imaginative zest of women for public life." The "collection in one place of the data on women, including the rich personal material such as letters, diaries, memoranda," was crucial because a well-furnished historical record would empower women and enable them to assert their full force in social life.1 Beard's insistence that recapturing women's history would revive contemporary women's power to act inspired Gerda Lerner, who admired Beard's efforts tremendously. Lerner revered Mary Beard as a model and lone forebear. In Lerner's capacious volumes The Creation of Patriarchy and The Creation of Feminist Consciousness, she explicitly aimed to complete a project of historical recovery begun by Mary Ritter Beard. And Beard equally influenced the development of the Schlesinger Library. After the World Center for Women's Archives project fell apart in 1940, Beard remained willing and able to help other fledgling projects. She was the obvious person to call in for advice once Maud Wood Park, a leader in the suffrage movement, gave her papers and memorabilia to her alma mater Radcliffe College in 1943--and Radcliffe College president Wilbur K. Jordan made that gift the nucleus of a new Women's Archives. Besides counseling President Jordan, Beard also handed over some
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Mar 15, 2015
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