March 2015

Editors : Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin
/ Published by Alexander Street Press and the
/ Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender, SUNY Binghamton

Several new initiatives begin in this issue, as Women and Social Movements in the United States evolves forward with the frontiers of digital scholarship. Here we publish two document projects, one of which is a database that we invite readers to contribute to. In this issue we also publish our first scholarly essay in a Digital Humanities Initiative and we call for readers of WASM to submit further research and writing in this vein. To facilitate such work, WASM and Alexander Street Press are making available to interested scholars digitized versions of the primary sources in our database for further analysis and interpretation.

We publish an extensive document project by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Elaine Baker, "How and Why Did Women in SNCC (the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) Author a Pathbreaking Feminist Manifesto, 1964-1965?" Drawing on a previously unpublished archive of documents from SNCC's Freedom Summer in 1964, Sklar and Baker explore the emergence of feminism in the educational and political work of that formative community organizing project.

We publish an innovative document format by Jill Zahniser, "Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920." Zahniser presents biographical information on more than 200 early suffragists who supported the White House picketing of the National Woman's Party in a spreadsheet. She complements the spreadsheet with full biographical sketches of six of these activists. Almost all of these grassroots feminists are unknown to historians and we encourage readers to do research to discover more biographical information about these women and prepare additional biographical sketches for online publication. In 2017, the centennial anniversary of the White House picketing, WASM will publish an updated biographical database and additional biographical sketches prepared through this crowdsourcing effort. See the project in this issue for further details on how to participate.

To launch our Digital Humanities Initiative, we publish a scholarly essay, "Under this name she is fitly described": A Digital History of Gender in the History of Woman Suffrage, by Michelle Moravec. Moravec has employed a variety of digital humanities tools to explore the almost 6,000 pages of the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage, edited by Stanton, Anthony, and other woman's rights leaders. In addition, she compares the rhetoric of these white activists with the writings of Black woman suffragists published in our last two issues of WASM. WASM is now actively soliciting scholarly articles that use digital humanities tools to explore the history of women and social movements. We will make available to interested scholars at institutions with subscriptions to WASM digitized versions of primary sources in our database for further analysis. See our more extensive CALL that accompanies this issue.

In this issue we publish the third installment of the Writings of Black Woman Suffragists. Based on the pioneering scholarship of Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, this collection will eventually include 1,500 items, totaling more than 15,000 pages. Tom Dublin and a team of students have assembled these published and unpublished writings of eighty Black woman suffragists first identified by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, The writings are accompanied by an introduction by Terborg-Penn and will eventually include eighteen additional essays that treat major authors in the group. We publish here three of those scholarly essays. We plan to publish three more installments of the Writings of Black Women Suffragists between now and September 2016.

We also begin now to sponsor a new crowdsourcing initiative to accompany the Writings of Black Woman Suffragists. If you are aware of writings by any of our author activists that do not appear in the database, please email Tom Dublin at tdublin@binghamton.edu and we will add them to later installments. Our goal is to make this database the most extensive and authoritative source for the published and unpublished writings of Black woman suffragists.

We round out this issue with other valuable resources, including book reviews, News from the Archives, and two Teaching Tools. If you are interested in reviewing books or have titles to recommend for review, please email our book review editor, Kathleen Laughlin, of Metropolitan (MN) State University, with your suggestions. Please note as well the announcements in the News from the Archives section, assembled by Tanya Zanish-Belcher, of Wake Forest University. If you would like to make an archives-related announcement in a future issue, she can be reached at zanisht@wfu.edu.

Meanwhile, we hope readers have been able to access and explore our second, major online digital archive, "Women and Social Movements, International--1840 to Present." This archive and database totals 150,000 pages of primary documents about women's transnational activism. It includes both published and manuscript materials generated by women's participation in international conferences and organizations over a period of 170 years, from missionary and abolitionist activities in the first half of the nineteenth century to women's NGO activism in the early twenty-first century. We have also posted on the site 25 secondary articles by scholars working in fields related to the archive, which place the primary materials within a broader interpretive context and offer suggestions on how best to make use of these online resources.

Later this year, Alexander Street Press will launch a new platform for Women and Social Movements in the United States and WASM International, known by the acronym LAZR. Users of our databases need not concern themselves with the platform's inner workings but it will enable for the first time joint searching of our two databases. If your library subscribes to both databases, you will be able to search comprehensively in the more than 300,000 pages of women's history documents we have assembled over seventeen years. The expanded search capability should make the databases even more valuable teaching and research tools. We hope to be able to share this new resource by Fall 2015.

Alexander Street Press is marketing WASM International to libraries, offering subscriptions or purchase plans. Your acquisitions librarian can contact Eileen Lawrence at Alexander Street Press to request a free trial. We look forward to hearing your reactions to this major addition to Women and Social Movements.


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