- Teaching Resources
In an attempt to make resources accessible, multiple universities have assembled digital collections, particularly well suited for feminist teachers. Audiovisual materials produced by and about women, reading lists containing the "core books" in a wide range of women's studies related areas, and rare women's writing are all available online for research and teaching.
The University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
In 2000, the University of Wisconsin, in collaboration with faculty and librarians, created The University of Wisconsin Digital Collections to "provide access to rare or fragile items of broad research value." These are publicly accessible databases that cover a wide range of subjects. A range of materials compose each collection, including books, journal series, manuscript collections, photographic images, maps, posters, audio, and video. Two collections are entirely devoted to materials by and about women.
The Women's Audio Visuals in English (WAVE) is a database maintained by the University of Wisconsin system Women's Studies Librarian's Office that lists documentary, experimental, and feature film and video productions by and about women. According to their website, the database draws its information from distributors' and producers' catalogs and websites, reviews in periodicals, filmographies, reference works, and library catalogs. Visitors can search the database by keyword to locate audiovisual material that might be useful in teaching. Information about distribution for each resource is provided so that instructors can locate materials for use in the classroom.
Recently the database has begun incorporating YouTube videos. A future issue of Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources, which is published by the University of Wisconsin System's Women's Studies Librarian's Office, will feature descriptions of how women's studies instructors have employed YouTube in teaching. Visit <http://digicoll. library.wisc.edu/WAVE/About.shtml> to access the database.
In addition to audiovisual materials, the University of Wisconsin maintains a Women's Studies Core Books database. The collection is aimed at helping librarians build women's studies collections and faculty select course texts. Books are collected in lists organized by subject area. These lists are maintained by academic librarians who volunteer to compile and update each subject area. Subjects range widely and include such varied topics as aging, geography, management, girlhood, science, transnational feminism, spirituality, and visual arts. Each list organizer identifies five to ten texts that are "essential" reading in each subject, giving users a sense of which texts to use to start exploring a topic. Visitors can search [End Page 259] the database by keyword or browse each subject area list. To access the database, visit <http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/-ACRLWSS/>.
Brown University Women Writers Project
Over the last fifteen years, the Brown University Women Writers Project has compiled an electronic collection of early women's writing, covering the period 1400 through 1850, including a sub-collection entitled Renaissance Women Online. Texts that might otherwise go unread are available to faculty and students for research and teaching. According to their website, this project has roots in two intellectual movements: "The first of these was the growing field of early modern women's studies, whose project was to reclaim the cultural importance of early women's writing and bring it back into our modern field of vision. The other was the newly developing area of electronic text encoding, with its emphasis on improved access and long-term preservation of textual data. As a method of bringing inaccessible texts back into use, the electronic archive seemed like the ideal successor to the physical archive, since it promised to overcome the problems of inaccessibility and scarcity which had rendered women's writing invisible for so long." In addition to collecting and coding the texts, the staff of the Women Writers Project explores and shares the "technical and theoretical challenges" related to this work through papers, workshops, and consultation. During 2007 and 2008, the Women Writers Project is offering a series of workshops for humanities faculty that explores text encoding. In the next year, the Women Writers Project intends to publish online syllabi that use texts available from their website.
Texts can be browsed, searched, and analyzed using tools available via the website: <http://www.wwp.brown.edu/ about/index...