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
With the current issue we begin a new year and launch the publication of the Black Woman Suffragists database, an undertaking that will continue for the next five issues of the journal and website. In this issue we include a new Document Project and the second half of a two-part Document Archive, complemented by our regular array of Book Reviews and News from the Archives. We also resume publication of new Teaching Tools.
Beth Robinson has authored the document project, "How Did the League of Women Shoppers Use Their Privilege to Act in Solidarity with Workers, 1935-1948?" which explores a Popular Front organization that was active from 1935 until 1949, when red-baiting forced the organization to disband. League members recognized that because women did the majority of family shopping, they wielded considerable influence. Through its slogan, "Use your buying power for justice," the League sought to mobilize middle-class and wealthy women as socially active consumers, reaching a membership of 25,000 in cities as diverse as San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. Robinson constructs the answer to her framing question by tapping records of a number of urban branches of the League.
Melanie Gustafson is the author and editor of a document archive, "Maud Wood Park Archive: The Power of Organization," of which we publish the second half in this issue. Together the two parts include more than 140 documents, principally from the Schlesinger Library and the Library of Congress. Park was a key player in the winning strategy of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in securing passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and served as the first president of the League of Women Voters after 1920. The documents collected here illuminate the history of the organized women's movement in the United States between 1910 and 1950, and are particularly valuable to understanding the founding of the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, organized originally around the Women's Rights Collection, which consisted principally of the papers of NAWSA and Maud Wood Park.
The Black Woman Suffragists database is the result of almost five years of work. Based on the pioneering scholarship by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, this collection as of March 2014 consists of almost 1,100 items totaling about 12,000 pages. Tom Dublin and a team of students have assembled these published and unpublished writings of sixty Black woman suffragists first identified by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. The writings are accompanied by an introduction by Terborg-Penn and eighteen scholarly essays that treat major authors in the group. We expect to publish these writings and scholarly essays in five chronological installments from March 2014 to March 2016. This first installment includes more than 150 items totaling more than 1,600 pages.
We are planning a new crowdsourcing initiative to accompany the publication of the Black Woman Suffragists database. If you are aware of significant writings by any of our author activists that we have not included in the database, please email Tom Dublin at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavor to publish the documents in later installments. Our goal is to make this database the most authoritative source for the published and unpublished writings of Black woman suffragists.
We round out this issue with other valuable resources, including ten book reviews, News from the Archives, and three Teaching Tools. If you are interested in reviewing books or have titles to recommend for review, please email our book review editor, Mary Henold, with your suggestions. Please note as well the announcements in the News from the Archives section, assembled by Tanya Zanish-Belcher, of Wake Forest University. If you would like to make an archives-related announcement in a future issue, she can be reached at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, we hope readers have been able to access and explore our second, major online digital archive, "Women and Social Movements, International--1840 to Present." This online archive and database totals 150,000 pages of primary documents about international activism among women globally considered. It includes both published and manuscript materials generated by women's participation in international conferences and organizations over a period of 170 years, from missionary and abolitionist activities in the first half of the nineteenth century to women's NGO activism in the early twenty-first century. We have also posted on the site 25 secondary articles by scholars working in fields related to the archive, which place the primary materials within a broader interpretive context and offer suggestions on how best to make use of these online resources.
Later this year, Alexander Street Press will launch a new platform for Women and Social Movements in the United States and WASM International, known by the acronym LAZR. Users of our databases need not concern themselves with the platform's inner workings but it will enable for the first time joint searching of our two databases. If your library subscribes to both databases, you will be able to search comprehensively in the more than 300,000 pages of women's history documents we have assembled over seventeen years. The expanded search capability should make the databases even more valuable teaching and research tools. We expect to be able to share further information about this new resource in the fall.
Alexander Street Press is marketing WASM International to libraries, offering both subscriptions or purchase plans. Your acquisitions librarian might be interested in either of these options. She or he can contact Eileen Lawrence at Alexander Street Press for subscription information and/or to request a free trial of this resource. We look forward to hearing your reactions to this major addition to Women and Social Movements.
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