Friday, November 08, 2013

DACS second edition available online

The Technical Subcommittee for Describing Archives: A Content Standard is pleased to announce the availability of a web version of the second edition of Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

The web version can be accessed directly from or from the webpage for the second edition of Describing Archives: A Content Standard at (also includes a pdf version).

Monday, November 04, 2013

Vanderbilt News, July 1, 2013: “Tennessee statesman James Sasser donates papers to Vanderbilt”

You may have overlooked this headline if searching for women’s collections news, but the Sasser collection includes the papers of his wife, Mary. From the article:

Mary Sasser taught in public schools in Memphis and Nashville after graduating from Vanderbilt. In Nashville, she was active in organizations that included the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus, League of Women Voters and Historic Nashville. During her husband’s years in the Senate, she co-founded a celebrity speakers bureau with a list of prominent authors, journalists, athletes and business leaders. While in Beijing, she hosted many groups to promote the advancement of women in business around the world. One of the goals was to identify universal and culture-bound factors that have led to the success or failure of women entrepreneurs. She also hosted several exhibitions of Chinese and American art at the ambassador’s residence to showcase the richness and variety of the art of both cultures.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Society of American Archivists
Women’s Collections Roundtable
August 16, 2013, 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Grand Salon 19/22
New Orleans, LA

Alexandra Krensky | Co-Chair
Elizabeth Novara | Co-Chair
Tali Beesley | Vice Co-Chair
Helice Koffler | Vice Co-Chair (absent)
Stephanie Bayless | Incoming Vice Co-Chair
Leslie Fields | Incoming Vice Co-Chair (absent)

Welcome and Introductions
We began with a welcome and brief introductions, asking everyone to sign in.

Introduction of New Officers
We then introduced our new officers, Stephanie Bayless (present) and Leslie Fields (absent).

Old Business

By-Laws Committee
We thanked our by-laws committee, Alexandra Krensky, Elizabeth Novara, Tali Beesley, Helice Koffler, Bethany Anderson, and Kate Colligan for drafting the by-laws, which were ratified by a unanimous vote before the meeting.

WCRT Bibliography
We reminded members about the WCRT bibliography, which is a selection of published works that discuss archival theory and practice in relation to women’s archives/collections. If anyone has anything to add to the bibliography, please send it to either Tali Beesley ( or Helice Koffler (

WCRT Social Media
We discussed the need for creating a LinkedIn group, which Beesley said she would be willing to create. We discussed whether it’s important to not be redundant by placing the same posts in numerous places and there seemed to be a consensus that it was okay to be redundant. There was a discussion about which social media platform is the most conducive for asking questions, as some members have not been getting responses to their questions on the list-serv. The idea was brought up that it may be useful if we see that someone is not getting a response on the list-serv to move the question to one of the other platforms. It was also mentioned that if people are not receiving the list-serv messages, that they may need to check their settings with SAA.

The leadership will be reaching out to members in the future and asking that they contribute to the blog during a certain month. Leadership sent around a sign-up sheet asking for volunteers.

New Business

Session proposals – due September 30th – The theme is Ensuring Access
We learned that the next SAA’s council is hoping to promote more innovation in session types, and that they encourage us to be creative in our types of proposals. The session blocks will be a maximum of 75 minutes.
Beth Ann Koelsch (UNC Greensboro) and Sherri Bowser (Virginia Tech) are considering creating a session on challenges and successes in processing/promoting women’s collections in traditionally male fields (e.g. women in the military, women architects). They are open to input and to people who would like to join the proposal.

The co-chairs asked for ideas for speakers for the next meeting.
Invite people from the area. A way to see the place that we're in: someone from the National Women's Museum; reach out to Associations in DC with large women’s membership; Gayle McCormick; DC Metro Library and their local history – also active in LGBT issues .

Report from SAA Council
Each section has an official liaison with the council, ours is Lisa Magiafico
This year, the council: adopted practices for improving the annual meeting; created an advocacy and public policy committee; encourages us to look at draft of the action items that are part of the strategic plan.

News and Updates from the group
Pacifica Radio Archives – digitizing recordings related to the women's movement, 1963-1982 Interviews with women who are leaders in the women's movement such as Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, as well as recordings of consciousness raising groups, authors, women's music/festivals, lesbian separatists, radical feminists, women in film, movies about women, documentaries about the suffragettes. Digitized folio collections; in touch with some historians; creating a long-term preservation plan; should get in contact with Tom Dublin @ Berkeley

Greensboro, November 9th – Annual Women's Veteran Event

Questions that came out of Women's Archive Symposium
How to encourage more women to submit proposals for technology sessions? Some attendees said when they saw the proposal they didn't know what the session would be about, or felt intimidated –especially by the word “innovative.” Attendees reflected that after they went to the symposium they realized they are doing work worth talking about, and that it’s nice to have a history of sessions to be able to look at to see if your idea would fall in line with the history of the symposium.
There seemed to be general consensus that attendees would be interested in going to and presenting at another symposium either in the coming year or in the following year. The leaders of the symposium were impressed with the turnout, and felt it was largely due to the fact that they didn’t charge.
For a future symposium, it would be helpful to have an institution willing to host in their space and provide funding. Some folks brought up the possibilities of corporate sponsorship and its benefits. If people who presented at the conference want to publicize their work, the WCRT is willing to post the materials to the blog and/or Facebook. Possible topics for another symposium include focusing on who the users of women’s collections are.

