HYPATIA PARTNERS WITH WIKIPEDIA TO ADDRESS GENDER BALANCE
Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website in the world (after Google, YouTube, Facebook, Baidu and Yahoo). The single-most concerning factor in Wikipedia’s success is the gross under-representation of women both as writers and as subjects of articles. Worryingly, of over 1,445,021 biographies only 15.5% are of women – 15.5%? But women are 51% of the population! Plus nearly all the biographies of people before 1900 are of men.
And, just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for women on Wikipedia…. Most of the articles are written by men, including imposing policies for categorisation, notability and referencing. Women are thought to comprise 8.5-16.1% of editors on the English-language Wikipedia. Wikipedia recognise this disparity too:
Team Hypatia to the rescue…..
Ever heard of Litz Pisk? If you had tried searching for her three months ago you would have come across a listing stating "The page Litz Pisk does not exist"
Born in Vienna 1909, and died St Ives, Cornwall 1997, Litz is widely regarded as the finest and most influential teacher of modern theatre movement, sadly she was one of the very many great women currently not listed on Wikipedia - however thanks to a partnership between The Hypatia Trust and Wikimedia UK all that's changing.
Hypatia and Wikimedia UK are working together on a project to rebalance the English-language Wikipedia by training new editors in writing and editing biographical articles on Cornwall and Scilly’s great women. The Hypatia Trust has appointed Dr. Tehmina Goskar as its first Wikimedian in Residence to coordinate the project and act as an ambassador for promoting free and open access to information and knowledge on women and Cornwall. Dr Tehmina Goskar (museum consultant, historian and long time friend of the HT) with the help of a small network of researchers are rebalancing Wikipedia by writing and editing biographical articles of Cornwall and Scilly’s great women. Utilizing the Hypatia Trust’s Elizabeth Treffry Collection (over 3000 books and articles by and about women and their lives, works and achievements in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly) Tehmina and the researchers aim to reinvigorate the collection and raise the global profile of its subjects.
Tehmina says, "This is just the beginning of a landmark project to redress the imbalance of male-dominated narratives of Cornwall and Cornishness. It is the result of two internationally-minded organisations who have the common aim to improve humanity’s access to knowledge. I have been a long time advocate of free and open access to knowledge especially in the fight against inequality and in pursuit of better diversity in how we write about our heritage. As Wikipedian-in-Residence I will be creating a hit-list of women in Cornwall who are currently not represented or poorly represented on the English-language Wikipedia. This will not only address the gross bias against female subjects on the world's free encyclopedia, but also redress the gender imbalance in the representation of Cornish history, culture and literature."
Daria Cybulska, Head of Programmes and Evaluation, says: “As the national chapter for the global Wikimedia movement we believe that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social and economic development. We are delighted to be working with the Hypatia Trust on this important project, which feeds into our overall commitment of increasing online coverage of diverse cultures, heritage and history. We are hoping that we will be able to draw parallels between this initiative and our other projects on Welsh and Scots Gaelic heritage.”
HYPATIA IN THE GARDENS
Morrab Botanical Gardens - a new and expanding history...
A partially- derelict, former stables building sits adjacent to the historic Morrab Library in the Morrab Botanical Gardens of Penzance, Cornwall. The Hypatia Trust in partnership with two other charitable organisations and the local government have new and revitalising plans for the stables that will become 'The Gardeners House' in Morrab Gardens.
The Hypatia Trust, the Friends of Morrab Gardens and the Pengarth Day Centre are working together on The Gardeners' House to provide a new learning centre for botanical and horticultural projects, a natural history reading room, lecture hall, an open air laboratory for citizen science and communal activity spaces. A shop and cafe will compliment the whole, attracting users from surrounding neighbourhoods, and from our many native tourists and international visitors.
Much time, fundraising and restoration work is required to make this vision come alive. Our hope is that you will help us re-write its history? Find more details here.
THE DIGITISATION PROJECT
The Digitisation Project is an on-going library cataloguing and access project to formally institute the Hypatia Trust's Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ETC). From 2016 forward, it was being jointly brought together by professional librarians and archivists who work with both the Trust and Azook CIC. The Elizabeth Treffry Cornish Collection was located at Krowji, Redruth from 2016 to August 2018 after which The Hypatia Trust officially handed over the Elizabeth Treffry Collection to the Morrab Library, where it can now be read and enjoyed by all in a dedicated room.
The digital catalogue is itemising current holdings, placing our physical collection in the context of our long-term ambition to create a Bibliotheca Cornubiensis Femina in the 21st century, listing all known publications by women of Cornwall, historical and contemporary.
This project has been made possible by past funding from the Q Fund (Cornwall Council), Cyprus Well Literature Development Fund (2010-2011), the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Tanner Trust, the Hypatia Research Fund and Azook CIC.
CREATIVE WRITING ONLINE
"You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing" - Doris Lessing
The trust is supporting The Free Writers Centre offers a varied menu of Creative Writing courses and various literary related activities.
