The Art of Suffrage: Women Cartoonists

Bridwell Art Library employee Trish Blair introduces two female cartoonists for suffrage, and shares how their vision helped most women gain the right to vote.

For women coming of age at the turn of the 20th century there were not many roles outside the home for them to aspire to have. ​But War and other factors led to a surge in women participating in life outside the home; between 1880 and 1910, the number of women employed in the United States increased from 2.6 million to 7.8 million. Yet still most women could not vote in elections. Women began to rise up, and participate in organized protests​, becoming known as ​​suffragists. Merriam-Webster defines suffragist as “a person who advocates suffrage ​(the right to vote).” Suffragists believed in peaceful, constitutional campaign methods; after they failed to make significant progress, a new generation of activists emerged. These women became known as the suffragettes, and they were willing to take direct, militant action for the cause.

One way that women did make a mark in that time-period was in art. Two women made a name for themselves as cartoonists for suffrage, Nina Allender (1872?-1957) and Annie “Lou” Rogers (1879-1952). Women at this time did not have many role models as women had not yet become cartoonists, publicists, or public figures. These women were in a new generation, a transitional generation who with their middle-class, white, protestant upbringing were poised to change their circumstances and the country at large.

Photograph of Lou Rodgers. ca. 1910. Photographer unknown. Wikimedia Commons.

Annie “Lou” Rogers, one of the most prolific suffrage artists, was from a long-established American family in Maine. Her love of drawing took her to the Massachusetts Normal Art School, where she left after failing her first year exams. She “hated the plinths and the dead white casts and the stiff designs for wallpaper.” Rogers prided herself as a self-taught artist.  In 1908 when publications rejected her, she began using the pseudonym Lou Rogers.  Soon she became one of the country’s leading cartoonists with her work appearing in The Judge, Ladies Home Journal, and the New York Tribune.  She also published books, and hosted a radio show in the 1930’s. And little did she know that working at The Judge would change how the world sees women, albeit many years later. While at The Judge, Rogers worked alongside Harry George Peter, who would occasionally create pieces when Rogers was overbooked. Peter was the original artist behind William Moulton Marston’s Wonder Woman. Both Marston and Peter were inspired by the suffrage movement in the creation of the character, and while it cannot be determined whether Peter was influenced directly by Rogers work, it still showed the hallmarks of suffrage artwork.

Cartoon by Nina Allender. Published in The Suffragist. June 6, 1917.

Nina Allender was born in Kansas after her family moved westward from Pennsylvania in the early years of western settlement. Years later, her family would return east to Washington DC. Allender attended the Corcoran School of Art, and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, one of the first art schools to provide professional opportunities for women. She joined the suffrage movement in 1913 when she met Alice Paul. She produced cartoons that showed a new spirit and interpretation of suffrage.  She began working at The Suffragist, a publication of the National Women’s Party. She worked to change the image of suffragettes to stylish young women patiently waiting for their rights—an opposite portrayal by anti-suffrage cartoons that caricatured activists as frumpy and nagging. The Allender Girl was in stark contrast to other depictions of women at that time such as the Gibson Girl, the most popular women’s image of the time by cartoonist Charles Dana Gibson. As a more popular version of the New Woman (i.e. the Suffragette), the Gibson Girl both undermined and sanctioned women’s desires for progressive sociopolitical change.

Informal portrait, Nina E. Allender, full-length, seated at desk, facing left with head turned toward camera, holding a cartoon sketch in her lap. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs. Digital ID mnwp.274001.


Louisville Businesswoman and Community Activist named UofL Alumni Fellow

The University Libraries is pleased to celebrate long-time community activist and social justice advocate Jessica Loving as an Alumni Fellow for this year’s University of Louisville Alumni Awards.

Loving was named an Alumni Fellow from UofL’s schools and colleges as well as Libraries and Student Affairs along with 13 other graduates. This year is a virtual celebration featuring video interviews with the honorees as they discuss their time at UofL and the impact of their careers.

“I’m so happy that Jessica Loving is the 2020 recipient of the UofL Alumni Award on behalf of the University Libraries,” said Libraries Dean Bob Fox. “She has done so much for Louisville and for Kentucky through her work with community organizations and as a tireless advocate for social justice.”

“We are especially fortunate in the libraries that Jessica shares a vision of transforming one of our spaces in Ekstrom Library into a Jewish Studies Reading Room that would bring our Jewish studies collection into a space shared by scholars in quiet reflective study, as well as providing facilities to host noted lectures and speakers,” Fox added.

