Tradeswomen Archives

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The Tradeswomen Archives Project
California State University Dominguez Hills is pleased to invite you to contribute virtual and material artifacts of your experiences to help us build as comprehensive a record of primary materials on women in non-traditional jobs as possible. By non-traditional, we refer to the experiences of women in blue-collar jobs such as construction trades, factory, building, and refinery maintenance, transportation, longshore workers, fisherwomen, women in military trades and related fields.

Our Online Tradeswomen Archives
We invite you to help us build an online site by uploading visual images and documents to preserve a history of local, national, and international involvement in breaking barriers into blue-collar non-traditional fields. These include photos of yourself, your organizations, your unions, your workplaces, your certificates and diplomas, newsletters, fliers, conference programs, your diaries and journals, films, etc that provide a record of your individual and collective efforts in this field.

Women have been working in “non-traditional” blue-collar work in the US for at least a hundred years, during times of crisis and wars. Since the 1970’s, more opportunities have opened up and we are creating a central place for documenting these experiences and linking to other collections. We also want to feature the experiences of women outside of the US, as broadly as possible.

We invite you to upload your materials in as high a resolution as possible, and to respond to the online forms to help users identify and analyze the sources you provide. We are hoping to use the most advanced and accessible web technology to make this a deeply informative and enjoyable collection.

Physical and Online Archives
We have already begun a central archive to house physical materials at the University Library, but we decided to launch this effort to preserve and showcase the collection online. This archive will be a place for scholars and activists to conduct research, as well as an online site that can be used by training programs and educational institutions.

Jobs in the US and around the world tend to be stratified by race, gender, and nationality, not so much because of ability, but because of historical and cultural practices. The efforts made by courageous women and supportive men to cross over barriers and take up non-traditional careers are valuable histories that deserve documentation of many sorts.

The digital form of the Tradeswomen Archives Project is presently in its experimental stage, funded in part by a grant by the National Endowment of the Humanities Digital Start-up Fund, to support our efforts at creating an innovative and useful collection. We are testing ways of communicating across social networking sites and using our Facebook Page as a portal to our own online site that we can have fuller control of. Please join us and invite your friends!

Instructions for uploading materials to the site can be found here. We also accept boxes of actual materials and can make arrangements for collection or shipment.

To send us an email, contact us at vprice (at)