Women in Britain and Ireland


Getting Started: CLIO & WorldCat

Use CLIO to find books, journals, videos, and manuscript collections at Columbia.  Subject headings can be a topic, organization, person, or place:

Women--Great Britain--History
Women--Great Britain--Social Conditions
Women--Ireland--History
Women--England--History
Women--Scotland--History
Suffragists--Great Britain
Women Travelers
Women's Social and Political Union
Pankhurst, E. Sylvia

If you aren't sure of a subject heading, try a keyword search. 

Use WorldCat to search beyond the Columbia campus; search by subject keyword, organization, or name.  Request titles not in the Columbia collection through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.

Selected Encyclopedias & Biographical Dictionaries

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
  • Biography Resource Center
    Full-text database of hundreds of biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928. (1999).  Butler Ref R396.3 C856 CLIO record
  • Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia / Margaret Schaus.  (2006).  Butler Ref R940.1 W842 CLIO record
  • Tudor England: An Encyclopedia (2001). Butler Reference R942.05 T811. CLIO record
  • Britain in the Hanoverian Age 1714-1837 (1997).  Butler Reference R942.07 B77.  CLIO record
  • The 1890s: An Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art, and Culture ( Butler Ref 942.081 Ei32.  CLIO record

Finding articles in scholarly journals (secondary sources)

  • Historical Abstracts
    Major index for articles in on modern world history (1450 to present, excluding North America).
  • Bibliography of British and Irish History
    Most comprehensive index for articles on British and Irish history.
  • Victorian Database Online
    Includes books and articles.
  • Gender Studies Database
    Most important index for women's studies.
  • LGBT Life
    Most important index for LGBT studies.
  • ProQuest
    Excellent interdisciplinary database, includes a subset of women's journals called Genderwatch.  ProQuest is very good for searching across a variety of sources: including scholarly publciations, magazines, trade publications, and newspapers.

Published Primary Sources (books, pamphlets, newspaper & magazine articles)

  • 15th-20th century

  • 15th-17th Century

    • EEBO (Early English Books Online)
      Currently includes pdfs of nearly 118,000 books and pamphlets.  Of these, 11,500 are full-text searchable (using original spelling).  if you are searching by subject, type women in the subject search box, click "select from list" and scroll through the list selecting appropriate terms. 
  • 18th-19th Century

    • ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online)
      1701-1800.  Broad full-text collection of books and pamphlets. 
    • British Periodicals
      Includes a variety of 18th and 19th-century popular, political and literary journals with a few focused on women's writing: The Female Spectator (1754), Belle Assemblee (1806-1832), Court & Lady's Magazine (1832-1848), The Rose, the shamrock, and the thistle (1862-1865).  Full text searchable. 
  • 19th-20th Century

    • House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (1801- 2003/04)
      Full text searchable database of House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, Bills, and Command Papers, 1801-2004; and of Accounts and Papers, Reports of Commissioners, and Reports of Committees, 1801-1969.   If you're researching the 19th century, use the Nineteenth Century Hierarchical Subject List to drill down to your topic.  The other subject list contains pertains primarily to the 20th century.  
    • 19th Century Masterfile
      Pretty bad search interface, and does not search or link to full text; but an otherwise useful index of 19th century English and American periodicals and newspapers.  Combines several periodical indexes, including Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1906), Index to Periodical Articles in Religion (1890-1899) and Index to Periodicals (1890-1906).
    • The Making of Modern Law : Legal Treatises 1800-1926
      Full text searchable.  Uses the same subject headings as CLIO, e.g. domestic relations, marriage, divorce, marital property, custody of children, women legal rights.
  • 20th century

Highly selective list of subject bibliographies of primary & secondary sources

  • Women in English Social History, 1800-1914: A Guide to Research / Barbara Kanner.  3v. (1987-90).  Butler Reference R016.396 K13 CLIO record
  • Women in Context: Two Hundred Years of British Women Autobiographers, A Reference Guide and Reader / Barbara Kanner.  Butler Reference R042.08 K133 CLIO record
  • British Women’s History: A Bibliographical Guide /  June Hannam, Ann Hughes, and Pauline Stafford.  Butler Reference R016.396 H195 CLIO record
  • Women and the British empire: An Annotated Guide to Sources / Susan F. Bailey. (1983).  Butler Stacks Z7964.G7 B34 1983 - dated but useful chapters on Wives of Administrators, Settlers, Missionaries, and Native Women.  
  • Women, 1870-1928 : a select guide to printed and archival sources in the United Kingdom / Margaret Barrow.  1981.  Butler Reference R016.396 B279.  CLIO record
  • Women and British Periodicals, 1832-1867: A Bibliography / E. M. Palmegiano.  1976.  Butler Reference R016.396 P18  CLIO record
  • The Women of England: From Anglo-Saxon Times to the Present: Interpretive Bibliographical Essays / Ed. Barbara Kanner.  Butler Reference  R016.396 W8444. CLIO record
  • Women and Religion in Britain and Ireland: An Annotated Bibliography from the Reformation to 1993 / Dale A. Johnson.  1995.  Butler Reference R016.39602 J63 CLIO record
  • Women in Ireland: An Annotated Bibliography / Anna Brady.  1988.  Butler Reference R016.396 B72 CLIO record
  • Irish Women in England: An Annotated Bibliography / Clare Barrington. 1997.  Butler Reference R016.396 B277.  CLIO record
  • The Glory of Women: Prescriptive Literature
    Online bibliography with some links to full-text resources.
  • Ask a Librarian for additional suggestions.

Selected thematic collections of full-text research material

Archives & Manuscript Collections at Columbia