Project Participants

Please visit the project participants page for a full listing.

Project Content

In Her Own Right is a project executed by members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL).

The Greater Philadelphia region has a strong tradition of women’s initiatives to expand their rights and opportunities with regard to political participation, education, work, property-holding, and cultural activities. The region’s documentary collections reflect that the campaign for women’s suffrage did not happen in a vacuum, but was the result of decades of women of all kinds moving out of the home and into the schools and workplaces of the nation.

From an initial survey of 45 collections held by PACSCL member institutions, the pilot phase of the project focused on providing a searchable database of primary source documents and collection level descriptions selected from 7 project partners, along with contextual essays on overarching issues and three salient themes: working and making friends across racial lines, doing good works and practicing self-improvement in the progressive-era city, and confronting race, professionalism, and respectability in the medical profession.

The next phases of the project built out that database with over 10,000 newly digitized primary source documents from an additional 12 members of PACSCL. Contextual interpretation was also expanded with biographical profiles of prominent women and mini exhibits on project content.

Project metadata is available via API for researchers and digital humanities scholars to use freely. To encourage participation, basic metadata was required and more robust metadata encouraged; visit the project documentation page for specifics. Curated data sets for exploration of specific themes and collections are forthcoming, along with examples of data use.

Project Documentation

Please visit the project documentation page to learn more about project standards.


Project technology development was driven by an inspired and talented group of PACSCL repositories staff (see full list on participants page), with aggregation and application development by Neomind Labs.

The application is built using Postgres and Ruby on Rails and incorporates an OAI-PMH harvester and API endpoint.


We are grateful to our supporters for providing the means to make this content available.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this site do not necessarily represent those of any project funders.


For any questions or comments related to In Her Own Right, please contact