Guide to the Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women Records MSS.2010.02.18

SJSU Special Collections & Archives
© 2010
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
special.collections@sjsu.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women Records
creator: International Museum of Women
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2010.02.18
Physical Description: 87.58 Linear Feet
Physical Description: 53 boxes
Physical Description: 4 flat file drawers
Date (inclusive): 1887-2005
Date (bulk): bulk
Abstract: The Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women Records document the formation of this museum, which was organized to promote women's history. The records consist of administrative documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, video tapes, and materials from exhibits.

Access

Collection is open for research, with the exception of the following materials: financial documents in Boxes 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women Records, MSS-2010-02-18, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Beth Noyes. Finding aid EAD encoded by Beth Noyes. Reviewed by Danelle Moon. Additonal materials added to series I, II, III and V, and finding aid updated, by Stephanie Watson, June 2016.

Organizational History

The International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W.), originally called the Women's Heritage Museum (W.H.M.), was founded in 1985 when Jeanne McDonnell, Anne Murray, and Jane Van Dusen signed the papers of incorporation. The mission of this social change museum was to value the lives of women around the world. The museum documented women's history through exhibits and sponsored a variety of programs focused on educating the public and improving the status of women.
The first public program held by the museum provided historical information on the California suffragist Sarah Wallis, and was held in a park named for her. In 1985, the museum also published the Women's Heritage Museum News, a quarterly newsletter that was eventually distributed nationally. After its inception, the museum created several exhibits documenting women's history. Since the museum lacked a permanent building, the exhibits were loaned to various museums and venues for display. California Woman Suffrage 1870-1911 opened in 1986 and was shown in the California State Capitol and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Senca Falls, New York. Progress of the Women's World featured the works of 70 artists from over 50 countries and was displayed in the visitors lobby of the United Nations in 2000. The museum also sponsored local events, including an annual book fair, a program to provide educators with resources for Women's History Month, tours of the Juana Briones House, and the reenactment of historical events. In addition, the museum organized tours to sites of interest in women's history.
At a 1997 board meeting hosted by Eliabeth Colton, the members decided to take the museum in a new direction. Along with changing the name to the International Museum of Women (I.M.O.W.), the board began plans to secure a permanent exhibit space in San Francisco. The Presidio Project was a plan to convert a building at Presidio Park into a museum space for the I.M.O.W. The board also attempted to build a museum site at Pier 26 in San Francisco. These projects ultimately failed due to lack of funding and the economic downturn. In addition, the I.M.O.W. initiated a speaker series, sponsoring lectures from authors, artists, and political figures.
In 2005, the institution decided to "focus on creating a new kind of museum that would engage and impact women around the world" through a digital environment (International Museum of Women, 2010). They supported this initiative through the creation of several online exhibits, including the 2006 exhibit Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women, which won the Anita Borg Social Impact Award. The I.M.O.W. also built strategic relationships with organizations that shared similar goals.

Scope and Content of Collection

Records in this collection consist of administrative documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, and video tapes. The collection contains information on museum exhibits, including California Woman Suffrage 1870-1911, which opened in 1986 and was shown in the California State Capitol and the National Women's Hall of Fame in Senca Falls, New York. Materials include artifacts that were used in musuem exhibits, such as the petticoat of Sarah Bard Field, a California suffragist and poet.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into seven series: Series I. Administrative Files, 1985-1996; Series II. Exhibits and Programs, 1979-2004; Series III. Artifacts and Exhibit Materials, 1887-2003; Series IV. Career Action Files, 1971-1988; Series V. Publications and Clippings, 1954-2005; Series VI. Audiovisual and Visual Materials, 1987-2004; and Series VII. Artwork, Posters, and Museum Plans, 1983-2004.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Women's rights -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Women's rights -- California
Women -- Suffrage -- California -- History -- Exhibitions
Women's rights -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
Museums and women
Women -- Museums
International Museum of Women
International Museum of Women

 

