Jenny Reeder
October 31, 2006, 8:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have many ideas for a website that will surely change the way that Mormon women’s history is done. Well, at least I hope to pull together various resources and people to create an online meeting point for both scholars and the general public in understanding the rich complexities of the history of this specific group. I have communicated with Connie Lamb, the women’s history librarian at the Brigham Young University library; Sheree Bench, a research historian and lecturer at BYU; and Jill Derr, the director of exhibitions and publications for the LDS Church’s Family and Church History Department, all members of the Mormon Women’s History Initiative, and all eager to pool our different resources.

Here are some key aspects of my proposal:

  • A wiki of biographies. I hope to allow different people to create entries–I think this way the number and extent of biographies will reach a much higher number and audience, and I hope, like wikipedia, web users will edit. Hopefully we’ll get the basic well-known women as well as the random lesser-known women.
  • A timeline-chronology of basic events.
  • Primary documents. This would be a great place to partner with BYU’s special collections. They are making huge efforts to digitze the Woman’s Exponent, the Young Woman’s Journal, and the Relief Society Magazine, all important and valuable women’s magazines/newspapers with important historic references. They have also made special efforts to digitize important journals and reminiscences.
  • Secondary literature. I’ll have to talk with my contacts at BYU Studies and the Journal of Mormon History to see about the possibility of PDF files of articles on the topic. Connie Lamb at BYU has been working on a bibliography that would be extremely helpful.
  • Links to important websites: the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the Utah State Historical Society, the LDS Church Archive, Utah State University Archive, and the University of Utah Archive.
  • A forum where people can post their latest research topics and announcements. I’d love to include a list of scholars and contact information–and I want people to add in their information as well. I want this portion to be searchable.
  • A location for images would be great.

These are all ideas–I feel like it’s probably a little too ambitious, certainly for my abilities. But these are my ideas tonight and I will certainly continue to talk and explore and take any and all comments I receive. Bless you.


4 Comments so far
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Great idea Jenny. My boss wrote some Mormon history books before getting into space history, so if he’s a good reference if you ever take this further (his name is Roger Launius).

Comment by Jennifer Levasseur

I don’t know, it sounds like a lotta work, but I think it’s pretty doable. I personally like the ambitiousness of it…

(Plus, with something that big and ambitious, you can put it up in parts, and it’ll still be useful…)

Comment by tad

It will take some time to set up, but it doesn’t sound like there will be a lot of maintenance once it is up and running. Take a look around for software or opensource that does the wikipedia entry idea. I haven’t seen anything myself, but I forsee engineering that as the most problematic part of your proposal. Good idea and good luck.


Comment by Jeff

Have you thought about how your site map might be arraged? Since you have some specific categories of information, you might want to use a “floorplan” like the In the Valley of the Shadow” site we reviewed early in the course. I’m using that scheme in my proposal – it works well for people like me who tend to see things spatially, in no more than 3 dimensions.

Comment by John Lillard

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