About Women and Social Movements in the United States

1. About the Web Site

ISSN 2164-5361 (Scholar's Edition)
ISSN 2164-537X (Basic Edition)

This Web site is intended to serve as a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, the site seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding of U.S. history at the same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. We are an online journal and publish new issues twice a year, in March and September. The site is available to academic libraries by subscription or purchase in either the Basic or the Scholar's edition.

Women and Social Movements: Basic Edition contains the following resources:

  • 125 document projects and document archives that interpret and present documents, most of which are not otherwise available online. Each document project poses an interpretive question and provides a collection of documents that address the question. Altogether these document projects and archives provide about 5,200 documents, 1,400 images, and 1,130 links to other websites. They demonstrate that historical analysis is an interpretive process based on documents. Viewers of the site are encouraged to participate in that interpretive process. We add four new document projects or additions to existing projects annually. We are always interested in considering submissions of proposals for new document projects or archives for online publication.
  • About 4,700 publications with 85,000 pages of Primary Source Collections pertaining to Women and Social Movements in the United States. These materials have been selected by the Editors for their relevance to the focus of the website. We add about 5,000 additional pages of new sources annually. For a listing of Primary Source Collections, go to Browse Bibliography and click on Full Text Primary Sources.
  • A dictionary of social movements and organizations.
  • A chronology of U.S. Women's History.
  • Teaching Tools with lesson ideas and document-based questions related to the website's document projects.
  • Book and web site reviews published twice annually.
  • Regularly-published news from the archives about primary sources in U.S. Women's History.

Women and Social Movements: Scholar's Edition contains all of these resources plus:

  • A digital archive, consisting of 90,000 pages of publications of federal, state, and local Commissions on the Status of Women between 1961 and 2005.
  • An online edition of the five-volume biographical dictionary, Notable American Women (1971-2004).

2. How to Cite Sources from WASM

Because WASM is accessible through the servers of subscribing libraries, the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) will vary, depending on the library, and the URL citation will also vary depending on the library.

We therefore recommend that users include the following elements in their citations:

  • author
  • title of document (for e.g. a speech or a newspaper article)
  • author and title of original source (for eg. a newspaper or a book).
  • original publication date
  • (If in a WASM document project or document archive, author and title of the project or archive.)
  • in Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin, eds., Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
  • accessed through [name of subscribing library]
  • at [URL of home page of subscribing library]
  • accessed [give date].

3. Submission Guidelines

Women and Social Movements welcomes proposals for online document projects. Co-directors Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin draw on a Board of Editors who referee submissions and offer support to prospective author/editors.

Prospective submissions should be built around primary sources addressing a concrete question concerning some aspect of women and social movements in the United States. Ideally the project question should address issues raised in relevant secondary literature. The project should include a brief introductory essay with endnotes and about 20-30 primary source documents (texts, images, audio or video) with headnotes that address the central question and annotations that identify obscure references within the documents. The project should also include a bibliography and a set of related WWW links. Author/editors of projects accepted for publication on the website will also need to secure permission for the publication of any copyrighted material. Staff of the Women and Social Movements website will provide support in this process.

In March 2009 we introduced a new format – the document archive. In document archives authors can present larger groups of documents relatively unmediated by interpretation. By publishing a blend of document projects and document archives, we hope to make available an even wider array of new interpretations and new documents in U.S. Women's History. Prospective authors should contact the editors at the outset of their work to discuss whether they would like to prepare a proposal for a document project or a document archive.

Because so much work is involved in preparing a web-based document project, and there are limited venues for publication of such work, we ask prospective contributors initially to submit a 3-5 page abstract noting the project's central question, its connection to relevant historiography, and the main primary sources to be employed. In addition we ask prospective authors to submit an annotated list of documents likely to be included in the project. Staff at the website and members of the editorial board will offer responses and assistance to prospective contributors. We send proposals and related lists of documents out for double-blind peer review. Based on reviewers’ comments, we will accept a proposal, urge the author to revise and resubmit the proposal, or decide not to move forward with the proposal.

Beginning in January 2019, Professors Judy Tzu-Chun Wu of UC Ifrvine and Rebecca Plant of UC San Diego will assume editorial responsibility for Women and Social Movements in the United States. We encourage prospective contributors to contact the new co-editors by email to j.wu@uci.edu or rjp@ucsd.edu to discuss their proposals before submitting them. All submissions must be electronic—preferably via email or email attachments. We find it helpful to have considerable email exchange during the proposal preparation process and during work on the project because of the unique demands of the document project genre.

