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NCWHS September 2015 Newsletter
Dear NCWHS Members and Friends
On Friday, August 21, the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice held an opening of an exhibit at The Scrap Exchange, “Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest.” They also announced their partnership with Iron Mountain Inc., the data storage and management company, that will work to establish the Pauli Murray House, now a National Treasure of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as a historic site. NCWHS member and Senior Field Officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Dr. Karen Nickless was there and NCWHS was well recognized for our efforts to encourage the preservation and interpretation of this house. The “deconstruction” team there has been hard at work: the non-historic siding has now been removed, the wasps’ nest cleared out, and the historic bones of the house are becoming clear so that we can all learn what the house has “to say” to us to understand Pauli Murray and the world that shaped her—including the cemetery only a few feet from its back door.
NCWHS has sent the National Park Service an official “Letter of Inquiry” requesting to proceed with nominating the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray homesite in Durham NC as a National Historic Landmark. We have now received a positive response and are moving ahead. We appreciate their sending us this encouragement so quickly.
NCWHS has also now contracted for the National Historic Landmark nomination for Annie Wauneka, the Navajo woman who brought together traditional Navajo medicine with western medicine to fight tuberculosis and improve Navajo health.
The American Association for State and Local History’s annual meeting is in Louisville, KY from September 16—19. There are three women’s history sessions, including a roundtable discussion hosted by the newly formed AASLH Women’s History Affinity Group and a “Louisville Women’s Suffrage Tour,” co-sponsored by NCWHS on Friday, September 18, 1-5 pm. Following the tour, in preparation for the 2020 suffrage anniversary, NCWHS board member Marsha Weinstein will host a discussion of NCWHS plans to mark the places where women’s suffrage and other progressive activism took place. Several NCWHS board members will be attending and we hope to see you there!
NCWHS March 2015 News - Women's History Month Edition
Dear Friends -
Having just returned from India, I’m more aware than ever that women’s history truly is everywhere. In addition to visiting the home of Indira Gandhi (which is a museum and memorial to her, marking the location of her “martyrdom”), I also had the pleasure of meeting with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of India and visiting their historic headquarters in Delhi. Though the building is in need of repair, it has served as their home since it was opened in 1934. The World’s WCTU was founded by Frances Willard in 1889 and was one of the earliest international organizations for women. The India WCTU was founded not long after in 1893. Originally composed of British and American women, most of whom were connected to Christian missionary work in India, it slowly transformed itself into an organization of Indian Christian women and remains this today. It was a fascinating visit, to not only a most historic women’s history site, but a reminder that the need for preserving women’s history is a global need.
Now for NCWHS news. We have just completed our first ever annual appeal and are very pleased with the successful result. To this date, we have raised $3,455 toward our $4,000 goal. In order to raise the remaining funds, we are conducting a membership drive during the month of March in honor of women’s history month. If you are not a current member of NCWHS, please consider joining. You can do this with a credit card by going here and signing up online, or with a check by downloading the form and mailing it in. If you are a current member and know of someone who would appreciate a gift membership, please consider that. For gift memberships, we cannot (yet) accept online payments, so please use the paper form. We so appreciate everyone who gave to our annual appeal (and especially our challenge grant donor for spurring us on) and if you can help us reach the finish line, please do so!
NCWHS members will soon have access to two new online features that we are excited to unveil - an online member directory and members-only content. These exclusive member features are the result of the feedback we received from our member survey, and more will come in the future, including a member forum for exchanging ideas. So, there are more reasons than ever to join NCWHS.
For our members in the midwest, we are please to announce a joint women’s history month event at our headquarters at the Evanston History Center in Evanston, Illinois. Author (and former NCWHS board member) Susan Ferentinos will speak about her recently published book, Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, discussing the ways historians approach the study of same-sex relationships; the challenges to uncovering this past; and the efforts of museums, historic sites, and community groups to preserve this history and present it to the wider public. This program will be held on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm (reception at 6:30) and is designed not only for those connected to a museum or site, but also for anyone who is concerned with issues of inclusion and diversity in our interpretation of the past. For more information about registering for this event, which is free to NCWHS members, visit our website.
Finally, we know that word of mouth is our most important communication tool. Please forward this newsletter along to anyone in your circle who would enjoy connecting with us. Building our network of members, supporters and friends is so important to us as an organization, and we know it is important to you, as we all work together to give women’s history its place in American (and World) history.
As always, stay in touch!
NCWHS Vice President
You are invited!
The National Collaborative for Women's History Sites is holding its Annual Member Meeting via Conference Call on Monday October 27th from 2-3 p.m. Eastern time. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Jennifer Burton who will discuss Filming Women’s History: the Half the History Project.
Dr. Jennifer Burton is a Professor of the Practice in film studies at Tufts University. With her four sisters, she also helms the independent film company Five Sisters Productions. Her films include The Happiest Day of His Life (MTV/Logo), a new comedic web series on ageism (Old Guy), and Manna From Heaven (MGM/SONY). Among her recent projects are PSAs for CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking). Her publications include Call and Response: Key Debates in African American Studies (W. W. Norton), co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and The Prize Plays and Other One-Acts: Zora Neale Hurston, Eulalie Spence, Marita Bonner, and Others (Macmillan/G.K. Hall). Burton earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in English and American Literature, writing her dissertation on hope in American literature and film.
For the NCWHS Annual Meeting, Burton will focus on the inspiration and creative process for Half the History, a web-based film project that explores the under-told stories of historical women. She will share the introductory video, Half the History: Tell Her Story (2 minutes), as well as images from other short films in process.
