Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still missing....depending on where you look

Today the California Historical Society sent me a message concerning their store. I checked out their book list and was dismayed to find not one concerned women or women's activities in California. The society's journal, California History, has not been so exclusive, and in fact has published articles that have been on the forefront of the latest historical thinking. For example, the latest issue concerns three generation of women who contributed to the Spanish Revival movement in architecture. Several issues past explored the significant role of conservative women during the 1950s, an important reminder that women's history should include all varieties of political and feminist thought.

I look forward every time this excellent publication appears in my mail box, and read it through. Unfortunately, it is not something that will come before the purview of the average Californian, let alone one who wanders into the Society in San Francisco. I would love to be an editor at a publishing house right now and sign up people to fill the gap in the book shelves.

Meanwhile, another source that once available in local bookstores is The Californians. This magazine was well-designed for the general public, well-illustrated with historic photographs and artwork, well-referenced articles, and complete primary documents. Its demise years ago is still missed by those of us fascinated with state history, and notably that of its women's role.