Loving is currently a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and the Jewish Community Relations Council. She previously served on the boards of the Louisville Ballet, the National ACLU, and the Center for Women & Families.  She is also a founding member of the Jewish Family & Career Service’s MOSAIC Award Committee.

Jessica Loving received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of Louisville in 1968 and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Woodcock honor societies. She has been president of Jessica Loving & Associates, a public relations and marketing consulting business in Louisville, for a number of years.

Loving formerly was vice president of corporate communications at PNC Bank, executive director of the KY Commission on Women, and executive director of the ACLU of KY. Loving’s public relations and marketing clients have included banks, law firms, nonprofit groups, real estate developers, bourbon distillers, unions and a meatpacking plant. She has also provided pro bono campaign planning and management for several local judges.

Loving was a member of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees from 1996 through 2008 and was Board chair from 2001 to 2003. She has also served on the University’s Board of Overseers, College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Committee, and Athletic Advisory Commission.

“I would urge my fellow graduates of the UofL to be mindful of how we can help the university be the sort of place that can nurture young 17- and 18-year olds freshman and give them the kind of education that most of us got and help them make this world a better place,” said Loving. “We have a lot of work to do and the University is the place that nurtures the people that can make a difference.”

Jessica and her husband, Sheryl G. Snyder, a Louisville attorney, have a blended family of five children and seven grandchildren.

“We are so grateful to Jessica for her support of the Libraries, for her support and commitment to UofL, and her passion for social justice,” said Dean Fox.


ThinkIR hosts new undergraduate research journal

By Baylee Pulliam

ThinkIR, University of Louisville’s institutional repository, will host a new peer-reviewed journal launched by a student group to highlight undergraduate research and scholarship across all disciplines, from astrophysics to art history

The journal, The Cardinal Edge, will publish its first annual issue in the spring of 2021. Jahnavi Sunkara, a joint chief editor, said the goal is to help UofL undergraduates share their work.

“The point of research is to communicate it,” said Sunkara, a junior biology major and Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School (GEMS) student. “We wanted to create an opportunity for undergraduate students at UofL to do that, because they’re doing some really amazing research in lots of different fields.”

The Cardinal Edge editorial team worked with UofL Libraries to develop an open-access portal on ThinkIR, the university’s institutional research database, where students can submit their work and read the journal. The University Libraries hosts and manages ThinkIR. The first issue will be completely digital — and free — but the team plans to print physical copies of future issues.

Students can submit their full-length manuscripts, abstracts and brief reports through December for the spring issue. The journal also will focus on the research culture at UofL with spotlight articles on student researchers and current topics in research, such as diversity and COVID-19’s impact.

Currently, only UofL students can submit articles to the journal, but there is a possibility that the team may accept work from other universities in the future. Submitted papers will be evaluated by faculty and students through a single-blind peer review, in which the identities of reviewers are kept hidden.

“It was important to us to have students involved in every single aspect of the process,” said Betty Ngo, a sophomore psychology major, Grawemeyer Scholar and joint chief editor. “It’s a research journal by students, for students. Students are our authors, reviewers, staffers and readers.”

Priyadarshini Chandrashekhar, a junior biology major, Vogt Scholar and a joint chief editor, said the goal is to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to share ideas and gain experience, whether conducting research, publishing their findings or working on an editorial board.

Aside from faculty advisers Mark Running, Ph.D., and Shira Rabin, Ph.D., of the Department of Biology, and their journal sponsor, Charlie Leonard, Ph.D., executive director of the UofL Grawemeyer Awards, every member of the 14-person editorial staff is an undergraduate student.

“They’re all students,” Chandrashekhar said. “And they can participate in everything — design, review, outreach. It’s a great experience.”

For Ngo’s part, working for and publishing in The Cardinal Edge could show graduate school admissions reviewers that she has research experience and is familiar with the publication process. Chandrashekhar and Sunkara have their eyes on medical school.
 

“This will help me later in my career,” Sunkara said. “It’s such a unique experience and I really feel we’re building something special here that can contribute to the long-term growth of UofL’s research culture.”

#WeAreUofL


University Libraries’ Citizen Literacy helps students become savvy information consumers

When Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness” in 2005 it not only described misleading rhetoric during the ramp-up to the Iraq war, it captured a central dilemma of our modern media environment: shattered, segmented media ecosystems allow many of us to create our own version of reality. In such an environment, leaders can manipulate us with words that sound truthful but are false.

