Twenty-First Century Team Founder and Leader

Digital Humanist, Historian, Editor, Researcher, Writer, Metadata Analyst, Transcriber, Data Encoder

ABOUT:  MaryKate McMaster is the founder of A Woman of the Century: A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries.  She holds a B.A. in History from The College of the Holy Cross, an MLIS in Library and Information Studies from The University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in American Studies from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from The College of William and Mary.  In 2018, MaryKate graduated from the Digital Public Humanities Graduate Certificate Program at George Mason University.  Passionate about biographical and historical research,  she has conducted extensive research on Moses Dresser Phillips, Henry Chandler Bowen, George Hale, and many of the women in A Woman of the Century. During her career, she has been involved with numerous projects for museums, historical agencies, and libraries, and has taught at several colleges in the Worcester, MA area.  Currently, MaryKate teaches a variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences at Quinsigamond Community College and serves as Coordinator of the Humanities Work Area.

CONNECTION: This project began after I discovered A Woman of the Century while curating a 1997 exhibition called “Women Celebrating Women: Collective Biographies as Example and Inspiration in Nineteenth-Century America."  I wanted to find a way to make connections between these women, so I created an Access Database for the book.  Since 2001, my students have researched and written about these women for papers and projects.  While in my MLIS program, I added fields and focused on the Massachusetts women during my Directed Study.  At that point, I began presenting on these women in talks and at conferences.  Later, I created the A Woman of the Century Crowdsourcing Project Omeka site during my Digital Public History course at George Mason University. The site was created for people interested in local history and women’s history.  After years of working on this project, creating the site was incredibly exciting.  During my Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age course, I expanded the project to include ways to teach historical thinking by studying these women and their worlds.  As we collaborate on the project, we frequently find new avenues to explore!

QUOTE “Each woman’s life opens a portion of the past to us, creating an opportunity for learning, introspection, and inspiration.  Being a part of this project brings me joy every day, and I am so grateful for our amazing team.”