Wednesday, November 05, 2014

News from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dovie Horvitz Collection Showcases Extraordinary Evolution of Ordinary Women

Bum pads, cockade feather fans, petticoats, talcum powder tins, postcards depicting the “10 Commandments for Wives,” and garters made by prisoners. The breadth of the Dovie Horvitz Collection reflects the lives and progress of women over the last two centuries – exactly what the collection’s namesake intended. 
“Everything from the artwork, to the post cards, to the clothes, even the makeup all tells a story,” Horvitz said. “I look back now and think of how extraordinary the transformation has been. This isn’t about showcasing celebrities. It’s about the day-to-day lives of ordinary women.” 
Now, more than 1,300 images and scanned texts of items in Horvitz’s are available through the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections site. While the collection is new to the site, it actually is decades in the making.
‘Dress thyself like an old witch’ postcard. The seventh in a series of ten postcards titled, “The 10 commandments for wives.” From the Dovie Horvitz Collection / UW Digital Collections 2010.27.1 
Read the rest of the story at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries website.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

News from Princeton


"The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison are now part of the permanent library collections of Princeton University, where the renowned author served on the faculty for 17 years.

The announcement was made today [October 17, 2014] by Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber to a packed audience in Richardson Auditorium, addressing attendees of the conference "Coming Back: Reconnecting Princeton's Black Alumni." Eisgruber made the announcement after a tribute to Morrison's legacy at Princeton by trustee Ruth Simmons and before Morrison's on-stage interview with Claudia Brodsky, professor of comparative literature.

Eisgruber said: "Toni Morrison's place among the giants of American literature is firmly entrenched, and I am overjoyed that we are adding her papers to the Princeton University Library's collections. This extraordinary resource will provide scholars and students with unprecedented insights into Professor Morrison's remarkable life and her magnificent, influential literary works. We at Princeton are fortunate that Professor Morrison brought her brilliant talents as a writer and teacher to our campus 25 years ago, and we are deeply honored to house her papers and to help preserve her inspiring legacy."

Click here to read the rest of the article at

Monday, October 27, 2014

Women’s Collections Roundtable 
August 13, 2014, 5pm-7pm Washington DC

Helice Koffler | Co-Chair
Tali Beesley | Co-Chair (absent)
Stephanie Bayless | Vice Co-Chair
Leslie Fields | Vice Co-Chair (absent)
Rachel Appel | Incoming Vice Co-Chair
Rachel Grove Rohrburgh | Incoming Co-Chair

Welcome/Introductions/Installation of New Officers
• Officers began the meeting with a general welcome and asked all attendees to sign in. We went around the room for brief introductions and introduced the new officers during this process.
 • The meeting was well-attended - 41 attendees total, but only 26 signed-in as requested. Attendees hailed from institutions across the United States, including American Folklife Center, Rutgers University, National Archives and Records Administration, Tulane University, University of California Berkeley, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Online Art Ephemera: Web Archiving at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Beyond 
Heather Slania, National Museum of Women in the Arts
Artist archives usually contain important primary source materials such as brochures, catalogues, checklists, artist statements, and dairies—but what happens when this ephemera is only online? The National Museum of Women in the Arts has been web archiving art-related online ephemera using the Internet Archive's Archive-It since November 2011.
Heather Slania presented the considerations and challenges of archiving this material and discussed how arts institutions are beginning to work together for more collaborative web archiving. Slania’s presentation was well-received. During the questions and discussion period, attendees asked about tools to use for web-archiving, social media archiving, and coordinating with other institutions to avoid duplication of effort.

Old Business 

WCRT Bibliography
o 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. We invited attendees to submit new additions to the blog whenever possible and asked for volunteers to read through the document and make sure all information was correct.

o We discussed the progress of growing the blog’s readership and the need for member post contributions. We discussed what has been posted and what the group would like to see posted in the future.
 o We encouraged attendees to send any press release or official news they wanted to share to the WCRT email address, even if the news had already been posted on their own social media sites.
 o We send around a sign-up sheet allowing members to volunteer to write a post of pick a specific month to search for women’s collections related news to share.