Determining reality in a “post-truth” era is challenging. It is also a central tenet of citizenship. Particularly during a presidential election season.

How can faculty teach students to become savvy consumers of information in this environment?

The University Libraries has created a new online toolkit called Citizen Literacy to tackle the issue. Launched to coincide with the final weeks of the 2020 election season, Citizen Literacy promotes essential information skills like algorithmic literacy, news literacy, how to evaluate expertise, how to investigate the veracity of online sources through lateral reading, and how to become an informed voter.

“We hope faculty will use these tools to engage students with these important information literacy topics in the context of specific academic disciplines,” said Rob Detmering, Ekstrom information literacy coordinator and one of the site’s creators. Amber Willenborg, online learning and digital media librarian, also created content and narrated the videos, and Terri Holtze, head of web services, designed the online site experience.

The site contains short videos, downloadable handouts and infographics that can be incorporated into syllabi or coursework.

In the news literacy section are strategies to help students examine the value of credible news sources and identify deceptive stories, including “fake news.” Another section helps students understand algorithms whose unseen mechanisms skew online searches in a way that impacts privacy and political understanding.

The toolkit includes multiple ideas for class activities that can be easily adapted across disciplines,  and that work in both online and face-to-face settings.  Faculty can easily incorporate parts in their courses.

To learn more, please visit the site or contact Information Literacy Coordinator Rob Detmering.


Announcing the Chalkboard Artist Residency at Bridwell Art Library

“Chalk Artist-in-Residence for Social Justice Wanted” at Bridwell Art Library.

Over the holiday break in 2019, the Bridwell Art Library painted one of its walls with chalkboard paint to give art students a space to decompress, explore their creativity, and have fun. 

When Bridwell opened in January for the spring 2020 semester, employees put out chalk, wrote Welcome Back, and waited to see what happened. While the going was slow at first, eventually new images, words and drawings appeared on the wall and it seemed students were enjoying a new creative venue. Then a global pandemic hit and changed life as everyone knew it.

Another shattering event shook the Louisville community in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Local protests demanding justice prompted much discussion about the injustices that BIPOC (Black and Indigenous folks and People of Color) face living in the United States of America.

“We began to think about how the Art Library could become a part of the solution,” said employee Trish Blair.

With that in mind, Art Library staff went to “injustice square” and other places around downtown to take pictures of the art that people in the Louisville community were making on sidewalks, pieces of plywood, and on the sides of buildings.

“Once President Bendapudi announced the anti-racist agenda for the University of Louisville, the answer was clear: we must strive to become an anti-racist Art Library. We became inspired to use our chalkboard wall to address racism and any other injustices our community may face,” Blair said

The campaign, Chalk Artist-In-Residence for Social Justice, was born. Bridwell Art Library will present a rotating student’s artistic creation that explores social justice themes. The Library will provide the space and the chalk, and students will provide their voices and creativity.

“We are excited to provide a platform for artists to share their thoughts, visions, statements, and creativity to combat these inequalities. We are passionate about social justice and want to be the best library we can be. Libraries are for everyone,” said Courtney Baron, Art Library director.

All students who are interested in sharing their creativity and exploring social justice themes are encouraged to apply to become one of the chalk artists. Visit this link to access the Chalkboard Artist-in-Residence application: https://tinyurl.com/y6j58z5j. Apply by September 28, 2020 to be considered for the residency during the month of October.


Kornhauser libraries host KMLA’s first conference virtually

Kentucky Medical Library Association President Rebecca Morgan, Kornhauser clinical librarian and Tiffney Gipson, KMLA secretary and Kornhauser collections director, launched KMLA’s first conference virtually at the end of July, complete with lightning talks, presentations, and roundtable discussions. 

“Initially there was nothing planned, in fact KMLA has never had a conference,” said Gipson. “We usually just hold meetings once a quarter, we just thought it might be nice to offer the conference as an option because so many have missed out on chances to present due to COVID.”

The virtual conference had 16 attendees from various Kentucky libraries, including Kornhauser, Rowntree Medical Library, University of Kentucky, University of Pikeville, and Sullivan University.  A few UK library students were also invited to attend and present. 

Kornhauser librarians  Riley Sumner and Jessica Petrey gave presentations, and Rebecca Morgan and Mary K. Marlatt presented lightning talks and posters.

“Bekki and I worked on this with our other executive board member and former Kornhauser employee, Lauren Robinson” who is KMLA’s treasurer, said Gipson. 

