Sunday, December 5, 2010

WHN/BC 2010 Conference Sessions - links and info posted

Here is a recap with information links for those who were in the Zhindagee and BC Digitization sessions yesterday at the Women's History Network of BC's 2010 conference.

The first session, with Mahinder Kaur Doman Manhas, author of the new book, Zhindagee: Selected stories of our first daughters, was at turns sad, moving, funny, and heart warming. We heard readings from the book from Mahinder and also friends and relatives of women in the book. Good questions and so much to think about. One point mentioned about preserving women's history in general too was the importance of keeping journals - and preserving those already written by family. With the family's permission, excerpts from one woman's previously unpublished manuscript are included in the book. I can't wait to read all the stories in the book myself.

Zhindagee, Selected stories of our first daughters - cover.

This is a limited edition book, and Mahinder suggests people, if they can, buy one to donate to a library or other place where more people will be able to read it. (I'm donating a copy to the BC Genealogical Society library, for example.) If you'd like to buy one, or more, you can contact the author - see the Zhindagee website - or contact her through WHN/BC There will be an Zhindagee event early in the New Year in Vancouver and probably books will be available there.

West Beyond the West: British Columbia's history, heritage and culture:

In the second session, Ken Cooley, Associate Librarian at the University of Victoria Library, spoke about both the BC Digitization Coalition and the University Library's current projects, and Lara Wilson, University of Victoria Archivist, spoke about her Archives' digitial initiatives and about the Archives Association of British Columbia.

Although a good number of projects to digitize BC historical materials are completed or underway, these are mainly from larger institutions (with larger budgets). Among other things, the BC Digitization Coalition is working to promote digitization in smaller institutions and groups by promoting the use of the West Beyond the West portal website, and the free software Digital Collection Builder, and by providing training for this and some support. Soon there will be a Digital Collection Builder workshop at the University of Victoria, for instance. And the Archives Association of British Columbia offers education sessions, some by distance education, including Managing Your Oral History Project and Managing Archival Photographs. These are open to members and non-members.

University of Victoria, BC, Digital Collections:

The University of Victoria Library and the University Archives digital collections - Digital Collections A-Z - already includes several resources of particular importance to women's history - the British Colonist newspapers 1858-1910, selections from the records of Peggy and Nicholas Abkhazi, photographic glass-plate transparencies by Herbert Geddes depicting life in Japan c. 1910, military oral histories, and BC Provincial Normal School oral histories. Projects underway include future digitization of a collection of lesbian and bi-sexual oral histories (to be on-line in 2011) and of Government of British Columbia publications, and of materials from the Victoria Women's Movement Archives, held by the UVic Archives. Funds for this last project are being raised right now; read about it in Times Colonist article by Katherine Dedyna, November 4, 2010. Lara Wilson stressed that the University of Victoria Archives collects local history, as well as University materials. Contact her if you have a collection that may be of interest there.

And, last but not least, thank you to all the conference participants and volunteers!

Edited 7 Dec 2010 Mdr

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Most Significant BC Women Writers?

Alan Twigg’s new book, 150 Great B.C. Books & Authors: The Essentials, Volume 4 of his Literary History of British Columbia (Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2010) has raised a bit of controversy already.

Although many more women are mentioned in the text, these are the women Twigg highlights.

Margaret McNaughton
Audrey Thomas
Julia Henshaw
Pat Lowther
Martha Douglas Harris
Alice Munro
Agnes Deans Cameron
Helen Akrigg
E. Pauline Johnson
Susan Musgrave
Lily Adams Beck
Terry Reksten
Irene Baird
Margaret Trudeau
Emily Carr
Anne Cameron
Dorothy Livesay
Lynne Bowen
Elizabeth Smart
Jeannette Armstrong
Ethel Wilson
Sheryl McFarlane
Gilean Douglas
Alexandra Morton
Louise Jilek-Aall
Sage Birchwater
M. Wylie Blanchet
Biruté Galdikas
Jane Rule
Irene, Hazel and Veera Witte
Christie Harris
Maria Coffey
Margaret Craven
Ivan E. Coyote
Sheila A. Egoff

Who's missing? Whose writing do you feel might not be 'really' significant to BC literary history, especially women's literary history in BC?

What might your list of significant BC women authors and books look like?

What about including more poets, historians (and publishers and bookstores)?

From the Women's History Network of British Columbia's November 2010 newsletter. See the website for a full copy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Walk Myself Home Book Launch - Vancouver - Dec 6 2010

Walk Myself Home, an anthology of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and interviews, all on the subject of violence against women, edited by Andrea Routley (Caitlin Press, 2010).

Book Launch, Monday, December 6, 2010

at Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver, 7:30 - 9:30 pm.

With authors Sara Graefe, Kate Braid, Anne Hopkinson, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Roy Roberts, Zhong Chen and Elee Kraljii Gardiner.

R.S.V.P. to
Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Ave., Vancouver.