The following is an excellent list of resources for further reading and study into the effective inclusion of women’s history into historical preservation. It is by no means comprehensive, but we found great value in reading the following and hope you will too. Most of them require nothing more than a click (or a few) of the mouse and a few minutes of your time to explore.
“Declaration of Sentiments”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal…” So begins the Declaration of Sentiments – the document created at the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. In it, 68 women and 32 men, used the model of the U.S. Declaration of Independence to lay bare their demands for women’s rightful place in our society. It is simply a must read for any preservationist, but unfortunately it’s one most don’t even realize exists.
“Raising Our Sites: Integrating Women’s History into Museums” by Kim Moon
National Women’s History Project
“Places where women made History” by the National Park Service
“Feminism in the Museum” by Lisa Price
“Transmitting Culture by Preserving Women’s History” by Connie Lamb http://www.mtnforum.org/sites/default/files/pub/1019.pdf
Connie Lamb’s article discusses the Women’s Manuscript collection that focuses on Mormon and Western U.S. women maintained at The Bringham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Lamb presents a strong case for including women’s manuscripts in historical preservation to access and document women’s life experiences throughout history by preserving diaries, letters, poetry, oral histories, biographies, etc. Her articles includes a link to the online guide to the manuscript collection maintained at BYU, which does offer online access to some texts.
“Restoring Women’s History Through Historic Preservation” edited by Gail Lee Dubrow and Jennifer B. Goodman
This book is not available online (though some of the articles it contains are), but it is available at the Franklin & Marshall College Library in Lancaster, PA. The general public is welcome to join the library for a nominal fee, and we encourage you to do so if for no other reason than to read this book (though you might find yourself enjoying the architecture, the quiet, and the Library of Congress cataloging system at the library). In it information abounds about how to research women’s history, combat challenges to preserving women’s history, include women’s history in existing preservation, organize new preservation of women’s history, build a “village” that will tackle the issue of preserving women’s history in your community, and more.
“Revealing Women’s History: Best Practices at Historic Sites” by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites
In this publication, five case studies are presented of how the historic sites across our country have brought the female part of our history into their preservation based on asking: “What women were present here?”, “What women were affected by the events/people here?”, “How did women affect this site?”, and “How did they perceive it?”.
National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites
Founded in 2001, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) works towards the goal of making women’s history and their participation in American life highly visible and valued in historic sites. One of the ways they do this is by publishing Women’s History: Sites and Resources, a 142-page reference guide for American women’s past that features forty women’s history sites and projects, complete with travel itineraries, teaching plans, and websites. Additionally, NCWHS is currently working on a women’s history heritage trail project, and hosted an “Integrating Women’s History” workshop in 2011 (the complete video series of the workshop is available to watch free of cost on their website).