Editors: Kathryn Kish Sklar
and Thomas Dublin
Published by Alexander Street Press and the
Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, SUNY Binghamton
In This Issue
In this first issue of 2009 we move to a new publishing schedule, twice a year, in March and September. Each issue will have more document projects and full-text sources than the quarterly publication schedule permitted. More time between issues will allow us to give each issue the extensive pre-publication preparation it needs.
This issue includes two document projects and a new genre--the document archive. One document project by Holly Kent examines women's antislavery fiction in the decades before the Civil War and shows how it displayed a growing concern for women's rights. Her document project builds on projects we published earlier by Beth Salerno and by Sherry Penney and James Livingston. Complementing Kent’s project in this issue we also publish full-text sources that explore the debate between Catharine Beecher and Angelina and Sarah Grimke over women’s activism in the abolitionist movement.
We are pleased to publish a document project by Rumi Yasutake, on the emergence of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Japan during the 1880s. Hers is the first in a series of document projects we plan to publish by Japanese scholars of U.S. Women's History during the next five years. These projects will explore the transnational interaction of Japanese and U.S. women in public life. They will be bilingual projects with all Japanese-language sources also appearing in English. Yasutake’s project offers a complex story of the interplay in Japan of American male and female missionaries with Japanese male and female reformers, showing how Japanese women "selectively utilized American middle-class Protestant values and customs for their own purposes."
In this issue, we complete our online publication of the biographical dictionary, Notable American Women, by adding volume 5 of Notable. All the women treated in Notable appear in the Browse People index of the web site, allowing users to make links between the Notable biographical sketches and the other places in the database where many of these women appear in document projects and full-text sources.
We introduce in this issue a new format – the document archive. In document archives authors can present larger groups of documents relatively unmediated by interpretation. By publishing a blend of document projects and document archives, we hope to make available an even wider array of new interpretations and new documents in U.S. Women's History. The first document archive, assembled by Jana Brubaker, focuses on Elizabeth Glendower Evans, a noted Boston reformer in the first third of the twentieth century. The project brings together 79 documents and offers an introductory essay that places the documents and Evans's life in a historical context. From her work with the Massachusetts minimum wage commission to her close relationship with Sacco and Vanzetti, Evans’s reform career left a diverse documentary record that invites the attention of scholars and students of U.S. women’s history.
In keeping with our origins as a teaching project at SUNY Binghamton twelve years ago, we continue to publish teaching tools that explore ways to employ the resources of WASM in the classroom. In this issue we publish three teaching tools, focusing in turn on the antebellum reform activism of Lucretia Mott, the reform agenda of presidents of the Minnesota Woman's Christian Temperance Union between 1878 and 1917, and the great shirtwaist strike in New York City in 1909-1910. With these new resources, we now have more than forty different teaching tools accessible on WASM.
For users at libraries that subscribe to the Scholar's Edition of WASM, we publish in this issue four additional interpretive essays about the Scholar’s Edition collection of publications by state and local Commissions on the Status of Women. Offering scholars and students new research opportunities related to the history of American women after 1960, that collection was assembled from more than 300 repositories. With interpretative essays about the collection we highlight some of its research possibilities. These four essays join earlier essays by Thomas Dublin and Kathleen Laughlin that discussed the construction of the online resource and its broad interpretive significance. The current additions, explore in turn: the treatment of sexuality by the commissions (Carrie Baker); the labor feminist origins of the commissions (Dorothy Sue Cobble); how the commissions addressed the issue of women’s economic security (Cynthia Harrison); and the conservative response to the feminism of the early commissions (Marjorie J. Spruill). In the future we will publish more essays about the commission publications. If you are working on a topic that draws on this resource and might be interested in writing such an essay, please let us know.
This issue also includes four book reviews and our regular feature, News from the Archives. The latter section provides news about collections and projects of interest from archives and repositories. If you are affiliated with an archive or repository and would like to submit an announcement that you feel would be of interest to our readers, please contact the editor of the new section, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Associate Professor and Head of the Special Collections Department and University Archives at Iowa State University.
The full-text sources in this issue offer roughly double the number of pages found in earlier issues. We begin with a biography by an African American woman physician of the pioneer white teacher of freedmen and women, Martha Schofield. That source is accompanied by an interpretive introduction by Carol Faulkner, scholar of women in the freedmen's aid movement. We also publish three others related to primary sources we have previously published on women and antislavery—texts generated by the debate between Catharine Beecher and Angelina and Sarah Grimke over women's activism in the abolition movement. This issue also marks our sixth installment of publications of the League of Women Voters, 1920-2000. Items here include a seven-year run of the League periodical, Trends. In addition, we are reprinting an array of publications of state affiliates of the League of Women Voters, ranging from New York and Pennsylvania in the northeast, to Georgia and Alabama in the south, Iowa and Illinois in the Midwest, and Oregon on the Pacific coast. In our September issue, we will publish our final installment in this series, bringing our total to more than 8,000 pages of League of Women Voters publications.
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