The online selection of Creative Writing courses contain written exercises, audio and video sections that can be downloaded and worked through at one's own pace and students receive assessment for assignments. Students can also opt-in for one to one mentoring/guidance to accompany their course and join the forum to share and discuss with others. There is also a blog, Facebook group, Twitter, Youtube - and the Members Area will soon open offering online writing surgeries, chats, online literary salons and much more! All links and more information on the online courses via the website.
MARITIME MUSEUM REVEALS HIDDEN HISTORIES OF WOMEN AT SEA
The new autumn exhibition opening at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall on 14 September will explore the hidden histories of women at sea.
Mermaids: Women at Sea will tell the compelling stories of women who have challenged the establishment and made their mark in a male dominated world.
It will feature extraordinary women such as Mary Lang, who joined a crew on the last of the merchant sailing ships - known as windjammers - to journey from South Australia to Cornwall in the 1930s, and Dame Ellen MacArthur who blazed a trail for women in competitive sailing, assuring herself a place in sporting history as the fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe in 2005.
The Museum will also be revealing from its stores a very special boat that belonged to Dame Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford, better known as the Flying Duchess, but who was also a keen canoeist. The boat, called Endsleigh after her favourite country estate on the River Tamar, is part of the Museum's National Small Boat Collection.
Through first-hand accounts, film, photography and artefacts the exhibition, which is supported by the Hypatia Trust, will bring these stories to life.
Tehmina Goskar, Senior Curator at the Maritime Museum, says: “Mermaids represents a key moment for the Maritime Museum as it develops its interpretation and presentation of maritime heritage in non-traditional areas of the field by publicly addressing the hidden histories of women sailors, not because they are women but because their stories are just as fascinating and stimulating as those of men and therefore worthy of preserving and presenting to our visitors.
There have always been superstitions about women and the sea, from the myths of mermaids luring unsuspecting men to a watery death to the ill fortune a woman aboard a ship was meant to have brought to a voyage and its male crew. One of Cornwall’s most famous legends is of course the Mermaid of Zennor, and visitors to the exhibition will be able to see and touch a 3D print of the famous mermaid carving in St Senara Church in Zennor—the first time the Maritime Museum has used this technology to present an exhibit to the public.
We hope this replica of the 15th-century mermaid carving will capture the imagination of our visitors. Guests will also enjoy the legend being recited as part of a special film commissioned by the Maritime Museum from new local Cornish Community Interest Company, Storylines.
I am particularly pleased that the Hypatia Trust, based in Penzance, a charity which exists to promote the study of women, has chosen to generously support Mermaids. I hope that all visitors to this exhibition will leave knowing that the sea belongs to women as well as men and so does its history.”
Supporting the exhibition is a lecture on Wednesday 23 September at 6.30pm, called Enterprising Women. Dr Helen Doe will be sharing stories of feisty, strong willed women who defied the popular image of the genteel 19th century lady. Many played key roles in shipping management, running businesses such as sailmakers, shipbuilders and managing the day to day running of the ships themselves in an era when gender roles were becoming increasingly polarised. Tickets cost £7 and can be booked on 01326 214546.
Mermaids: Women at Sea opens on September 14 and runs until February 21 at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.
Ellen MacArthur image courtesy of DPPI.
HYPATIA WOMEN: Cornwall
CORNWALL ARTISTS INDEX
An online index of artists and artisans, past & present.
Launched in late November of 2011, this project continues to grow in coverage and correspondence. A team of volunteers service it, and previously unknown artists are still turning up who have worked in Cornwall and painted Cornish scenes. We receive enquiries from all over the world.
The on-line CORNWALL ARTISTS' INDEX: fine art & artisans: Input form currently online at cornwallartists.org
HISTORY 51 - UNVEILING WOMEN IN CORNWALL & THE ISLES OF SCILLY
History 51 was an innovative project based on the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It was funded by a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant, and ran from December 2012-December 2013.
Find out more about History 51. Growing out of it, a social media project has evolved to recognize and promote interest in Cornish and Scillonian women’s achievements, past and present.
History 51 Facebook
History 51 Twitter
HYPATIA IN THE WOODS
Hypatia in the Woods' is situated south of Seattle, on Puget Sound, near Shelton, Washington, U.S.A. This 15 acre site with house and outbuildings has been donated to provide the Trust with a residential retreat and study centre for the use of its membership world-wide and especially those with interests in poetry, writing workshops, handprinting and small-press publishing. In 1999 Elspeth Pope generously put her house and grounds in trust, for the use in perpetuity of the Hypatia Trust.
A few miles south of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., the remodelling to form a writers' and artists' retreat, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, is now complete. Elspeth's house was built in dense woodland close to Puget Sound. The house was constructed without felling any trees, and all the wood used in its construction came from cedar and pines which had blown down over the years. It is completely surrounded by trees, and is a wonderfully peaceful place.
The other building on the site was built by Elspeth's late husband, Jim Holly, to use as a workshop and storehouse. It has now been converted into an ideal place for small workshops and conferences.
It was formally opened on 25th August 2007. It can also be used as a quiet retreat for women to contemplate scholarly or creative projects.
In memory of Jim it is called 'The Holly House'. Visit Hypatia In The Woods Facebook Page