In March, we welcomed Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight as our first Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, working to improve the presence of Wikipedia articles on women and writing before 1900. Her work is supported by scholars in the Women Writers Project and Northeastern reference librarians.
Rosie will be with us, working remotely, through December of this year and has already made remarkable progress on bolstering the canon of women writers and their works on Wikipedia. She has created new pages for over 86 women and/or works by women, and has improved many others with additional information, context and citations.
Through Rosie’s work, you can now learn about Birdie Blye, a descendant of John Hancock who was a child prodigy at the piano and gave concert tours in Europe at just 11 years old, before writing articles about her travels and music criticism. You can get to know Lilian Bell, a novelist who made waves with her first fiction book, “The Love Affairs of an Old Maid”. Bell’s mother was such a careful editor, and tough critic, that Bell found no reason to dread her books being reviewed: “What have I to fear from the public?” she asked. “Mamma has read it.”
You can also learn about Mittie Frances Clarke Point, a turn-of-the-century novelist who wrote 80 dime store novels under the pseudonym Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller; Emily Thornton Charles, a journalist who founded the Washington, D.C. newspaper National Veteran; and Mary Catherine Chase, a 19th-century Catholic nun who wrote essays and literature under pen names.
You can keep up with Rosie’s work on her Wikipedia page. We look forward to seeing more of Rosie’s work throughout her time with us this year.