Professor Jay Kleinberg of Brunel University has written an article describing her experience preparing a document project for WASM and has kindly permitted us to mount the piece here for prospective contributors. You may find her discussion helpful if you are anticipating preparing your own document project

4. Editorial Policy

A note on transcription:

To prepare our key-entered transcriptions of documents we begin with photocopies of the original documents, whether archival manuscripts or published works. We transcribe originals as they appear and do not correct errors in spelling or non-standard punctuation except in the case of typographical errors in printed sources or insignificant errors in manuscript sources. Errors have not been noted with "[sic]" except in cases where recognition of the error illuminates the document. We have only added words occasionally to clarify the meaning of an obscure passage and have always used brackets [ ] on such occasions. We have always used ellipses to indicate places where we have excerpted portions from a longer document. Where we have deleted a paragraph or more, we have inserted asterisks to mark this editing. We have also added signatures in brackets if the original document was an internal copy of a letter and as such did not have a signature.

We add 5,000 pages of new full-text sources annually. For the first three years these documents included books, pamphlets, and other publications focusing on "One Hundred Years of the Struggle for Woman Suffrage, 1830-1930." In 2007 we completed a run of the minutes of the annual national meetings of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In 2014-2017, we added more than 16,000 pages of the writings of Black woman suffragists. In 2016-17, we posted some 4,000 pages of documents of the National Consumers’ League, and now in 2018, we are beginning posting more than three decades of issues of the journal of the National Woman’s Party, Equal Rights, amounting to about 6,500 pages in all.

5. Editorial Board

  • Anne-Marie Angelo (US-UK & South Africa--(U. of Sussex)
  • Marilyn Booth—(Arabic Cultures--University of Oxford
  • Eileen Boris (US in the World--UC SB)
  • Marilyn Boxer (Europe--San Francisco State)
  • Antoinette Burton (Empire—U. of Illinois)
  • Jo Butterfield—(League of Nations—U. of Iowa )
  • Jacqueline Castledine (US in the World--U. of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  • Nupur Chaudhuri (South Asia--Texas Southern U.)
  • Francisca de Haan—(Central Europe--Central European University)
  • Ellen DuBois (US in the World--UCLA)
  • Carolyn Eichner (France and French Empire--U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
  • Cynthia Enloe – (Empire--Clark Univ.)
  • Carol Faulkner ( US Women--Syracuse Univ.)
  • Jennifer Frost (U.S. Women, U of Auckland)
  • Julie Gallagher (US in the World--Penn State Univ., Brandywine)
  • Pat Grimshaw (New Zealand, Australia--University of Melbourne)
  • Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor(British Empire in North America--UC Davis)
  • Jane Hunter (US in the World--Lewis and Clark University)
  • Franca Iacovetta – (Italy in the World--Toronto)
  • Rui Kohiyama (US, Japan--Tokyo Women’s Christian University)
  • Kathleen Laughlin (US in the World--Metropolitan State U., Minneapolis)
  • Philippa Levine (Empire--UT Austin)
  • Lisa Materson (US in the World--UC Davis)
  • Kathleen McCarthy (US in the World--CUNY)
  • Annette Mevis (Women in the World--ATRIUM archives, Amsterdam)
  • Clare Midgley (British Empire--Sheffield Univ.)
  • Gail Minault (South Asia--UT Austin)
  • Michelle Moravec (US--Rosemont College)
  • Asha Islam Nayeem (Bangladesh--Univ. of Dhaka, Bangladesh)
  • Karen Offen—(Europe--Stanford)
  • Jocelyn Olcott (Mexico--Duke)
  • Annelise Orleck (US in the World--Dartmouth)
  • Fiona Paisley (Pacific Rim--Griffith University)
  • Rebecca Plant (US in the World--UC San Diego)
  • Jessica Pliley (US in the World --Texas State Univ.)
  • Claire Potter (US in the World--New School)
  • Jean Quataert (Europe in the World--SUNY Binghamton)
  • Barbara Reeves-Ellington (US in the World--Independent Scholar, UK)
  • Mary Renda (US in the World--Mt. Holyoke)
  • Leila Rupp (International Women’s Organizations--UCSB)
  • Rhonda Semple (South Asia--St. Francis Xavier, Canada)
  • Mrinalini Sinha (Empire--U of Michigan)
  • Glenda Sluga (Transnational--U of Sydney)
  • Marjorie Spruill (US in the World--Univ of South Carolina)
  • Landon Storrs (US in the World--Univ. of Iowa)
  • Shurlee Swain (Australia--Australian Catholic University )
  • Yuko Takahashi (Japan and US--Tsuda College)
  • Rosalyn Terborg-Penn (US in the World--Morgan State Univ.)
  • Jenny Thigpen (US in the World--Washington State U., Pullman)
  • Brandy Thomas Wells (US in the World—Ohio State Univ.)
  • Wang Zheng (China--Univ. of Michigan)
  • Judy Wu (US in the World--Ohio State Univ.)

