Sites of Girlhood
Sites of Girlhood is a large scale global project to put girls “on the map.” Girls around the world have been part participants and, at times, victims to some of the greatest moments in history. Their stories are more important than ever, shedding new light on our history while giving us a unique view of our hometowns and home countries.
This collaborative project is an opportunity for both a celebration of girls in history as well as establishing sites of memory in their honor. Through virtual recognition and the resources produced for this project, we will advocate for greater recognition and inclusion of girls in our historic sites and monuments. Sites of Girlhood is a combination of researched and crowd-sourced content from around the world.
This project is continually evolving. Every quarter, we will update the map with new sites, submitted by people like you and researched by our team. We are also producing the Great Girls podcast series, educational activities, publications, and exhibitions that promote scholarship and exploration of the world through the eyes of girls. If you have an idea for a Sites-related project, please contact us!
Girl Studies and Public History: The Impact of Sites
Sites of Girlhood is the first virtual, global mapping project to document the places where girls have made or participated in human history. Girls have been present since the very beginnings of human civilization, and Sites of Girlhood aims to document this fact while encouraging local activism to establish sites of memory – from plaques to statues to museums – in their honor. By bringing girl studies into the geospatial realm, this project aims to prove the validity of girl studies – establishing girls as a distinct presence and lens through which to view history and culture – while also encouraging the involvement of girls on a local level, helping nominate, research, and establish sites that honor the girl.
So often, girl studies has remained in the realm of the intangible. While this is equally valid, tangible history offers engagement opportunities that push girl studies beyond the academy and into the public eye. This, in turn, garners public support for our work, empowering our scholarship to become practical applications that advance gender equality through girlhood. As Freeman Tilden stated in Interpreting Our Heritage, “Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection.” Sites of Girlhood brings girl studies into the realm of interpretation on a global scale, with the possibility of thousands of local connections. In so doing, we advocate that by interpreting the places where girls were part of history, we bring understanding of girls as historical agents; this understanding fosters appreciation for girls as a distinct population whose contributions have profoundly shaped human history; and, finally, through appreciation, we empower the public to protect the historic spaces and artifacts of girlhood that will showcase the importance of girls for generations to come.
Exploring American Girlhood through 50 American Treasures
by Ashley E. Remer and Tiffany R. Isselhardt
Who are the girls that helped build America? Read this book to find out.
Conventional history books shed little light on the influence and impact of girls’ contributions to society and culture. This oversight is challenged by Girl Museum and their team, who give voices to the most neglected, yet profoundly impactful, historical narratives of American history: young girls.
Exploring American Girls’ History through 50 Historic Treasures showcases girls and their experiences through the lens of place and material culture. Discover how the objects and sites that girls left behind tell stories about America that you have never heard before. Readers will journey from the first peoples who called the continent home, to 21st century struggles for civil rights, becoming immersed in stories that show how the local impacts the global and vice versa, as told by the girls who built America. Their stories, dreams, struggles, and triumphs are the centerpiece of the nation’s story as never before, helping to define both the struggle and meaning of being “American.”
Click here to learn more about the book and preorder.
Click on a pin to view the site and learn about its importance to girlhood.
In the upper left, click the box to view all sites in a list.
In the upper right, click the ‘share’ button to share the map with your friends! The more people know about girls’ sites, the more we will remember and honor their contributions and roles in our history.
Suggest a Site / Girl
Click the button to fill out a Sites of Girlhood Nomination Form. Our team will review your suggestion and, if approved, add it to our next map update. Thank you!
Discover the Girls
Every site in our map will aim to have a blog post that reflects on the story of the girl(s) and their importance in history. Below, view the blogs we have published so far. Want to contribute? Consider volunteering with us to write about sites of girlhood!
Nina Layard on site at an archaeological excavation. Nina Layard isn’t a household name, but she definitely should be. The way that she pushed the boundaries in male-dominated fields was hugely significant and inspiring for young women looking for role models in...
Rigoberta Menchú Tum Rigoberta was born in Laj Chimel, Guatemala on January 9, 1959 into a poor Indigenous family of K'iche' Maya descent who earned their living by picking coffee beans on big plantations. In 1960, when Rigoberta was just a year old, civil war broke...
Wangari Maathai Wangari was born in Nyeri, Kenya in 1940. Growing up, she experienced first hand the effects of deforestation in her home town of Nyeri. As a little girl, Wangari would go on foot to fetch water from a nearby stream to provide fresh drinking water for...