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. . .  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Discovering Women in Political Papers

I became interested in Jeannette Rockefeller during the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture’s honoring of Winthrop Rockefeller’s 100th birthday anniversary. The Center holds the Winthrop Rockefeller Papers, UALR.MS.0001. Winthrop Rockefeller was born May 1, 1912. On May 1, 2012, the Center debuted an online exhibit devoted to the highlights of his life. I participated in a small way with the creation of this exhibit and found myself wondering: “But what about Jeannette Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller’s wife?”

At the time, I knew almost nothing about Jeannette. As my curiosity increased about this woman, I discovered that little had been written on her life and interests. Fortunately for me, as a graduate student in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s master of arts in public history program, my curiosity resulted in an approved thesis topic: Arts Advocate: Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and the Founding of the Arkansas Arts Center.

 Jeannette’s interest in establishing an arts center in Little Rock, Arkansas, was just one of her many passions, e.g., education, women’s empowerment, mental health research, and civil rights. My thesis concentrates on the early years of the Arkansas Art Center and Jeannette’s role in its creation. But there is so much more to explore with respect to this fascinating woman’s life. Jeannette, as well as her husband, Winthrop, made enormous contributions to the state of Arkansas. Hopefully, future scholars will examine additional aspects of this dynamic woman, an Arkansas activist.

Kaye M. Lundgren
Archival Assistant
UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture (Little Rock, Ark.)

Monday, June 23, 2014

News from the 'Seven Sisters' colleges

From Technically Philly

Bryn Mawr College, the Montgomery County women’s college, was awarded a one-year $39,650 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a digital archive of the “Seven Sisters,” a group of women’s colleges that includes Bryn Mawr, according to the school’s Communications Office. 
The archive will focus the first generation of the students at the schools, including Barnard, Mt. Holyoke and Smith. Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections department will lead the effort to digitize materials from each of the school’s libraries. The aim is to make the collections widely accessible, according to the release.
Read more. . .

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Schomberg Center Remembers Maya Angelou

From Timeout New York:

If rereading Maya Angelou's poetry has left you wanting more ways to mourn her passing, the New York Public Library is offering Angelou fans a chance to connect with the author through an exhibit of her personal artifacts and manuscripts. . . . 
When Angelou donated the archive, she explained that libraries had given her a sense of safety and possibility as a child. Her hope, she said, was that her collection might allow the NYPL to do the same thing for another child. For the next month, visitors interested in exploring Angelou’s work and life can browse through the exhibit in the lobby of the Schomburg Center in Harlem. Although the display will close June 30, the archive is currently available to researchers, and is expected to be fully catalogued within a year.
Learn more about the exhibit and the collection at the Schomburg Center.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Women’s History Matters Essay Competition

Do you know a researcher who might be interested in this competition? Is someone working one of your collections related to the theme? Pass it on!

From Women’s History Matters

In honor of the centennial of woman suffrage in Montana, the Women’s History Matters Essay Prize Committee at the University of Montana, Montana State University and the Montana Historical Society are sponsoring a call for entries for the Women’s History Matters Essay Competition.

We invite submissions that explore comparative studies of women in Montana and the West, Native American women’s histories, studies of women’s roles in social movements and institution building, biographical accounts of individual women, feminist historical analyses of forces shaping Montana and the West, and more contemporary accounts of women’s social and political action into the late twentieth century.

Essays should be approximately 6,000 to 8,000 words (including footnotes), based in original research in primary resources, complete with footnotes, and prepared in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, 12-point font, and submitted electronically (in .doc or .docx format). 

Criteria for judging will include:
Originality of topic or approach
Quality and depth of research
Contribution to western women’s history
Coherence of argument
Clarity of presentation

 Cash awards will be given to the winning essays. Prize-winning essays will be considered for possible publication by the Montana Historical Society in a special issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History and a Montana Historical Society Press anthology dedicated to women’s history.

 Deadline for submission is October 31, 2014. Electronic submission is required:  

Please contact Molly Holz, for more information.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

News from the University of Texas at San Antonio

From UTSA, June 2, 2014:

Leticia Van de Putte, state senator and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, has donated her personal papers to the UTSA Libraries Special Collections for use by students and scholars alike. 
Donated in late 2013 and recently made available to the public, the Leticia Van de Putte papers consists of 12 boxes of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and awards, while excluding official records from her political offices. The papers will be available to scholars, students and researchers interested in examining her impact across two decades in civil service. 
“State Senator Van de Putte is creating a significant political legacy here in San Antonio,” said Nikki Lynn Thomas, manuscripts curator who inventoried the papers. “Just as her leadership will have a lasting impact, so will her papers have an enduring relevance for scholars examining the political history of our region.”
Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, June 02, 2014

At its May 22-24 meeting, the SAA Council discussed a draft "code of conduct" for SAA meetings and online spaces. The ability of SAA members to participate fully in the various events hosted by SAA is a key component in the Society’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Members who feel unwelcome, unsafe, constrained, or silenced are not able to participate fully in SAA.  A Code of Conduct is intended to provide one way for members to report harassment. It does not guarantee a harassment-free environment in SAA events and online spaces. However, a Code of Conduct does let members know that SAA is creating a culture of concern and establishing a place where members can participate freely in professional and social interaction, knowing that harassment is not part of that culture and will be opposed by all members of the SAA community.
The Council seeks broad member comment on the draft "SAA Code of Conduct" available here
To comment on this draft: Log in and post comments publicly to the website, or send your comments via email with the subject line, "Code of Conduct," to
Deadline: June 22, 2014, 5:00 pm Central time.