From Hannah Adams, born in 1755, to Vicki Ruiz, born in 1955, this book profiles some 200 women historians. Between Hannah Adams, who began compiling historical information while working as a bobbin lace weaver, and Vicki Ruiz, a third generation Chicana hailed for pioneering inclusive multicultural women's history, the reader will encounter women of diverse backgrounds, motivations, and accomplishments. They come from a variety of occupations, including public history, academia, archival work, and popular history writing and a variety of fields, including biography, art history, military history, and history based on issues of region, gender, race, ethnicity, class, or sexuality.
Neglected by the very field they have practiced, these women provide compelling and impressive examples of the historian at work. Selection for inclusion in this volume was based primarily on publications, but other criteria were considered as well, including participation in defining a field of study, influence on other historians or related scholars, cross-disciplinary achievements, and contributions to the work of others. Many of the women were firsts, such as Louise Phelps Kellogg, the first woman president of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (now the OAH), and Mary Frances Berry, the first black woman to become chancellor at a major research university. This book offers contemporary historians, and all readers, the opportunity to explore women historians' motivations, accomplishments, and above all, rich legacies.