Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Introducing the WCRT Bylaws Committee!

Our two volunteers have been selected, and we now have a full bylaws committee.  In addition to our existing leadership, our new committee members are Kate Colligan (kate.colligan@gmail.com) and Bethany Anderson (bgandrsn@gmail.com).  The committee will be evaluating our next steps in the coming weeks and will be soliciting input for by-laws from WCRT members, so watch the listserv and blog for that!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I recently co-edited the anthology Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century (Litwin Books, 2012), with Lyz Bly, an instructor of gender studies and history at Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State Universities, who earned her doctorate in American History from Case Western Reserve University in 2010.  

I started thinking about this book three years ago in 2009 when Emily Drabinski, the editor for the Litwin Books Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, emailed me out of the blue and asked if I would be interested in writing a book about zines after being referred to me by Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard. My initial reaction was no, thanks, but then I realized this was a great opportunity to further explore some questions I had been asking about how to document the modern feminist movement beyond zines. I also knew that I wanted to explore these ideas from a variety of perspectives, and to produce a volume that was accessible to a variety of audiences—not just librarians, archivists and academics. To this end, I invited Lyz Bly, who I knew through her time at the Sallie Bingham Center as a Mary Lily Travel Grant recipient when she was researching the zine collections for her dissertation Generation X and the Invention of the Third Feminist Wave.

Once we started exploring this topic, we realized it was hard to address without including pieces about queer activism and second wave feminism due to the intersectionality and fluid nature of feminism. I hope this book will highlight the Bingham Center’s leadership in documenting the modern feminist movement, but also share the other work being done at other institutions and encourage other archivists and activists to participate in this process since these movements are far too big for just a handful of archives to document. 

Make Your Own History addresses the practical and theoretical challenges and advantages of researching, documenting, and archiving recent and contemporary activists in the feminist and queer movements. Chapter topics include zines, documenting the LGBT community, the future of collecting electronic and online records, and how the women of the Second Wave continue to contribute to the feminist movement.

Janice Radway, Walter Dill Scott Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and professor emerita of Literature and History at Duke University, recommends that this collection “should be read by librarians,  archivists, and book historians everywhere who are thinking critically about how best to preserve and study the record of lives lived outside and beyond the limits of the conventional.”

Read more about this book in an interview with Michele Burger on her blog “The Practice of Creativity”: http://micheleberger.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/archives-as-activism-documenting-feminist-and-queer-activism-interview-with-author-kelly-wooten/

Post submitted by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and Librarian for Sexuality Studies for Perkins Library.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Call for Volunteers for By-laws Committee

WCRT is looking for two volunteers to join the co-chairs and vice
co-chairs on a committee to develop by-laws for the roundtable.  This
year, SAA has required all roundtables to have their own by-laws.
This is a great opportunity to become more involved in the roundtable
and have a say in our leadership!  Our final draft of the by-laws will
be issued by next year's annual meeting, so the drafting process will
be going on over the course of this year.  If you're interested or
have any questions, please email Elizabeth Novara (enovara@umd.edu) or
Alex Krensky (alexandra.krensky@gmail.com).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Women’s Collections Roundtable Annual Meeting 2012 
Meeting Minutes – August 8, 2012, San Diego, CA
Chair: Kathy Hertel-Baker (facilitator)
Vice Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Novara (notetaker), Alexandra Krensky (unable to attend)

1.    Presentation by Anne Hoiberg – President of the President of the Women’s Museum of California and the International Museum of Human Rights at San Diego
2.    Installation of New Officers
a.    New Co-Chairs - Liz Novara and Alex Krensky.
b.    July election results: Helice Koffler and Tali Beasley are the new co-vice chairs.
3.    By-laws for the WCRT
a.    SAA is requiring all roundtables to have formal bylaws, primarily so that there is more transparency and clarity, especially with the election of roundtable leadership.
b.    WCRT needs volunteers to form a by-laws committee to review the by-laws of sections and other roundtables to determine what would be most appropriate for the WCRT.
c.    There was some discussion about why this was necessary, since roundtables were originally determined to be very informal groups.
d.    A call for volunteers will be made after the annual conference is over.
4.     Women’s Collections Mini-conference, Pre-Conference in New Orleans
a.    Susan Tucker, Curator at Tulane University, requested that we discuss the possibility of having a mini-conference or a pre-conference at the next annual meeting in New Orleans that focused on women’s collections.   
b.    Members discussed this idea.  Some possible questions for the conference to focus on: What progress has been made in documenting women?  What changes in the way researchers conduct research have occurred?  Where do women’s collections currently fit in the archives profession?  What about in other professions, such as history and labor?  Could we focus on a timely issue within collections such as women’s reproductive rights, domestic violence, privacy concerns?  Finding women’s collections within institutions that aren’t necessarily focused on collecting materials related to women?
c.    What is the impact of the economy on women’s collections? Are there difficulties in bringing in collections especially without funding?  Are we not soliciting as strongly because we have too many other responsibilities?  Much of the funding for women’s archives come from second wave women’s movement and we need to interest other people in addition to this group of women.  We are starting to run out of storage space and electronic records are a new challenge since many women’s collections were established.
d.    Another idea was to focus on the new Women Archives Reader which will be published next year.  (A flyer with information about the reader was distributed.)
e.    The Big Berks conference was mentioned – could WCRT do something in collaboration with this conference?
f.      Honoring our foremothers in SAA.  Next year will be the 24th year of the founding of the WCRT (1989).  Should we celebrate the 24th or the 25th year?
g.    There was agreement that it might be difficult for attendees to acquire funding to attend a day early if WCRT held a pre-conference.  It might make more sense to just extend the time of the regular WCRT meeting.  We should also extend invitations and information to other constituencies who may be interested, i.e. women’s religious communities, graduate students at local universities in Louisiana.
h.    Perhaps a morning session could focus on nuts and bolts and an afternoon session could have scholarly presentations??
i.      Mention of desire to update Andrea Hinding’s 1979 guide to archival and manuscript sources on women.   
5.    WCRT Bibliography
a.    Liz will be posting a bibliography of sources relating to women’s collections on the website.  This bibliography will focus primarily on archival. Manuscript, and special collections and will consist of scholarly research on the topic of these women’s collections (i.e. not necessarily research completed using women’s collections as sources.) 
b.    Links can be included to online resources such as LibGuides or other guides to finding women’s collections.  Also, sample instruction assignments on how to use women’s collections will be included. 
c.    A call will go out on the WCRT listserv to review the bibliography and to suggest additions to the bibliography. 
6.    Blog
a.    WCRT leadership will make a greater effort this year to keep the blog up-to-date. 
b.    Members are also encouraged to submit posts for the blog.  This would greatly assist in keeping the blog interesting and informative!
c.    WCRT will send out a once a month reminder to submit posts. 
7.    Session Proposals for the 2012 Conference
a.    Possibly a session on the new Women’s Archives Readers (if not used for the mini-conference)
b.    Topic ideas: Women religious archives? Material culture? 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade anniversary? ERA? Public policy?  Planned Parenthood archives?  Women’s political collections?
8.    SAA Council – no questions to bring up
9.    News and Updates from the Group
a.    Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century – Kelly Wooten has just published a new book!
b.    Women’s archives at Perdue University recently endowed by the outgoing president, who was the first woman president of the university (a possible blog entry?) 

