Zoom Into equine history!

I wrote about the packhorse librarians in an article published in The Chronicle of the Horse Untacked Magazine a few years ago. I am thrilled to announce that I will be a presenter at the Equine History 2021 Equine Ecologies and Economies Conference discussing these intrepid equestriennes!

The EHC 2021 conference “Equine Ecologies and Economies” will be held March 25–26 over Zoom, hosted by the Cal Poly Pomona University Library. The program will begin at 8 am Pacific Time each day.

Registration is now open. The registration deadline is Tuesday, March 23rd.

To view a draft of the program, click on this link. I am presenting on March 26th in Session 7 in the afternoon.

Membership in the EHC is not required to register for or attend the conference, but I have embedded the link to join the Collective.

The Equine History Collective, founded in 2016, boasts an international membership of scholars from sixteen different countries.

The Collective promotes the horse as a lens for trans-regional history and serves as a connecting body for related historical research in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Horses and other equids chartered human economic success and advancement throughout our history. Whether plowing farmers’ fields, hauling coal-filled containers in dangerous coal mines, or powering mass transportation, horses et al., helped define and sustain economies.

My presentation will discuss the Pack Horse Librarian Project, a component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression, which sought to put people back to work in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky. The creative, equine-reliant initiative enlisted unemployed Appalachian women to distribute books and magazines to nearly every resident living in a 10,000-square mile region of rural Eastern Kentucky between 1935 and 1943.

Within two years of the program’s inception, more than 100,000 people and 155 schools located over a 10,000 square mile mountain community area received regular visits from ‘book women’. Nearly 1,000 literary equestriennes served Kentucky residents in 48 counties at its peak.

Take a step into equine history this month, and join me on March 26th.

Stay safe and stay horsey!