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Women's Rights and Women's Equality, 1848-1970s Resources and Links

Theme: Social Changes and Social Reform
Topic: Women’s Rights and Women’s Equality, 1848-1970s
Date: May 2004

Annotated Bibliography | Websites and Web Resources
Related Archives and Collections
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Resources and Links compiled and annotated by by Gayle Fischer, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of History, Salem State College ( and SALEM in History staff

Annotated Bibliography

Compiled and annotated by by Gayle Fischer, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of History, Salem State College ( and SALEM in History staff

Secondary Sources: Books

Allqor, Catherine. Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government (Jeffersonian America). University of Virginia Press, 2002.

Delving into an extensive archive of letters, diaries, and reports of battles over matters of etiquette, Catherine Allgor recreates, in the manner of a nineteenth-century novel, the social events at which the rules of "petticoat politicking" were set down and broken to the glory and ruin of denizens of the new federal city.

Andersen, Kristi. After Suffrage: Women in Partisan and Electoral Politics before the New Deal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

A revisionist history of the accomplishments of women in the decade after suffrage. Argues that women had a heretofore unrecognized influence on the politics of that decade through their involvement in social welfare issues and through new political techniques such as lobbying.

Baker, Jean, ed. Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Contributors focus on how the suffrage battle was interwoven with constitutional issues at the federal and state level and how the suffrage struggle played out in different regions, especially the West and the South, as well as the activities of opponents to women's voting. Baker's introductory essay sets the stage for revisiting suffrage by making explicit the similarities and differences in interpretations of suffrage and shows how the movement intersected with other events in American history and cannot be studied in isolation from them.

Blair, Karen. Clubwoman as Feminist: True Womanhood Redefined, 1868-1914. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1980.

Blair argues that the experiences women had in clubs and club activities was a significant factor in helping them recognize and assert their rights and responsibilities in the public arena.

Boylan, Anne M. The Origins of Women’s Activism: New York and Boston, 1797-1840. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Boylan interweaves analyses of more than seventy organizations in New York and Boston with the stories of the women who founded and led them.

Chafe, William. The American Woman: Her Changing Social, Economic and Political Roles, 1920-1970. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Covers a wide range of topics and is a good place to start an examination of the years following suffrage. Chafe concludes that the suffrage movement was a failure.

Cott, Nancy. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987.

A re-examination of the early decades of the 20th century and the period immediately following the passage of the 19th Amendment. Cott argues that this was the moment in which modern feminism came into being and pushes beyond the idea of seeing the change (or lack thereof) within the bounds of electoral politics as the best (or only) way to gauge the success of the suffrage movement.

Deutsch, Sarah. Women and the City: Gender, Space, and Power in Boston, 1870-1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Deutsch shows the myriad ways women of all classes, ethnicities and social positions radically transformed Boston from a city that regulated and curtailed women's lives to one where they enjoyed not only more freedom but some power as well.

DuBois, Ellen Carol. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women’s Movement in America 1848-1869. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.

In the two decades since Feminism and Suffrage was first published, the increased presence of women in politics and the gender gap in voting patterns have focused renewed attention on an issue generally perceived as nineteenth-century. For this new edition, DuBois addresses the changing context for the history of woman suffrage at the millennium.

Echols, Alice. Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.

Echols charts the emergence of radical feminism in the late 1960s, its rise to dominance within the women’s movement in the early 1970s, and its decline in the years that followed. A classic work.

Evans, Sara. Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left. New York: Knopf, 1979.

Important book. Charts the relationship between the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements. Focuses on both the challenges women faced within the Civil Rights movement and the strategies that they learned and adapted as well.

Ezekiel, Judith. Feminism in the Heartland. Columbus: Ohio University Press, 2002

Ezekiel offers a look at second wave feminism away from the big cities that appear again and again in histories of the movement. The book focuses on Dayton, Ohio where—rather than the two-branch pattern of second wave feminism so often seen in large cities— Ezekiel finds only one branch. This book challenges the universality of the liberal/radical divide so often repeated in other places and other books.

Felsenthal, Carol. The Sweetheart of the Silent Majority. Doubleday, 1981.
Examines the life of Phyllis Schlafly.

