Women's Press Organizations, 1881-1999

Women's Press Organizations, 1881-1999

Women's Press Organizations, 1881-1999

Women's Press Organizations, 1881-1999


Little has been published about press organizations, and even less about women's press organizations. This book is the first to document the history of women's press organizations in the United States. In addition to rich historical accounts of some of these organizations, it also provides a picture of many of the women journalists involved in these press organizations, many of whom were leaders, both in journalism and in the social movements of their time.


Elizabeth V. Burt

When I first began my research on women's press organizations in 1995, only two academic articles had been published on the topic, and journalism histories--even those on women journalists--made only a few brief references to these groups. When I talked about my research, the general response in the journalism and academic communities was one of surprise that such organizations, with the exception, of course, of one or two fairly prominent twentieth- century groups, had existed. Yet, at least one hundred such organizations have been established in the United States in the past 120 years. Some survived only a few years, others decades, and a few more than a century. Some have left permanent records of their existence, others have disappeared, leaving behind only a few scattered references. It is my hope that this volume will correct this void in the historical record.

This book does not attempt to chronicle all the women's press organizations established since the first, the Ladies' Press Club, was established in Washington, D.C., in 1881. Indeed, this would be impossible given the scarcity of documentary records as well as the practical limits of space and time. Starting with a "wish list" of seventy-five organizations identified in preliminary research, I contacted potential contributors and called for volunteers to participate in the project. the list was narrowed down when willing researchers were unable to locate adequate material on organizations that seem to have disappeared with barely a trace. New organizations were added, however, as contributors, some of them members of present-day press organizations, came forward with their own suggestions.

The final selection presented here offers an eclectic and wide-ranging group of women's press organizations established in all parts of the country since 1885. It attempts to include organizations that represent geographical as well as chron-

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