New Business 

o We discussed the possibility of sponsoring or facilitating a nationwide Women’s History Month Wiki Edit-A-Thon in March 2015.
 o Attendees discussed the pros and cons of attempting this kind of event in their institutions. Those attendees who had held an event like this before shared their experiences.
 o Overall, attendees were unsure if they would hold an Edit-A-Thon, but were interested in the WCRT exploring the possibility of providing a “How to Host a Wiki-Edit-A-Thon” information packet.

o We discussed the possibility of starting a WCRT Tumblr. Attendees were very much in favor of Tumblr.
 o We discussed having leadership set up the Tumblr then having one or more members take over as admin to prevent confusion during turnover periods. Helice Koffler volunteered to be one of the admins. Mark Vassar from the Schlesinger expressed a desire to contribute many of their posts created for other media outlets.
 o WCRT will move forward with setting up a Tumblr page.

Program Committee Report
• The meeting concluded with a report from the SAA Program Committee about the 2015 meeting and call for presentations.
 • The 2015 meeting will be held in a convention center instead of a large hotel. Sections and roundtables will no longer be endorsing presentations, but are encouraged to facilitate coordination between members with possible related topics.
• The program committee is encouraging proposals in a number of new formats and is introducing free form pop-up sessions to encourage continued discussion of popular topics during the conference.

Sixteen attendees continued the discussion and networking at a scheduled dinner at the nearby Lebanese Taverna.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Did you submit a proposal for ARCHIVES 2015?

SAA members and friends of the archives profession submitted 142 education session proposals and 29 poster proposals for ARCHIVES 2015, the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Cleveland, Ohio August 16-22, 2015.

The 2015 Program Committee members will begin their review of proposals during the week of October 20, and will meet in Chicago November 14-16 to determine the final selections. Here is their tentative proposal notification schedule:

November 17-21: 2015 Program Committee initiates discussions with session proposers whose sessions require revision(s) if they are to be accepted.

November 24-28: Thanksgiving week; most communication halts over the holiday.

December 1-5: Continued communication about required revisions.

December 8-19 (tentative): 2015 Program Committee communicates with all session proposers and chairs and all poster proposers regarding the status of each proposal.

December 19-31: "Official" accept letters sent to each participant on accepted sessions and posters (i.e., each chair, speaker, commentator, moderator, poster presenter). Please allow up to 10 business days for receipt of letter.

December 18, 2014 - July 2015: Alternate proposals slotted on an "as needed" basis (i.e., substituted for a session that suddenly cannot go forward). There is no definite timeline for when alternates will be used because dropped sessions are unpredictable by nature. Alternates are slotted depending on timeframe and topic, so the chances of one alternate proposal being slotted over another cannot be determined.

April 15: Registration opens, and presentation times are available via the public conference schedule.

Monday, October 20, 2014

News from the Tyrrell Historical Library in Texas

The Beaumont Public Library System has been awarded the TexTreasures Grant in the amount of $18,490.00. This grant is made possible from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the library Services and Technology Act. (2015) 

The grant will digitize and provide descriptive historical background information related to the Melody Maids Collection. Once this information has been digitized, it will then be uploaded to the “Tyrrell Historical Library Collections Digital Collections” site for patrons to use as an online research tool. 

The Melody Maids was a girls’ choir that traveled the United States and the world to perform for military personnel located at military installations from 1942 to 1972. The Melody Maids Collection is on permanent display in the Rose Room of the Julie Rogers Theatre in Beaumont, Texas. Several scrapbooks are already available online @ With the help of this grant, we will be able to add 155 to 185 additional scrapbooks to the collection.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

News from LSU

Political Strategist Donna Brazile Donates Her Papers to LSU

Though she has made her name and home in Washington D.C. for the past three decades, distinguished LSU alumna, veteran political strategist and commentator, author, and Democratic Party official Donna Brazile makes no secret of her pride in being a native of Louisiana and an LSU graduate. Now an important piece of Brazile’s personal history has returned to her home state with the recent donation of her papers to the LSU Libraries Special Collections.
Photographs, correspondence, speeches and other writings, memoranda, reports and analyses, campaign management and research files, and memorabilia comprise the collection. Together the 32 boxes of materials document Brazile’s involvement in Democratic politics and the Democratic National Committee; her interest in and efforts to mobilize African American voters, elect women to office, and advocate for voting rights; her public speaking and teaching; her work with the Louisiana Recovery Authority; and her participation in every presidential campaign between 1976 and 2000, including as manager of the Gore-Lieberman bid for the White House. She was the first African American to lead a major presidential campaign. Visit the link above to read the rest of the news release.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Theatre Library Association Presents:
Women in Film:  Research, Digital Preservation & Access