We discussed the similarities and differences in mission between WCRT and WAR and whether there are ways to promote synergies between the two groups. Some attendees felt WAR should morph into more of an advocacy group. Some attendees felt that the two should remain distinct groups but that they should hold meetings together so as to not make attendees choose between meetings.

We also had a break where beignets were served and attendees were given a chance to network and discuss ideas for future proposals.

Attendees: Visit the Roundtable page for a full list of attendees.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Latina Icon Donates Papers to UConn Archives

News from UCONN Today:

A decade after Puerto Rico became a United States “protectorate” in the 1950s, scores of islanders streamed into New York City. Among them were poets, writers, musicians, and artists who used poetry and prose to question and examine their newfound identity, culture, and history in what became known as the Nuyorican Literary Movement. Magdalena G√≥mez, a figure in that nascent movement, who used her voice to decry the oppression she observed and encouraged the disenfranchised to work to realize their potential, has recently given her personal papers to the UConn Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
Read the full story at UCONN Today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WCRT Election Results 2013

Results from our recent election are in! The new WCRT co-chairs are Stephanie Bayless and Leslie Fields. Congratulations Stephanie and Leslie!  Thank you to all the candidates who ran in the election.  
In addition, the WCRT proposed by-laws passed unanimously by those members who voted in the election!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Register now for a Women's Archives Symposium - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 (during the SAA Annual Conference)

Symposium Overview: Perspectives on Women's Archives: A Reader (ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher with Anke Voss) will be hot off the press when SAA convenes in August.  Join us to celebrate its publication and ponder some of the issues it raises in a one-day symposium just the day before the opening of the conference.  Panelists will offer remarks to generate discussion on several topics:  the continuing relevance of separate women's archives, the impact of the digital world on record creation and use, and the role of the citizen archivist.  We look forward to a lively conversation among archivists, scholars, and the Reader's authors about the future of women's archives.

For more information and to register visit the symposium website:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Comment on the WCRT Bylaws!

We are pleased to announce that the WCRT Bylaws Committee has completed our first draft.  We are asking for member feedback on this draft before we send it in to the council for approval. Go here to read the draft and please comment on the blog, below this post or email or  We would like your comments by April 15, 2013. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Leaders of Social Reform in 18th, 19th, and 20th Century America 
Grant From the National Historical Publications and Records Commission 

Elizabeth Blackwell, ca. 1850-1860.*

BOSTON, Mass.— January 29, 2013—The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study today announces the launch of a new Blackwell Family digitization project supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) (Link: The $150,000 grant funds a two-year project ( to digitize five Blackwell Family collections, which span from 1784 to 1981 and detail the activities of members of the Blackwell family, who were leaders in abolition, prohibition, healthcare, women’s suffrage, and education.

“We are grateful to receive this grant from the NHPRC to digitize our archival collections of the Blackwell Family, who were leaders of historical importance in the social reform movements of the 18th to 20th century. This digitization project helps bring the library’s holdings on the lives and work of women in America to researchers and the public in new online formats,” said Marilyn Dunn, executive director of the Schlesinger Library and librarian of the Radcliffe Institute.

The grant enables the Schlesinger Library to digitize 189,074 pages of the Blackwell Family collection, featuring correspondence, diaries, financial records, photographs, drawings, writings, and other papers of four generations of the US branch of the family, assembled by George Washington Blackwell and his descendants.

The collection records travel, professional work, and civic and reform activities of the members of the close-knit family. Among the most well-known members are Elizabeth (1821–1910), the first woman to earn a medical degree, and her sister Emily (1826–1910), also among the first woman doctors. Both women fought for public health reform and equal education and medical training for women. Their brother Henry Browne Blackwell (1825–1909), his wife, Lucy Stone (1818–1893), and their daughter Alice Stone Blackwell (1857–1950) are known for their leadership roles in the abolition, women’s suffrage, and prohibition movements. Their sister-in-law Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825–1921), wife of Samuel Charles Blackwell (1823–1901), was the first woman ordained as a minister in the United States and an active speaker on behalf of abolition, women’s rights, and prohibition.

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute will invest an additional $150,000 to meet the cost of the project, “Those Extraordinary Blackwells: Leaders of Social Reform in 19th and 20th Century America.” The scheduled completion of the digitization project is June 2015.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The Fellowship Program annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars. Academic Ventures fosters collaborative research projects and sponsors lectures and conferences that engage scholars with the public. The Schlesinger Library documents the lives of American women of the past and present for the future, furthering the Institute’s commitment to women, gender, and society. Learn more about the people and programs of the Radcliffe Institute at

* Image: Courtesy of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Karla Strobel