When Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, thinks about historic places, she often thinks about the places that tell the stories of women’s lives in America.
As a nation, we have not always been very good at telling the history of women, especially women whose stories were not intimately tied to famous--read white male--historical figures. Luckily, women have always been at the forefront of saving historic places. Jennifer Goodman and Gail Lee Dubrow, editors of Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation, continue this important work. Their book not only brings alive women’s stories through women’s places, its essays teach us to explore and uncover, explain and exploit and, most importantly, preserve the very places that give voice to the history of women in America.
This book argues that not only do women populate the pages of American history, they shape it in significant and poignant ways. Research and preservation projects allow prostitutes in Los Angeles, nurses in Montreal, and the women of the coalfields of West Virginia to have their say. The book is also a call to action, making the case for preserving and promoting women’s history wherever it is found: in libraries, on the National Register of Historic Places, in our own city streets.
Restoring Women’s History through Historic Preservation is available from the Johns Hopkins University Press. Jennifer Goodman can be found fighting for historic buildings of all kinds in New Hampshire. Her organization, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, is a Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
-- Susan West Montgomery
Susan West Montgomery is associate director for Statewide and Local Partnerships in the Center for Preservation Leadership at National Trust for Historic Preservation.