The Rapidian

Join GGRWHC's Writing Bee to summarize transcripts of interviews with notable local women

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The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council is looking for a few good writers who can write summaries of transcripts created through oral histories of local notable women.
Greater Grand Rapids Women's HIstory Council will sponsor a Writing Bee this Saturday to summarize interviews of notable women.

Greater Grand Rapids Women's HIstory Council will sponsor a Writing Bee this Saturday to summarize interviews of notable women.

The 1990s transcripts are of  interviews with notable local women whose perseverance and dedicated efforts contributed to making a positive difference in the Grand Rapids community.

The “Writing Bee” will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus, Building C. Well-known women such as educator Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray, actress Jeralyn Pinsky, community activist Ella Sims and national YWCA president Helen Claytor are among nearly 50 women interviewed during the 1990s.

Their “stories” – a collection of oral histories – were recorded so that others have the opportunity to learn, understand and appreciate the impact of their hard work. Most transcriptions are between 14 to 17 pages and are often filled with surprising facts of their experiences.

If you’re uncertain of your skills, join us anyway. We’ll provide a brief lesson, written instructions and a form to follow.  You can find some examples of the summaries and a listing of the women who were interviewed at the GGRWHC website,

The audio files and transcripts have also been digitized in a collection that is available in the archives of the History Department in the downtown Grand Rapids Public Library.

In addition to these transcripts, there are a few more recent transcripts of oral histories conducted with women in 2011-2012 that need editing. As summaries are completed, we’ll post them on our website.

If you can join us, please let us know you’re coming through an email ([email protected]) or by calling 616-574-7307. You can enter GVSU’s campus off Winter Avenue NW where there is free parking in the adjacent DeVos lot. Meet us on the first floor near Starbucks in the gazebo area on  the northern building of the campus.

Since 1988, the Council has worked tirelessly to research, preserve and document the notable contributions local women have given to our community with hopes their inspirational stories can present a clearer vision of possibilities awaiting women in the future.

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