Join us on October 17, 2014 for a discussion moderated by TLA President Nancy Friedland looking at women in film from three different perspectives. Mark Newton, Production Manager for Columbia University’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), will discuss the Columbia University’s Women Film Pioneers Project (, a freely accessible online database showcasing the hundreds of women who worked behind the camera during the silent film era. Kathryn Hearst, professor of women’s history at Sarah Lawrence College, will speak about her work as a scholar and professor and the challenges to researching early women filmmakers. Bette Gordon, filmmaker and film professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts will address women in film in the twenty-first century. Brief panel presentations will be followed by lively moderated discussion.

Nancy E. Friedland has been affiliated with Columbia University Libraries for 19 years, where she is Librarian for Media, Film Studies and Performing Arts, and liaison to School of the Arts.  She served as faculty partner on The Film Language Glossary and the advisory group for Women Film Pioneers Project. Nancy currently serves as TLA President, and was Co-Chair of the SIBMAS TLA 2014 Conference.  She also was Editor and contributor to Documenting: Costume Design (2010), part of Performing Arts Resources’ design series.  She contributed to the first editorial team of Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies.  Ms. Friedland is Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science and Long Island University’s Palmer School of Information Science, where she teaches courses in Film and Media Collections: Archival and Curatorial Practices, Researching Local History: Cities and Towns, and Digital Humanities.  She currently serves on the board of Women Make Movies.  She received an MA in Theatre Studies from New York University and MLS from Rutgers. 

Bette Gordon is a filmmaker and film professor who premiered her newest feature Handsome Harry at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival with subsequent screenings at the IFC in New York City and Sunset 5 in Los Angeles. Handsome Harry featured a stellar ensemble cast, including Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, Campbell Scott, John Savage and Jamey Sheridan. A pioneer in the American independent film world, Gordon is best known for her bold explorations of themes related to sexuality, violence and power. She has been the subject of various retrospectives including at IFC Cinema (2010) and Anthology Film Archives (2011), as well as at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2011 and Indiana University in 2012. Her early short films, most notably Empty Suitcases, won numerous awards and festival acclaim worldwide, including showings at the Berlin International Film Festival, New York's Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Biennial. Variety (1984) marked her debut as a feature film director, particularly in light of the film's invitational showing at The Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight. Luminous Motion, based on the acclaimed novel History of Luminous Motion, was produced by Ted Hope and Anthony Bregman of Good Machine.

Kathryn Hearst has been on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College since 2011, teaching undergraduate history and graduate-level women’s history. She specializes in gender, race, sexuality, and class in film and media; women’s and gender history; and social and cultural history of the United States and Europe. Kathryn has worked in television, film, and media development at The Polone Company and Hearst Entertainment. In addition to her work with the WFPP, she is a contributor to the Bancroftania, University of California-Berkeley; and an advisor to MoMA’s To Save and Project film series. Kathryn is a member of Women Writing Women’s Lives, CUNY; the advisory board for the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation of the American Museum of Natural History; and the advisory council of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She received a PhD in History and a MFA in Film, both from Columbia University.

Mark Newton is the Production Manager for CDRS. He oversees the production schedules of the Web-based projects of the Center, including publication support for online scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and other digital projects related to the needs of the Columbia University community for scholarly exchange, and manages a staff of eight developers, designers, and project managers in the service of the center’s multiple project timelines. Prior to joining CDRS, Mark was Digital Collections Librarian and Assistant Professor at Purdue University Libraries. He received a Masters of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in 2007.

At the New York Public Library’s Bruno Walter Theatre, 111 Amsterdam AvenueOctober 17, 2014.
TLA Annual Business Meeting (open to the public) will take place from 5:30-6:00PM.
Doors open at 6:45, panel event from 7:00-8:00 PM.
Reservations required: RSVP FORM
For additional information please email

Monday, September 08, 2014

Links of Interest

Start your week off with some interesting stories from around the world. Enjoy!

