Several years ago, the National Collaborative for Women‘s History Sites (NCWHS), in partnership with the National Park Service Northeast Region, asked historic sites to nominate themselves as Best Practice Sites — those that exemplify ways to best preserve and interpret the past of half the human race: women and girls.
We received numerous nominations and carefully read and evaluated every one of them. Working with a team of advisers, we winnowed the list to five, focusing in particular on those not seen primarily as “women‘s history sites,” because actually, every historic site is a women‘s history one, although too often people still don‘t recognize that.
Experts visited each of the five sites, gathered information, evaluated each one using nine elements, and conducted extensive interviews with their staffs. Finally, we worked to identify practical “lessons” applicable elsewhere.
Through this and other efforts, the NCWHS seeks to make visible the female part of humankind‘s history, or as historian Gerda Lerner once said, “the majority finds its past.”