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New Book to Detail Lives of South Jersey Women

Two museum curators plan to gather stories about the accomplishments of regional women into a book to be titled Notable Women of South Jersey. Brittney Ingersoll, curator with the Cumberland County Historical Society, and Patricia A. Martinelli, curator with the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, recently announced that the project will explore the lives of women who lived in South Jersey between the 18th and early 20th centuries.

“There was so much going on in South Jersey at that time, we figured this period would provide more than enough material to work with,” said Ingersoll. “Too often, people believe the stereotype that women were ‘not permitted’ to do much outside the home. We believe that this book will help dispel that idea.”

The authors plan to include women from all eight South Jersey counties, including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem. Since this is a subject some local writers have already delved into, they hope to accept submissions that are either newly written or reprinted from other publications.

“For example, several years ago I wrote an article about a noted dress reformer that was published in Sojourn, a magazine published by Stockton University,” said Martinelli. “We recently received permission to republish the article so it will be included in the Cumberland County section.”

Ingersoll and Martinelli are planning to contact their colleagues at other historical societies in the region to see if anyone else is interested in submitting articles. They are already at work on a list of potential candidates for inclusion in the book. Their subjects currently include artists, writers, social activists and business owners. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit both the county and Vineland historical societies.