Women’s History Workshop: NCWHS & NPS

Participants on stepsOn December 10 and 11 of 2012, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and the National Park Service held a history-making workshop at the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum in Washington, D.C. This is the first time a workshop has been held to specifically address the need for researching, interpreting and preserving women’s history at historic places within the park system. Attended by more than 50 people from all over the U.S., the workshop had representatives from the fields of archeology, architecture, preservation and women’s history, and included park service administrators, superintendents, historians, and rangers.

The workshop opened with a welcome from NCWHS Vice President and Executive Director of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum Page Harrington, followed by very encouraging remarks from both Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife & Parks Rachel Jacobsen and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. NPS Associate Directors Stephanie Toothman and Julia Washburn, and NCWHS President Heather Huyck actively participated both days, underscoring how significant they believed the workshop to be. NCWHS board member Sue Ferentinos and NPS staffer Elizabeth Hoermann were the event’s Chief Facilitators—a key role when there are 50 engaged and passionate people who have only two days to accomplish so much! Holding the workshop at the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, an NHL and NPS affiliated site, with its busts of eminent foremothers, parade-size suffrage banners, and feminist library reminded everyone that just as they had benefitted from others’ actions, they now had to do their share.

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