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Links to the Local: Building a National Women's Elective History

Presented by Julia Bouwkamp & Jo Ellyn Clarey and co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council.

The historical charting of Grand Rapids women's runs for public office upends conventional wisdom and offers surprises about dates, the numbers of races, and the identities of women who participated in local politics beginning in 1887. Julia Bouwkamp and Jo Ellyn Clarey reported on how the national crowdsourcing project Her Hat Was in the Ring invited local researchers to share their data with the world, helping others complete and complicate American women's history by seeking out every woman who ran before 1920. This unique historical accounting hopes to inspire cities across the nation to create their own comprehensive elective histories. 


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