Revealing Women in the Archives

August 17, 2021

Panel Discussion: Archives, Community Representation and Why It Matters

Collections / Community / Revealing Women in the Archives

On August 15, 2021, we hosted a hybrid panel discussion that brought together civic leaders, librarians, and archivists who are working collaboratively with communities and their archives to create a fully representative record of their experiences and history. Archives are created to document the human experience and societies. They are everywhere and made by everyone. Despite this, representation in institutional archives is an ever-present challenge that is tied to which stories are deemed relevant and which are overlooked. Scroll for a video of the previously recorded panel.Panelists... Read more

August 9, 2021

Jane Withers, 1926-2021

Collections / Revealing Women in the Archives

By: Caroline Sheehan, 2018-2019 Autry/Occidental College intern; Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives

Jane Withers, actor, philanthropist, and doll collector, passed away Saturday August 9, 2021. She was surrounded by her family and friends. A testament to the range of her life’s achievements can be found everywhere: in newspaper and magazine articles, film reel footage, and in archive collections like those held at the Autry.

Jane Withers was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12, 1926. Her mother, Ruth, dreamt of having a child star, and gave her the name Jane... Read more

April 20, 2021

Women in the Archives: Part 1

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

There is always a need to revisit archives and one of the great things about archives is that it is the raw materials that can be reinterpreted over and over again across time to create another story that relates to the now. And that’s one of the reasons why research is called research is because you’re searching over and over again. So, archives are not dusty, static elements for you to just observe, archives are really there for you to engage with and they’re dynamic and they also have a pulse... Read more

March 17, 2021

Piecing Together the Story of Lottie L. Tillotson

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Alejandra Gaeta, Associate Archivist/Librarian

“Little is known about Lottie Tillotson.”

It was that first sentence that caught my attention and that ultimately led me down the rabbit hole of research. It is such an unusual statement to have written in a finding aid, a document that is meant to provide a summary of succinct facts that is useful for researchers. (A finding aid is a document that provides information about archival collections, including biographical information of the people it involves, descriptions of the types of materials it contains and how the collection is... Read more

March 8, 2021

What’s Her Story: Roll Call

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Liza Posas, Head of Research Services and Archives

Meet the philanthropists, solo sojourners, political activists, artists, pioneering anthropologist, and local community members who make up the What’s Her Story: Women in the Archives exhibition at the Autry Museum. This exhibit showcases the 20th- and 21st-century women who documented their activities and created archives as a way to preserve a legacy in their own voice as well as archives found in the Autry’s holdings of institutional papers, government documents, and rare documents.

Assistance League of Los... Read more

February 22, 2021

Theo Westenberger: A Brief Introduction

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Caleb Allen, Cataloging Assistant

Commercial photographers are an odd sort of cultural worker: responsible for showcasing the products that one ought to want, glimpses of vacations one ought to strive for, providing a keyhole into the lives of the celebrities one loves, and generally helping to visualize a zeitgeist. It’s rare that one ever bothers to learn who a commercial photographer is—for every Annie Leibovitz or Steven Meisel, there are innumerable other photographers who are more or less unknown to the wider public. Now, it would be unfair to count Theo Westenberger among the... Read more

December 11, 2020

Let Them Eat Books: Chocolate Spice Cookies from The Arizona Cook Book

Collections / DIY / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

Williams needed a public library, and the women of the Williams Public Library Association were determined to provide one. Though a small town with a population of about 2,500 in the early 1900s , Williams was not insignificant, hosting the terminal of the Grand Canyon Railway and serving as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. Despite this, the town had not the means to construct and maintain a public library .... Read more

November 20, 2020

Women’s Stories Found in the Native Voices Archives

Collections / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager

The rich archive of the Native Voices theatre company reflects 26 years of Native storytelling in which women’s stories always played a prominent role. As the only Equity theater company in America devoted exclusively to developing and producing new theatre works by Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and First Nations playwrights, Native Voices was... Read more

October 29, 2020

Excavating Stories of Women Archaeologists in the Archive

Collections / Revealing Women in the Archives

By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager

* Thank you to archaeologist Karimah Richardson and archivist Liza Posas for their insights on the importance of the women archaeologists’ archives at The Autry.

In commemorating October as both Archives Month and Archaeology Month, we dug into the archives of several women archaeologists in the Autry’s collections. Archaeologists Frances Watkins, Ruth Simpson, and Bertha Parker Cody each played a role in the archeological efforts of the Southwest Museum, the first museum in Los Angeles to promote both... Read more

September 25, 2020

Way to a Heart: How Pandemic Cooking Re-United a Family

Collections / Community / DIY / Library and Archives / Revealing Women in the Archives
By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

Since childhood, one of my favorite social activities has been cooking and baking with friends and loved ones. In high school, I baked cakes, cookies, and even a flan with two of my best friends. As an undergrad, I would squeeze into the dormitory’s kitchen to make treats with my roommate and our shared friends. Over the past year, I have learned whole new ways of cooking with two members of my chosen family, Molly and Timber. Neither of them eats eggs, and Molly maintains a vegan and gluten free diet. When we cook together, we... Read more