Meeting in Grand Rapids again for the fifth time on May 30 and 31, the Midwestern History Conference gives local residents the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of the revival of Midwestern studies. See what is offered next Thursday and Friday and click here to RSVP. It's free! Free parking, a lot of food, including  two lunches. Plus! Four plenary speakers and a really full schedule!
Something for everyone!

Held in the DeVos Center, GVSU downtown campus. (#3 on the map)
Free Parking in the Seward Lot (#10 on the map)

Can't make it for the full conference? Come at 10:30am on Thursday morning and 2:45pm on Friday afternoon to hear what the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council is presenting in two separate panels on women and WWI.
GGRWHC Presents!
Our programs this year conclude a three-year GGRWHC project illustrating women's initiatives to register women for work during WWI and to create a home defense. Most American historians know little of this history beyond the old saw that women’s patriotism during WWI led to the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.
Thursday, May 30, 10:30 a.m.

Problematic Coalitions and Competing Interests: WWI-Era Women and Wartime Labor
Industrial burdens increased as fewer men were available for factory positions; and once again midwestern women, who were already national leaders in Progressive Era reform movements, stepped up to play a leading role. This panel will study women already in factories when the war began, then how the successes and failures of Woman’s Committee reform efforts affected them as the war proceeded. Individual papers include:
Tracking Factory Girls Before, During, and After WWI: A Case Study from Grand Rapids, Michigan Julie Tabberer (Grand Rapids History & Special Collections, Grand Rapids Public Library) will highlight Grand Rapids women employed outside their homes, the doors opened personally and professionally for them even before the disruptions of war provided further opportunities in a working world previously off limits. 

"WANTED--Girls, Bring Overalls": Two Angles on Wartime Working Women | Katelyn VerMerris (West Virginia University) will contextualize the local by looking at national trends among women in industry during the war years and will consider issues with unions, the politics of farm work, and the role of clothing and uniforms.

Money and Maternalism: The Pressures of War and Battles for Reform | Anna Stoutenburg (Cornerstone University) will broaden focus to the national context of Women in Industry committees to consider how conflicts and confusions affected everyday realities for working women, as well as the reform projects of women’s committees to improve the workplace for women.
Friday, May 31, 2:45 p.m.

Buried Treasure: The WWI Registration of American Women for War
This panel will focus on the WWI Woman’s Committee efforts in 1918 to profile and number the women available for war work as a basis for moving ahead its other projects; the 2018 creation of a powerful, searchable database for the largest known collection in Grand Rapids; and the ongoing search for more cards to illustrate how the previous experiences of midwestern women leaders helped them shape such successful strategies that their registration work became the national model. Individual papers include:
THEN: The Most Detailed, Most Extensive Census of American Women | Sue Caldwell (Director-At-Large of the Indiana Genealogical Society & Jasper County Genealogist for the IGS) will introduce the scope and history of the WWI registration project.

NOW: Digging into Details--A Database for the Largest WWI Card Collection Unearthed | Will Miner (Grant Rapids Public Library History & Special Collections) will highlight the jewel in the crown of Grand Rapids women’s history collections, the brand-new database featuring the local example of what was probably the most comprehensive census of American women ever created. 

STRIKE! Prospecting for Lost Cards | Jo Ellyn Clarey (Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council) will provide an up-to-date report on how few physical collections have been located nationwide, but how the broader history of WWI projects evolves the more we learn from each new saved collection and the materials surrounding it.
Thank you to the many friends of women's history who have contributed in 2019 to the GGRWHC so we can continue to uncover, preserve, and celebrate the rich history of women in our community. If you have not yet renewed your support of GGRWHC for 2019 click below!
GGRWHC |   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!
Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in women's history. If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation .  Visit our  website  for more information and the ability to donate online.