, and other documents of the Pontiac Brothers prison reform collection compiled by Sister Miriam Wilson. Materials document the response to the conviction of 31 prisoners in the 1978 Pontiac prison rebellion in Pontiac, Illinois, one of the largest prison riots in the United States. The Pontiac Prison was known for its crowded quarters and mistreatment of prisoners. 17 of the convicted prisoners were sentenced to death, which gained the attention of several local religious organizations and individuals such as Sister Miriam Wilson of St. Scholastic Priory in Chicago.

Catalog record

The project team consisted of archivists Peter Alter, Sarah Dorpinghaus, Jennifer Fowle, and Rachel Juris; collection and registration technician Christine McNulty; and project manager M. Alison Eisendrath. For more information about collections at the Chicago History Museum, please visit the CHM Research Center website.