• Say her name: Madge Donohoe and the promise and problems of using Trove to write Australian suffrage histories

    Author(s):
    James Keating (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    media history, feminist history, women's suffrage, australian history, digital history, print culture
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/kha8-zt73
    Abstract:
    Like most middle-ranking suffragists, the Sydney schoolteacher Madge Donohoe is largely invisible in Australian historiography. Until widespread newspaper digitisation, the task of uncovering her name, let alone tracing her rise from Kogarah Girls’ School to the British National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies’ execu- tive committee, would have been unimaginable. In this paper, I outline how Trove has enriched Australian feminist histories from the suffrage era (1890–1910). Yet, as indispensable as it has become, new histories relying on newspapers to vividly retell the suffragists’ stories also reveal the database’s distorting effects, not least the absence of the vibrant women’s advocacy press from its collections. Trove, I argue, affords vital new points of entry into lives like Donohoe’s but, without careful interrogation, risks privi- leging the pressman’s gaze above understanding the quotidian realities of feminist activism.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial

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