Wiki Education Foundation at Bryn Mawr

This month, the Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education and Bryn Mawr LITS are pleased to partner with the Wiki Education Foundation to discuss​ how and why instructors might consider building Wikipedia assignments into coursework.

On Tuesday, February 16 from 4:30-6pm in the Quita Woodward Room (Thomas Hall), we will host a workshop with Jami Mathewson, Educational Partnerships Manager at Wiki Ed, who will introduce the resources and tools available to support instructors teaching with Wikipedia. Jami will bring ideas from the NWSA women’s studies initiative, and share new plans for 2016’s Wikipedia Year of Science — including ways for instructors and students to join efforts aimed at increasing the representation of women in science on Wikipedia.

RSVP for the workshop here. Bring your devices, your questions, and your ideas!

Wikipedia and Women’s Studies

For more than a year, we’ve been following the National Women’s Studies Association’s Wikipedia Initiative, addressing the vast gender gap on Wikipedia. The easiest way to improve Wikipedia’s representation of women, they have shown, is to participate in the Wikipedia Education Program, a project in which students contribute content to Wikipedia in place of a traditional research paper through a classroom activity. The Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada is run by the Wiki Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that builds connections between universities and Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in the United States and Canada.

About Wikipedia​

One of the world’s most widely read websites, with approximately 550 million unique visitors per month, Wikipedia articles are often the number one hit when using a search browser. Its broad public presence, open for editing to anyone, offers a unique opportunity to participate in an online community of practice.

W​hy teach with Wikipedia?

As an educational tool, the development of Wikipedia articles allows students to create collaborative work with a visible impact on a global audience. Whether adding new sources to existing Wikipedia pages or creating new pages on notable topics, students gain deeper insight into their course material and learn to evaluate critically the reliability of sources. With faculty and students reporting enthusiasm and high levels of motivation for the Wikipedia assignment over the more traditional, Wikipedia assignments have the potential to deliver education that goes beyond a semester.

Questions? Contact Monica L. Mercado, Director of the Greenfield Digital Center, at All are welcome.

Greenfield in the Classroom

Setting up for Professor Alicia Walker's seminar, "Building Bryn Mawr." (Photograph by the author.)

Setting up for Professor Alicia Walker’s seminar, “Building Bryn Mawr.” (Photograph by the author.)

Although I’m not teaching a course this semester, I’m still getting to spend time in the classroom, sharing the Greenfield Digital Center’s resources with students and faculty across disciplines. Together we look not only at the growing array of resources Greenfield supports on the web –, Black at Bryn Mawr, and Greenfield’s own collections exhibits – but also at materials housed in the College Archives: scrapbooks, photograph albums, papers, and more. Some classes are an obvious choice for a Special Collections visit, such as Professor Alicia Walker’s seminar, “Building Bryn Mawr,” where students are studying the early stages of development of Bryn Mawr’s campus, exploring the ways in which the founders of Bryn Mawr understood architecture as a key aspect of the institution’s image and aspirations. But I’ve also worked with faculty to integrate archives materials with class sessions on race and photography, or storytelling and digital narratives. If you ask me, the possibilities are endless! Continue reading

College Women: A Collaborative Cross-Institutional Archives Portal


Bryn Mawr College archery team, undated, via

Bryn Mawr College archery team, undated, via

In June, we announced the launch of College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education (, a project of the seven institutions once known as the “Seven Sisters” colleges. With a one-year Foundations planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, we developed an archives portal that brings together–for the first time online–digitized letters, diaries, scrapbooks and photographs of women who attended the seven partner institutions: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Radcliffe (now the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University).

This summer we put the finishing touches on a white paper documenting our collaboration for the NEH Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources. The white paper joins our application narrative, freely available on the NEH site; both serve as useful documentation for thinking through collaboration across multiple institutions. The white paper, in particular, makes the case for finding ways to collect geographically disparate collections in a vital and sustainable site, and over the long term, using that site to stimulate significant new work in women’s history. But, as we wrote, the project partners also saw a secondary goal of creating an open-source infrastructure and set of procedures that could be adapted by other institutions interested in developing their own subject-based digital collections. Our white paper, its accompanying standards documents, and the site architecture, design and accompanying documentation available through Barnard College’s GitHub, are all readily available for other initiatives interested in pursuing this approach.

To read more, download the “History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project” from the Bryn Mawr College repository, here.

College women beta site 6-11

Our work on this project is ongoing and collaborative. College Women is currently available in a beta version, featuring 300 photographs, letters, diaries and scrapbooks from the seven partner institutions. As more of our historical documents are digitized and catalogued, we plan to expand the content of the site, and continue to write new grants towards these goals.


Going to DLF? College Women project team members Rachel Appel (Bryn Mawr College), Monica Mercado (Bryn Mawr College), and Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College) will discuss the collaboration as part of the program on Tuesday, October 27.

