Project Participants

Please visit the project participants page for a full listing.

Project Documentation

Project Content

The Greater Philadelphia region has a strong tradition of women’s initiatives to expand their rights and opportunities with regard to political participation, education, work, property-holding, and cultural activities. The region’s documentary collections reflect that the campaign for women’s suffrage did not happen in a vacuum, but was the result of decades of women of all kinds moving out of the home and into the schools and workplaces of the nation.

From an initial survey of 45 collections held by PACSCL member institutions, the pilot phase of the project focused on providing a searchable database of primary source documents and collection level descriptions selected from 7 project partners, along with contextual essays on overarching issues and three salient themes: working and making friends across racial lines, doing good works and practicing self-improvement in the progressive-era city, and confronting race, professionalism, and respectability in the medical profession.

The next phases of the project built out that database, resulting in over 130,000 images of newly digitized primary source documents from an additional 12 members of PACSCL. Expanded contextual interpretation includes biographical profiles of prominent women and mini exhibits on project content.

Recognizing that many women in this century were un- or under-represented in the documentary record, later phases of the project expanded to include repositories that are not members of PACSCL but hold content that reflect the struggles of differently-abled, racial-ethnic, and other women whose ‘Hidden Voices’ need to be heard.

Enhanced project metadata for over 13,000 items is available via API for researchers and digital humanities scholars to use freely. To encourage participation, basic metadata was required and more robust metadata encouraged; visit the project documentation page for specifics. The full project dataset, and curated data sets for exploration of specific themes and collections, are also available for download. If you are new to working with data at scale, see our list of tools for data exploration for ideas.


Project technology development was driven by an inspired and talented group of PACSCL repositories staff (see full list on participants page), with aggregation and application development by Neomind Labs.

The application is built using Postgres and Ruby on Rails and incorporates an OAI-PMH harvester and API endpoint.


We are grateful to our supporters for providing the means to make this content available.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this site do not necessarily represent those of any project funders.


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