About Voices from the Gaps
University of Minnesota professors Toni McNaron (English) and Carol Miller (American Studies and American Indian Studies) founded VG/Voices from the Gaps in 1996 to uncover, highlight, and share the works of marginalized artists, predominately women writers of color living and working in North America. The pioneering site’s focus was largely educational, aimed at a diverse audience of students in secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Created just as Internet use exploded, VG reached a global readership and cultivated a collaborative and intercommunal group of scholars, students, educators, and women artists. Students, volunteers, and VG readers submitted the majority of the site’s entries, including author biographies, book reviews, academic essays, and interviews with women artists. Additionally, the site’s creators developed a robust selection of pedagogical materials to help instructors incorporate VG resources in secondary school and undergraduate classrooms.
Hosted by the English department at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, VG underwent two major redesigns during its 18 years as an active website. The first in 2004 expanded the materials included in the collection, incorporating multimedia works, such as interview video/audio files. This project also expanded the scope of the collection to feature women artists regardless of genre of work, race, minority status, or geographical location. The second project three years later updated the site’s design and navigation.
VG was decommissioned as an active website in 2014; the site’s content is now hosted by the University Digital Conservancy. The transition ensures VG will still be free and accessible over time, and enhances the collection’s visibility to search engines such as Google Scholar. Users of VG are still encouraged to use site content in their personal research or in the classroom, but the site is no longer able to accept submissions for new author pages, reviews/essays, or interviews.
If you wish to explore VG/Voices from the Gaps as it existed as an active website, it is archived on the UDC’s WebArchive page (https://wayback.archive-it.org/org-121/*/http://voices.cla.umn.edu/).
Navigating This Site
There are many ways to navigate the VG archives. If you know the author’s name, title of the work, time period in which the author lived, or the ethnicity with which the author identified, you may enter it into the search bar. All documents included in this site are full-text searchable, so searching for a term may yield results from several sub-collections.
If you wish to browse the collection, start with one of the sub-collections: Artist Pages, Essays & Reviews, Interviews, and Teaching Materials. These works are arranged reverse-alphabetically for the most part, and each page includes links to the authors of the document (VG volunteers, students, etc.), keywords, a link from which to download the file, and a suggested citation.
If you wish to browse more generally, we suggest beginning with the “Titles” or “Subjects” categories, found by clicking “Browse This Collection” at the top of each collection and sub-collection home page. These categories will allow you to browse alphabetically by document titles or by subject keywords. Choosing “Author” here allows you to see the author(s) of each document—not the woman writer featured in the document.