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Gender Studies: Primary Resources

Primary Resources

  • African-American Women*
    Memoirs and letters of three women, two of whom were slaves and one who was the daughter of former slaves.
  • Archives of Women's Political Communication
    Speeches and political ads for more than 300 women candidates that are easily accessible through the online archives. All include a transcript of the text and many also feature video.
  • Civil War WomenLetters and memoirs of three women: a secessionist, a Union supporter, and a schoolgirl whose hometown of Gallatin Tennessee was occupied by Union soldiers.
  • Defining Gender, 1450-1910
    Defining Gender is a collection of over 50,000 images from 669 original documents relating to Gender Studies. The sources come from libraries and archives throughout the world, including many from the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England
  • Digital Public Library of America: Women
    Includes images, texts, and sound/video clips.
  • Discovering American Women's History Online
    This database provides access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to Katrina Thomas's photographs of ethnic weddings from the late 20th century.
  • Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
    This site documents various aspects of the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, focusing specifically on the radical origins of this movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Items range from radical theoretical writings to humourous plays to the minutes of an actual grassroots group.
  • Emma Goldman Papers
    Documents, images and selected writings of an early advocate of free speech, birth control, women's equality and independence, and union organization.
  • Epistolae: Medieval Women's Letters
    "A collection of letters to and from women in the Middle Ages, from the 4th to the 13th century. The letters, written in Latin, are linked to the names of the women involved, with English translations and, where available, biographical sketches of the women and some description of the subject matter or the historic context of the letter."
  • Everyday Life and Women in America, c.1800-1920
    Scanned texts of books, pamphlets, tracts, and periodicals covering the social history, family life, and popular culture of U.S. women from 1800-1920. Also contains introductory essays, a chronology, and a bibliography.
  • Feminist Chronicles
    This site chronicles the progression of the U.S. feminist movement from 1953-1993. Part III includes links to primary source documents.
  • HEARTH: Home Economics Archive
    A full text collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines, published between 1850 and 1950. Also includes bibliographies on the field.
  • Internet Women's History Sourcebook
    Online sourcebook attempts to present online documents and secondary discussions which reflect the various ways of looking at the history of women within broadly defined historical periods and areas.
  • Monastic Matrix
    Excellent site dedicated to the study of women's religious communities from 400 to 1600CE. Includes a separate section of primary sources, which can be browsed by title/author/community/region/century. Search function also available.
  • North American Women's Drama
    When complete, this collection will include more than 1500 plays along with related biographical, production, and theatrical information spanning from the 18th century to the present.
  • North American Womens Letters and Diaries
    More than 150,000 pages of diaries and letters of over 1300 women, colonial period through 1950. Includes biographies and extensive annotated bibliography of the sources in the database.
  • Women and the Law (Peggy)
    Notable works included in this library are History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1922), the complete Feminism and Legal Theory Project, and the Documentary History of the Legal Aspects of Abortion series. Also featured are other works on abortion, biographies of famous women, works pertaining to legal rights and suffrage, and books and journals that pertain to the role of women in education and employment.
  • Women in World History
    Collection of 200+ primary sources from all geographic areas. Use the advanced search to limit to type, time period, region and/or topic.
  • Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982
    Online audio collection devoted to women’s history. These recordings include interviews, panel discussions, literary and musical performances, news coverage, and other programing broadcast between the mid-1950s and the 1980s. Currently includes 26 files, with more to come. Requires RealAudio.
  • Women Working, 1800-1930
    Access to digitized books, manuscripts and images from the collections of Harvard University Libraries and Museums on women in the U.S. economy from 1870-1930. Searchable, or browsable by topic, individual, dates and events, or organization.
  • Women's Human Rights Resources Database
    This database lists hundreds of resources -- articles, documents and links -- related to international women's rights law. Specific topics include Armed Conflict, Economic Globalization, Indigenous Women, Key Treaties and Texts, Marriage, Migration, Property Law and Housing Rights, Race and Gender, Reproductive Rights, Social and Economic Rights, Violence Against Women, and World Conferences on Women's Rights.
  • Women's Travel Diaries
    Diaries written by British and American women who documented their travels to places around the globe, including India, the West Indies, countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as around the United States.

Subject Guide

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Lynne' Colbert
Lynné Colbert, MLS
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