There is a perception that from its beginnings in 1909, the Royal Historical Society has been the domain of men. Yet from the outset women have played an active role in the Society in many capacities - as members, councillors, fellows, employees, volunteers, patrons, benefactors.
The RHSV Women’s Biographical Dictionary has been established to honour the contributions made by women to the Society, particularly those whose public lives have not been recorded in the Australian Dictionary of Biography or Women Australia or The Australian Women’s Register.
The project co-ordinator, Cheryl Griffin, in consultation with the overseeing committee, is responsible for selecting and prioritising entries for inclusion, but welcomes comments, corrections, queries and suggestions for future inclusions.
This is a work in progress. There are already hundreds of names listed and we will continue to add to the entries as new information becomes available. We welcome contributions such as biographical material and images (as long as the material has copyright clearance). We also welcome suggestions for source material we might consult, such as books, newspapers, journals, magazines, manuscripts.
Committee member Katrin Strohl (and President of Coburg Historical Society) is the graphic designer for the project. One example is an entry for Annie Hope Campbell, the third woman to join the Historical Society in 1909 and an artist and keen collector of reminiscences from early pioneers.
The dictionary is on the RHSV website though, prior to the launch, it is deliberately hard to find. At the launch we’ll make it visible to the public and our members.
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