SAA Annual Meeting 2020 - Diverse Sexuality and Gender (DSGS) / Women's Collections (WCS) joint section meeting

12 August 2020


DSGS/WCS Joint Section Meeting - SAA 2020

Please review the following statement prior to the start of the section meeting: 

Community Engagement Agreement



  • Blake Spitz, UM Amherst, “Women’s Stories, Du Bois Papers Data”
  • SLIDES: (there is an accessibility view in Sway, look under the options menu)
    • Using palladio (network analysis tool) to map relationships of the women found in the Du Bois papers; the geographic locations of correspondence sent by Ellen Irene Diggs 
    • Using Voyant and the text analysis of four documents from the item-level abstracts from women’s correspondence found in the Du Bois papers 
  • Brian M. Watson
  • SLIDES: 
  • "50 Years On, Many Years Past: Nonfictions of Sexuality" -- an open-source, freely-available digital resource, and collection focused on the history of sexuality. Alongside a bibliography, it includes a directory of archives and libraries relevant to LGBTQIA+ research across the world.
  • PRIDE displays in libraries were missing books and texts on the history of sexuality! Felt lack of meaningful representation. 
    • Research collections -- tagged by time, areas, subjects; uses Homosaurus vocabulary instead of LC vocabularies; terms are still linked to LC but is making an argument that community vocabularies are more useful and should overwrite LC 
      • Heavily US and European focused; Would like to include more global collections
    • Digital projects -- Transgender Oral History Project; We Who Feel Differently
    • Bibliography -- Forthcoming 
    • Timeline -- 100 events, images and history; Would like to create more different types of timelines and histories  




  • For panelists (hoping they’ll be able to respond in-line/someone can note their answers below?)


  • Blake Spitz
    • Contact information: 
    • Using Excel to auto-populate geo coordinates?? Tell us more! (+1!) 
      • Google sheets; using codes found online -- listed in spreadsheet the name of the place, the codes would translate the name of the place to its geo locations
      • Used the Google Sheets script editor, using these instructions, but there seem to be several ways to do this if you do some searching
    • Have you looked at/are you aware of EAC-CPF? Did you consider using this as a conceptual model for your relationship mapping, and if so, what were your thoughts on it as a system?
    • Apologies if I missed this in your intro, but I’m curious how this project fit in with your day-to-day job. Are you and your colleagues encouraged to undergo research projects? Was this part of a larger UMass initiative? Are your duties typically more digital humanities-aligned? Did you need to push/specifically request to work on the project? Especially interested since you said you plan to continue working on it.
      • Not part of job duties, but encouraged to take on personal projects/professionally develop;
  • Brian M. Watson
    • Link to slides for accessibility purposes: 
    • Do you think online exhibits would fit under the “digital projects” on
      • Yes! Please send all of them (emails below)
    • Is Homosaurus documented in WikiData? To what degree is Homosaurus linked to other linked data resources?
      • Newly added to WikiData! In the processing to linking to LC subject terms.
      • Please feel free to get in touch to share any alternative subject vocabularies/classifications for minoritized/marginalized communities.  
    • How to get in touch? (to share your own resources or to volunteer!) 
    • Brian, how does classify and describe historical figures whose identities are not clear? For instance, a person who could be a lesbian or a transman, or a person who could be gay or bisexual. 
      • Through linked data, able to link terms that might be associated. There is also a possibility of subverting tools to show change over time