 "Denying Historians: China’s Archives Increasingly Off-Bounds" from The Wall Street Journal At last week’s meeting of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China in Taipei, roughly 200 historians from Asia, the United States and Europe gathered to share their latest research. But during lunch hours and coffee breaks, the one question that kept popping up wasn’t about any given paper or project. Instead it was: “How’s your archival access been lately?” This wasn’t just idle conference chitchat.

 "The Fate of Feminism in Pakistan" from The New York Times
KARACHI, Pakistan — On Feb. 12, 1983, 200 women — activists and lawyers — marched to the Lahore High Court to petition against a law that would have made a man’s testimony in court worth that of two women. The Pakistani dictator Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq had already promulgated the infamous Hudood Ordinance, which reflected his extremist vision of Islam and Islamic law. Now, it was clear to many Pakistani women that the military regime was manipulating Islam to rob them of their rights.

 "Touching Images of Unaccompanied Minors—From 100 Years Ago" from New Republic
From the time Ellis Island opened in 1892, to 1954 when it closed, more than 12 million immigrants from all over the globe—many of them children—passed through its doors. Almost 40 percent of Americans can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island. As child migration surges along the southwest border, a look back at some of the children that embarked on a long voyage across the ocean in the hope of becoming Americans. 

"200-Year-Old Alcohol Found in Shipwreck Is Still Drinkable" from Smithsonian Magazine
Earlier this summer, researchers discovered a 200-year-old bottle of liquid while excavating a shipwreck off the coast of Poland. Based on the mark on the neck of the bottle, the archaeologists assumed that the stoneware bottle was full of mineral water from Seltsers, Germany. But preliminary test results have shown that the bottle actually contains alcohol—probably a form of vodka or the gin-like jenever.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Upcoming Event at Duke University

Digitizing the Women's Liberation Movement: A conversation with Movement Leader Alix Kates Shulman and Behind-the-Scenes perspectives from Molly Bragg and Kelly Wooten Wednesday, September 10, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Perkins Library, Room 217 This program will give insight both to the women’s liberation movement and to the life cycle of a digital project, and celebrate the launch of the Women's Liberation Movement Print Culture digital collection. “Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement: An On-line Archival Collection,” was created in 1997 to support a Duke course on the Social History of American Women, and became one of Duke Libraries’ most popular digital collections. Read more about the event at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

Monday, September 01, 2014

ARCHIVES 2015 - Call for Session Proposals

With a mandate from the Council and the membership at large to experiment with new ideas, SAA is shaking things up for its 79th Annual Meeting! The most obvious change is the venue itself: We will be meeting at the Cleveland Convention Center rather than in a traditional conference hotel. But changes in the program development process also are in the works. In addition to the current program model, for example, there will be an opportunity to address more time-sensitive topics via pop-up sessions that can be anything from spur-of-the-moment crowds brought together through social media to more deliberate gatherings of likeminded archivists with specific agendas. And to continue the trend begun in 2013, sessions will be shorter, less formal, and more interactive.

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives management practices—local, national, and international— as well as their intersections with other professions and domains. Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experiences, and the completeness of the proposal. Session proposals should incorporate one or more of the following:
  • Inclusion of diverse or international perspectives and initiatives.
  • Relevance to SAA members and other interested attendees.
  • Interaction and engagement with session participants.
  • Potential impact on archival practice.
There is no theme for ARCHIVES 2015, but an emphasis will be placed on sessions that reflect on the current state of the archival profession. Proposals related to archival advocacy will be given added consideration, as will sessions that explore new ways to grow the profession.

Session Formats

The Program Committee encourages submission of proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following formats:
  • Traditional. 75- or 60-minute session consisting of two or three fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a commentand- discussion period. Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters. A chair is not required for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Paper titles are required.
  • Incubator Session. 60-minute session consisting of two presentations of 10 minutes each that describe project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and including at least 40 minutes for audience feedback and discussion.
  • Special Focus Session. 60-minute session designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is encouraged.
  • Panel Discussion. 75- or 60-minute session consisting of a panel of 3 to 5 individuals discussing theories or perspectives on a given topic. Similar to the traditional model, the goal of a panel discussion is to have a more informal session with time for audience feedback. Presentation titles are not printed in the program. A moderator is required; a commentator is optional.
  • Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board. Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees.
  • Lightning Talks. Eight to eleven lively and informative 5-minute talks in a 60-minute Lightning Talk session format. The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides to ensure timely speaker transitions. Proposals in this category may suggest recommended presenters, and commitments should be secured soon after the proposal is accepted.
  • Alternative Format. Don’t feel confined by the prescribed formats—suggest an alternative format or create your own! Alternative format sessions may take a variety of forms. Examples include world café ( method.html) and fishbowl discussions (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Fishbowl_(conversation). Or you could go “old school” and propose a debate with opposing views and rebuttals. We welcome your creative ideas about how your topic might best be addressed! Proposals in this category must specify the format and session facilitator and briefly describe how the format will enhance presentation of the material and may suggest up to four presenters who will be involved in the session.

