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Monday, February 14, 2005

Where are the women capitalists?

Harvard Library has just opened a new online collection called "Women Working, 1870-1930." This is the first in its Open Collections initiative, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It provides online access to digitized resources from Harvard's collections on women's work between the Civil War and the Great Depression. The collection currently includes 2,396 books and pamphlets, 1,075 photographs, and 5,000 pages from manuscript collections.

It may give incidental attention to women as capitalists, but, as is true in the academic field of women's history generally, the emphasis is overwhelmingly on women as laborers.

1 comment:

Jules Unsel said...

Are you making reference in your title to Alice Kessler-Harris' germinal article from 1975, "Where are the organized women workers?" Feminist Studies 3 (Fall 1975), 92-110.

This article was a challenge to the male dominated field of labor history to see their exclusion of women in narrative, conceptual, and political terms.

How ironic that someone needs to challege women's historians for a similar blindspot about business women, now that the field is well established.

My impression is that women's historians leave business women out of their thinking for two reasons. First because the field is dominated by scholars, concerns, and interests from the political left. Second, I think it is also because girls (still) don't do math.