Women in the Archives:Using Archival Collections

in Research and Teaching on U.S. Women

June 11-14, 2009 · Westbrook College Campus,
University of New England · Portland, ME

This symposium celebrated the 50th anniversary of the MWWC’s founding in 1959. It explored some of the practical and theoretical aspects of using archival sources in research and teaching on U.S. women:

  • What are the questions, issues, challenges, and conflicts inherent in locating, accessing, researching, recovering, editing, teaching, and theorizing archival materials?
  • What is at stake in archiving and curating these traces of women’s lives?
  • What do such practices allow? What do they obscure?
  • How do scholars and archivists locate women of color, working women, lesbians, and others who might be misrepresented or elided altogether from the historical record?
  • How is difference coded in and by the archive?
  • What is the fate of native voices in such institutional settings?
  • What are the practical and ethical concerns for those who archive, research, and seek to publish women’s private writing?
  • How are archival spaces created, negotiated, or subverted?
  • And what might the future hold for archives and archival materials in the digital age?