Typically, Kornhauser librarians attend about 2-4 conference a year – Kentucky Library Association Joint Spring Conference, Medical Library Association Conference, Midwest Medical Library Association Conference, and maybe the American Library Association Conference. However, most were scheduled to occur after the pandemic canceled events across the globe.

“Just about all of those took place after March of this year and while some are still happening virtually, we wanted to take some initiative and create our own conference within KMLA and provide our colleagues with a chance to present and share,“ Gipson said.

The conference was recorded for KMLA members. KMLA is part of a greater, national organization, National Network of the Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region https://nnlm.gov/gmr.


UofL Law Librarian writes legal volume on hate crime

UofL Law Librarian Erin Gow is the author of a new volume in Hein’s Legal Research Guide Series on the topic of hate crime. While the publication date was pushed back amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as of July 15 the hardcover edition of Vol. 81 was on the shelves in the Brandeis Law Library.

Through the process of research and writing, Gow said she learned quite a bit about the evolution of laws surrounding hate crime.

“There have been massive changes in hate crime over the past few decades. The very concept of what a hate crime is, who can be the victim of a hate crime, and how hate crimes are responded to legally have all changed dramatically,” she said.

Erin Gow

Erin Gow

“In the US, for example, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was only passed just over a decade ago in 2009. Many individual states had hate crime laws before this, and the federal government had been collecting statistics on hate crime for many years, but the Hate Crimes Prevention Act changed the whole legal landscape around hate crime in this country.”

“Right now there’s some evidence that hate crimes are increasing in the US and other parts of the world, and that means laws are being tested and observed in new ways.”

Gow said she assembled the proposal in November 2018 and then wrote the volume in and around her other full-time work as Online Services Librarian, finally finishing with a review of the final draft in February 2020.

“When I realized Hein’s didn’t have a volume on hate crime, I proposed the topic to the publishers,” she said. “They reviewed a sample chapter, and accepted both the topic and me as the author.”

All volumes are published both in print and electronically on HeinOnline.

 


Donor Spotlight: Dr. Donald and Catherine Cathy Shoemaker

During last fall’s 50th Anniversary celebration for 1968-69 UofL graduates, Dr. Donald Shoemaker and Cathy Shoemaker visited the Belknap campus for the first time in almost as many years.

“It was amazing, completely different,” said Don. “We couldn’t believe how things have changed.”

Don admits that over the years he had been immersed in his medical practice as an anesthesiologist at Baptist Health in Louisville and hadn’t kept up with the growing campus. “I went to med school in 1968 and hadn’t seen it since and the whole time the campus was growing. My goodness. The way it expanded was amazing.”

Don and Cathy Shoemaker

Don and Cathy Shoemaker

UofL Archivist and Historian Tom Owen led the couple on a lengthy tour of the campus, fielding questions about buildings and settings both familiar and unfamiliar. Owen is well-known for leading Belknap History Walking Tours throughout the year where he plays raconteur and tour guide for groups of faculty, staff, students and Louisville residents.

“He took us out to the new music school, where it was all older houses when I was in school,” said Donald, referring to the building built in 1980 which now contains the School of Music, Comstock Hall and Music Library. “There are three old buildings nearby and I used to take Poli-Sci, English and other classes there.” Facing north, “there was a stone wall, a parking lot and a pizza place” that once lined the now long-gone Shipp Street.

“On the south side of the campus I remember the Purina silos that they tore down. They moved the observatory and other buildings, just pushed them back.”

Cathy, who earned a master’s degree in social work, said that back in the day, “Kent School was in a large yellow brick house near the old Confederate statue. I took a statistics course in the garage.”

The couple were also impressed with the Foucault pendulum clock installed on the ground floor of Grawemeyer Hall in 1978. “The ground level, where you now see the pendulum, was the finance office where we would drop off our tuition checks.”

Don remembers the main library in Schneider Hall – now the site of Fine Arts and the Bridwell Art Library –  to study between classes and before fraternity events. He remembers the long fountain on the building’s east side was occasionally visited by soap bubbles as pranking students poured in laundry detergent.

“As a science major, I had all my classes in one building, the natural sciences building by Eastern Parkway. Now all the sciences have their own buildings. I’d just wait in the Natural Sciences library before classes.

“I’d be walking my legs off now, but probably I’d be in better shape.”

Since graduating from UofL, the couple has been busy with careers and raising a family of three daughters. Their eldest daughter also has strong UofL ties: Amy Shoemaker is the Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Deputy University Counsel. Lisa Borden, their middle daughter is a UofL medical school graduate and pediatrician in Middletown, and youngest Kristin Shoemaker is a commercial airline pilot, living in Charlotte North Carolina.

