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Celebrate International Women's Day With Us:

Welcome to the website of the Cambridge Women's Heritage Project.  The purpose of our database of women and women's organizations is to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women from the early days of Cambridge to the present. There are currently over 400 women and women's organizations that have been nominated to the database.  Approximately 150 have been edited and are now made available on this website.  This is our attempt to write women into history and honor their lives and recognize their many accomplishments.

The database is a work in progress, but we would welcome your nominations, your corrections, or your time to help us research or edit the entries and improve the website design.  The entries in the database are organized alphabetically, and there is also a topical index, where one can find women by their occupation or area of interest (doctors, social workers, writers, etc.).

Contact us if you would like to join our project team. More information is available at the following links,

About Us    Brochure    Mission    Project History    Methodology    Sources    Nomination Form & Criteria    Links    Internship    Contact Us


Cambridge Women's Heritage Project
December 2012

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About Us

The work of the project committee began in 1996 to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Cambridge women and women's organizations to the life of the city, commonwealth, and nation from the foundation of Cambridge (Newtowne) in 1630 to the present. In addition to an organizing annual International Women's Day program, the project committee has been researching, compiling, and editing hundreds of biographical entries for individual women and organizations in order that a database could be made available to the public. There are currently over 400 women and women's organizations that have been nominated to the database. Approximately 150 have been edited and are now made available through this website. This is our attempt to write women into history and honor their lives and recognize their many accomplishments.

The database is a work in progress, but we would welcome your nominations, your corrections, or your time to help us research or edit the entries and improve the website design. A picture is worth a thousand words. We would like to add photographs to the written entries, but it will take time to collect the images and the necessary permissions to use them here on the website. If you would like to donate an image to the project, please let us know. The entries in the database are organized alphabetically, and there is also a topical index, where one can find women by their occupation or area of interest (women doctors, social workers, writers, etc.). A search function is also in the works.

Contact us if you would like to join us in working on this project.

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Mission Statement

The Cambridge Women's Heritage Project's mission is to:

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Project History

The Cambridge Women's Heritage Project grew out of a grassroots effort to establish a memorial to writer May Sarton, which was accomplished with the dedication of a tree and plaque in her honor at the Cambridge Public Library's main branch in 1996. The committee continued to work toward a more formal program of commemorating the contributions of Cambridge women, and several members founded the Cambridge Women's Heritage Project Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee is has been and continues to collect information on and accept nominations for the Cambridge Women's Heritage Database. The Database documents a diverse group of women and women's organizations that have impacted the lives of others in the community. Nominations are accepted for women's organizations and individual women, living or deceased, famous or locally known. There are currently over 400 women and women's organizations that have been nominated to the Database. Approximately 150 have been edited and are now made available through this website. This is our attempt to write women into history and honor their lives and recognize their many accomplishments.

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Methodology (See also Sources page)

Researching women and women's organizations is no easy task. Until recently, little has been written about women and their contributions to community, science, literature, education, government, religtion, etc. It's for this very reason that the Cambridge Women's Heritage Project felt it was necessary to begin collecting information about women's lives and women's organizations and to compile that information into a central research database, so that students, the media, and interested members of the public could learn about these important citizens of Cambridge.

This effort is, by nature, a work in progress. We will continue to discover more women and women's organizations that have played an important role in the life of this city and beyond. We have completed and edited only a little more than a quarter of the nominees on our database. There is plenty more work to be done researching, fact checking, and editing the entries and then posting them to the website. We are interested in receiving new nominations as well as welcoming new members to our committee to help us with the project.

Women's names have been entered as completely as possible. Family names are not always included, but are shown in parentheses, where known. Entries are alphabetized by the married last name for married women and by family name for unmarried women. Examples: Julia (McWilliams) Child is alphabetized under C and Maria Louise Baldwin is alphabetized under B. This is true, with a few exceptions such as Margaret Fuller, who is much better known by her family name than her married name of Margaret F. Ossoli. Her entry is alphabetized under F, not O. For hyphenated names, the entry is alphabetized under the first letter of the hyphenate and a cross reference is provided.

Birth and death dates (founding and dissolution dates for organizations) have been provided as well as birth and death locations, to the fullest extent known. Often, birth dates have been calculated based on the age at the time of death, as reported in an obituary. In these cases, we've given a circa date.

References have been provided for each entry. This is not an exhaustive bibliography, but a list of sources used by the committee. Some information has been provided by individuals who submitted the nomination, but we've done our best to fact check the information in published sources. Additional reference information can be found on the Sources page.

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Nomination Form and Criteria

Download the nomination form with the criteria for inclusion in the database.

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Links

The Cambridge Women's Heritage Project is jointly sponsored by the Cambridge Women's Commission and the Cambridge Historical Commission.

Find out more about the National Women's History Project.  This site includes ideas to help teachers, parents, and community organizations to celebrate Women's History.  You can also find out about programs and exhibits that are being sponsored in your area.

Other Women's History Links:

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Internship

View the Internship Job Description for a Research Assistant position.

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Contact Us

For more information, contact either:

Emily Shield
Cambridge Women's Commission
51 Inman Street, 2nd Fl.
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-349-4697
eshield@cambridgema.gov

Sarah Burks
Cambridge Historical Commission
831 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Fl.
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-349-4687
sburks@cambridgema.gov


 

 

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Cambridge Women's Heritage Project
March 2010

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