Special Editors

  • Book Review Editors:
  • Kathleen Laughlin, Metropolitan State University
    Megan Threlkeld, Denison University
  • Digital Humanities Editor:
  • Michelle Moravec, Rosemont College
  • Primary Source Collections Editorsr:
  • Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, University of California, Davis
    Lisa Materson, University of California, Davis
  • News from the Archives Editor:
  • Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Wake Forest University

    6. Project Staff

    Kathryn Kish Sklar, co-editor of the web site, is Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at the State University of New York at Binghamton. In 2005-2006 she was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work: The Rise of Women's Political Culture, 1830-1900 (1995) and other books and articles on women and social movements. Her first book, Catharine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity (1973), analyzed how women reshaped gender identities and gender relationships in the antebellum era. Both Catharine Beecher and Florence Kelley were awarded the Berkshire Prize. She is currently completing a study of women and social movements in the Progressive era, 1900-1930.

    Thomas Dublin is co-editor of the web site. He serves as Bartle Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director of the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is the author or editor of eight books including Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860 (1979), winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Merle Curti Award. His latest book, The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Walter Licht, received the 2006 Merle Curti Award for Social History and the Philip S. Klein Prize.

    Denise Ireton is Managing Editor for Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000. She earned her Ph.D. at Binghamton University in 2015. She is an independent researcher and historical consultant with ten years’ experience in project management and teaching. Currently, she is revising a study on activist women and international citizenship during the period between the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and the start of World War II in 1939.

    7. Project Contributors—follow the link

    Click here for details of contributors.

    8. History of the Web Site

    The website that appears here under the joint imprint of the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and Alexander Street Press of Alexandria, Virginia, began in a senior seminar that Kathryn Sklar taught at the SUNY Binghamton in the Spring of 1997. The course was designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to the excitement of discovering, editing, and analyzing historical documents that focus on women and social movements in American history. The students produced portions of what became the website's first document projects in December 1997.

    When the format of documentary projects proved extremely well matched to the new internet media, Thomas Dublin, her colleague at SUNY Binghamton, joined her to create an innovative website for the documentary projects, adding his knowledge of U.S. women's history and his experience with the use of computers in historical research. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and later from Houghton Mifflin and ProQuest Information and Learning, the Women and Social Movements website grew rapidly. In 2001, with a second NEH grant, we began a collaboration with eleven faculty from other colleges and universities around the country. By the end of 2002 the website offered 43 documentary projects that interpreted about 1000 documents ranging from 1775 to 2000. The site attracted about 30,000 viewers a month from more than ninety countries. Yet two aspects of the website were not sustainable: the intensive labor needed to transform student work into authoritative scholarly analysis; and the initial sources of the site's funding.

    This combination of success and challenges prompted us to reconceive the Women and Social Movements website in the Spring of 2002. Convinced that the technology and the format of the website were ideally matched to generate new knowledge in U.S. Women's History, we decided to encourage faculty and advanced graduate students to create document projects for the site. That effort was remarkably successful; for more than two years we published regular additions to the website from a wide range of scholars drawing on their specialized knowledge of women and social movements to create documentary projects for the site. We established an Editorial Board for the website as well as guidelines for submissions with blind peer review. In the Spring of 2002 we also began discussions with Stephen Rhind-Tutt of Alexander Street Press, which resulted in our decision to publish jointly with ASP. This relationship has provided stability for the website and facilitated its expansion.