Cathy and Don were born and raised in Louisville and graduated in 1964 from local high schools, Cathy from Presentation Academy and Don from Seneca High School. Don’s fellow Seneca High School alum was Wes Unseld, the former UofL Cardinal basketball star who played for the Baltimore Bullets and was named NBA Most Valuable Player among other accolades. Unseld passed away on June 2, 2020.

“He helped our team win the Kentucky HS championship in our junior and senior years. We both went on to UofL; I went into med school and he went to Baltimore and had an NBA hall of fame basketball career.”

“He was a good, good guy. It was just a shock that he passed away. I saw him six years ago at the 50th HS reunion. We weren’t close personal friends, but we all rooted for him and I was proud of his talent.”

Cathy earned a master of science in social work from the Kent school. “First I went to Spaulding University and then I was a student at Kent School but I owed the state two years of work because they paid for my tuition,” she said. “I worked in Frankfort, teaching social workers how to lead therapy groups for families with dependent children.” She then worked as a clinical social worker for River Region (later Centerstone), and then after starting her family, she worked part-time for Seven County Services.

After Don earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Sciences, he entered the UofL Medical School and completed his residency at UofL Hospital. He served in the Air Force for two years in Omaha, Nebraska and then moved back to Louisville.

Cathy tells the story of how the couple met in 1970 at the old Louisville General Hospital – in the Psych ward, she says, laughing – while both were on rotation there. Cathy was working on her social work degree and Don was a medical student on rotation.

After they married, Cathy began working for the state of Kentucky, traveling all over the state to conduct trainings. At the same time, Don’s residency meant he worked overnight every third day.

“We used to joke that our marriage will last much longer than anyone else’s because we just hadn’t seen each other as much,” said Cathy.

In his long career – he retired in 2013 – Don has seen many changes in healthcare and in the world of anesthesia.

“Back in 1977, it was mostly MDs providing anesthesia, but now we need CRNAs, nurse anesthetists to staff all the areas where anesthesia is needed. Back in 1977, we had six ORs. Now there are close to 30, and they need anesthesia services in the endoscopy suites and delivery rooms, radiology, etc. Even in outpatient centers.”

“But during this COVID 19 crisis, I think people have changed the way they view anesthesiologists,” he continued. “They are heroes. They have to put people on ventilators, intubate them and keep them alive, keep their airways open as they battle the virus.”

Change has not only struck the healthcare profession, but also higher education and in particular, the University over the past 14 years of daughter Amy’s tenure. But though UofL had experienced some challenging times, Cathy and Don both expressed their enthusiasm for President Neeli Bendapudi and Athletic Director Vince Tyra.

“We have been very impressed with Neeli as a leader,” said Cathy. “She has been a stabilizing force and done a great job of turning things around.”

“We can’t say enough about her leadership. She’s personable, smart, and so energetic.”


Archives and Special Collections to preserve Allen-Martin Studio Collection

The University of Louisville’s Archives and Special Collections (ASC) will preserve studio tapes from the long-running, iconic Allen-Martin Studio, including recordings from bands such as The Oxfords, The Carnations, The Monarchs, Exile, Harvey Fuqua, Lester Flatt, The Rugbys and Bodeco.

The project originated with Marvin Maxwell, a drummer and founder of Mom’s Music, who purchased the master tapes in 2005 and has since released or re-released several recordings commercially with his partner, Walker “Ed” Amick. Maxwell has now sought ASC’s assistance in preserving the tapes.

 

OSR077LP_CU

An album of recordings from the studio tapes released by Maxwell and Amick.

Once a fixture in the local music scene and perhaps the oldest recording studio in the area, the Allen-Martin Studio was begun in the mid-1950s under a different name, eventually moving to 9912 Taylorsville Road until it closed in 1999.

The Allen-Martin Studio Collection includes recordings of most of the prominent bands who performed and recorded in Louisville during the 1960s as well as popular national acts, said Jeff Jobson, a music chronicler and aficionado who is collaborating with ASC personnel to help catalogue the tapes.

“This was an especially exciting time, since it was not uncommon for local Top 40 DJs to manage local bands and ‘just happen’ to give them a goodly amount of airplay,” before the rules changed in the 1970s and the practice was no longer allowed.

Not only are bands from the beginning of Top 40 radio in Louisville included, but also ephemera such as commercials and industrial information tapes.

