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About Special Collections
The mission of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History is to collect, preserve, and make accessible records documenting the history of women and other gender minorities. It is a rich source for those interested in women’s movements for social change, particularly suffrage, reproductive rights and reproductive justice, and the women’s liberation movement. We collect these records so that any researcher has the opportunity to tell the full, complicated story of these social and political movements. For this to be possible, the records we steward must reflect the diversity of the people and movements that have changed everyone’s lives.
Archival materials can be consulted in the Smith College Special Collections Reading Room, which is open to the public.
This list represents topics documented in our collections of historical records. Most of our collections have been assigned to multiple categories. For more information on the kind of materials the Sophia Smith Collection collects and the topics it plans to steward in the future, please visit our collection development strategy.
The Sophia Smith Collection is committed to anti-oppressive subject analysis. This means that while we primarily use Library of Congress Subject Headings (“LCSH”) to describe and categorize our collections, we also acknowledge that many LCSH terms are offensive or outdated. In those cases, we use our best understanding of the preferred terms as defined by the communities the subjects describe.
Women in the film and television industry
Women in the music trade
Women in the theater
Asian American women
Lesbian and queer women
Native American women
Publishers and publishing
Politics and government
Women and religion
Abortion rights movement
African American civil rights
Birth control movement
Criminal justice reform
Left wing political movements
Reproductive and sexual health
Welfare rights movement
Women’s societies and clubs
Women in higher education
Women in medicine
Women in sports
Women in STEM
Young Women's Christian associations