New for 2015: Pop-Ups!

For the first time the Program Committee will set aside one hour on Thursday and Friday afternoons for impromptu interactive meetings. Pop-Up sessions might occur as a result of a lively blog discussion, an idea that came up in an earlier session, or an inspiration at lunch. Or Pop-Ups could be used by sections or roundtables for open discussions on hot topics. Sessions will be advertised on the fly via appropriate social media during the meeting. The use of Pop-Up rooms will be coordinated by the Program Committee at the conference site. However, proposals may also be submitted to the Program Committee prior to the meeting beginning in May 2015. Do not use the Session Proposal Form for Pop-Ups. Stay tuned for additional information on these sessions.
Your format choice will not affect the decision of the Program Committee. The Program Committee may, however, recommend that the proposed format be changed if it believes that a different format may better serve the session’s desired audience.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

Archivists and records managers who participate in the program (including in Pop-Up sessions) must register and secure institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the United States and Canada, may be eligible for complimentary registration upon request. SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, non-archivists, non–records managers, members, or nonmembers.

Proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting are due on October 8, 2014.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

News from Barnard and the Seven Siblings

Barnard Library Hosts History of Women's Education Open Access Portal Project Meeting 

Archivists, administrators and programmers from the Seven Siblings (formerly Seven Sisters) met at Barnard College on 7/25/2014 to discuss the collborative "History of Women's Education Open Access Portal Project." Project participants include staff from Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe (Schlesinger Library/Harvard University), Smith, Vassar and Wellesley colleges.

Photograph from Barnard Library and Academic Academic Information Services, Barnard College

Visit the link above for the rest of the article.

Monday, August 25, 2014

From The Examiner:

The National Archives at Kansas City will present in partnership with the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters a program titled “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Minor?: Women’s Suffrage on the Prairie” at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28. A 6 p.m. reception will precede the program.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Baltimore Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

From the Baltimore Brew
Why no mention in Wikipedia of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s years living in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill? 

Why nothing about Esther McCready, the trailblazing East Baltimore nurse who desegregated the University of Maryland School of Nursing? 

And as for the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, isn’t Wikipedia giving short shrift to events in Baltimore when it says the epic unrest began solely in Martinsburg, West Virginia? 

At a Baltimore Wikipedia Edit-a-thon scheduled this Saturday at Red Emma’s, anyone with an interest in correcting errors and omissions in Baltimore’s online history can join like-minded types to do so.

Read more. . .

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Our Annual Meeting at SAA

Meeting Date(s): 
August 13, 2014,  5:15pm - 7:15pm 
Marriott Wardman Park, Virginia B 
Washington, DC

Join us for the WCRT annual business meeting to discuss activities, issues, and concerns related to women’s collections. As announced previously, our special guest will be Heather Slania from the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Here is a description of Heather's talk:

Online Art Ephemera: Web Archiving at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Beyond

Artist archives usually contain important primary source materials such as brochures, catalogues, checklists, artist statements, and dairies—but what happens when this ephemera is only online? The National Museum of Women in the Arts has been web archiving art-related online ephemera using the Internet Archive's Archive-It since November 2011. Heather Slania will present the considerations and challenges of archiving this material as well as discuss how arts institutions are beginning to work together for more collaborative web archiving. This will be discussed in the context of the collection development plan of the library’s archives; questions related to our traditional archival collections are also welcome.

In addition, we are trying to organize an informal dinner outing immediately following the meeting, tentatively at the nearby Lebanese Taverna.

