The Scout Report
March 1, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 9
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
From Hatchepsut to Hypatia to Harriet Tubman to Hilary Clinton, women have always led, discovered, and shaped history. Since 1987, the United States has designated March Women's History Month (http://womenshistorymonth.gov), dedicated to "the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society." To celebrate, we at Internet Scout have collected and annotated 16 high-quality resources on women throughout history. We hope our readers will find these resources as enlightening, thought-provoking, and inspiring as the lives of the women they describe.
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Based at Middle Tennessee State University, this valuable database gives interested parties access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, and so on) that document the history of women in the United States. Visitors can browse the database by subject, place, time period, or primary source type. There are many fascinating resources and links here, including letters from Abigail Franks to her son from the 1730s and 1740s and Katrina Thomas' wonderfully evocative photographs of various ethnic weddings. Even a close appraisal of items listed by primary source is delightful, as the headings here include everything from broadsides to buttons to trade cards. One particularly noteworthy collection contains the papers of the late Irene Kuhn, who was a global traveler, journalist, and social commentator. [KMG]
The mission of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is to document "the lives of women of the past and present for the future." The library is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and interested parties can peruse the Library's announcements, scholarship opportunities, and digital collections here. The Picks & Finds area is a great place to start, as it contains a range of interesting posts and essays like "Dining with Dissent: Politics and Protest in Vegetarian Cookbooks." Visitors shouldn't miss the selections from the Kip Tiernan papers. Mary Jane "Kip" Tiernan was known for her work with organizations that aided the poor, homeless, and socially oppressed. One of her most notable accomplishments was the creation of Rosie's Place, which was the first emergency drop-in shelter for women in the United States. Additionally, the library has the collected papers of the late Julia Child. In the overview of area, visitors can listen to Child talk about their culinary collections and also view selected papers. [KMG]
The WomenWatch website is dedicated to providing "information and resources on gender equality and empowerment of women." It is an initiative of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and the site is a veritable cornucopia of information on this vast and timely subject. In the Quick Links and Features, visitors can view the UN Gender Equality News Feed, which is a great way to get a sense of the main issues affecting women around the world. Moving on, the Documents and Publications area contains seminal reports such as "Seeing Beyond the State: Grassroots Women's Perspectives on Corruption and Anti-Corruption." Also, the News and Highlights area contains links to partner organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. These links include radio clips, news releases, and other key pieces of information. [KMG]
Founded in 1980, the National Women's History Project (NWHP) was created by a group of women committed to recognizing women's historical achievements. The organization was responsible for lobbying Congress to designate March as National Women's History Month, and today, they provide information and training in multicultural women's history for educators, community organizers, and parents. On the site, visitors can learn about the NWHP's many outreach efforts, or explore by clicking on the Women's History Month tab. Here, interested parties will find materials on the annual Women's History Month celebration, along with some fun quizzes and press releases. The Resource Center contains essays about prominent women, along with an archive of Great Speeches by women and resources for teachers. Finally, the site is rounded out by a News and Events area that contains updates about other events the NWHP supports, such as National Nurses Week and Women's Equality Day. [KMG]
The University of Wisconsin has created a vast array of wonderful bibliographies related to women's studies, and this is one of the best. This particular bibliography is an expansion of one created in 1981 by Linda Parker, a women's studies librarian at the school. This iteration was updated and enhanced by Phyllis Holman Weisbard, and is divided into three sections: General Works, Works on Individual Women, and Archival Resources. In the General Works area, visitors can access the Women's History in Wisconsin web page from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Also, they can learn about the "Dictionary of Wisconsin History" which contains brief biographies of prominent Wisconsin women. Moving on, the Works on Individual Women area contains citations of works on women who spent a significant portion of their lives in Wisconsin, such as Golda Meir and Harriet Bell Merrill. Finally, Archival Resources contains links to online and offline resources such as the Wisconsin Women During World War II Oral History Project. [KMG]
The Gifts of Speech site brings together speeches given by women from all around the world. The site is under the direction of Liz Linton Kent Leon, who is the electronic resources librarian at Sweet Briar College. First-time users may wish to click on the How To… area to learn how to navigate the site. Of course, the FAQ area is a great way to learn about the site as well, and it should not be missed as it tells about the origin story for the site. In the Collections area, visitors can listen in to all of the Nobel Lectures delivered by female recipients and look at a list of the top 100 speeches in American history as determined by a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A & M University. Users will also want to use the Browse area to look over talks by women from Robin Abrams to Begum Kahaleda Zia, the former prime minster of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. [KMG]
