Changing National Parks: To Tell the Whole Hi(story) of American Women

Sunday, January 5, 2014: 9:30 AM
Virginia Suite B (Marriott Wardman Park)
Heather Huyck, National Collaborative for Women's History Sites
In December 2012 a National Park Service (NPS) and National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) workshop “Telling the Whole Story” brought together scholars, NPS employees and NCWHS experts to analyze and strengthen women’s history preservation and presentation. The NPS partnered with the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, a ten year old non-profit organization which uses publications, workshops, training, website ( and sessions at professional meetings to bridge between scholarship and place-based women’s history. Goals emerged from that gathering to strengthen and increase women’s history in the 402 units of the National Park System with their 275 million annual visitors who learn American history in informal but very powerful settings. The NPS also has major responsibilities in the preservation of national historic resources through the NPS preservation programs of the 2500 National Historic Landmarks and 88,000 National Register of Historic Places properties that identify and support many other historic places ( Few people appreciate the extensive research that informs NPS decisions, actions and presentations; the workshop’s goals and resulting actions can change the very questions NPS asks and research provided the public. The workshop built on various NPS efforts to preserve and interpret a more inclusive American History, with similar efforts for Latinos, African Americans and Asian Pacific Americans. From that workshop a Women's History Initiative with eight goals emerged to provide guidance for greatly increasing/improving the preservation and interpretation of women’s history, both NPS internally and externally working with partners. NCWHS will help provide the training, tools, templates; NPS, the official encouragement to ensure that all of our American stories are told. This presentation will give insights and a status report on the accomplishments, challenges and opportunities facing Telling the Whole Hi(story), one that fully recognizes all American women’s lives and experiences.
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