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 76 biographical sketches. The issue also includes 40 biographical sketches and a modest number of documents that we are adding to the Black Women Suffragists collection. And we are publishing our secomd and final installment of full-text documents generated by the National Consumers' League, 1903-1934. We are also pleased to publish two new pieces in our "Reflections on Documents" section, in which scholars comment on documents already in "Women and Social Movements in the United States."
The new document project is by Carole Joffe and Margaret Johnston, "Why and How Did a Small Group of Maverick Abortion Providers Called the November Gang Come to Challenge Prevailing Conventions of Abortion Provision and What Were Their Innovations?" This project describes the 1989 emergence and subsequent activities of a little known but historically significant group within the abortion provider community in the United States, the "November Gang," responsible for the integration of substantial individual counseling into abortion provision.
In this issue we significantly expand the document project, Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920, first posted in March 2015. To that project we add 76 crowdsourced biographical sketches of women activists who picketed the White House in 1917-1919 in support of the National Woman's Party and a much-expanded spreadsheet of the almost 400 militant suffragists included in this project. We expect to publish the remaining 150 biographical sketches for this project 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 now includes 1,900 items, totaling more than 16,000 pages. Tom Dublin and a team of scholars and students have assembled these published and unpublished writings of Black woman suffragists, including both notable national figures and much lesser-known local activists. When we began this publishing we anticipated having about 100 activists, but as the work has proceeded that group looks to reach 200 women by the time we are done. The major element of the work remaining is to commission biographical sketches for the latest additions to the group. If you would like to prepare a biographical sketch or are aware of women activists we still need to include in the collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With this issue we continue the recently launched 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 include two essays.
Our first "Reflections" essay is Kathryn Kish Sklar, "Human Rights Discourse in Women's Rights Conventions in the United States, 1848-70." Sklar draws on the published proceedings of Women's Rights Conventions that have long been a feature of WASM's full-text sources. She explores in detail the language employed in these meetings and finds a significant and early usage of the term "human rights" by convention participants.
Our second "Reflections" essay is Gaylynn Welch, "The Woman Suffrage Year Book, 1917: A Resource for Studying the Woman Suffrage Movement," which provides historical context for this 1917 Year Book that we have had up on WASM for some time now. Welch places the publication of this resource within the "Winning Strategy" that NAWSA implemented in the final push for the Nineteenth Amendment. This document provides valuable factual information on suffrage campaigns, but also illuminates the frame of mind of leading suffragists at this date.
In this issue we conclude our publication of a collection of documents from the National Consumers' League, the leading force behind the federal government's adoption of a national minimum wage with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. These 74 documents, dating from 1926 to 1934, illuminate the work of both state branches of the League and national efforts.
We round out this issue with eight 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.
For fifteen months now we have been steadily adding documents and scholarly essays to our 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. We expect the database to be completed by December of this year.
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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