Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a conference at Columbia University called Archiving Women, “bringing together scholars and archivists to examine feminist practices in the archive”. It was as interesting and interdisciplinary as one would expect, and it was very crowded!
Many people spoke about the historical and habitual lack of focus on women in archival collections. Central to that is the debate about What constitutes archives-worthy materials. To illustrate how public/professional lives intertwine with the personal Michael Ryan described his processing of Erica Jong’s papers for Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library – there were letters between lovers and friends he thought were too personal to include in the collection until Ms. Jong confirmed that they were part and parcel of her work.
Nancy K. Miller used the term transpersonal to describe connections among the “I” of the story to the “we” of her generation and the “they” of her ancestors.
Everyone was excited about innovative possibilities for online access to archives.
Some things to check out:
- The Pembroke Center Archives Feminist Theory Papers – They’ve made Naomi Schor’s papers available online, including complete scans of her journals.
- Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular
- Barnard Zine Library
Definitely fueled my fire for the ongoing process of making our oral history collection more accessible.