This wonderful website provides information about and links to the exhibits curated by the International Museum of Women (IMOW). The goal of the Museum is "to inspire creativity, awareness and action on vital global issues for women." The Museum, which exists online only, has a global council that includes prominent women like Zainab Salbi and Eve Ensler. First-time visitors should browse the Exhibition area, as it features rotating exhibits like "Curating Change." This display features a wonderful set of women like Mahnaz Afkhami and Tiffany Dufu talking about leadership, community, and other pertinent topics. Users shouldn't miss the Events area, as it contains information about the IMOW's special events, along with information on past events and a community calendar. Educators, activists, and others will want to give the Community area close consideration. Here they will find ways to connect with other interesting people and powerful ideas from around the world. The site is rounded out by an in-house blog, "Her Blueprint." [KMG]
The Women's Legal History website is the home of a searchable database of articles and papers on pioneering women lawyers in the United States. The site contains sections that include the WLH Biography Project and the index and bibliographic notes from "Woman Lawyer: The Trial of Clara Foltz" by Barbara Babcock. In the WLH Biography Project, visitors can look over the life stories of women in the legal profession, such as Agnes Sagebiel, Marge Wagner, and Julia Jennings. There are over 1,000 profiles that visitors can browse alphabetically or search by name, year, ethnicity, or law school. Additionally, the site contains detailed information about Babcock's recent work, along with media clips related to the subject of women lawyers. [KMG]
The Frances Perkins Center is named after Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve on a presidential cabinet. During her time as the U.S. secretary of labor under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Perkins worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of workers across the country. The mission of the Center is to "fulfill the legacy of Frances Perkins...by continuing her work for social and economic justice and preserving for future generations her nationally significant family homestead." The materials on the site are divided into sections that include Frances Perkins, The Center, Projects, and Virtual Tour. The first section contains a photo gallery of Perkins, along with information about her life and times. In the Center area, visitors can read about the Center's mission and staff or scan the blog. Finally, the Projects area contains a wonderful area called the Social Security Stories Project. Here, visitors can read stories about how Social Security has impacted generations of individuals and also contribute their own memories and experiences. [KMG]
The goal of the Women in Science Project is "to provide full and partial text access to the written works of several female scientists accompanied by biographies written by leading historians of science and talented Michigan State University undergraduates." Currently, the site includes access to texts such as Ellen H. Richards' "The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning: A manual for housekeepers" (published in 1882) and works by the marquise Du Chatelet, a 19th century mathematician and physicist. The accompanying essays here are quite good. One notable essay profiles Eliza Burt Gamble, who contributed to evolutionary debates by publishing a feminist critique of Darwinian theory. Along with the biographical essays on these women, visitors can also access the Resources area. Here visitors will find links to the Canadian Women in Science website and the HEARTH website at Cornell University, which features works in home economics from 1850 to 1950. [KMG]
In 1969, the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) was founded. Recently, the CWLU created the CWLU Herstory Website Project to archive and share the history of the organization. On the site, its authors write that "by sharing our history we hope others are inspired to act today." It's a laudable goal; the site features everything from women's health videos to FAQ areas for students, teachers, and activists. In the Historical Archive area, visitors can view key historical items in categories that include Classic Feminist Writings and Art and Culture. This last section is a gem where visitors can view feminist buttons, historic posters from CWLU events, and materials from the Chicago Women's Graphics Collective. Visitors shouldn't miss the CWLU writings by topic area, as it contains key documents from the organization's history on family, health, sexuality, and work. [KMG]
The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University has a wealth of digitized materials related to African American women. This particular collection brings together three noteworthy collections: Elizabeth Johnson Harris: Life Story; Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson: Slave Letters; and Vilet Lester Letter. This last item is particularly noteworthy as it is a very rare item indeed: a letter written by a female slave. The Elizabeth Johnson Harris: A Life Story area brings together the full text of her memories, along with several poems and vignettes published in various newspapers in her lifetime. She was born in 1867 to parents who had been slaves, and the memoir includes information about her own childhood and the importance of religion and education in her life. Finally, the last section brings together letters written by Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson to their mistresses and other slave family members in Abingdon, Virginia. [KMG]
