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Women in the Building Trades records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00653

Scope and Contents

Administrative files, including extensive financial information; personal information about program participants, including applications, attendance records, referrals, evaluations, and biographical information; photographs of program participants in action; newsletters and publicity materials; project descriptions, curriculum information, proposals, contracts, and notes.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1977 - 2020


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use with the following restriction on access: Several containers are marked restricted and must be reviewed by staff as to access of materials to researchers. Researchers must sign Access Agreement form before using collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works in this collection that were created by Women in the Building Trades; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Women in the Building Trades, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

The mission of Women in the Building Trades(WIBT), founded in Boston in 1986, was to train and support women entering skilled construction and other trade jobs and to increase the number of women entering those fields. From the Boston-based organization's earliest days, a primary activity was training women for construction jobs; providing information about the various trades and information about the culture of the construction site, survival tools, trade math, and blueprint reading. WIBT was dedicated to ending gender discrimination in trade and technical work, and also worked with unions and contractors on specific issues that face women in non- traditional occupations, such as sexual harassment. The organization was particularly geared toward helping low and moderate income women. Programs included Women in Apprenticeships and Non-Traditional Occupations Program (WANTO), funded by the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department; the Apprenticeship Preparedness Program (APP), funded by several state agencies to prepare women and people of color for jobs related to the Big Dig Project; Steps to Success, funded by the City of Boston Neighborhood Jobs Trust Fund; and the Construction Industries Training Assistance Program (CITAP), funded by the Federal Highway Administration.

WIBT was also involved in policy and advocacy work, including Close the Gap, legislation intended to modify and monitor hiring goals for women in construction projects funded with state dollars; Northeast Women in Transportation (NEWIT), to establish federal legislation that state transportation agencies may set aside one half of one percent of federal highway funding for training; the founding of the national organization Tradeswomen Now and Tomorow; Lawrence Community Works, a workplace federation of small, progressive organizations in Greater Boston; and various after- school programs for middle school girls, funded primarily by the Rutland Foundation. The organization also worked extensively with the Boston Employment Commission. WIBT ceased to operate in September 2008.


37.921 linear feet (42 containers)

0.00126 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Women's training program and labor reform advocacy organization. Records include administrative files, photographs, newsletters, publicity materials, project descriptions, curriculum information, proposals, contracts, and notes.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Women in the Building Trades Records were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Maura Russell in 2009.

Processing Information

This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Accessioned by Burd Schlessinger, 2009

The contents of all computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created. Some floppy disks were unable to be copied. See the log files linked in the container list for more details.

Finding Aid to the Women in the Building Trades records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:20-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-01-15: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063