Archive of Women Volunteers Has New Director
The General Federation of Women's Clubs is pleased to announce that Gail Rodgers McCormick has joined the organization as the Women's History and Resource Center Director. The WHRC is one of GFWC's most important resources, and one of the most comprehensive collections of materials pertaining to the history of women volunteers. Materials in the WHRC date back to 1868, when journalist Jane Cunningham Croly founded the forerunner organization, Sorosis. Croly and members of 63 women's clubs joined together in 1890 and took action to form the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
Gail previously served as the special collections librarian and college archivist at Goucher College (Md.), where she improved the preservation of and access to Goucher's collections by implementing an electronic catalog system and developing collections management policies and procedures. In addition, she promoted use of the collections through outreach to students, faculty, and outside researchers.
"GFWC is thrilled to welcome Gail to the team of dedicated professionals at Headquarters," said GFWC International President Jacquelyn Pierce. "The WHRC is the crown jewel in collections about women's history, and Gail's expertise in managing collections and making them more accessible will help us fulfill the mission of the WHRC, enabling our history to come alive to our members and friends."
Founded in 1984, the Women's History and Resource Center collects, preserves, interprets, and promotes primary and secondary source materials and information on GFWC and women volunteers. The WHRC holds an archival and decorative arts collection that consists of print media, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia that detail the historic social and political contributions of GFWC clubwomen dating back to 1890. Thanks to Friends of the WHRC, GFWC is also able to offer two annual research fellowships.
Previous to her experience at Goucher, Gail was Director of the Research Library at The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., for nearly 10 years, where she developed and taught workshops on researching local history. She has been a panelist, lecturer, and presenter at numerous conferences; is a published author; and has received a number of awards and grants for her work in information science, preservation, and collection management. She has a M.L.S. and a M.A. in Public History from Kent State University (Ohio), and a B.A. from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Among other ongoing projects of the WHRC, Gail will direct the Oral History Project, which instructs GFWC members in conducting, recording, transcribing, and preserving oral history interviews with GFWC leaders and members. Many of these oral histories will be included in a GFWC oral history collective that will detail the history of GFWC through the experiences, thoughts, and recollections of GFWC members.
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The General Federation of Women's Clubs, one of the world's largest and oldest women's volunteer community service organizations, was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in Washington, DC. GFWC has more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and over a dozen countries. Visit us online at www.gfwc.org.
In 2006, GFWC and its members raised nearly $32 million on behalf of more than 230,000 projects, and volunteered more than 8.4 million hours. GFWC members and clubs work on projects in six main areas: arts; conservation; education; home life; international affairs; and public affairs.
The President's Special Project for 2006-2008 is domestic violence awareness and prevention. In the first year of this project, GFWC members initiated nearly 4,000 projects and raised over $1 million to programs related to this cause.
GFWC was recognized on the floor of the United States Senate as "a gem among our midst" by Senator Joseph Biden (Del.) for our work in bringing hope to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. (November 16, 2006)
Notable GFWC clubwomen have included: Julia Ward Howe, author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic; Jane Addams, founder of Hull House; Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor and the first woman to be appointed Director of the United States Mint; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, social reformer, columnist, teacher, and political activist; and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to ever be elected to both Houses of Congress, and the first woman to campaign for the presidential nomination of a major political party.