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April 2006


Dear Colleague—

We have just had an exciting array of activities at the annual OAH meeting that took place in Washington, D.C. and we take a few moments to alert you to the latest developments for Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000.


At the recent OAH meeting we announced the launching of The "Second Wave" and Beyond, a free online "scholarly community" of feminist thinkers to discuss and record the history of feminist activism since 1960. We are very excited by the possibilities of this new, freely-accessible resource, moderated by Judith Ezekiel, Stephanie Gilmore, and Kimberly Springer. Check it out and sign up by going to


Women and Social Movements and Alexander Street Press are pleased to announce the availability, beginning this July or August, of a new online database edited by Kitty Sklar and Tom Dublin. Publications on the Status of Women will provide a single, authoritative, searchable archive of primary materials documenting the history of changes in women's lives in the U.S. in the last third of the 20th century. It will include the full texts of all reports and publications of local, state, and federal commissions on the status of women. We are currently in the middle of a massive bibliographical project of identifying, selecting, and re-keying all such documents for which we can secure photocopies. We plan to publish the first 25,000 pages of these documents in the first release and expect the database to grow to more than 60,000 pages when our work is complete. It’s targeted to include materials published between 1963 and 2005.

Because of its size, Publications on the Status of Women will be available separately from Women and Social Movements, either by one-time purchase of perpetual rights or by annual subscription. It will be fully integrated with Women and Social Movements, so that researchers at institutions with access to both databases can conduct subject or full-text searches in both resources at the same time. Publications on the Status of Women will be priced on a sliding scale the same as for Women and Social Movements.

Please alert your acquisitions librarian to the availability of this new resource. For further information, you or your librarian can contact Eileen Lawrence at Alexander Street Press,, 800-889-5937 ext. 211 (U.S. and Canada) or 703-212-8520 ext. 211 (international). We trust that you'll be as excited as we are by the availability of this rich resource.

Issue 10:1 of our online quarterly journal appeared recently at It includes two document project; four book and website reviews; and full-text versions of four books.


In "How Do Contemporary Newspaper Accounts of the 1850 Worcester Woman’s Rights Convention Enhance our Understanding of the Issues Debated at That Meeting?" John McClymer explores the conflicting perspectives that emerge on the first national woman's rights convention held in Worcester, Massachusetts from the official published proceedings of the meeting and contemporary newspaper accounts. He shows how the meeting's chair and chronicler, Paulina Wright Davis, attempted to sanitize the official account of the event and how contemporary accounts permit one to see the more complex and interesting debate on issues of women's rights that took place at the meeting.

Sylvie Murray offers another revisionist perspective in her document project, "How Did Suburban Development and Domesticity Shape Women's Activism in Queens, New York, 1945-1968?" Murray explores the ways that women's activism developed in the borough of Queens in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. The account is particularly interesting because the feminist pioneer, Betty Friedan, lived in Queens at this time and Murray shows how much more active women were in neighborhood politics in the period than one comes to understand from Friedan's classic, The Feminine Mystique. Murray offers a more complex view of the emergence of second-wave feminism than Friedan initially offered. The project includes four documents by Friedan which she gave WASM permission to reprint just before her death.

Other features in this issue include News from the Archives edited by Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Associate Professor and Head of the Special Collections Department and University Archives at Iowa State University. With this quarterly issue of the database, we continue to publish full-text sources related to the history of the women’s organizations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The titles in this issue focus on state-level organizations. Chronologically, the first is Massachusetts Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary, an organization that supported the work of the Civil War veterans group, the Grand Army of the Republic. The second volume traces the history of the New York state branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Finally, we offer histories of the state federations of women's clubs in Michigan and Maryland. These works bring our total pages of full-text sources in the database to more than 25,000. With our next issue, we will begin publishing a quarter century of the Minutes of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union for the period 1874-1898. If you are interested in recommending similar sources that we might publish online in the future, please feel free to write to us and let us know of some possibilities.

You can access a table of contents of the new issue of the journal at

FUTURE ISSUES: Future document projects in our pipeline include:

• French traders and missionaries and Illinois women, 1650-1750
• Arts programs at Greenwich House in New York, 1900-1930
• Oral history of the Oregon Nurses Association
• the Harlem Birth Control Clinic and Margaret Sanger
• the March on Washington Movement during World War II
• the Transformation of Feminist Legal Strategy, 1960-1973

We continue to solicit new proposals for document projects to be published on the website. In the past year and a half we have established a national editorial board and created a peer review system for evaluating prospective contributions and offering editorial support to author/editors. If you are interested in preparing a document project based on your research, we would be glad to exchange email with you about your work and the submission process. If your prospective document project concerns post-1960 feminism, please contact either Judith Ezekiel at , Kimberly Springer at, or Stephanie Gilmore at For a project idea concerning women in the colonial or early national period, contact Patricia Cleary at Finally, Carol Lasser (at at Oberlin College serves as the editor for our images initiative. If you would like to prepare a document project or analytic essay that explores some aspect of women and social movements from a visual perspective, please contact Carol. For other project possibilities, please contact Tom Dublin at or Kitty Sklar at

Thanks for your continuing interest in Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000. As you look over the website, please share your reactions with us and let us know any ideas you may have about how we can better serve your needs and interests.

Best wishes,

Kitty Sklar

Tom Dublin

Melissa Doak

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