The Women Artists of the American West (WAAW) website features the "vital contributions that women have made to the art and history of the American west." Visitors to the site can take in seventeen different collections, arranged according to four themes: community, identity, spirituality, and locality. The exhibits include works by Barbara Zaring and Alcye Frank, who painted the landscape of the American Southwest as a team. Moving on into the Identity area, visitors will find collations such as "Shaping a New Way: White Women and the Movement to Promote Pueblo Indian Arts and Crafts, 1900-1935" and "Lesbian Photography on the U.S. West Coast, 1972-1997." Visitors should also take the time to look through the beautiful work by Betty LaDuke, collected in the collection titled "An Artist's Journey from Oregon to Timbuktu." [KMG]
This remarkable collection brings together a plethora of printed materials related to the struggle for woman suffrage in the United States. Created as part of the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress, the materials here include photographs of suffrage parades, picketing suffragists, an anti-suffrage display, as well as a number of cartoons. The site includes a special timeline which profiles the long struggle for woman suffrage, through Abigail Adams' admonition to her husband to "Remember the Ladies" all the way up to the first proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923. Visitors can browse the subject index for items ranging from Allegories to Women-Political Activity-Washington (D.C.). The site is rounded out by a selected bibliography and information on how to order photographic reproductions. [KMG]
Smithsonian Education office has pulled together a great website featuring a multitude of teaching resources on the experience of women in the United States. Each year, the website unveils a new set of materials culled from various exhibits at the Smithsonian museums. A good place to start is the Women's History Month Calendar, which collects events that are taking place in and around Washington, D.C. The Photographs of Women on Flickr area features over 160 photographs of women of prominence in fields such as nursing, politics, and science. There are twelve other sections here, including Exploring the History of Women Inventors, Women in Aviation and Space History, and Native American Women. One particularly noteworthy resource here is the children's bibliography related to materials about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The areas contain a wealth of lesson plans, suggested readings, and more to pique the interest of teachers, students, and lifelong learners. [KMG]
The simply delightful Teaching with Historic Places initiative uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. Over the past decade or so, the initiative has crafted rather fine guides to Indianapolis, maritime Massachusetts, and dozens of other places. This website brings together all of the lesson plans that address important aspects of women's history. The plans here profile people like Adeline Hornbek, who as a single mother of four, defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a successful ranch under the Homestead Act. Another great lesson plan here profiles the Robbins Reed Lighthouse, which was maintained by Kate Walker from 1894 to 1919. Lessons contain a wealth of background information, activities, pictures, and primary sources. [KMG]
Equal pay for women battle gains traction in New York
Getting equal pay could become easier for women
State Senator Wendy Davis Wants to Bring Federal Fair Pay Laws for Women to Texas
Wage gaps destroy employee morale, productivity
Here We Go Again: The Long (and Frustrating) Journey of Equal Pay for Women
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
The struggle for equal pay for women has gone on for decades, and as of late, there has been increased interest at the state and federal levels to address this problem. The state legislature of New York has begun to look into the matter, and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has made it one of his goals in the Woman's Equality Act. Some of this activity is inspired by the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which effectively states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. The movement continues on in New Mexico as well, as the state's House of Representatives passed House Bill 216, which if it passes through the Senate, would prohibit employers of four or more people from wage discrimination based on sex. [KMG]
The first link will take interested parties to a recent piece from the Metro daily newspaper about the Woman's Equality Act in New York. The second link will take interested parties to a recent piece from the Albuquerque Journal about House Bill 216 (Fair Pay for Women Act) in New Mexico. The third link will whisk interested parties to a piece from the Dallas Observer about the movement to bring federal fair pay laws for women to the Lone Star State. The fourth link will take users to a piece from this Tuesday's Leader-Post about the ways in which wage gaps destroy employee morale and productivity. Moving along, the fifth link goes to an editorial piece from Marlo Thomas, writing for the Huffington Post about the journey of equal pay for women. The final link will take visitors to the complete text of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published every Friday of the year except the last Friday of December by Internet Scout, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences. Funding sources have included the National Science Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Libraries.
Internet Scout Team Max Grinnell Editor Carmen Montopoli Managing Editor Edward Almasy Director Rachael Bower Director Andrea Coffin Information Services Manager Autumn Hall-Tun Internet Cataloger Sara Sacks Internet Cataloger Tim Baumgard Web Developer Corey Halpin Web Developer Zev Weiss Technical Specialist Evan Radkoff Technical Specialist Debra Shapiro Contributor Holly Wallace Administrative Assistant Michael Penn II Administrative Assistant
For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout staff page.