Hope you can join us!
Lori Osborne, Vice President, NCWHS
Summer 2014 newsletter
Happy Summer to you all!
Here are some highlights of what's been going on with NCWHS since our last newsletter.
DOING LUNCHBUCKETS, WEBINARS & HISTORY
March 2014 was both Women’s History Month and NCWHS/National Park Service Webinar Month as we presented "Doing Women’s History at Your Site.” This webinar consisted of four sessions with 40 participants from Puerto Rico to Michigan to Hawaii. Several NCWHS members attended for free because of our partnership with the NPS.
The Doing Women’s History webinars featured sites from Salem Maritime NHP’s “cents” shop a hardware/dime store run in a woman’s home; Keweenaw Michigan’s copper mines and maternal mortality; Fort Snelling in Minnesota; and Maggie Lena Walker whose home and national headquarters provided black women living under Jim Crow an alternative world with services and support. To those of you who participated or assisted with the webinars, thank you. A special thank you to Barb Howe for her session on written sources, and to Erin Krutko Devlin for running the last webinar’s discussion session.
Who filled this lunch bucket the men carried down into the Quincy Mine with its meat, potato and turnip pastie (turnover) and black tea? Another aspect of women’s work….
Wikipedia 101: NCWHS at NCPH
This March 24, 2014, article by UMass Department of History PhD student Erica Fagen, cross-posted from the department blog Past@Present, reflects on the workshop Wikipedia 101 for Women’s History (and Other Underrepresented Subjects) that NCWHS planned for the 2014 annual meeting. Building on our successful ad hoc gathering at the 2013 NCPH in Ottawa, this time we engaged the tremendous skill of longtime wikipedian Adrianne Wadewitz, together with UMass faculty member Marla Miller and graduate student Erica Fagan as co-facilitators, to introduce participants to the encyclopedia, the policies that govern it, and the basics of editing.
Writing Women in the Digital Age
Last week I had the great opportunity to facilitate a workshop entitled “Wikipedia 101 for Women’s History” at the annual National Council for Public History conference in Monterey, California. The main question of this session was the following: how is women’s history written on Wikipedia? The age of Web 2.0 provides an array of platforms to share, post, and tweet information on a variety of topics. What is unique about Wikipedia, and how can we as historians influence what people read? With only 13% to 15% of the English-language Wikipedia editors being women, there are evidently great strides to be made on how women and minority groups are represented on this massive encyclopaedic site.
My own experience with editing Wikipedia goes back to my first public history class in Fall 2007 at Concordia University. As a an undergraduate student who had recently taken a survey course on medieval history, I decided to edit the entry on “Catherine of Siena,” a well-known Italian saint. I decided to pick a famous woman in history, as I realized then that women are under-represented on Wikipedia. Over the past six and a half years, I’ve noticed the entry go through several changes, including further textual analysis, additional images and an expanded bibliography. This exercise helped me better prepare for the workshop on NCPH.
NCWHS Partners with the Evanston Women's History Project, Moves Headquarters to Evanston History Center
March 13, 2014. The Evanston Women’s History Project (EWHP) at the Evanston History Center and the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) are pleased to announce a new partnership. The NCWHS is moving its headquarters and administrative offices to the Evanston History Center beginning in March 2014. “I’m sad to be leaving Washington DC but know that this will be a wonderful fit and a great partnership that will benefit all parties,” NCWHS President Heather Huyck said.
The NCWHS supports and promotes the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that witness American women’s history, and this work fits very well with work by the Evanston Women’s History Project to mark the places where local women’s history happened. Lori Osborne, Director of the Evanston Women’s History Project and NCWHS Vice President, says, “This new partnership brings Evanston and its significant women’s history onto the national stage, and gives the NCWHS a very supportive home to grow its reach and influence. This is a wonderful partnership for all concerned.”
Winter news 2013-14
2014! Already? Yes!
It seems that our October annual meeting was years, instead of only a couple of months, ago. It has been a busy and productive time with NCHWS work since then. We hope that you enjoyed that gathering and found it invigorating. The presentation by Eileen Wallis is now on our website; the question and answer portion had enough distortion that it is not included. We’re looking to have an in-person annual meeting next fall—stay tuned on that.
Our National Historic Landmarks (NHL) team has now commented on the first draft of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas nomination for her home in Coral Gables FL. Stoneman Douglas’ life trajectory was clear from her time at Vassar to writing a column for the Miami Herald to writing Everglades: River of Grass. In the latter book, she interpreted both human and natural history, helping the public grasp the Everglades’ ecological significance when most people thought of it as a mosquito-ridden swamp. Later she founded the Friends of the Everglades to protect the park and its damaged water system. Special thanks to NCWHS member Polly Kaufman for sharing her Notable American Women entry on Stoneman Douglass. We’re waiting on National Park Service (NPS) on the other new NHL sites we think should be pursued.
NCWHS Newsletter, Fall 2013
The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) is looking forward to our Annual Meeting via conference call on October 28, at noon EST (11am Central, 10am Mountain and 9am Pacific). Our featured speaker will be Dr. Eileen Wallis who will discuss “Latina History: Making the Invisible Visible.” Dr. Wallis is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Cal Poly Pomona. Her academic work focuses on women’s history and historic sites, and the American west in the progressive era. Her most recent publication is Earning Power: Women and Work in Los Angeles, 1880-1930, which has been reviewed as follows: “The intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and class are front and center in Eileen Wallis’ important new book on women in Los Angeles workplaces. Not only does her study capture the multicultural West, but also the different development of LA’s economy within the context of Progressive Era reform.”