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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Using Special Collections

A guide to online and print resources for research in women's, gender, and sexuality studies.

Primary source databases

North American Women's Letters and Diaries (Current NU only) is a primary source database that includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters.  Browse by historical event, place, name, or time period.

Black Thought and Culture (Current NU Only) is a primary source database of interviews, speeches, and writings of major African American figures from colonial times to the present.

Additional NU Resources for History

Archival materials

View a list of Boston-area Women's social justice organizations and activists records available at the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department. The collections includes the Boston Women's Music Collective records, the Coalition to Take Back the Night records, and the Melnea A. Cass papers, to name a few examples.

Selected e-resources

American Periodicals Series Online (Current NU Only)
Digitized images of the pages of 1000 American magazines and journals published between 1741 and 1805. Titles include Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine, the first American professional journals, and several consumer magazines still in publication, such as Vanity Fair, Harper's Magazine, and Ladies' Home Journal. (View complete list. ) The search interface allows you to search the complete text, including tables of contents. Articles are downloadable in PDF format. Updated daily.

Women Writers Online -- "a full-text collection of early women’s writing in English, published by the Brown University Women Writers Project. It includes full transcriptions of texts published between 1526 and 1850, focusing on materials that are rare or inaccessible. The range of genres and topics covered makes it a truly remarkable resource for teaching and research, providing an unparalleled view of women’s literate culture in the early modern period." Read about Women Writers Online or go straight to searchable and browsable full text of the transcriptions.

Other Primary Source Collections

"Women Working, 1800-1930" is a digital exploration of women's impact on the economic life of the United States between 1800 and the Great Depression.  Women Working is part of the Harvard University Library Open Collections Program.

Digital Archival Collections at the Sallie Bingham Center, Duke University.  Links to documents on three themes: the Women's Liberation Movement, African American Women, and Civil War Women.

Subject Guide

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Brooke Williams
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