    In March 2004 we became a quarterly online journal and for five years added new document projects quarterly, publishing on average eight new projects annually. Because each issue grew in size, in 2009 we changed to a semi-annual publication schedule to give ourselves time to prepare the extensive material that now flowed into WASM. In addition to document projects, with each issue we also publish digitized versions of books and pamphlets related to women and social movements in the U.S. expanding the site by about 5,000 pages a year. Initially these volumes focused on one hundred years of the woman suffrage movement, 1830-1930, including the six volumes of The History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1922) edited by Stanton, Anthony, and other leaders of the woman suffrage movement and all the proceedings of the three national conventions of anti-slavery women held in the 1830s and the national woman's rights conventions held between 1848 and 1869. Alexander Street Press has provided detailed semantic indexing and database searching for these and other resources on the site, greatly improving its scholarly utility. A Dictionary of Social Movements and a Chronology of U.S. Women's History, both especially prepared for the website, provide users unique subject access to both document projects and full-text sources on the site. We also publish book reviews under the editorial direction of Professor Jeanne Petit of Hope College and website reviews edited by Melanie Shell-Weiss of Johns Hopkins University.

    In addition to the continuing publication of new document projects and digitization of additional sources, we are committed to expanding the Teaching Tools component of the website. Since January 2001 we have published lesson ideas and document-based questions drawing on the website's rich collection of document projects. These teaching tools—now numbering 46 in March 2014—are now fully indexed and searchable.

    In March 2007 we introduced the new, expanded Women and Social Movements in the United States: Scholar's Edition. The new expansion of the site includes 90,000 pages of publications of state and local Commissions on the Status of Women and Harvard University Press's landfive-volume Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, available for the first time in electronic form. Women and Social Movements in the United States: Scholar's Edition is available as an upgrade to the Basic Edition. We have just completed a major new digital archive, "Women and Social Movements, International, 1840-Present," which contains 150,000 pages of published and manuscript resources generated by women's international activism since 1840. It also includes 26 scholarly essays with further additions scheduled for Fall 2014.

    Kathryn Sklar and Thomas Dublin continue to serve as co-editors of the website and shape its content. Along with high scholarly standards, Alexander Street Press brings unique talents to the technical dimensions of the project. They have developed the site's new search engine, database, semantic (keyword) indexing and design.

    By adding new document projects and extensive full-text sources to the database annually, we plan to create a rich and continually expanding resource for the ongoing study of U.S. Women's History.

    9. Reviews

    Click here for reviews about the database.

    10. Permissions

    Click here for permissions granted for copyrighted materials used on the web site.

    11. About the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender

    Click here to go to the web site of the Center where our editorial office is housed.

    12. Errata

    Please report any errata to the editor at the address at the bottom of this document. There are no known errata at this time.

    13. Technical Support

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    14. Subscription and Free Trial Information

    Women and Social Movements: Basic Edition and Scholar's Edition are available for one-time purchase of perpetual access, or as an annual subscription. Please contact us at sales@alexanderstreet.com if you wish to begin a subscription or to request a free 30-day trial.

    15. Copyright

    All materials in Women and Social Movements are protected under U.S. and International Copyright Law. Fair use under the law permits reproduction of single copies for personal research and private use. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of protected items requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

    16. Archiving

    Texts produced for Women and Social Movements are considered research materials and receive the same level of stewardship as books, paper documents, and photographs. Copies of the database are given to all purchasing institutions, thereby ensuring that the materials are available to subsequent generations.

    17. Sensitivity Statement and Takedown Policy

    Materials contained on the Alexander Street platform include historical content that may contain offensive language, negative stereotypes or inaccurate representations. Alexander Street does not endorse the views expressed in such materials, but believes they should be made available in context to enable scholarly comparison, analysis and research.

    In making material available online, Alexander Street and our content partners act in good faith. To the best of our knowledge, content contained within these collections has been cleared for publication by the appropriate rights holders and has not been placed under any restrictions for privacy, cultural or other sensitivities. If you have found material for which you believe you hold the copyright without proper attribution, which contravenes privacy laws, or which is a breach of the protocols determining accession provision for heritage materials which reflect indigenous history, culture, language or perspective, please contact us in writing at history@alexanderstreet.com. Please include with your query:

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