Administrative Files Series I: 1985-2004

Physical Description: 12.25 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include general administrative files, board minutes, finances, correspondence, tour information, fundraising records, building project records, traveling exhibit information, and consulting proposals. These records document the organizational planning and financial operations of the Women's Heritage Musumem/International Museum of Women (W.H.M./I.M.O.W.). Some of these documents date from 1985, the year the museum was founded. The material on the Board of Directors includes meeting minutes, reports, and agendas. Financial information includes budgets, bank statements, tax information, and receipts; however, these finanacial and tax records are restricted. This series also contains correspondence, information on other institutions, and files on individuals.
The first executive director of the museum was Jeanne McDonnell, who served from 1985 to 1995. Diana Coleman took on this role from 2002 to 2003, followed by Chris Yelton from 2003 to 2008. Corrina Marshal served as the interim director in 2008 until Clare Winterton took over the executive director post in 2009.
These records describe the organization's attempt to build a permanent museum. The Presidio Project was a plan to convert a building at Presidio Park into a museum space for the W.H.M./I.M.O.W. The records documenting that project include a proposal plan and correspondence. The W.H.M./I.M.O.W. also attempted to build a museum site at Pier 26 in San Francisco. The records documenting this project consist mostly of proposals from consulting firms to assist the W.H.M./I.M.O.W. in their capital campaign. There is also a design book for Chelsea Piers. Elevation drawings for this project are located in Series VII: Artwork, Posters, and Museum Plans. These projects ultimately failed due to lack of funding and the economic downturn.
Documentation in this series includes tour arrangements for sites such as New York and Washington, D.C. Jeanne McDonnell, Executive Director of the Women's Heritage Museum from 1985 to 1995, was involved in many of the tour arrangements, which included trips to women's museums and other sites of interest. The series also documents W.H.M./I.M.O.W.'s grant writing and fundraising activities.

Arrangement

This series is arranged chronologically.
Box 1-2

General Administrative Files 1985-1992

Box 3

General Administrative Files 1986-1994

Box 4

General Administrative Files 1993-1996

Box 5

Tour Information 1989-1992

Box 6

Binders 1991-1997

Box 7

Presidio Project 1992-1995

Box 8

Publicity Files and Resumes 1993-1996

Box 9

Grants and Fundraising 1993-1997

Box 10

Pier 26 Capital Campaign 1966-2004

Box 11

Design Books and Portfolios 1999-2000, undated

Box 52

General Administrative Files 1995-1997

Box 53

General Administrative Files 1976-1997

Physical Description: 23 Folders
 

Exhibits and Programs Series II: 1925-2004 (bulk 1990-2000) 1990-2000

Physical Description: 12.50 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include administrative documents, exhibit records, correspondence, educational packets for teachers, women's history publications, and news clippings. These records document exhibits, events and programs created by the Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women (W.H.M/I.M.O.W.) and other institutions. Exhibit information includes records about planning exhibits and other administrative documentation, as well as information on specific exhibits created by the W.H.M/I.M.O.W. Documentation includes information on the Progress of the Women's World exhibit, which showcased artwork created by 70 artists from over 50 countries. The records on exhibit research include information on Sarah Bard Field, a California suffragist and poet. Her petticoat is located in Series III: Artifacts and Exhibit Materials.
This series also documents the educational programs sponsored by the W.H.M./I.M.O.W. The organization developed curricula and provided educators with resources for Women's History Month. The records on educational projects include school packets and women's history publications. In addition, the W.H.M/I.M.O.W. sponsored an annual book fair, which often included a book sale, awards ceremony, and lectures by various speakers. The documentation about the book fair includes administrative records, correspondence, and financial information. Also included in this series are records from the Last Monday Club, which was a networking group for professional women. These records include member profiles and newsletters.

