Crowdsourcing Access to Women's History in Western Australia

Saturday, January 7, 2012: 11:30 AM
Chicago Ballroom IX (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Jennifer Griffiths, Historian and Heritage Consultant

The project I hope to run aims to use crowdsourcing techniques on the resources of the Western Australian State Library, State Records Office and Museum to access women's stories in the records in order to support the heritage industry in improving the representation of women in the State Heritage Register. Currently, women are seriously under-represented in both the Register and the historical research of heritage in WA. This impacts significantly on the community's understanding women's lives in WA in the past. This in turn has ramifications for the way contemporary women are represented and valued. While the project on its own is unlikely to change community perceptions of women's pasts, it will be part of a network of actions that will achieve this. The project also aims to introduce history and heritage professionals in WA to feminist history practices (how records are read with a feminist lens) and produce a database of women's stories and histories that will be important to the future study of women in WA. In addition, the project will allow professionals to participate in a crowdsourcing project thus introducing them to using technology in new ways for research.