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Hands-On History Workshop - "Hidden Histories: Finding Women's Stories in the Archives"

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 6:00pm to Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 8:45pm

Woman in redLead scholar: Marla Miller, University of Massachusetts Amherst
In collaboration with the Public History Program at UMass Amherst

Women’s stories can be difficult to find in the pre-twentieth-century archive, and when they do appear it’s often in unexpected ways—record of a seamstress’s work kept in a blacksmith’s ledger or a newspaper advertisement for the latest kitchen technology. Through scholarly discussions and hands-on workshops, this program will explore how women of many different backgrounds are represented in the archives, in both easily recognizable ways and in more “hidden” ways. Lead scholar Marla Miller will discuss methods she has used to research women in colonial and early America, particularly those who left little behind in the way of direct documentary evidence. Sessions with library materials will allow participants to examine complex individual and collective stories about women’s lives that can emerge from an array of disparate material, such as visual culture, legal documents, newspapers, letters, diaries, trade cards, and account books.

Marla Miller is a professor of history and director of the Public History Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on American women’s work before industrialization, and her book Betsy Ross and the Making of America (2010) was a finalist for the Cundill Prize in History at McGill University and was named to the Washington Post's "Best of 2010" list. As part of her public history work, in 2012 she and three co-authors released Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, a multi-year study funded by the NPS Chief Historian's Office and hosted by the Organization of American Historians. In 2013, Imperiled Promise won the National Council on Public History Prize for Excellence in Consulting. In 2016 she began serving as vice president and president elect of the National Council on Public History.


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