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With the generous support of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Jane Addams Papers and Teacher Education program at Ramapo College of New Jerse, the Jane Addams Papers Project has developed this guide for teachers and students participating in National History Day.
Conflict & compromise is a central theme in interpreting historical events. Conflicts between ideologies, nations, and people are not always negative; while some can lead to war, others lead to greater understanding. Historians examine the multiple perspectives revealed in conflicts and provide a nuanced understanding of how people work through their conflicts. Compromises between groups and individuals can help avoid or settle conflicts. Sometimes compromise leads to permanent change, but other times it is only temporary.
In her work for social reform during the Progressive Era, Jane Addams knew about conflict and compromise. Reformers by nature protest conditions that they see as unjust, coming into conflict with governments, industries, and even public opinion. Addams used speeches, articles, and conferences to publicize issues and work with like-minded reformers to secure change. They they had to work with legislatures, governments, and other organizations to reach compromises that turned into legislation. Some of the more important issues Addams focused on were the abolition of child labor and woman suffrage. Addams and other women actvists in the U.S. and abroad mobilized to stop World War I and to create a negotiated peace. In so doing they faced accusations of unpatriotic behavior and found their ideas pushed aside.
Sometimes conflict and compromise can play out in the relationships between two people. Jane Addams and Theodore Roosevelt had an interesting relationship. Bothe were Progressive reformers with large public followings, but their ideas on many issues differered. Jane Addams' work for Roosevelt's 1913 presidential campaign, and their later opposition over World War I offer a way to interpret the theme in a more personal manner.
In the Jane Addams Digital Edition you will find letters, speeches, articles, and other documents that illuminate this year's themes. We have highlighted a few research topics to get you started, but you can find other topics, subjects, and events that will also fit the theme.
The Jane Addams Papers is using Omeka Classic to publish a freely accessible digital edition of papers dating from 1901-1935. The first phase of the digital edition will include all Addams correspondence (both incoming and outgoing) and writings (excluding books). Most of the documents have been digitized from the 1985 Jane Addams Microfilm Edition. We are adding scans of documents which were not filmed, and are seeking better images of some of the difficult to read microfilm scans.
To make the documents both searchable and more accessible to a broad audience we are publishing both images and transcriptions. In addition, we are using metadata fields to allow users to search by title, author, recipient, date, published source, locations mentioned, people, organizations and events mentioned, and by subject.
While the Jane Addams Papers Digital Edition will not have item-level annotation, we are providing context for the documents by identifying people, organizations, publications and events mentioned in the documents. These entries begin as simple links, and as we conduct research the topics become short historical notes. When needed we also provide brief editorial notes that offer additional information about specific documents.
Using Omeka to deliver a digital documentary edition gave us a strong platform to start with, and by building and altering plug-ins we have been able to fine tune the platform to meet our needs.
"The first time I tried to read Addams's adult scrawl, I tearfully despaired of ever deciphering, much less analyzing, her correspondence."
--Victoria Bissell Brown, The Education of Jane Addams (2004), 7.
Are you having trouble reading Jane Addams' handwriting? It is not easy. Here are some tips and samples to help you grow accustomed to her hand.
A daylong free public forum was held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Edwards Church in Northampton devoted to: “Rediscovering Jane Addams in a Time of Crisis.” Sponsored by Mass Humanities, in association with the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice and other organizations, the forum revisited the once-revered (and sometimes reviled) Jane Addams and examined how her struggles for social justice and peace continue today.