If you're interested in joining us for dinner, use the handy meetup spreadsheet SNAP kindly has made available. You can only add a certain number of attendees to each row, so please start another row if you find it already full. If we have enough responses by Friday, we can go ahead and try to make a dinner reservation.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

June 11-14, 2015
College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
Re-membering/Gendering: Women, Historical Tourism, and Public History

The Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH) invites proposals for its tenth triennial conference, to be held June 11-14, 2015 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Co-sponsored by the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Clemson University, the conference provides a stimulating and congenial forum for discussing all aspects of women’s history. Its program seeks to reflect the best in recent scholarship and the diversity of our profession, including university professors, graduate students, museum curators, public historians, and independent scholars.

We invite sessions on all aspects of women’s and gender history and particularly welcome presentations that explore the conference themes: public history, tourism, memory, historic commemoration, and marketing history.

The program committee seeks proposals for the following:
  1. Panels: we prefer to receive proposals for complete, 3-paper sessions but will consider individual papers as well.
    Panel: pdf formword form.   Individual: pdf formword form.
  2. Roundtables: informal discussions of a historical or professional issue.
    Form: pdf formword form.
  3. Working Group Discussions: informal discussions of pre-circulated papers.
    Form: pdf formword form.
  4. Scholarly Shorts: five-minute presentations of a research project.
    Form: pdf formword form.
Scholars interested in chairing or commenting on a session are invited to submit a 500-word vita.
More information on these presentation formats, submission guidelines, and the submission email address is available from the main conference page.

The submissions deadline is August 1, 2014. 

Inquiries (but not submissions) may be directed to Blain Roberts, program committee chair, at

Monday, July 28, 2014

Links of Interest

Start your week off with some interesting stories from around the world. Enjoy!

 "The amazing story of a 4,000-year-old necklace found in a dumpster" from
"A 4,000 year old necklace and two discs are now in The National Museum of Ireland after they were found in a dumpster. The necklace, called a lunala, was worn by the early kings of Ireland. It is thought to date from between 2,300 and 1,800 BC."

"Big Berkshire Conference 2014 Report" by Heather Munro Prescott on
"Last month, I attended the 16th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women (aka the Big Berks) at the University of Toronto. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is a triennial research conference held by the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians (aka the Little Berks)."

"The Girl with a Pearl Earring: The Making of an Icon"
, a lecture by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of northern baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art (audio only)
"At the end of the 19th century, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring sold for a pittance, an unknown work by an artist who was only beginning to achieve recognition. Today it is revered as a great masterpiece, so famous that it is recognizable by its title alone, with the name of its maker being almost superfluous. In this lecture recorded on June 1, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art, curator Arthur Wheelock examines the reasons why this image resonates so profoundly with contemporary audiences."

"Crusty 118-year-old sandwich found stuffed in UK church organ" from
"The perfectly preserved remains of a sandwich have been discovered in the bowels of a church organ —more than a century after they were put there."

"Anna Yegorova’s Red Sky" at
"Being a World War II fighter pilot wasn’t all glamor and bravado as Hollywood suggests. It meant coaxing a temperamental machine into the air, dodging lethal bits of metal at high speeds and testing one’s physical limits and mental resolve. And for Anna Yegorova, one of the few women to fly alongside the men in World War II, that was just the beginning."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Pacifica Radio Archives is one-third of the way through a remarkable grant project “American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982” funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to preserve all of our audio related to the American Women’s movement during that time period.

The Pacifica team, led by Project Director Brian DeShazor, decided to undertake this project back in 2011 after reviewing our collection and noting that even though we had digitally preserved nearly all of our recordings related to the Civil Rights movement and LGBT Rights movements, there was still a large number of recordings related to the Women’s movement that had not yet been digitized and were not “discoverable.”  Hundreds of recordings featuring well-known women activists such as Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Germaine Greer, Dolores Huerta, Rosa Parks (and many, many more) had been digitized, but over 1,500 recordings featuring lesser-known and unknown women who made the movement a movement were still on reel format.

As I searched our online database using keywords such as “women,” “feminism,” “lesbian,” “male-chauvinism,” “abortion,” etc., I was so excited to find documentation of nearly the entire movement in our collection: the experiences of women from different ethnic groups during the Women’s movement, reports of Women’s movements happening around the world, Women’s sexuality, Women and work, men discussing what they think about Women’s rights, Women-centered art, music, theater; it goes on and on.