Kathy Hertel-Baker, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Elizabeth Novara, University of Maryland
Lucinda Manning
Janice Ruth, Library of Congress Manuscript Division
Jessica Sedgwick, Harvard Medical School
Kelly Wooten, Duke University
Jolene Beiser, Pacifica Radio Archives
Kathleen Feeney, University of Chicago
Morna Gerrard, Georgia State University
Deborah Rice, Wayne State University
Anne Hoiberg, Women’s Museum of California
Fernanda Perone, Rutgers University
Sammie Morris, Purdue University
Danelle Moon, San Jose State University
Karen Mason, University of Iowa
Debbie Richards, Smith College


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The agenda for our joint annual meeting with the Human Rights Roundtable is as follows.  We're looking forward to a great meeting in San Diego!

Society of American Archivists
Joint Meeting of the Human Rights Roundtable and the Women’s Collections Roundtable
August 8, 2012, 3:15pm – 5:15pm
Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Aqua 308)
San Diego, California
3:15-3:25 - Welcome and Brief Introductions:  HRRT and WCRT Chairs and Co-Chairs
3:25-3:30 - Introduction of Speaker
3:30-4:15 - Speaker:  Anne Hoiberg
President of the Women’s Museum of California and the International Museum of Human Rights at San Diego.
4:15-4:30 - Questions and Discussion
4:30-5:15 - HRRT and WCRT Business Meetings (Break off into 2 groups)
Agenda for HRRT Business Meeting:
  • Introductions (all members)
  • Introduction of Terry Baxter(council rep)
  • SAA business
  • Survey responses
  • HRART webinars: planning, funding, etc.
  • Collaboration with other groups? (ICA HRWG, Archivists without Borders)
  • Newsletter update (Chris)
  • Website update (Beatrice)
  • Other business
  • Member announcements
Agenda for WCRT Business Meeting

  • Introductions (all members)
  • Installation of New Officers
  • Old Business
  • New Business
    • By-Laws Committee
    • Susan Tucker – Pre-Conference or Mini-Conference on Women’s Collections
    • Liz Novara – WCRT Bibliography
    • Session proposals for 2013 Conference
    • Questions, Concerns, Comments for the SAA Council
  • News and Updates from the group

Monday, March 12, 2012

Acting Across Borders: Celebrating the Meredith Tax Papers

The 5th symposium of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture

Friday, April 13- Saturday, April 14, 2012

Duke University, Durham, NC

Free and open to the public

Meredith Tax, writer and political activist since the late 1960s, has founded or co-founded a series of feminist and social justice organizations starting with Bread and Roses, an early socialist-feminist group in Boston. Her 1970 essay, "Woman and Her Mind: The Story of Everyday Life," is considered a foundational text of the U.S. women’s liberation movement. “Acting Across Borders” will focus on the main questions Tax explored in this essay and throughout her work as a feminist: race, class, and internationalism.

Full schedule and registration information online:


Featuring notable feminist activists, writers, and scholars:

Meredith Tax, writer and political activist

Patricia McFadden, radical African feminist, sociologist, writer, educator, and publisher

Anissa Helie, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Ann Snitow. Director, Gender Studies Program, Eugene Lang College

Mandy Carter, National Coordinator, Bayard Rustin Centennial 2012 Project, National Black Justice Coalition

Amber Hollibaugh, Interim Director, Queers for Economic Justice

Fran Ansley, Professor Emeritus, College of Law, University of Tennessee

Mia Herndon, Executive Director, Third Wave Foundation

Gita Sahgal, Women’s and Human Rights Activist; former head of Amnesty International's Gender Unit

Ynestra King, Writer and Eco-feminist

Jaclyn Friedman, Writer, Educator, Activist, Boston, MA

Co-sponsored by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Duke University Libraries, Franklin Humanities Institute, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Program in Women's Studies, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. Part of the Future of the Feminist 70s series hosted by the Program in Women’s Studies.