“It covers a lot of people’s collective memories from their most formative years,” Jobson said. “I don’t know if I’m even able to convey the historical value of these tapes, as this lays the groundwork for nearly all the rock and roll history of the Louisville area.”

Jobson is currently also collaborating with ASC’s Oral History Center to provide access to interviews with local musical artists. In the interviews “many of them refer to the period of time in their youth when they had their collective ears glued to WAKY/WKLO. And with each mention, they stress the influence of that time in what they brought to the music scene. And those musicians impressed later musicians, and so on to the present day. This is Ground Zero for Louisville’s local rock music, which begat all of the underground scene which followed.”

Groups or artists among the collection include:

Copperfield
Quick Draw
Tim Krekel
Lester Flatt
Merseybeats
Carnations
Rugbys
H. Fuqua (Harvey Fuqua)
Brothers Pride
Monarchs
Bodeco
Premiers (Ali Shuffle)
Howie Gano
Crushed Velvet
Buster Brown
Will Cary
Names
Dorothy Boy
Freddy George
Exiles/Exile
Another Mule
Cosmo
Chukkar
Kenny and the Accents
Troy Shondell
Trendells


Bringing Gender Equity to Wikipedia: Bridwell Art Library Hosts 2020 Louisville Wiki Edit-a-Thon Remotely

Fighting a longstanding gender imbalance on Wikipedia, UofL’s Bridwell Art Library recently hosted the Louisville Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an event it has staged several times since 2014 to add and improve articles on lesser known female artists.

Enid-yandell-1896

Photo of Edith Yandell. Photographer unknown; 1896 / Public domain.

This year’s event welcomed UofL students, faculty and staff of all gender expressions to edit the site’s articles in a collaborative online setting. Articles on mostly local women artists were improved and edited, including Julie Chen, Ann Stewart Anderson, Adele Brandeis, Marcia Shallcross Hite, Nancy Rexroth, Enid Yandell, and Martha Holmes. Other improvements focused on the local company Hadley Pottery and popular Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

Originally scheduled to be held at the Speed Museum, this year’s event was moved to a remote setting due to COVID-19, and the Art Library plans to host next year’s event at the museum to increase visibility and boost attendance. A small group comprised of UofL staff and faculty met on Teams for two days during two-hour sessions.

“Hosting an event whose aim is to inspire comradery and passion in a remote setting was challenging, but worth it,” said Art Library Director Courtney Baron.

“We can already see the impact our local event has on improving the coverage of women artists on Wikipedia. Perhaps this year the most valuable accomplishment was the transition from an in-person to a virtual event. We were able to accomplish a lot remotely.”

Prior to the Edit-a-thon, Baron and her colleagues, Collections Coordinator Trish Blair and Circulation and Reserves Manager Kathy Moore, created a research guide, with a list of articles that need to be improved.

“There is still a lot of work to do to mend the gender gap on Wikipedia, especially in regards to arts content and editorial representation,” Baron continued. “More women need to be contributing to Wikipedia because their participation has a huge impact on the content.”

While conducting research to create the guide, Baron said “we discovered so many Kentucky women artists who are not featured at all on Wikipedia. This means they are largely unknown outside of our region.”

“Our next step is to create stub articles for these artists that can be expanded at future edit-a-thon events.”

One of the world’s most-visited websites, Wikipedia is maintained and edited by mostly male volunteers, resulting in well-known gender bias. In 2014, the feminist nonprofit Art+Feminism founded a worldwide Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to encourage women to write new articles and edit existing pages on underrepresented artists.

The Art Library’s past Edit-a-thons have been well attended, open to UofL students, faculty, staff and members of the public of all gender identities and expressions. Participants have created personal accounts on Wikipedia and learned how to edit articles, using library resources to add citations and information to Wikipedia articles on local and regional artists.

“During this year’s event, 12 articles were edited with a total of 70 edits; over 4,200 words and 31 references were added, and two images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons,” said Baron. “However small, these changes have had a significant impact. In just a few weeks, the articles have been viewed over 159,000 times by Wikipedia readers around the world.”

“We plan to host our 2021 event at the Speed Art Museum and will focus on Kentucky women artists with a focus on community outreach. We hope the location at the Speed means we can reach a broader audience than we would have if we held the event on campus. This is one of the many efforts we are making to increase our collaboration and strengthen our partnership with the Speed Art Museum. The close proximity to the museum – a 5 min walk – in which we can see and interact with works from the Kentucky women artists we are researching and writing about on Wikipedia, is so valuable.”