Students will write a brief biographical sketch (about 500-1,000 words) of currently unknown woman in the Militant Woman Suffragists Database which is part of the Alexander Street Press subscription database Women and Social Movements (WASM). The biographical sketch should include a bibliography of at least 3 online, published, or archival sources the proved helpful in your research. This section of the course guide will assist students in this assignment by directing them to research sources available at the UMD Libraries and the Washington, DC, Metro area. Special thanks to WASM editor Tom Dublin and MWS database author Jill Zahniser who provided many of these hints on searching!
Read the Introduction to the database and take a look at some of the example entries in the Militant Women Suffragists database in WASM.
1. Click the direct link below to the Militant Women Suffragists database. If the link does not work for some reason, go into WASM using the general link above and search for "Zahniser" (the author of the database).
2. Read the Introduction, then go back and...
3. Click on the link for "Biographical Sketch of Edith Houghton Hooker" in order to get an idea for how you might want to construct a biographical sketch for your assignment.
Search WASM (first link below) for your suffragist's name and variations of her name.
Search the Digitized version of The Suffragist via Nineteenth Century Collections Online.
Search historical newspapers for references to your suffragists!
Google Search! Although you may have wanted to start with this step first, it's better to look at the sources in WASM first to get a better idea of how your suffragist may have contributed to the movement. And, a Google search can be more challenging if your suffragist has a common name. Be cautious of sources that you find via Google. Be sure to look at who created the site. If you find information on your suffragist via Wikipedia, be sure to follow any citations and make sure the information presented is backed up by reliable sources.
Genealogical research, especially census research, can help you track down or confirm family relationships, family origins, employment history, birth dates, and place of residence. One place to start with genealogical research in the HeritageQuest database available via the Enoch Pratt Free Library. If you have a State of Maryland Library card, you can access these databases for free online. Enoch Pratt also provides access to America's Obituaries and Death Notices as well as some other databases.
JSTOR Search! This search may help you find references to your person in scholarly journal articles. Another databases to try is America History and Life. See the direct links below to these research databases at the UMD Libraries.
Search the National Women's Party Papers on microfilm. The UMD Libraries has copies of the National Women's Party Papers microfilm and two other publications that might be helpful to your search. Microfilm is located on the first floor in the Periodicals section of McKeldin Library.
Research your suffragist at a library or archives other than the UMD Libraries. Some suggested instituions which have sources related to the women's suffrage movement are listed below. Please be sure to do some research on the institution's website and contact a librarian or archivist BEFORE visiting. This is very important so that you don't make a wasted research trip! ArchiveGrid can assist you in finding collections at other institutions besides those listed.