WWP in Images: Events, Celebrations, and Outreach

WWP in Images: Events, Celebrations, and Outreach

By Kyle Wholey, Anjelica Oswald, and Julia Flanders

This is the second post in our new series celebrating the Women Writers Project’s 30th anniversary by featuring images from the project’s history. 

Since 1988, the WWP has focused on collaborative projects that involve faculty, students, and the community of those interested in early women’s writing and text encoding. Through these various collaborations, the WWP has expanded both our community and our collection of texts. Here, we cover the outreach materials that we have used over the past few decades. 

Postcards

Our anniversary events are one of the many ways that we’ve celebrated the WWP’s history over the years. Below is a postcard marking the 20th anniversary of the WWP, while we were still located at Brown University. The postcard also announces that Women Writers Online will be free during the month of March, in recognition of Women’s History Month, a tradition that the WWP continues to this day. 

Postcard for 20th Anniversary in 2008 created by project staff.

Mailings and Brochures

We’ve also provided mailings and brochures to share the WWP’s texts and resources. Shown here are two brochures that were handed out during conferences, as well as a brochure for the WWP book series. 

Left: The initial brochure created by the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group’s graphic designer, Sara Grady, for WWO in 1999 when the collection was first published. It was handed out at the WWP’s vendor table at the American Library Association in July 1999 and also mailed to institutions that were identified as potential subscribers. Center: A 1995 brochure for the WWP’s book series, Women Writers in English (published with Oxford University Press). Right: A brochure produced by Julia Flanders for use as a conference handout. The font and ornaments are Adobe Garamond, which the project had purchased for use in the OUP book series and which we used frequently in our subsequent publicity materials.
This brochure involved a lot of careful design by Sara Grady, who thought of using laser-cut tabs to hold a bookmark; the squares of the tabs echoed the WWP’s logo at the time, which consisted of a series of squares. We knew that this was probably the last brochure we would ever have funding to produce, so we put some effort into writing descriptive text that would age well. We didn’t anticipate that XML would eclipse SGML so quickly, but otherwise, the prose remained reasonably current for at least a decade.

Bookmarks

We’ve created several different WWP bookmarks, each with a different quote from WWO. A Northeastern-produced bookmark was part of the 30th anniversary celebration, handed out at events like our workshop at Attending to Early Modern Women in the summer of 2018 to share our new Thirty Years, Thirty Ideas series; see the published exhibits in the series here.

Left: A bookmark that was part of a WWP brochure from 1999. Center: A bookmark created for the WWP by the Northeastern University Library. Right: A bookmark from the WWP at Brown University, probably from the mid-1990s. (Note the recurring use of Adobe Garamond printer’s ornaments, of which we were very fond!)

Seminars and Symposia

We’ve also held seminars to help hone the skills of digital humanities scholars. For instance, our current NEH-funded seminar “Word Vectors for the Thoughtful Humanist” provides both introductory and intensive sessions on research and teaching with word embedding models. Further details on this seminar and other WWP seminars can be found here.

We’ve hosted symposia as early as 1990, with our Sidney’s Sisters symposium at Brown University. We also collaborated with a vast number of digital humanities scholars on our 2012 symposium Knowledge Organization and Data Modeling. Another one of our conferences, Women in the Archives, focused on the role of archival materials in shaping the study of early modern women’s writing. 

A poster for “Sidney’s Sisters: The Countess of Pembroke and Lady Mary Wroth,” held on March 8 and 9, 1990.

Events

Not all events are restricted to workshops and conferences. In 1997, the WWP helped support the play “In Her Own Words: Elizabeth I Onstage and Online.” This was a one-woman show compiled by actress and storyteller Marilyn Murphy Meardon from the speeches of Elizabeth I, Queen of England. The speeches were transcribed and encoded as part of the WWP textbase under a grant from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities (RICH). The grant also supported the production of a series of performances by Meardon and the creation of her spectacular costume. 

Left: A playbill for In Her Own Words: Elizabeth I Onstage and Online. Right: Marilyn Murphy Meardon in full costume as Elizabeth I.

Recently, we’ve begun a new tradition of helping organize local transcribe-a-thons for Douglass Day, part of a national event convened by the Colored Conventions Project in celebration of the life and work of Frederick Douglass. In these events, transcribers gather together to decipher difficult-to-read handwritten notes, decode unknown abbreviations, and discuss new information.  

A pin from Douglass Day featuring his famous quote: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”
Transcribers hard at work on Douglass Day in 2019.

As our collection of texts grows, the WWP continues to celebrate our 30+ years of research. Every year, we find new opportunities and new ways of expanding our collection and our collaborations.   

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