The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 547
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Women's History Institute and an historical overview, the editor fol-
lows with a guide to the traveling exhibit, "Behold, Our Works Were
Good," which was created in 1984. The exhibit is now housed at the
Arkansas Endowment for the Humanities. The book concludes with
the oral biography of an octogenarian Arkansas woman, Bethel May
Stockburger Jones. The editor has also included a helpful "Study
Guide for Teachers and Students," proposing questions and classroom
"Behold, Our Works Were Good," the exhibit and the book, were
both inspired by the Texas Women's History Project, sponsored by the
Texas Foundation for Women's Resources. The TFWR included not
only an exhibit, "Texas Women, A Celebration of History"-which
toured Texas in 1981 and 1982 and is now on permanent display at
Texas Woman's University-and a catalogue, but a number of subse-
quent books. The Arkansas project is in the best tradition of women's
history, with one project inspiring another.
This handbook trods a path that is now becoming familiar to stu-
dents of women's history. The investigation of the lives of women, the
high achievers and the "ordinary women," proceeds apace, despite the
seeming dearth of traditional historical documents. The use of diaries,
letters, minutes of organizations, and oral histories enables the diligent,
persistent scholar to uncover and reveal more fully the contributions of
women in our society. The contributions of black women are particu-
larly appreciated, especially those of the civil rights leader Daisy Bates,
and surprisingly the first elected female United States senator came
Underlying this work is the recognition of the prejudices of the past
that tended to restrict women's spheres and downplay their role. Also
the particular stigma attached to life in Arkansas in years past seeps
through the narrative. This was reinforced by the confrontation be-
tween Arkansas governor Orville Faubus with federal troops in Little
Rock in 1957. There is a ringing pride in the accomplishments of
Arkansas women and a solid hope for growth in the study of their his-
tory in the future.
Certain omissions detract from the full achievement of the Hand-
book's purposes. Most glaring is the virtual absence of any discussion of
slavery. The four volumes of Arkansas slave narratives (George Rawick
[ed.], The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, 1941) are not uti-
lized. Subtitles and boldface print in the lengthy chapter on the exhibit
itself would have made the content more accessible, particularly to the
younger student. The absence of an index is also a detriment to schol-
ars and researchers. Finally, the seminal work of Gerda Lerner, the
"Mother of U.S. Women's History," whose perspective informs this
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/617/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.