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Jane Addams Papers Project at Ramapo College Receives $325K in Grants to Continue Digitizing Historical Works

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 4, 2020

MAHWAH, N.J. — The Jane Addams Paper Project has received two significant grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Archives/National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grants of $200,000 and $125,000 respectively will support the project’s work at Ramapo College. The Jane Addams Papers started work at Ramapo in September 2015, with the goal of creating a digital edition of the correspondence and writings of the founding mother of American social work.

“We are delighted to have the support of the NEH and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for the Jane Addams Papers Project. They support two aspects of the project’s work, the publication of our digital edition and editing and research for Volume 4 of the Selected Papers of Jane Addams, 1901-1913,” said Cathy Moran Hajo ’85, Editor and Director of the Jane Addams Papers Project at Ramapo.

Ramapo students from each of the College’s five schools are the backbone of the digital edition, Hajo said. “We have trained more than 50 students since the project started to read 19th and 20th century handwritten documents, transcribe the texts and describe them, adding subjects, identifying people, organizations and events. Students are gaining experience doing historical research, analyzing primary sources and developing metadata,” adding that many of students have “caught the bug” and gone on to graduate programs in digital humanities, library science and history.

Susan Hangen, Dean of the Ramapo’s School of Humanities and Global Studies, explained that students who worked on the project have said that after graduation, potential employers were impressed with the technical and analytical skills that they gained through that experience. “Their experiences demonstrate the relevance of humanities skills to a wide variety of careers. The project showcases the continued importance of the humanities and especially of public history to our society today” Hangen said. “It is rare for a public institution to have the opportunity to host such a prestigious project and we are grateful to Cathy for bringing this to Ramapo.”

Students are currently working on documents in 1922 and 1923, tracing Addams’s world tour and her efforts for peace. Grant-funded editors Stacy Pratt McDermott ’14 and Victoria Sciancalepore are proofreading material from 1920 for mounting on the digital edition in the near future. Work continues on Volume 4 of the Selected Papers of Jane Addams, which covers her work for woman suffrage, child labor legislation, and her forays into politics in the 1912 presidential election. Because of the digital nature of the project, students and staff have been able to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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