The Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia is currently asking interested individuals for items and artifacts documenting the history of 20th century midwife folk traditions and culture.
Under the direction of historians Dr. Ann McCleary and Dr. Keith S. Hébert, the Center is initiating the groundbreaking research project by collecting and documenting items such as midwife bags, quilts used for childbirth, bottles and recipes of midwives’ homemade salves, good luck charms and retirement badges. Midwife clothing including hats, dresses and aprons, and documents such as midwives’ permit applications, certificates, letters, journals, diaries and photographs are also being collected.
“By 1930, about 80 percent of the midwives were living and practicing in the South,” said McCleary. “Yet we have found that the objects and artifacts pertaining to midwives’ folk traditions are extremely scarce and underrepresented in historical museums, houses and archives.”
Interested individuals have the option of either donating or temporarily loaning the objects to the Center for Public History. Community members may also schedule an appointment with researchers to photograph or make copies or their items, or conduct an interview for the Center’s oral history collection. Contributors will receive full acknowledgement in any publication of the Center at UWG.
“In history, any object or artifact, even an ordinary object, is important to tell stories that otherwise will be forgotten,” explained Hébert.
To contribute or to make appointments, contact McCleary at 678-839-6141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Angie Ramirez at 678-428-4180.