Record and Recollection: Women’s Active Citizenship and National Archives

Kim Rubenstein and Andrew Henderson, 'Record and Recollection: Women’s Active Citizenship and National Archives' (2019) 6(2) Law & History 98-124.

27 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2019

See all articles by Kim Rubenstein

Kim Rubenstein

ANU College of Law

Andrew Henderson

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice; Australian National University, College of Law

Date Written: September 29, 2019

Abstract

Postmodern theories of the development of archival collections argue that archives created and administered under executive power often exclude voices and accounts outside the mainstream. These critiques are generally directed towards the absence of life experiences outside the purview of the central activities of the state. However, there is little empirical testing of how women’s active contributions within the concerns of government activity are recorded. This article tracks two events, recorded in the oral histories of two women lawyers collected as part of the Trailblazing Women and the Law Project, through the records of the National Archives of Australia (NAA). Its purpose is to start investigating how well these women, who have been active citizens, are ‘recorded’ in the formal national memory. It highlights the importance of undertaking further research to determine how well the NAA, as a state-run archive, represents women’s active citizenship in its telling of Australian legal history.

Keywords: legal history, archives, women, family law, family court

JEL Classification: K36, Z18

Suggested Citation

Rubenstein, Kim and Henderson, Andrew, Record and Recollection: Women’s Active Citizenship and National Archives (September 29, 2019). Kim Rubenstein and Andrew Henderson, 'Record and Recollection: Women’s Active Citizenship and National Archives' (2019) 6(2) Law & History 98-124., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3461219

Kim Rubenstein

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Andrew Henderson (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Australian National University, College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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