One good and bad discovery has been the realization of how much Women’s content had not yet been preserved. One recent example was a male-hosted series about films and the film industry, where nearly all of the interviews featuring male movie directors and actors had been digitized, but those centering on women actors and filmmakers were yet to be digitized.  Also, when adding contributor names (i.e. producers, engineer, etc.) to our database, if I enter a women’s name such as “Jennifer,” one or two names drop down. But if I enter a man’s name like “Steven,” about 30 names drop down. Not only have recordings about women not been equally preserved, but also the women who created them haven’t been equally acknowledged.  Sometimes I run across a recording that seems so important and think “Why hasn’t this been preserved until now???” I get heated, but then remember, “Hey, but we’re doing it now! Keep calm and keep cataloging.”

I’ve heard of archivists getting emotionally involved in the materials they are preserving, and I have definitely had that experience with this collection. While I sometimes feel enraged by the sexism I see even in my catalog, I remember how lucky I am to get to work with all of this great material and how honored I am to be helping to preserve it. The project team including Director Brian DeShazor, Project Coordinator Adi Gevins, Archivists Holly Rose McGee and Joseph Gallucci, Production Coordinator Edgar Toledo, the Pacifica staff and I are looking forward to seeing this important content being used by students, professors, artists, writers, filmmakers, and the general public.

If you’d like to learn more about our project and stay up-to-date with our progress, please follow our blog at:
To learn more about the Pacifica Radio Archives, please visit:

Jolene M. Beiser
Project Archivist 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Calling all archivists!

Would you like to contribute to this blog?
Do you have news you would like to share with your colleagues?
Do you have interesting women's collections you would like to share with the world?

Please email any posts, news articles, or suggestions to

And don't forget to connect with us on Facebook so you don't miss any women's collections news.

Right: "Victory Waits on Your Fingers"
Produced by the Royal Typewriter Company for the U.S. Civil Service Commission
NARA Still Picture Branch, NWDNS-44-PA-2272

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Discover Archives on Tumblr

Looking for a new way to connect to archives, libraries, and historical organizations? Try Tumblr. The microblogging site offers a wealth of photographs, documents, and news from institutions around the word.

To get you started, I compiled a list of suggestions from our colleagues on Twitter. This list is by no means comprehensive; please share your favorite Tumblrs in the comments.

U.S. National Archives - 
U.S. National Archives, Exhibits -
U.S. National Archives, Preservation -
U.S. National Archives, Presidential Libraries -
U.S. National Archives, Today’s Document -

AOTUS: Collector in Chief -

University of Iowa Special Collections -
University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Archives -
University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives -
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archives -

Chicago Public Library -
Chicago Public Library YouMedia -
New York Public Library -

Smithsonian Archives of American Art -
Sundance Institute Archives -

City of Boston Archives -
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Digital Library -
Recollection Wisconsin -

Cool Chicks From History -
Women of Library History -

Monday, July 14, 2014

News from the Schlesinger Library

The papers of Catherine Atwater Galbraith (1913-2008) are now open for research at the Schlesinger Library.

Galbraith was a linguist who lived most of her life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and traveled the world with her husband, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who served as the United States Ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963. The 33.65 linear feet of material (1912-2008) includes correspondence, photographs, writings, diaries covering 80 years of Galbraith's life, Atwater family material, and some personal papers of John Kenneth Galbraith.

Processing of this collection by Jenny Gotwals was made possible by gifts from the Galbraith family, the Esther Margaret Ridder Preservation Fund, the Class of 1950 Fund, the Jeannette Ward Fund, and the Mary Maples Dunn Fund.

The finding aid is online at Harvard University's OASIS website:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

From H-SAWH:

We are putting together a panel for the 2015 SAWH Conference being held in Charleston, South Carolina next June.
Keeping with the conference themes, our panel focuses on different modes of publicly presenting or commemorating the American struggle for women's right to vote. One paper will examine the circumstances in which woman suffragists wrote autobiographies, biographies, and histories of the movement as a tactic to gain new support before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. The second paper will explore efforts to memorialize the suffrage victory on college campuses after 1920, wherein groups of women's rights activists took steps to preserve the legacy of the campaign including funding academic chairs, donating literature, hosting scholarly panels, and creating citizenship training programs to rally more young people to participate in government. 
We are looking for a chair, commentator, and third panelist whose research fits with these themes. Since our papers center on activism in the North, we are especially looking for scholars whose work examines suffrage memory or the commemoration of the women's movement in the South. 
Kelly Marino 
PhD Candidate, Dept. of History, Binghamton University
Click here to go to H-Net for contact information.

