Women in Western European History

Getting Started

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

Women--Spain--Social Conditions
France--History--Revolution, 1789-1799--Women
Women--History--Middle Ages
Suffragists--Great Britain
Women Travelers
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

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

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain

    • Las mujeres en la historia de España / María Teresa Moriano Martín.  Butler Reference R016.9461 M824
  • Switzerland
  • Scandinavia
  • Ask a Librarian for additional suggestions.

Selected thematic collections of full-text research material

Archives and Manuscript Collections at Columbia