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“Women Making Change” a Note from the Institute Director

Dear interested educators and scholars:

Wistariahurst and I are so excited to offer an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Institute which specifically addresses the accomplishments of women in history. Women Making Change aims to illuminate the intersection of gender and class at the start of the 20th Century. 

We have created a week full of site visits, speakers, research collections, and adventures to keep you actively engaged in learning about local history, women’s history and teaching history.  During the week you will be introduced to local research archives, online research collections, and free tools available for teachers.  We will use the landscape of our planned industrial city to develop a sense of how industry shaped our social structure. We will look at several examples of local women who were active participants in making changes, either as wealthy philanthropists, middle-class females in professional workplaces, or rallying union organizers.

Expect to get your hands onto primary resources and dig in to the unique contents to uncover the stories of women in our city.  Using correspondence, newspapers, scrapbooks, photographs and archival records, you will have the opportunity to discover new stories of women working to bring issues to the forefront and make social change.

We will walk, talk, research, write, learn techniques, and share ideas with each other. It is our hope that our institute scholars will walk away with an understanding of the differing roles women played as agents of change; some concrete places to look to uncover your local women’s histories; and learn some practical tools for bringing women’s stories into your classroom.

I can only hope that you will find the week exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.  The week will move quickly with days filling your senses and taxing your critical thinking skills.

So, If you are up to the challenge of looking for new histories I highly encourage you to apply for Wistariahurst Museum’s Women Making Change Landmarks of American History and Culture.

I Look forward to meeting you this Summer,

Penni Martorell

Holyoke City Historian and Institute Director