Monday, July 07, 2014

We're deeply honored to preserve the work of Dr. Michelle Téllez. She's an interdisciplinary scholar trained in sociology, Chicana/o studies, community studies and education.

Left: Dr. Téllez speaking at a Wage Theft Forum, July 2012

In her twenty years of community engagement and activism, she has been involved in multiple projects for change at the grassroots level utilizing critical pedagogy, principles of sustainability, community-based arts, performance, and visual media. Her writing and research projects seek to uncover the stories of identity, transnational community formation, gendered migration, autonomy, resistance and Chicana mothering. She is a founding member of the Arizona Ethnic Studies Network, and is on the editorial review board for Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

In the months following the Women’s Archives/Women’s Collections: What does the Future Hold? symposium that was held as part of the 2013 SAA conference, I began thinking more meaningfully about the stories we might tell about women’s contributions and women’s lives through collections housed at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries

How do women become a part of the historical record? How do women’s stories intersect with the broader historical context? How do our collections facilitate a scholarly analysis of the human experience? 

The legacy of Susan B. Anthony echoes throughout many of our collections. Anthony lived in Rochester as an adult and her home became one of the sites in the campaign for women’s suffrage. In addition to the Susan Brownell Anthony Papers, we’re also able to work with scholars to tell stories using our collections and go beyond Anthony and her life-long campaign for women’s rights. 

Beginning in the fall of 2011, we began a project to put Anthony and other social activists in conversation with one another, by working with students to digitize and transcribe nearly 2,000 letters written in the nineteenth-century to and from Isaac and Amy Post. The project’s website went live in 2012 with 200 letters, and we anticipate finishing the digitization of the collection in the summer of 2014. 

The Post family lived in Rochester and their home served as a stop on the underground railroad. The family members supported the newspaper Frederick Douglass published in Rochester, as well as helped to plan the second women’s rights convention that took place shortly after Seneca Falls in the summer of 1848. Their correspondents include Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Harriett Jacobs, William Cooper Nell, and Frederick Douglass. By reading these letters, scholars can better understand the involvement and impact a family like the Posts had on the major social movements of the nineteenth century, and how their involvement was very much a part of the fabric of their daily lives. 

In a letter written to Amy Post after the Civil War, Anthony shares her delight that the Post family will be coming to visit she and her brother at their family farm. Referring to herself in the third person, Anthony writes: 

And Susan B. in 
particular will be very 
happy to see thee & both &
plan about Anti Slavery,- 
as well as visit – 

It’s not completely clear what Anthony means when she says “anti slavery.” Should could be referring to the ongoing debate regarding black male suffrage, or she could be assuming the term anti-slavery to describe women’s status at the time. It’s hard for us to imagine Anthony sitting still long enough to write a letter- while campaigning nationally for suffrage and equal rights- let alone welcoming visitors to her family’s farm. In between the lines, we can read the careful balance women struck, to both assume and cast off societal expectations of women. 

This collection and project helps to underscore one of my big take-aways from the symposium, which is that we find women’s stories in nearly all of our collections and these stories celebrate not only those notable and well-known figures, like Susan B. Anthony, but also those women, who remain silent within the historical record. Bringing these voices to life is one of the things I like best about being an archivist.

Lori Birrell
Manuscript Librarian
University of Rochester

Monday, June 30, 2014

News from the Spelman College Archives

A New Era of Preservation for Spelman’s History

After 15 years under the watchful eye of Taronda Spencer, C’80, the Spelman College Archives is now managed by archivist Holly Smith. A graduate of William and Mary College and Yale University, Smith, who has a background in public history and, library science and archives, comes to Spelman after having worked for five years in special collections at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A branch of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, the Spelman College Archives is home to the documents and personal diaries of College founders Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles, Johnnetta B. Cole’s presidential papers, the Audre Lorde collection, the Toni Cade Bambara collection and Josephine Harrold Love’s papers. “Since we are a component of the Women’s Center, we are actively looking to collect materials related to women of the African diaspora who are engaged in social justice, activism and feminism,” said Smith. “We are an internationally known entity, so we want to reflect Spelman’s commitment to educate women of the diaspora broadly.”
Read more. . .