To the Editors:
Radcliffe College is sponsoring a supplement to Notable American Women, a reference work that has been widely acclaimed since its publication in 1971 by Harvard University Press. The first three volumes, edited by Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, and Paul Boyer, contained over 1,300 articles about women who died between 1607 and 1950. To fill a gap noted by scholars and general readers alike, the supplement will include approximately 400 articles on women who have died since 1951. Work on the project will begin during the summer of 1976 and is expected to be completed in three years.
The editors welcome suggestions of potential subjects for inclusion, contributors and consultants, particularly in fields generally outside the mainstream of historical inquiry, e.g., sports, photography, music, journalism, and the arts.
Although the twenty-five year period seems short compared to the 350 years spanned by the first three volumes, the sheer number of influential women in the first half of the twentieth century means that “the four hundred” will be a highly select group. By definition they cannot be “representative,” but I hope they will reflect the full range of women’s achievements. It would be easy to fill the entire volume with writers, actresses, and prominent public figures. But I am just as interested in less visible women who have made a mark as labor leaders, executives, educators, and volunteer philanthropists. The date of death and a standard or obituary reference (where available) should be included for each candidate for inclusion. A brief statement of why the individual is important would also be helpful.
Editor, Notable American Women
3 James Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
November 25, 1976