American Women's History: A Research Guide
Primary Sources: Public Records
Home Page | Last Update: 19 June 2000 | Suggestion Box

Using Public Records

Thompson, Enid T. "Public Records." In Researcher's Guide to Archives and Regional History Sources, edited by John C. Larsen. Hamden, Conn.: Library Professional Publications, 1988.
This brief but informative overview discusses how researchers can use the various types of public records.

State & Local Records

Burk, Brenda L. "New Avenues in Women's Studies Research: Using Public Records." Feminist Collections 18 (Fall 1996): 15-16.

Records in the New York State Archives Relating to Women: An Overview [online]. [Albany]: New York State Archives and Records Administration, last update 12 August 1997 [cited 8 August 1998]. Available from:

Women's History Resources at the Georgia Archives [online]. [Atlanta]: Georgia Department of Archives and History, 1999 [cited 19 June 2000. Available from:

Zanish, Tanya L., comp. Women's History Research Sources [online]. [Montgomery]: Alabama Department of Archives & History, updated 20 August 1997 [cited 12 February 1999]. Available from:
Includes sections on state records and probate records.

See the State & Regional History section for links to most of the state archives web sites. Most state archives have good collections of state and local records on microfilm.

Federal Records

Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States [online]. 1995 [cited 18 February 1999]. Available from:

National Archives and Records Administration Home Page

Quarterly Compilation of Periodical Literature Reflecting Use of Records in the National Archives [online]. [Washington]: National Archives Library, National Archives and Records Administration, 1995- . Available from:

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton