March 2007

News from the Archives provides readers with news concerning U.S. Women's History from archives and repositories with collections and projects of interest.  If you are affiliated with an archive or repository and have an announcement that you feel would be of interest to our readers, please contact Tanya Zanish-Belcher at

National Institutes of Health
National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, has announced the release of an extensive selection from the papers of Rosalind Franklin, a chemist and crystallographer who did ground breaking work in shedding light on the structure of DNA, on its Profiles in Science website at

The online exhibit features correspondence, published articles, photos, lab notebooks, and reports from Franklin's files. An introductory exhibit section places Franklin's achievements in historical context. Franklin began her scientific career analyzing the structure of coal and carbon during World War II, and became an internationally recognized expert in that field. For five years before her premature death, she did path-breaking research that elucidated the structure of plant viruses. Yet chemist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) is now best known for the research that occupied her briefly in between: the structure of DNA. Early in 1953, when Francis Crick and James Watson were struggling to build an accurate theoretical model of the DNA molecule, it was Franklin's meticulous X-ray diffraction photos and analysis that gave them crucial clues to DNA's structure, and allowed them to win the race to identify the double helix.

Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine is the world's largest library of the health sciences. For more information, visit the Web site at

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

The records of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, will be available for the first time on the Cornell University Library Web site beginning Feb. 8 at Highlights from the HRC collection, including strategic-planning documents, faxes, minutes, e-mails, press releases, posters and campaign buttons - will be posted in the online-only exhibition, "25 Years of Political Influence: The Records of the Human Rights Campaign." The physical collection at Cornell Library opens to scholars the same day.

The HRC's records arrived at Cornell in 2004 and at 84 cubic feet, the HRC's records constitute the second-largest of 225 collections within the Human Sexuality Collection in Cornell Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The library's online exhibit offers highlights of the HRC collection as well as videos of demonstrations and AIDS activism in a section that outlines the past 60 years of national LGBT activism.

University of Louisville
University Archives and Records Center/Department of Rare Books and Special Collections (Louisville, KY)

The Women's Manuscript Collections Project has processed the collections of eight women: attorney Laura Miller Derry; poet Diane di Prima; poet Hortense Flexner; pediatrician and activist Grace M. James; civil rights activist and Louisville alderman Lois Morris; constitutional historian and women's rights advocate Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau; Louisville radio columnist Louise Weiller; and Circuit court judge Rebecca Westerfield.

Society of Women Engineers
Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)

Wayne State University is the official repository for the historical and archival materials of the Society of Women Engineers. The collection includes SWE organizational records, biographical files, publications, historical newspaper clippings, personal diaries, photographs, oral histories, and other materials all documenting the efforts of this national organization.

Founded in the 1940s, SWE currently is comprised of over 17,000 student, graduate and corporate members, and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational service organization.

Please contact Deborah Rice, SWE Archivist, with any questions 313-577-9373 or by E-mail at


Previous Issues of News from the Archives

| September 2005 | December 2005 |
| March 2006 | June 2006 | September 2006 | December 2006 |

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