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January 2006

Dear Colleague:

The Women and Social Movements website and Alexander Street Press are sponsoring a breakfast at the upcoming OAH meeting in Washington D.C. It will be held 7:30-9:00 A.M., Friday, April 21, in the Thoroughbred Room at the Hilton Hotel. We’ll discuss new initiatives and ask those in attendance for ideas about what we can do to improve the website. Breakfast is free, but you need to sign up in advance so that we can keep track of our numbers. Please send email to Tom Dublin to be added to our breakfast list.


We are pleased to share the latest news involving the website, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000.

Issue 9:4 of our online quarterly journal appeared recently at It includes two document projects focused on women, religion, and social movements, 1890-1980; a website review; and full-text versions of five books.


"How Did the First Jewish Women's Movement Draw on Progressive Women's Activism and Jewish Traditions, 1893-1936?" by Joyce Antler, Nina Schwartz and Claire B. Uziel, explores the first Jewish women's movement in the United States, providing documents that depict women’s motives for founding the National Council of Jewish Women in 1893 and the ways the Jewish women’s movement changed during its first four decades.

"How Did Catholic Women Participate in the Rebirth of American Feminism?" by Mary Henold, examines historical documents that illuminate the place of Catholic laywomen and women religious in the rebirth of feminism after the mid-1960s. In addition to illustrating the unique contributions of Catholic feminists to "second-wave" feminism, the documents reveal women's efforts to reconcile dual commitments to feminist ideals and Catholic faith tradition.

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. We continue to publish full-text sources related to the history of the women’s organizations in the early twentieth century. Two of these titles focus on the history of the national or state organizations within the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The third title explores the founding of the first major national organization of Jewish women, the National Council of Jewish Women. The fourth book examines the history of the Order of the Pythian Sisters, a secret women’s society that served as an auxiliary of the Knights of Pythias. Our final title is a scholarly work, a special issue of the Annals of the American Academic of Political and Social Science, published in 1914 and devoted to “Women in Public Life.” The works total more than 1,600 pages and bring our pages of full-text sources in the database to more than 23,000.

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

From our Alexander Street homepage, you can get a list of the 90 full-text sources currently available by going to "Browse-Sources" and clicking on the link to "Fulltext only." With our March 2006 issue we will pass the 25,000 page mark in our publication of full-text sources and will begin a new phase in our effort. We will begin publishing a quarter century of the Minutes of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union for the period 1874-1898. We anticipate that the greater availability of this important published primary source and its systematic indexing will contribute significantly to Women’s History scholarship. If you are interested in recommending similar sources that we might publish online in the future, please let us know.

FUTURE ISSUES: Future document projects in our pipeline include:

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 or Stephanie Gilmore. For a project idea concerning women in the colonial or early national period, contact Patricia Cleary. Finally, Carol Lasser 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 or Kitty Sklar.

A new idea for the website that came out of our meetings last spring at the OAH and Berks conferences is the establishment of WASM discussion groups where users of the website can share ideas on how to use the site in their research and teaching and to communicate with other historians with similar interests. We are working on the programming of these features and hope to launch the first one at about the time of the OAH meeting in Washington, D.C. in April.

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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