We continue to welcome feedback on the site, in the comments below, and through a form on the College Women homepage.

Seven Sisters Partners Launch New Archives Project

With the support of a one-year Foundations planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the seven women’s colleges once known as the “Seven Sisters” launch College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education (

College women beta site 6-11

College Women brings together—for the first time online—digitized letters, diaries, scrapbooks and photographs of women who attended the seven partner institutions: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Radcliffe (now the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University). These seven colleges, historically regarded as the equivalent of the Ivy League before those schools admitted women, have long stood at the forefront of women’s higher education in the United States, educating many of the most ambitious, socially conscious, and intellectually curious women in the country. As they were exposed to the novel academic and social landscapes of college life, many of these women actively chronicled their student experiences and ambitions through extensive letter writing, diary-keeping, scrapbooking, and photography. Their materials, which document a new era of women’s campus cultures, have been preserved in the libraries of the seven schools and serve as a rich resource for understanding a wide range of issues in women’s history and beyond. College Women makes these treasures available online and searchable together for the first time, enabling researchers to consider student materials in a larger context of movements for women’s education and expanded opportunities for women in American society.

College Women is currently available in a beta version, featuring 300 photographs, letters, diaries and scrapbooks from the seven partner institutions. The institutions will be expanding the content in the coming years as more historical documents are digitized and catalogued. This innovative project also demonstrates the potential for creating new research opportunities for students and scholars when institutions collaborate on building digital collections. Continue reading

Greenfield in the Classroom: Teaching the History of Women’s Higher Education


Bryn Mawr College classroom, undated, via Triptych.

Professor Samuel Clagget Chew’s Bryn Mawr College classroom, undated, via Triptych.

This semester I’m back in the classroom, teaching a History Department seminar “Higher Education for Women: Bryn Mawr and Beyond.” With apologies to Professor Samuel Claggett Chew (pictured left), my class of smart Bryn Mawr third- and fourth-years looks absolutely nothing like the lecture class of old. We divide our time between the classroom, Special Collections, and a course blog** linking past and present.

That blog, along with links to my syllabus and digital resources, is now live:

HIST B332 Higher Education for Women: Bryn Mawr and Beyond

Although my students aren’t tweeting this semester, I’m tracking my class prep on Twitter (reviving the hashtag #bmchistory) and I look forward to using this space for reflecting on teaching the course and the research that it inspires. But today I wanted to put a call out to historians of education — how do you teach women’s higher education, in the U.S. and abroad? Similarly, how do women’s historians include the history of education in their teaching? Might we begin sharing our syllabi and readings with each other, online?

“Syllabi show how scholars put together a whole field,” reminds historian Lincoln Mullen in a recent Religion in American History blog post. “Yet unfortunately teaching documents are shared less routinely than our research, so we are much more likely to know a scholar’s books and articles than her syllabi.” This year I’m planning to overhaul the “Classroom” section of the Greenfield Center website, which currently focuses on high school lesson plans, by adding college-level syllabi and resources — much like the CLGBTH does for teaching histories of sexuality. [The Open Syllabus Project offers another intriguing model for analysis and visualization of what we teach.] In part, I’m curious to learn if and how women’s education history is being taught these days, but most of all, I continue to hope we can be more vigilant about sharing our work in the classroom, as much as we remember to share our research and digital projects.

** Students were given the option to blog anonymously, although no student has yet to choose this option. On student privacy and class blogging (or other instances of student work online that may be publicly visible), I’ve consulted this list of resources collected by Whittier College DigLibArts.

Bryn Mawr Teach-In on Race, Higher Education, Rights and Responsibilities


Teach in crop

On Tuesday, November 18 from 7 to 9pm, I joined members of the Bryn Mawr community for a Teach-In on Race, Higher Education, Rights and Responsibilities in Thomas Great Hall. The Undergraduate Dean’s Office sponsored presentations and conversations around the following topics:

  • History of the Confederate flag and its current repercussions in U.S. society and politics, Sharon Ullman, Professor of History and Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Race and higher education, Monica Mercado, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow and Director, The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education
  • Bryn Mawr’s history with regard to race and diversity, Florence Goff, former Associate Chief Information Officer and Equal Opportunity Officer
  • Navigating the rights and responsibilities of free speech, Mary Catherine Roper BMC ’87, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Pennsylvania
  • Well-being, accountability, and living in a diverse community, Reggie Jones, Counseling Service Director, Student Health Services

updated 11/25/14

A recording of the talks has been made available online by the Undergraduate Dean’s office. [link to audio]

We have collected tweets from that night in our Storify account. [link]

Continue reading

“Where We Are…”: Adventures in Mapping Bryn Mawr History


Bryn Mawr College driving directions (n.d.) in Bryn Mawr College Campus Maps on Triptych.

