Added Mar 22 2018

During the Civil War, the Government tried a new approach to filling its personnel shortage: It opened its payrolls to women for the first time. Check out this article in the National Archives News here: omen-pave-way-to-federal-employment This turning point in women’s history is thoroughly documented in a series of records, Recommendations for Employment at the Schuylkill Arsenal, 1861-1867 ( , held at the National Archives at Philadelphia. Most of the applications were women who had relatives in the Union Army, and the records primarily consist of letters of recommendation by various politicians and other notable citizens for individuals seeking jobs at the Arsenal, primarily during the Civil War. These records will be digitized in their entirety because the PACSCL: The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, of which the National Archives at Philadelphia is a part, has been awarded a $496,000 grant from the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives initiative of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for its project “In Her Own Right: The Many Faces of Women’s Activism, 1820-1920.” Led by PACSCL members Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center Archives, and the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College and involving a total of 11 partner institutions, including the National Archives at Philadelphia, the project will complete the digitization and online presentation of a significant body of letters, diaries, photographs, organization records and other documents, totaling 117,000 pages. These documents illuminate women’s efforts to assert their rights and work for the rights of others in a variety of spheres in the century leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, in 1920. The images and associated metadata will be released into the public domain for use by researchers and the general public. The project will commence in February 2018 and is anticipated to be completed in autumn 2019 and available to researchers in advance of the 19th Amendment centennial. The project builds on earlier work conducted with the assistance of a Foundations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The newly digitized materials will be available through the website developed as part of that project, as well as in the National Archives Catalog ( Project participants also intend to expose the materials via their own websites as well as such sites as the Digital Public Library of America and the Internet Archive. To safeguard the digital data for the long term, PACSCL member Lehigh University is making space available in its state-of-the-art data storage repository in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Having no female students in the 1820-1920 time frame, Lehigh is not contributing collections.) Bruce M. Taggart, Vice Provost of Library and Technology Services, noted that Lehigh is contributing this service to the project as part of its commitment to the PACSCL consortial process and the University's interest in furthering PACSCL's ongoing program of cooperative digitization. We are incredibly excited to be working on this project with PACSCL, and are grateful to the project organizers and participants, to CLIR, and to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support of this important initiative. More information on the project, with links to the earlier project and the prototype website, here: grant #INHOR #inherownright #womenshistory #history #herstory #archives

Original article
Date published
March 22, 2018
    PACSCL libraries to digitize materials on women's rights 1820-1920 | Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
    "Since its founding, PACSCL has worked to be a model for regional collaboration and to make the greater Philadelphia area known internationally as one of the nation's preeminent centers for research and study using rare books, manuscripts, graphics, and other special collections material," noted Ronald Brashear, PACSCL board chair and director of the Chemical Heritage Foundation's Othmer Library.

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