Writing and Rewriting History with NWHM

Writing and Rewriting History with NWHM

By Janey McGowan


Throughout the summer of 2023, I had the pleasure of working as a communications intern for the National Women’s History Museum. As an organization, the NWHM sets up virtual exhibits, creates resources that make women’s history more accessible, and advises multiple exciting initiatives such as the American Women Quarters Program. I worked closely with Vice President of External Affairs Jennifer Herrera to curate social media content, advertise virtual exhibits, reach out to partnering organizations, and more.


On the first day of my internship, I learned that a man had called the museum hoping to house some historical artifacts, and because NWHM is primarily virtual, it was not a possibility. Before he hung up, he explained that this was his first and last call because he did not know of any other women’s history museums. This story puts into perspective how important it is to bring awareness to women’s history and make it accessible.


The bulk of my work consisted of curating engaging and accessible social media content to educate the NWHM audience. This work included combing through the wealth of biographies and resources on the NWHM website and developing unique ways to promote it. I learned so much about the women of US history and what it means to make resources approachable outside of academia. I also worked to promote two exciting developments for NWHM: the American Women on Quarters Program and the museum’s We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminists DC exhibit. This work taught me how to organize initiatives meant to educate the public.


I have had the privilege of studying history at a collegiate level, but it has also shown me how many women’s stories have been erased or ignored. These stories are waiting to be uncovered and told. The Internet will be a massive asset to the future of historical education.

Social media and virtual engagement can make previously guarded information available to everyone at little to no cost. I feel infinitely more empowered and excited to continue this work. I am also monitoring NWHM closely and cannot wait to see what exciting exhibits and projects they will work on in the future.