Bryn Mawr College driving directions (n.d.) in Bryn Mawr College Campus Maps.

Maybe it’s because I’ve only been here for two months, or maybe it’s just nostalgia for my own college days, but with Customs Week at Bryn Mawr wrapping up, and classes getting underway, I’m feeling sympathy for new students and faculty navigating campus. Even with ten days living in a Pem East single as a CLIR Fellow under my belt, I still keep a copy of the current campus map in my bag and bookmarked on my iPhone. (At least I’m no longer confusing Taylor with Thomas!)

I’ve also been thinking a lot about maps after taking my first introduction to ArcGIS mapping software last month, as part of a Mellon-funded Tri-Co Environmental Studies initiative organized by Swarthmore College. Over three days, I joined nearly twenty Tri-Co faculty members interested in the possibilities of organizing spacial data. With most of us new to ArcGIS, the workshop opened with two basic questions:

  • What kinds of spacial questions do you encounter in your research?
  • What kinds of spacial questions do our students encounter in their classes?

To put it another way, maps can tell us where we are, but can they tell us who we are?

Continue reading

CFP: Popular Cultural Association/American Culture Association – Education, Teaching, History & Popular Culture

Popular Cultural Association/American Culture Association

Education, Teaching, History & Popular Culture

Call for Papers

The Area of Education, Teaching, History and Popular Culture is now accepting submissions for the PCA/ACA National Conference, New Orleans, LA, held April 1-4, 2015 at the New Orleans Marriott ( For detailed information please see

Educators, librarians, archivists, scholars, independent researchers and students at all levels are encouraged to apply.  Submissions that explore, connect, contrast, or otherwise address area themes of schooling, educa tion, teaching (including preparing teachers/preservice teacher education), history, archival studies, and/or their linkages to popular culture from all periods are desired.   Sample topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Reflections/linkages between schooling and popular culture in the United States and internationally/multinationally;
  • The role of history in education, teaching, or preservice teacher education in the United States;
  • The use(s) of popular culture in education, teaching, or preservice teacher education in the United States;
  • How education has impacted pop culture/how popular culture has impacted education in the United States;
  • Representations of teaching and/or schooling in popular culture throughout history in the United States;
  • Using popular culture to subvert/supplement prescriptive curricula in schooling;
  • The impact/emergence of LGBTQ studies in schooling and education;
  • Queering any o f the area fields (education, schooling, history, archival studies, teaching, preservice teacher education, popular culture);
  • Developing means to re-integrate foundations of education into preservice teacher education;
  • Tapping into (or resisting) popular technology to improve instruction;
  • Exploring the intersections of social media, social identity, and education.

Deadline for proposals is November 1, 2014. To be considered, interested individuals should please prepare an abstract of between 100-250 words.  Individuals must submit electronically by visiting and following the directions therein.

Graduate students are STRONGLY encouraged to submit their completed papers for consideration for conference award.  Graduate stud ents, early career faculty and those travelling internationally in need of financial assistance are encouraged to apply:

Decisions will be communicated within approximately two weeks of deadline.  All presenters must be members of the American Culture Association or the Popular Culture Association by the time of the conference.  Any further inquiries can be directed to Dr. Edward Janak at

Women’s History Matters Essay Competition

In honor of the centennial of woman suffrage in Montana, the Women’s History Matters Essay Prize Committee at the University of Montana, Montana State University and the Montana Historical Society are sponsoring a call for entries for the Women’s History Matters Essay Competition. We invite submissions that explore comparative studies of women in Montana and the West, Native American women’s histories, studies of women’s roles in social movements and institution building, biographical accounts of individual women, feminist historical analyses of forces shaping Montana and the West, and more contemporary accounts of women’s social and political action into the late twentieth century.

6,000 to 8,000 words (including footnotes), based in original research in primary resources, complete with footnotes, and prepared in accordance with Chicago Manual of Style. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, 12-point font, and submitted electronically (in .doc or .docx format).

Criteria for judging will include:

*Originality of topic or approach

*Quality and depth of research

*Contribution to western women’s history

*Coherence of argument

*Clarity of presentation

Cash awards will be given to the winning essays. Prize-winning essays will be considered for possible publication by the Montana Historical Society in a special issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History and a Montana Historical Society Press anthology dedicated to women’s history.

Electronic submission is required:


Reposted from H-NET

Worlds of Learning: Education and the Book Trades, 1586-1945

Worlds of Learning: Education and the Book Trades 1586-1945
22-23 July 2014
St. Anne’s College, Oxford

The 32nd Print Networks conference will take education and the book trade as its theme. Speakers will ask questions such as: how did the book trade and education mutually profit from and shape each other? What was the book trade’s impact on the development of institutions of learning; the organization of knowledge; pedagogies and technologies of instruction; and on both formal and informal education, including self-help? All are welcome.

Conference Programme:

Conference booking:…