March 24 , 2019 I   I 616-574-7307
GGRWHC Reception & Annual Meeting:
Then & Now: The 2018 Completion of a 1918 Collection
Wednesday, March 27, 5:00 pm
The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College
Join us for a glass of wine, and stay for a real celebration, over 100 years in the making! Click here to RSVP!
In the Spring of 1918, 23,000 women in our city registered for war work; and in 2018, the digitization of their registration cards was completed. We will honor both efforts, sharing a little history of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense and how they were able to inspire so many women to join their effort; the story of the cards themselves and how they were rediscovered; and a look at new searchable database and how it is giving the cards a future, making them newly relevant.

The work behind both efforts required real dedication, and our cast of presenters (see below) will highlight their success!
Melissa Fox , current president of the GGRWHC, will set the stage for the day's celebration of the 1918 registration of U.S. women for war work, explaining why national women's organizations could mobilize overnight into 17,000 women's committees across the nation to conduct an amazing variety of projects.
Diana Barrett , developer of the impressive website of the Grand Rapids Historical Commission, will elaborate on how Grand Rapids women in 1918 could actually enroll half the city's female population for war work in one week; how Michigan surveyed 900,000 women, more than any other state in the nation; and how the Kent County registration cards were rediscovered after having been lost for nearly a century.
Janet Idema , current historian of the Western Michigan Genealogical Association, will represent the amazing typists who entered data for years to construct a fully searchable database, making the amazing census of 23,000 Kent County women from 1918 available to us in detail, listing their skills and desires and identities in well over 100 fields of information. Idema is shown here in 2018 entering data from the last card. 
Will Miner, who scanned cards, and oversaw the completion of the database and kept things on track, from the Grand Rapids Public Library's archive, will describe exactly what type of information is available on the GRPL database and who should be interested in it--from genealogists searching out specific individuals to sociologists and historians looking to create a portrait of one week in the past of American women.
Julie Tabberer , head of the History and Special Collections department at the Grand Rapids Public Library, will provide a look into the future--at a current statistical project underway, at a search for more cards nationwide, and at research possibilities by scholars in various fields. She is the last in a line of archive directors who have steered this project into the present.
GGRWHC |   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!
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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.