Arrangement

This series is divided into two subseries and arranged chronologically within those subseries.
Box 12

Exhibit Information: Progress of the Women's World Exhibit 1985-2002

Box 13

Exhibit Information: Miscellaneous 1925-1997 (bulk 1986-1997) 1986-1997

Box 14

Exhibit Information: Administrative Files and Planning 1986-1997

Box 15

Exhibit Information: Administrative Files and Planning 1997-2003

Box 16

Exhibit Information: Exhibit Concept Development 1999-2002

Box 17

Exhibit Information: Exhibit Research 1994

Box 18

Exhibit Information: Permanent Exhibit 2004

Box 19

Programs: Education 1979-1997

Box 20

Programs: Education 1994-1996

Box 21

Programs: Last Monday Club 1983-1992

Box 22

Programs: Book Fair 1992-1996

Box 23

Programs: Book Fair 1994-1998

Box 53

Exhibit Information: Administrative Files and Planning 1985-1996

Physical Description: 35 Folders
 

Artifacts and Exhibit Materials Series III: 1887-2003 (bulk 1980-1990) 1980-1990

Physical Description: 9.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include posters, banners, buttons, exhibit panels, phonograph records, textiles, and a typewriter that was used as an exhibit prop. Many of these artifacts were used in Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women (W.H.M./I.M.O.W.) exhibits.
The collection includes framed posters that were used in exhibits, including posters featuring historical figures such as Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jane Addams, and Isador Duncan. Many of the posters focus on women's suffrage, including a poster advertising the 75th anniversary exhibit of women's suffrage in California. Additional posters can be found in Series VII: Artwork, Posters, and Museum Plans.
Various clippings in this series have been covered in polyester sheets for display, including sections of The Women's Journal from 1887 and 1911. The collection has several banners, including scrolls from a United Nations event in 2000-2001 and a banner for the California Equal Suffrage Association. This group of banners also contains brainstorming notes and a wall scroll from the Women of the World exhibit, which appears to contain participant input.
The phonograph records in this series are recordings of women singers which were distributed by Rosetta Records as part of the Women's Heritage Series. The record covers contain descriptive information about the performers and music.
The collection contains several textiles, the most notable of which is the petticoat of California suffragist and poet Sarah Bard Field. There is also a prop typewriter that was used as an exhibit piece.

Arrangement

The series is arranged alphabetically by format.
Box 24-26

Banners and Scrolls 2000-2003, undated

Box 24 is located on the maps cabinet in Vault I
Box 27

Buttons circa 1990-1999

Box 28

Exhibit Panels and Guest Book 1988-1989

Box 29

Records 1981-1986

 

Posters (Framed) 1986-1988, undated

Wall of Vault I
Flat_File 29, drawer 16-18

Posters and Clippings for Display 1887-1988 (bulk 1977-1988) 1977-1988

Box 30

Textiles undated

Box 31

Typewriter (Prop) undated

 

Career Action Files Series IV: 1971-1988

Physical Description: 2.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains employment information focused on women's issues. The series is divided into six sections. The Government section includes job applications and information on government employers. The County section contains employment data from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Documents from the Legal section include pamphlets, articles, and handbooks with information on labor laws and other legislation. The Women in Careers section contains examples of women in different careers and statistics concerning women in various professions. The Re-Entry section contains information on women re-entering the job market or pursuing education after time away from those fields. Materials include a survey of re-entry women in California and a transcript of the hearing of the Joint Committee on Legal Equality. The Status section contains documents from the Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women, as well as other reports on women in the workforce. The series also includes the Civil Rights Update newsletter published by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Arrangement

The series is arranged chronologically.
Box 32-33

Career Action Files 1971-1988

 

Publications and Clippings Series V: 1954-2005

Physical Description: 14.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include magazines, newspapers, newsletters, articles, photographs, and slides. Many of these documents were published by women's groups or focus on issues and events related to women. The news clippings by subject are arranged alphabetically based on original subject headings. Topics include women's liberation, birth control/rate/defects, child care, and working women. The publicity clippings and newsletters were articles written about the Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women (W.H.M./I.M.O.W.) that often highlighted their exhibits or events.
This series contains the Women's Heritage Museum News, a newsletter that the Women's Heritage Museum published four times per year. In addition to providing articles about female historical figures, these newsletters document museum developments, including exhibits and events. This box also contains photographs and slides.
Documentation in this series includes Holly Millar's research, which consists mainly of newspapers, newsletters, pamphlets, published materials, and documents detailing women's issues and legislation.

