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Build-a-Page Women's History Workshop
No prior experience needed!
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Give an evening to the GGRWHC and move our oral history collection toward worldwide availability! Archivist Jill Straub will show you how to locate the bits and pieces of information we need. Own a piece of a page—and help write women into the historical record!
The Oral History Committee of the GGRWHC has finished digitizing both audio and transcript versions of 50+ interviews in our current collection at the Grand Rapids Public Library. As soon as we complete introductory pages for each interview subject (photo, synopsis, other ancillary information), we will be ready to post searchable interviews online.
You will choose which Grand Rapids mover or shaker you want to meet more fully: Norma Brink (#6), Lillian Gill (#14), Suzanne Geha (#13)? Review the list at http://grplpedia.grpl.org/wiki/images/167.pdf (p.11 and following). Then Jill Straub will offer a guided presentation workshop illustrated by a completed model page before you go to work. If you own a laptop or a traditional notebook, please bring it. If you don’t, come anyway. We have a plan.
Why help with this? Because a hardcopy transcript of interview #29 exists in the GGRWHC collection at the GRPL, historian Lisa Krissoff Boehm could use information from the late Ella Sims in her 2009 book Making a Way Out of No Way.
Indeed, Boehm refers to our interview: "Existing archival collections feature few stories of the Second Great Migration, and only rarely has the movement been considered from the female viewpoint in oral histories. Of the resources that exist, few could rival the specificity and wrenching emotion of [Ella] Sims's memories" (92).
On May 2nd, 1994, the GGRWHC's Jane Idema and Bunny Voss interviewed Mrs. Sims, after which GGRWHC transcribers created a manuscript version of the audio for researchers like Boehm to use.
On May 22nd, 2013, we hope that you will help us share this interview with the world—along with the rest of Collection #167 in the GRPL archive. Your efforts will help keep their stories alive—and help write Grand Rapids women more fully into the historical record.
A Tour "Under the Dome," Featuring Women's History in the Michigan State Capitol
Join GGRWHC on Monday, June 10th, for an exclusive tour of our restored state capitol building with Michigan Capitol Historian Kerry Chartkoff, who will feature the long continuum of women who have worked under its dome. These women from the past range from the humble to the notable. They worked for a living, lobbied for change, made laws, and, finally, led the state from that building. Chartkoff will introduce a head janitress from the 1880s, a state librarian, a staff member in the 1912 delinquent tax department, Sojourner Truth, and the Grand Rapids suffragists who set up the history-making election of Eva McCall Hamilton in November 1920 as the first woman to serve in the Michigan state legislature.
12:30 pm, Monday, June 10th
Watch for details later about dress and car-pooling, but please send queries now to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 574-7307. [Note that this is a new GGRWHC telephone number and is currently forwarding to a personal voicemail. Please leave your name and a contact number.]
Recording Women's History Through Conversation: An Oral History Training Workshop
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 19th, 2013, at 7 p.m. when the GGRWHC will sponsor a workshop on conducting oral history interviews. Please consider helping interview women in our community who have "made a difference." We have a long list and invite you to add to it. Over the past few years our interview collection from the 1990s has been used in several books treating Grand Rapids history. Help us add to the record!
The workshop on June 19th will introduce you to procedures for interviewing and later depositing your work in our collection at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Guided by the Oral History Committee of the GGRWHC, you can practice developing interview questions and rehearsing interview methods, after discussing permissions and appropriate recording devices.
While the early mission of the GGRWHC was to find local foremothers to serve as model citizens for contemporary women, we have occasionally shared the history of “bad girls,” like courtesan Georgie Young. After twenty-five years in the business, we know better how to present the history of women we don't necessarily celebrate. We try not to overinvest in shock value, but we are secretly delighted to share that not even most women from the past should be put on pedestals.
The Grand Rapids Historical Society’s Gina Bivins proved this on Thursday, May 9th, when she presented “Mugging for the Camera: Mug Shot Book, 1897-1911” at the GRHS’s annual banquet. Bivins had searched out stories behind faces in a turn-of-the-century police mug shot book owned by the Grand Rapids Public Museum (accession #137772). Some of the faces belong to women:
Maggie Moore, Mrs. Frank O’Hara, Mildred Preston and Inez Brown are among those women appearing in the mugshot book, in which local crimes range from larceny to jail break. The woman whose occupation was “clairvoyant” should have seen the police coming when they tracked her down in New York!
National Women's History Project May Highlights and Birthdays
The National Women’s History Project was founded in 1980 to broadcast women’s historical achievements. It started by leading a coalition that lobbied Congress to designate March as National Women’s History Month, now celebrated across the land. Today, the NWHP is a major clearinghouse, providing information and training for anyone wanting to expand their understanding of women's contributions to U. S. history. A gift from NWHP for May: Women's History Highlights and Birthdays.
Related Documents:National Women's History Project May Highlights and Birthdays
Walk for Grand Rapids Women's History!
Legacy Landmarks: Walking with Women Who Left their Mark on Grand Rapids is a brochure produced by Marcie Beck. The walking tour includes a selection of historical landmarks important to women in the downtown area--the Ladies Literary Club and St. Cecilia's, certainly; but 22 Prospect? Find out why! The brochure has been reprinted by the Grand Rapids Public Library and is available in its downtown branch. It is also available for upload here: http://www.ggrwhc.org/uploads/files/LegacyLandmarks-brochure.pdf.
Here is some 2010 publicity:
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GGRWHC Annual Meeting & Bylaws
Recently our annual meetings have been the last day of March. Mark your calendars and take a look at the GGRWHC bylaws.
Related Documents:GGRWHC Bylaws
The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council is dedicated to educating the community and celebrating the legacies of local women, preserving knowledge of their past, and inspiring visions for their future.