“Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War 2” is an online exhibit curated by the National Women’s History Museum in celebration of women’s role in the war. Divided into five accessible sections (Changing Images of Women’s Roles, Women in the Military, Women Serving the Military, Women in Production, and Women at Home and in the Community) the exhibit allows for easy navigation through women’s diverse wartime roles.
The web pages are rich with images of primary sources such as letters, declaration, propaganda, and paperwork. The images can be clicked on and enlarged in order to give the viewer a more complete experience. The exhibit aims to offer a wealth of information in small, independent portions so that the viewer can pick and choose what they would like to explore. There is a massive amount of information contained in this exhibit, and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Additionally, the layout of the website makes it hard to explore topics across different sections. All sections must be viewed linearly and there are not many subheadings or clues as to what will come next.
Although perhaps hard to navigate, the exhibit does an excellent job providing relevant primary sources to support its content. The text is broken up among many images, which makes for a quick and engaging read. The topics make sense together, but they are not delineated in a way that makes it easy to navigate. The difficult navigation takes away from the experience, especially on the web, because the viewer can feel lost in a sea of pages. Additionally, the website offers only “previous” and “next” tabs as navigation beyond the five original categories. This makes it hard to find specific things, as well as specific topics.
The information is good, the text is well written and the imagery is phenomenal; but this website is an example of how a clunky, under-organized website can make an exhibit experience a hassle.
All images courtesy of the NWHM, exhibit copyright National Women’s History Museum 2007