Arrangement

This series is arranged chronologically.
Box 34-36

News Clippings by Subject 1954-1991

Box 37

News Clippings (Women-General) 1969-1992

Box 38

News Clippings and Notes 1970-1979

Box 39

Magazines and Pamphlets 1970-1989

Box 40-42

Holly Millar's Research 1976-1992

Box 43

Project on the Status and Education of Women, and Newsletters and Newspapers (includes slides) 1977-1982

Box 44

Publications 1978-2005

Box 45

Women's Heritage Museum Newsletters (includes photos and slides) 1985-1992

Box 46

Publicity for I.M.O.W. 1985-1993

Box 47

News Clippings and Publications 1911-2003 (bulk 1998-2003) 1988-2003

 

Audiovisual and Visual Materials Series VI: 1987-2004

Physical Description: 5.25 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include VHS and master videotapes, photographs, negatives, and slides. Many of the videos were produced by Open Shutter Productions. Some videos focus on the museum, while others profile famous women. Titles include California Women's Suffrage, Women and the American Railroad, Margaret Jenkins, Red Emma Goldman, and the Julia Morgan Interview. While most of the tapes are VHS, some are master or broadcast versions.
Box 50 contains a list of videotapes with the following titles: Madeleine L'Engle: Star Gazer, Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century, Kate Chopin's: The Story of an Hour, World of Light: Portrait of Mary Sarton, In Memoriam: HBO Special NYC 9/11/01, Dream Spoken, Mother Wove the Morning, Learning Our Legacy, The Cable Car and How it Works, Votes for Women, Women's Heritage Series: Jazz Women, One Fine Day, Take the Power, Women of Wisdom and Power, Amy L. Hill 510-653-2583, Mary Sarton Live 1987, Shana's Reading 4/14/87, Petticoat Politics, BIBBS on Research 3/8/95, IMOW Sponsored Interview with Heidi Kuhn, The Museum Business, The Art of the Matter, IMOW Commercial, Introduction to IMOW, IMOW Celebrating Women, Safeway Employee Video, 75th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, Nichelodeon, Stop Sweatshops, Yes on Proposition B, Women Beyond Borders. The list also gives a short description and category for each title. However, this is not a comprehensive list of the videotapes in this series.
The photographs and slides document Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women (W.H.M./I.M.O.W.) events and exhibits. There are photographs of the W.H.M. Book Fair and the I.M.O.W. at the Feminist Expo.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by format, and chronologically within formats.
Box 48

Photographs, Negatives, and Slides 1995-2003, undated

Box 49-51

Videotapes 1987-2004

Box 53

Scrapbooks 1989-1996

Physical Description: 9 Folders
 

Artwork, Posters, and Museum Plans Series VII: 1983-2004

Physical Description: 3.0 folio drawers

Series Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this series include posters, elevation drawings, architectural drawings, artistic museum drawings, and exhibit mock-ups. The series contains architectural and artistic drawings from the project to build a museum at Pier 26 in San Francisco. The architectural drawings, which include elevation drawings, were produced by the architectural team of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, who were working in association with Ai+Architecture. Other drawings in this series show an artistic vision of the museum building and interior.
This series contains posters for Women's Heritage Museum/International Museum of Women (W.H.M./I.M.O.W.) exhibits, including the California Woman Suffrage 1870-1911, Women of the World, and Celebrating Women exhibits. Some of these artifacts are printed on posterboard and appear to have been used for exhibit displays. One poster from the California Woman Suffrage 1870-1911 exhibit includes text which notes that it was displayed at the main lobby of the War Memorial Building in 1995. The collection also includes an undated war poster published by the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company.

Arrangement

This series is arranged in its original order.
Flat_File 29, drawer 15

Posters and Pier 26 Drawings 1983-2003, undated

Flat_File 29, drawer 16

"Celebrating Women" Mock-Ups and California Woman Suffrage Posters 1987-2004, undated

Flat_File 29, drawer 17

Exhibit Posters undated