Women in the United States


College Day in the Picket Line Suffragists picket the White House, 1917. From the National Woman's Party Papers, Library of Congress.

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--United States--History
Women--New York
African American Women--History
National Woman's Party
Blackwell, Elizabeth

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

Finding articles in scholarly journals (secondary sources)

  • America: History and Life
    Most important index for scholarly articles in US and Canadian History.  Includes book reviews.
  • 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.

Finding articles in period publications (primary sources)

Highly selective list of subject bibliographies of primary & secondary sources

  • The Female Experience in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century America: A Guide to the History of American women / Jill K. Conway (1982).  Butler Ref R016.396 C769  CLIO record
  • Women and Sexuality in America / Nancy Sahli (1984).  Butler Ref R016.396 Sa19  CLIO record
  • Victorian American women, 1840-1880: An Annotated Bibliography / Karen Rae Mehaffey.  Butler Ref R016.396 M46  CLIO record
  • United States Government Documents on Women, 1800-1990: A Comprehensive Bibliography / Mary Ellen Huls (1993). 2v.  Butler Ref R016.396 H8785  CLIO record
  • The Pen is Ours: A Listing of Writings by and about African-American Women before 1910 ; with secondary bibliography to the present / Jean Fagan Yellin.  Butler Ref R016.81 Y38  CLIO record
  • African American Women: An Annotated Bibliography / Veronica G. Thomas, Kisha Braithwaite, and Paula Mitchell (2001). Butler Reference R016.396 T36  CLIO record
  • The Immigrant Woman in North America: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected References / Francesco Cordasco (1985). Butler Reference R016.396 C81 CLIO record
  • The Glory of Women: Prescriptive Literature
    Online bibliography with some links to full-text

Selected thematic collections of full-text research material

  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
    May be searched or browsed by date.  Includes links to full-text documents and other material.  This database was originally conceived as a teaching tool, and browsing by Document Project or Social Movement is a good way to learn about a specific time period.
  • Women Working, 1870-1930
    "Provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard's library and museum collections. This collection explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygiene, conduct of life, policies and regulations governing the workplace, and social issues are all well documented. When completed, the collection will contain more than 2,200 books and pamphlets, 1,000 photographs and 10,000 pages from manuscript collections." (--site description)
  • Women's Travel Writing, 1830-1930
    Women travellers from and to the United States, as well as selected American and European women travellers to non-Western areas. From the University of Minnesota.
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries
    Searchable collection of women's letters and diaries. 
  • Digital Scriptorium of the Duke University Special Collections
    This collection provides digitized selectioins of archival material, including scanned texts and pages from Civil War women, African-American women, and Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
  • Studies in Scarlet: Marriage & Sexuality in the U.S. and U.K., 1815-1914
    "Presents the images of over 420 separately published trial narratives of American, British, and Irish cases 1815-1914 involving domestic violence, bigamy, seduction, breach of promise to marry, and the custody of children, as well as trials for murder and rape. These trials are especially rich sources for the study of the history of women in early modern society." (--site description)
  • American Women Through Time
    A chronology of women's history linking to images and full text resources.  Compiled by Ken Middleton, Middle Tennessee State University Library
  • Playing House: Homemaking for Children - "American domestic advice or homemaking manuals emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and served to advise the housewife in the care and upkeep of the home and its contents and occupants. While most of these manuals were written to assist the “woman of the house”, others aimed at educating young girls, the homemakers of the future. This collection includes digitized versions of books from the UW-Madison collections spanning 1877 to the 1930’s. These books provide instruction on a wide range of topics including cooking, cleaning, laundry, household management and occupational training for young maids. Through them, young girls could learn among other things, the proper way to make a bed, polish the silver, decorate a table, and prepare and serve a nice meal." (website guide)
  • See also: the Sources section of the American History & American Studies Subject Guide.

Archives and Manuscript Collections at Columbia

A few internet resources

See also