American Women's History: A Research Guide
Farm Work & Life
Home Page | Last Update: 8/25/1998 | Suggestion Box

Reference/Primary Sources Featured Exhibit

Agricultural Economics Activities,
1911-1947, National Archives


Bentley, Susan. Farm Women in the United States: An Updated Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography. University Park, Pa.: Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Center for Rural Women, Agricultural Experiment Station, Pennsylvania State University, 1984. 76p.

Danbom, David B. H-SHGAPE Bibliographies: Agricultural and Rural Life During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era [online]. February, 1997 [cited 12 March 1997]. Available from:

Fairbanks, Carol. Farm Women on the Prairie Frontier: A Sourcebook for Canada and the United States. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1983. 237p.

Hurt, R. Douglas. American Farms: Exploring Their History. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Publishing Company, 1996.
The first four chapters of this research guide cover the use of various types of research sources, such as written records, oral history, photographs, maps, and artifacts. Separate chapters offer suggestions for researching farm life and farmsteads. Finally, a bibliographical essay highlights key works in the field.

Maman, Marie, and Thelma H. Tate. Women in Agriculture: A Guide to Research. New York: Garland, 1996. 298p.

Historical Overviews

Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1994.

Key Journals

Agricultural History.
Each fall issue includes a listing of significant books published in the field. Additional information available from the publisher:

Rural History:

Library Catalogs

Appropriate Library of Congress Subject Headings include:

  • Farm Life
  • Frontier and Pioneer Life
  • Rural Women
  • Women in Agriculture

Online catalogs of libraries with strong collections in agricultural history:

Networking: Associations

Agricultural History Society, Iowa State University

Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums:

Networking: Listservs


Primary Sources: Archival Collections

Jellison, Katherine. "Farm Women in American History: A Note on Sources Available in Washington, D.C." Annals of Iowa 51, no. 2 (1991): 168-77.

A Partial List of Rural and Farm Women Holdings [online]. Iowa City: Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, November 1997 [cited 24 August 1998]. Available from:

Primary Sources: Oral History

Jones, Lu Ann, and Nancy Grey Osterud. "Breaking New Ground: Oral History and Agricultural History." Journal of American History 76 (September 1989): 551-564.

Primary Sources: Selected Books

Fairbanks, Carol, and Bergine Haakenson, eds. Writings of Farm Women, 1840-1940: An Anthology. New York: Garland, 1990.

Rasmussen, Wayne D., ed. Agriculture in the United States: A Documentary History. 4 vols. New York: Random House, 1975.

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State University Library