The New Jersey Women’s History Website is a unique online resource for New Jersey women’s history.
These women, who were probably silk workers, were members of the women’s division of the Arbeiter Turnverein, the Workers Gymnastic Club. A belief in physical fitness for women as well as men was strong in the Paterson German-American community, where men’s and women’s turnvereins were popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The website was originally developed in 1998 by the Women’s Project of New Jersey (WPNJ) as a follow-up to the reference work Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women, published in 1991. Wishing to go beyond the content limitations of a printed biographical reference volume, WPNJ collaborated with the Margery Somers Foster Center, Special Collections/Archives, the Scholarly Communications Center at Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick, and the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark to create an online resource on state women’s history that could easily be revised to offer a wider range of historical materials and resources to the public. With funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission the website expanded to include a timeline of notable facts, files of images, material objects and documents, links to other Internet sites, a bibliography, a topical index and lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school students. WPNJ transferred the management of the website to the Alice Paul Institute (API) in 2007.
In 2013, the New Jersey Historical Commission funded a collaborative project between the Alice Paul Institute and historic preservation consultants Preservation Partners, authors of the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, featuring over 150 women’s historic sites throughout New Jersey. The projected included a new website design, upgraded content and an expanded section featuring the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail in an engaging, comprehensive and interactive format. Preservation Partners and API are delighted to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the State of New Jersey by presenting the revised New Jersey Women’s History Website, an engaging resource for New Jersey visitors whether they visiting online or driving through our Garden State.