The Cambridge Women's Heritage Project

Committee: Facilities, Parks, and Recreation

Cost: $60,000

Location: City of Cambridge website.

Short Description: Celebrate the under-recognized contributions of diverse Cambridge women. Fund research and oral history interviews to triple the number of featured women. Redesign the current project website to boost collaboration with schools and libraries.

Long Description: Cambridge women, past and present, have made major contributions to our community and society at large. Currently, the existing website of the Cambridge Women’s Heritage Project is outdated in its content, design, and software. The goal of this project is to celebrate, uplift, and recognize their contributions in perpetuity by creating a living archive. The funding will go to two major initiatives: redesigning the Project website and furthering women’s history research.

Re-designing the website will make it more visually engaging, interactive and searchable, and easier to update. Providing an easy web-based form for the public to submit information or nominate women is a key component of the website redesign. The new website will be integrated into the City’s website ( and receive on-going technical support and updates. 

Additionally, women's history researchers and oral historians will develop approximately 250 new entries from existing data files, community nominations, and by soliciting new submissions for the website. The funding would support interviews, research, writing, editing, and data entry for contracted women’s history researchers, oral historians, editors, and data entry assistants. Deeper engagement with community groups and schools will aid and support the project’s ability to learn about and add more women/women’s organizations to the site.

The redesigned website and expanded content will open up opportunities for the Women’s Commission and the Historical Commission to collaborate with outside groups such as schools and libraries. In updating the content, the range of biographical entries will focus on expanding women’s intersecting identities—race, religion, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, and gender expression.

Women’s history research is not easy and local historical resources (such as this website) are sometimes the only place to find documentation on heretofore unsung women. The Women’s Commission regularly receives calls and inquiries from teachers, students, families, and researchers; this online resource is the only place for some of this information to be recorded and archived and that might otherwise be lost. The inclusion of historically underrecognized women and the important contributions they’ve made to the community, chosen field of work, or volunteer organizations would provide a fuller, and certainly more accurate, picture of our city’s past. This project would also build out a connection to the Women’s Commission Mapping Feminist Cambridge, a project highlighting feminist history from 1970s to 1990s in Central, Harvard, and Inman Squares.

Feel free to explore the Cambridge Women's Heritage Project here:


The current website for the Cambridge Women’s Heritage Project.