Meeting Minutes: August 8, 2012, San Diego, CA

Women’s Collections Roundtable Annual Meeting 2012

Chair: Kathy Hertel-Baker (facilitator)

Vice Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Novara (notetaker), Alexandra Krensky (unable to attend)

  1. Presentation by Anne Hoiberg – President of the President of the Women’s Museum of California and the International Museum of Human Rights at San Diego
  2. Installation of New Officers
    1. New Co-Chairs - Liz Novara and Alex Krensky.
    2. July election results: Helice Koffler and Tali Beasley are the new co-vice chairs.
  3. By-laws for the WCRT
    1. SAA is requiring all roundtables to have formal bylaws, primarily so that there is more transparency and clarity, especially with the election of roundtable leadership.
    2. WCRT needs volunteers to form a by-laws committee to review the by-laws of sections and other roundtables to determine what would be most appropriate for the WCRT.
    3. There was some discussion about why this was necessary, since roundtables were originally determined to be very informal groups.
    4. A call for volunteers will be made after the annual conference is over.
  4.  Women’s Collections Mini-conference, Pre-Conference in New Orleans
    1. Susan Tucker, Curator at Tulane University, requested that we discuss the possibility of having a mini-conference or a pre-conference at the next annual meeting in New Orleans that focused on women’s collections.   
    2. Members discussed this idea.  Some possible questions for the conference to focus on: What progress has been made in documenting women?  What changes in the way researchers conduct research have occurred?  Where do women’s collections currently fit in the archives profession?  What about in other professions, such as history and labor?  Could we focus on a timely issue within collections such as women’s reproductive rights, domestic violence, privacy concerns?  Finding women’s collections within institutions that aren’t necessarily focused on collecting materials related to women?
    3. What is the impact of the economy on women’s collections? Are there difficulties in bringing in collections especially without funding?  Are we not soliciting as strongly because we have too many other responsibilities?  Much of the funding for women’s archives come from second wave women’s movement and we need to interest other people in addition to this group of women.  We are starting to run out of storage space and electronic records are a new challenge since many women’s collections were established.
    4. Another idea was to focus on the new Women Archives Reader which will be published next year.  (A flyer with information about the reader was distributed.)
    5. The Big Berks conference was mentioned – could WCRT do something in collaboration with this conference?
    6. Honoring our foremothers in SAA.  Next year will be the 24th year of the founding of the WCRT (1989).  Should we celebrate the 24th or the 25th year?
    7. There was agreement that it might be difficult for attendees to acquire funding to attend a day early if WCRT held a pre-conference.  It might make more sense to just extend the time of the regular WCRT meeting.  We should also extend invitations and information to other constituencies who may be interested, i.e. women’s religious communities, graduate students at local universities in Louisiana.
    8. Perhaps a morning session could focus on nuts and bolts and an afternoon session could have scholarly presentations??
    9. Mention of desire to update Andrea Hinding’s 1979 guide to archival and manuscript sources on women.   
  5. WCRT Bibliography
    1. Liz will be posting a bibliography of sources relating to women’s collections on the website.  This bibliography will focus primarily on archival. Manuscript, and special collections and will consist of scholarly research on the topic of these women’s collections (i.e. not necessarily research completed using women’s collections as sources.) 
    2. Links can be included to online resources such as LibGuides or other guides to finding women’s collections.  Also, sample instruction assignments on how to use women’s collections will be included. 
    3. A call will go out on the WCRT listserv to review the bibliography and to suggest additions to the bibliography. 
  6. Blog
    1. WCRT leadership will make a greater effort this year to keep the blog up-to-date. 
    2. Members are also encouraged to submit posts for the blog.  This would greatly assist in keeping the blog interesting and informative!
    3. WCRT will send out a once a month reminder to submit posts. 
  7. Session Proposals for the 2012 Conference
    1. Possibly a session on the new Women’s Archives Readers (if not used for the mini-conference)
    2. Topic ideas: Women religious archives? Material culture? 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade anniversary? ERA? Public policy?  Planned Parenthood archives?  Women’s political collections?
  8. SAA Council – no questions to bring up
  9. News and Updates from the Group
    1. Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century – Kelly Wooten has just published a new book!
    2. Women’s archives at Purdue University recently endowed by the outgoing president, who was the first woman president of the university (a possible blog entry?) 



Kathy Hertel-Baker, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Elizabeth Novara, University of Maryland

Lucinda Manning

Janice Ruth, Library of Congress Manuscript Division

Jessica Sedgwick, Harvard Medical School

Kelly Wooten, Duke University

Jolene Beiser, Pacifica Radio Archives

Kathleen Feeney, University of Chicago

Morna Gerrard, Georgia State University

Deborah Rice, Wayne State University

Anne Hoiberg, Women’s Museum of California

Fernanda Perrone, Rutgers University

Sammie Morris, Purdue University

Danelle Moon, San Jose State University

Karen Mason, University of Iowa

Debbie Richards, Smith College