American Women's History: A Research Guide
Research Tools: Finding Primary Sources
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Finding Archival/Manuscript Collections

Additional Women's Collections [online]. San Antonio: Archives for Research on Women and Gender, University of Texas--San Antonio, [1996- ].
Annotated links to repositories, organized by state.

Archive Finder [online]. [Ann Arbor] : ProQuest Information and Learning Co., 2001- .
Archive Finder is a current directory which describes over 206,200 collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. [more info. from publisher]

H-Net Discussion Log Search Page One can search across all H-Net lists before posting a request for information to specific lists.

Hinding, Andrea, ed. Women's History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1979. 2 vols.
Although dated, Women's History Sources remains a valuable reference work; it provides brief but informative descriptions of over 18,000 collections in almost 1,600 repositories throughout the United States.

In the First Person [online]. Alexandria, Va.: Alexander Street Press, n.d.
In the First Person is a free, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives.

Repositories of Primary Sources [online]. [Moscow, Idaho : University of Idaho Library, Special Collection and Archives, 1996- .
Links to 5300 web sites describing archival and manuscript holdings.

500,000 records of archival & manuscript collections in libraries, museums, state archives, and historical societies.

WorldCat [online]. [Dublin, Ohio] : OCLC 1997- .
Bibliographic descriptions and cataloging information for over 40 million books, manuscripts, and other types of sources. Researchers can limit searches to "Archival Materials" on the advanced and expert search screens.

Government Information Sources

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications [online]. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1994- .

Huls, Mary Ellen. United States Government Documents on Women, 1800-1990: A Comprehensive Bibliography. 2 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.
This invaluable guide simplifies access to documents about women. Volume 1 covers numerous social issues, from "Women's Organizations," to "Violence Against Women." Volume 2 covers labor issues.

Legal Sources

Craig, Pamela Barnes. "Law Library of Congress." In American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States, edited by Sheridan Harvey, Janice Ruth, Barbara Natson, Sara Day, and Evelyn Sinclair. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2001.

Cushman, Clare, ed. Supreme Court Decisions and Women's Rights: Milestones to Equality. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press and The Supreme Court Historical Society, 2001.
This illustrated guide includes overviews of more than 75 Supreme Court cases. Topics covered include "Jury Duty," "Sex Discrimination," "Discrimination in the Workplace," "Sexual Harassment," "Pregnancy and Childbirth," and "Reproductive Rights."

Frost-Knappman, Elizabeth, and Kathryn Cullen-Dupont, eds. Women's Rights on Trial: 101 Historic Trials from Anne Hutchinson to the Virginia Military Institute Cadets. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. 478p.

Mikula, Mark, and L. Mpho Mabunda, eds. Great American Court Cases. 4 vols. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999.
Volume 3 includes sections covering "Custody and Child Support," "Family Law," "Gender Discrimination," "Reproductive Rights," "Rights of Gays and Lesbians," and "Sexual Harassment."

Museums and Historic Sites

The Official Museum Directory. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, 1971- . Annual since 1980.

Museums USA [online]. National Alliance of State Museum Associations, n.d. [cited 21 February 2004]. Available from:

Park Museum Collection Profiles [online]. National Park Service. [cited 29 January 1998]. Available from:

Places Where Women Made History [online]. National Park Service [cited 25 August 1998]. Available from:

Newspapers and Periodicals

American Periodicals Series Online [online]. Ann Arbor, Mich.: ProQuest Information and Learning Company, 2000- .
Access to many women's periodicals, including Harper's Bazaar, Ladies' Repository, and The Lowell Offering.

The Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online, 1543-1945 [online]. [Ann Arbor, Mich.: Bell & Howell Information and Learning, 2000- . See the publisher's overview of the collection.
Includes access to 265 periodicals.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
This commercial database includes digital reproductions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor.

United States Newspaper Program [online]. "The United States Newspaper Program is a cooperative national effort among the states and the federal government to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present."

Television News / Historic Film

Community of Archives [online]. [San Francisco]: National Film Preservation Foundation, n.d. [cited 17 July 1999]. Available from:
This online directory includes the following information on about 40 film archives: a brief description of holdings, address and phone number, and a link to the archive web site.

Einstein, Daniel. Special Edition: A Guide to Network Television Documentary Series and Special Reports, 1955-1979. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1987.

------. Special Edition: A Guide to Network Television Documentary Series and Special Reports, 1980-1989.

Vanderbilt Television News Archive [database online]. Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt Television News Archive, Vanderbilt University. Available from:
Abstracts of television newscasts from 1968 to the present. Also includes information about videotape loan requests.

Other Guides to Primary Sources

American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States [online]. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2003- . Available from:
An expanded and searchable version of the print publication American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2001).

Library Research Using Primary Sources [online]. Berkeley: Library, University of California, 1998- .

Making Sense of Evidence [online]. In History Matters. New York: American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning, and Fairfax, Va.: Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, 1998- [cited 30 October 2002]. Available from:

Primary Sources Research [online]. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Library, 1996- . Available from:

Using Primary Sources on the Web [online]. Reference & User Services Association, History Section, 2003- [cited 15 November 2004]. Available from:

American Women's History: A Research Guide