Notes from the Field
NCWHS & Wikipedia: Making Women's History More Visible
Spring 2013: The weak presence of women's history on Wikipedia—a consequence in part of the small number of women (fewer than 15%) who edit Wikipedia—has long been a topic of conversation among those interested in promise and peril of this massive online encyclopedia, but there has been an uptick in discussion of this issue lately, as edit-a-thons and conference sessions aim both to explore and address this gap. In March 2013, the Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women's Education at Bryn Mawr College hosted a conference, Women's History in the Digital World, that included a talk on Wikipedia by Mia Ridge, (Department of History, Open University; editor of the forthcoming volume Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage); on March 15, 2013, the national event #TooFEW (Feminists Edit Wikipedia) encouraged users in groups or on their own to edit Wikipedia’s content; and on April 16th, a Women's History Edit-a-thon occurred at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
Stowe House a National Historic Landmark
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Executive Director Katherine Kane announced on Tuesday, March 12th, that Stowe's Hartford, Connecticut, home is now designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Kane noted, "This honor from the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service recognizes and celebrates Stowe's impact on America. Her most famous work, the best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War, and was fueled by her passion for justice and empathy for those enslaved. We appreciate the support of Connecticut's federal delegation, Governor Malloy and the CT State Historic Preservation Office. We are grateful for the testimony of the offices of Congressman Larson,
Student Nominates School for National Register
A fifteen-year-old high school student working toward her Girl Scout Gold Award presented her nomination of Buck Creek Rosenwald School for the National Register of Historic Places during a meeting today of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board at Paul Sawyier Public Library, Frankfort.
Julia Bache, a sophomore at Kentucky Country Day School, is a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin and said she became interested in history after attending a reunion in 2006 commemorating his 300th birthday.
“Ever since I was a Brownie I’ve been looking forward to earning my Gold Award, and now I’m actually working on my project,” she said. Julia first earned her Silver Award by creating a program whereby Girl Scouts could earn a patch for learning about the history of Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark. She said her interest in Rosenwald Schools came about after she became aware of the Jefferson Jacob Rosenwald School in Prospect, which was listed in the National Register earlier this year.
NCWHS Organizational Member, Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail, opens exhibit
On January 10th, the Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail exhibit, “How Splendid is our Past,” opened at the Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix. NCWHS board member and historian Mary Melcher spoke at the exhibit opening. This traveling exhibit illustrates the lives and stories of the amazing women who have helped to build Arizona. These women were artists, museum founders, politicians and business owners, including the following: Jessie Bevan, who ran the Oliver House in Bisbee and served in the Arizona State Legislature; Frances Munds, who led the Arizona Equal Suffrage Association to help women win the vote before serving in the state Senate; Eleanor Ragsdale, a teacher, realtor, and civil rights activists who helped to integrate Phoenix schools and neighborhoods; and Annie Wauneka, a Navajo leader who was instrumental in eradicating tuberculosis on the vast Navajo Reservations. The exhibit explores the diverse stories of these women and several others, such as territorial historian Sharlot Hall, educator Rebecca Dallis, architect Mary Jane Colter, and the Hopi potter Nampeyo.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona Humanities Council and Arizona Public Service, with assistance provided by the Sharlot Hall Museum and Arizona Historical Society. The Arizona Women’s Heritage Trail is a statewide legacy project linking women’s history with historic sites. For more information, see www.womensheritagetrail.org
Gerda Lerner: An Appreciation
Those of us who are the intellectual granddaughters of Gerda Lerner deeply mourn her passing. We remember her determination, her energy, and her constant calling us to do still more—as she had. When we learned her own history we understood better—the high school student who resisted the Gestapo, the immigrant, the writer who turned to history. She always seemed so powerful, even enjoying intimidating those who couldn’t keep up with her. She challenged us to think more of ourselves and of the world, to recognize the power women had long had even in the face of strong opposition to their power. When we celebrated her election as President of the Organization of American Historians by giving her bread and roses, she somberly reminded us of all the women ”lost” on the way to such celebrations, all the women who were not there with us.