The OAH Magazine of History

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A Selection of Web Resources for Gender History

Links tested and current as of June, 2010

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600—2000

Described in the preceding article by professors Sklar and Dublin.
The full site is available by subscription only, but there is a link to many free resources.

Women Working, 1870—1930, focuses on women’s participation in the U.S. economy from 1870 to 1930 and is the first project in the Harvard Libraries Open Collections Program, begun in November 2002 with a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Working and living conditions, recreation, health and hygiene, policies and regulations governing the workplace, and social issues are all well documented in this very substantial and varied collection which will soon encompass the full text (fully searchable) of 2,500 books and pamphlets, 1,000 photographs, and 10,000 manuscript pages from Harvard University’s libraries and museums. All resources in Women Working are freely available online.

Agents of Social Change, is an exhibit marking the opening of eight new research collections in the Sophia Smith Collection that highlight women’s roles in multiple struggles for social change in the twentieth century.

American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States,has been designed as a first stop for Library of Congress researchers working in the field of American women’s history. It provides easy entree to an online version of the Library’s recently published women’s history resource guide, and contains links to existing and newly created Web documents from the Library of Congress collections. The American Memory home page,, with its topical listings including one on “Women's History,” is another entry point. Not all of the images featured in the Library of Congress’s collections and the American Memory collections are in the public domain. Please read the copyright information carefully.

HEARTH. Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, History From Cornell University, HEARTH contains more than 800 books and journals in home economics and related subjects including applied arts, child care, clothing, food and nutrition, homemaking, and hygiene. Bibliographies and essays on the wide array of subjects relating to home economics are also freely accessible on this site.

North American Women’s Letters and Diaries (NWLD), contains some 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries of individuals writing from colonial times to 1950, representing all age groups and life stages and many ethnicities and geographical regions. Available by subscription only.

The American Antiquarian Society’s online exhibition, A Woman’s Work is Never Done Womanswork/intro.htm, brings together a selection of images from the Society’s collections that illustrate many facets of American women’s work, from the American Revolution through the Industrial Revolution.

Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business, brings to life the stories of some 40 intriguing women who helped shape the landscape of American business.

Documents from the Women’s Liberation Movement, focuses on the radical origins of the women’s movement in the U.S. during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Documents scanned and transcribed from the originals held in Duke’s Special Collections Library range from theoretical writings to humorous plays to the minutes of a grassroots group.

The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (CWLU), grew out of the women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement and other social movements of the time. The Web site offers a look at the activities of the CWLU (1969-present) and provides memoirs and biographies of women who helped to shape the organization.

Martha Ballard’s Diary is made available online by DoHistory, an interactive Web site that invites you to explore the process of piecing together the lives of ordinary people in the past. The site draws on the research that went into Laurel Ulrich’s book A Midwife’s Tale (1990), and Laurie Kahn-Leavitt’s subsequent film (1997), both based upon the remarkable diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard, who lived in Maine in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

The Emma Goldman Papers, at the University of California, Berkeley, provides a summary of the activities of Emma Goldman (1869—1940), an influential anarchist who advocated free speech, birth control, women’s equality and independence, union organization, and the eight-hour work day. The site includes selected documents and photographs, a curriculum for middle and high school students, and links to other Web resources.

The Triangle Factory Fire, provides a selection of primary source documents, and useful context, on the fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City in 1911, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, mostly female.

Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment, is part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Digital Classroom collection. The site offers several primary sources, classroom activities, and correlation with history standards.