Originally named the West Coast History Association in 1969, the organization brought together women historians from colleges and universities throughout California to share scholarship and develop networking opportunities. It played a crucial professional development role for women historians who were largely excluded from academic employment and other professional occupations. In 1970, the named was changed to the West Coast Association of Women Historians.
By 1980 the organization had become a voice for employment equity and more inclusive history curricula at every educational level. That year, the members voted to change the name to the Western Association of Women Historians (WAWH).
For more than 50 years the WAWH has facilitated intellectual exchange, promoted career opportunities, and fostered friendship among women scholars.
Read more about the history of the organization, its leadership, past conferences, its logo, and even its website in the sections below.
A collection of the WAWH minutes, reports, newsletters, awards, photographs, and artifacts are housed at the Donald & Beverly Gerth Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California. Most of the photographs that are circa pre-2010s on this website can be found in the archival collection.
The collection's finding aid may be found at the Online Archive of California.
Inspired by second-wave feminist iconography, members were invited to comment on this logo when it first appeared in the May 1972 newsletter.
By March of 1973, the organization's name was embedded within the logo, which was comprised of thicker lines.
When the name changed to its current iteration, the logo was revised once again.
The inclusion of a map of western states by the Fall of 1993 reflected the growing membership beyond the organization's orginial California base.
By the new millenium, additional states -- including Alaska and Hawaii, were added to the logo.
While the previous two logos continued to be used for various purposes, a grey oval replaced the map in the The Networker newsletter beginning in 2009.
In 2023 WAWH introduced a fully reconceptualized logo.