Skip Navigation

Visit our Libraries - Young, Hillyer & Josten. Request books online - delivery is fast! Learn more

Today's Hours

Contact Us

Libraries' Service Desk

Call 413-585-2910

Monday to Friday
10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Women's History Resources

If you have a more general question about women's history (questions such as, "how did the advent of birth control affect women's lives?" or "Where can I find biographical information about Gloria Steinem?"), then you should begin with a reference librarian, either at your school or public library. She or he will direct you to books and articles where you may find the information you seek. Even primary source material is often available in published form through your local library. 

There are also many Web sites that treat general and specific topics in women's history. Here is a list of some internet resources that either provide general information on women's history or feature online primary sources: 

Discovering American Women's History Online
A database to digital collections of primary sources that document the history of women in the United States (Middle Tennessee State University Library).
This Web site teaches the process of doing research in primary sources. It is an interactive site based on the research that went into the book and film, A Midwife's Tale, based on the 200 year old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. By exploring this site, you can learn basic skills and techniques for interpreting fragments that survive from any period in history.
Encyclopedia Britannica's Women in American History
Web site includes biographical articles on famous women, images and multimedia displays, lesson plans, and primary documents. It also has a bibliography of readings and links to other women's history resources on the Web.
The Feminist Chronicles
If you are interested in the history of U.S. women from 1953 to 1993, you may wish to consult this Web site, which includes early documents from the Women's Liberation movement as well as a timeline tracking events, issues, and the activities of the opposition to the women's movement. There is also a bibliography of readings about women's history and feminist issues.
Jewish Women's Archive
This Web site features online exhibits, oral histories, lesson plans, and scholarly resources on the history of American Jewish women. 
Library of Congress: American Women
“A gateway to Library of Congress resources for the study of women's history and culture in the United States.” View online exhibitions, and search the “American Memory” site for primary sources online.
The Margaret Sanger Papers Project
An on-going effort to locate, collect, identify, and publish the papers of the birth control pioneer in a comprehensive microfilm and select book edition. Based at New York University, it serves as a clearing house for U.S. and international birth control history. This site has information on topics for National History Day using the Margaret Sanger Papers.
The National Women's History Museum
A "museum without walls," the NWHM features online exhibits covering a range of women's history topics. 
The National Women's History Project
A non-profit educational organization to promote the multicultural study of women's history in the K-12 classroom. Maintains a clearinghouse for U.S. women's history information. Sometimes partners with the Sophia Smith Collection in compiling curricular materials. It also issues a seasonal catalog of women's history posters, books and materials; produces videos, posters, guides, and supplies for school and workplace; and conducts in-service training for school teachers.
Smithsonian Education - Women's History Teaching Resources
Teaching resources (primarily online) from across the Smithsonian institutions. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards.
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
The Web site includes “document projects with more than 2,400 documents, more than 32,000 pages of additional full-text documents, and more than 1,700 primary authors. It includes as well book, film and website reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools.” (subscription required).
Women Working, 1800-1930 (Harvard University Library) 
More than 500,000 pages of historical documentation focusing on the role of women in the United States economy. The sources include books, pamphlets, manuscripts and images selected from Harvard's library and museum collections.