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 issue we publish one new document project and add to another project 150 biographical sketches. The issue also includes 600 pages that we are adding to our collection of writings by and about Black Women Suffragists. And we are publishing 1,900 pages of documents generated by the National Consumers' League, 1903-1934. We are also pleased to announce a new editorial category--"Reflections on Documents," in which scholars comment on new documents or on documents already in "Women and Social Movements in the United States."
The new document project is by Nancy Woloch, "How Did Leaders of the National Consumers' League and Their Lawyers Keep the Minimum Wage Alive from the Adkins Case to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1923-1938?" It explores the history of the National Consumers' League's efforts to maintain the constitutionality of state minimum wage legislation in the face of the adverse court decision of 1923, and the NCL's eventual success in including a federal minimum wage provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act, enacted in 1938 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1941. To complement this document project, we publish 1,900 pages of documents generated by the National Consumers' League, 1903-1934.
In this issue we greatly expand the document project, Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920, first posted in March 2015. To that project we add 150 crowdsourced biographical sketches of women activists who picketed the White House in 1917-1919 in support of the National Woman's Party; a new scholarly essay by Jill D. Zahniser drawing on these sketches; and a much-expanded spreadsheet of the almost 400 militant suffragists included in this project. We expect to publish more than 200 additional biographical sketches on the website in the coming year or two.
With this issue we update our collection of writings by and about Black Women Suffragists, which began with our March 2014 issue. Based on the pioneering scholarship of Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, this collection includes more than 1,800 items, totaling more than 16,000 pages. Tom Dublin and a team of scholars and students have assembled these published and unpublished writings of 108 Black woman suffragists, including both notable national figures and much lesser-known local activists. We now enter a new stage in this work and seek to identify additional, lesser-known Black women suffragists. If you are aware of women activists we still need to include in the collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to collect additional writings and commission additional biographical sketches as the expansion of the collection proceeds.
With this issue we launch a new editorial section--"Reflections on Documents"--which will appear periodically as submissions permit. This section will publish essays and commentary on documents already in WASM; it may also include essays about new documents added to the site. In this issue we inaugurate "Reflections" with two essays. "Reflections" has evolved under the editorship of Lisa Materson and Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor of UC, Davis.
Our first "Reflections" essay is by Liette Gidlow, "Resistance after Ratification: The Nineteenth Amendment, African American Women, and the Problem of Female Disfranchisement after 1920." Gidlow draws on the Black Women Suffragists collection to highlight the continuing struggles of Black suffrage activists, who after 1920 faced intense opposition from White Democrats in the South and a lack of positive support from White northerners. Her essay views the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment as part of an ongoing struggle for voting rights in the United States during the twentieth century.
Our second "Reflections" essay is by Michelle Moravec, "Revisiting 'A Kind of Memo' from Casey Hayden and Mary King," based on Moravec's discovery of a long-lost document written in November 1965 by those two activists and mailed to other women in the Civil Rights movement. Historians' interpretations of the 1965 memo have relied on a version published in April 1966 in Liberation, where it was titled "Sex and Caste." We recently published that Liberation version of the document in Kathryn Sklar and Elaine Baker's document project, How and Why Did Women in SNCC (the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) Author a Pathbreaking Feminist Manifesto, 1964-1965? In that project we also published the November 1964 "SNCC Position Paper," which was the basis for both the November 1965 and the April 1966 memos. Moravec provides an in-depth analysis of the audience and content for the rediscovered 1965 memo, comparing it with the 1966 published version. She argues that the intent of the initial memo differed from the way it has been subsequently interpreted by historians of second-wave feminism.
We round out this issue with five book reviews and News from the Archives. If you are interested in reviewing books or have titles to recommend for review, please email our book review editors, Kathleen Laughlin, of Metropolitan (MN) State University for works in U.S. Women's History and Megan Threlkeld, of Denison University, for works in International Women's History, 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.
In June we published the first release of a third WASM database, Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820. When complete, this database will include 75,000 pages of primary sources, 80 video and audio oral histories with transcriptions, and 35 scholarly essays. This archive/database has been created by our collaboration with more than 40 international scholars. Our first releases have placed 52,000 pages online thus far and we will be adding new documents and scholarly essays regularly over the next 6-9 months.
In the summer of 2016, Alexander Street launched a new platform for Women and Social Movements International, known by the acronym LAZR. Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires employs the same platform and interface. We expect within two years to move WASM in the U.S. to this new platform as well. 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 databases. If your library subscribes to all three databases, you will be able to search comprehensively in the 400,000 pages of women's history documents we have assembled over twenty years. The expanded search capability should make the databases even more valuable teaching and research tools.
Alexander Street is marketing all the WASM databases to libraries, offering subscriptions or purchase plans and a substantial discount for libraries that order all three. Your acquisitions librarian can contact Eileen Lawrence at Alexander Street Press to request a free trial. We look forward to hearing your reactions to these major additions to Women and Social Movements.
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