Garrow, David. Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade. Scribner, 1994.

Garrow chronicles the 50 years of legal and political struggles that culminated in the 1973 Supreme Court decision granting women the freedom to choose abortion. He introduces the reader to the doctors, lawyers, activists and ordinary people who stood up on either side of the issue, takes the reader inside the Supreme Court deliberations, and traces the legacy of Roe v. Wade on the 25th anniversary of the decision.

Gordon, Ann D., ed. African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.

This collection of essays reveals that getting the vote was only one part of black women’s efforts to access the mainstream of American society.

Gustafson, Melanie, Kristie Miller, and Elisabeth I. Perry, eds. We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

Until recently, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920 was seen as a watershed in women's political history. The essayists in this collection argue that women's participation in political parties has been much more lengthy and varied than previously thought.

Hartmann, Susan. From Margin to Mainstream: American Women and Politics since 1960. New York: Knopf, 1989.

A chronicle of the role of women in American politics from 1960 through the 1980s—both as individual politicians and in organization such as the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Includes a detailed bibliography.

Horowitz, Daniel, Betty Freidan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique: The American Left, The Cold War, and Modern Feminism. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

This study of the early life of women’s movement leader Betty Freidan finds evidence that challenges Freidan’s portrayal of her journey from suburban housewife to liberated feminist, as described in her pivotal The Feminine Mystique (1963). Instead, Horowitz suggests that Freidan’s work as a labor journalist in her 20s put her in contact with Old Left activists who would influence her later writing. Through this, Horowitz finds ideologicalconnections between the Old Left and the feminist activists of the 1960s.

Kraditor, Aileen S. The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1890-1920. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965.

An intellectual history.

Marshall, Susan E. Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

Marshall argues that the women of the antisuffrage movement mobilized not as threatened homemakers but as influential political strategists.

Mansbridge, Jane. Why We Lost the ERA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Mansbridge argues that “if the ERA had been ratified, the Supreme Court would have been unlikely to use it to bring about major changes in the relations between American men and women” and that it failed, ultimately, because the American public was unwilling to permit “any significant change in gender roles, whether at work, at home, or in society at large.”

Matthews, Donald G. and Jane S. DeHart. Sex, Gender, and the Politics of the ERA. Oxford University Press, 1990.

The authors detail the history of the Equal Rights Amendment, using North Carolina—one of the states where debate over the ERA was most active—as a case study. They trace the debate over the ERA and examine the viewpoints of the three main parties in the battle: the feminists, the anti-ERA women and the male state legislators.

Muncy, Robyn. Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Focusing centrally on the child welfare reform movement, Muncy argues that there was a "continuity of reform activities among America's middle-class, [white, Protestant] women" between the Progressive era and the New Deal. She illustrates the ways in which women combined traditional female roles with growing professionalization to create a “female dominion”—through an interlocking set of organizations and agencies— in the mostly male world of policy-making. At the head of this dominion was the Children’s Bureau in the federal Department of Labor. The dominion ended when the movement achieved its goal with the passage of New Deal legislation.

O'Neill, William L. Everyone was Brave: The Rise and Fall of Feminism in America. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1969.

Argues that the feminist movement was a failure. Women did not gain equality with men, but instead remained mired in their status of second-class citizenship.

Porter, Susan L., ed. Women of the Commonwealth: Work, Family, and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996.

A collection of essays on the history of women in Massachusetts. Looks at issues of class, ethnicity, gender and power in relationship to women’s employment (paid and unpaid) and women’s social and familial networks. Includes a good bibliography on women’s history.

Rosen, Ruth. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America. New York: Viking, 2000.

Rosen chronicles the history of the American women's movement from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present.

Rupp, Leila and Verta Taylor. Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women's Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Chronicles the history of the women’s rights movement from the 1940s to the 1960s. They argue that a small elite cadre of activists from the suffrage movement sustained the later phase of reform.

Strom, Sharon Hartman. “Leadership and Tactics in the American Woman Suffrage Movement: A New Perspective from Massachusetts”. The Journal of American History. 62, 2 (September 1975), 296-315.

Argues that evidence from Massachusetts between 1901 and 1919 suggests that it was due to the massive changes both within the rank and file of the suffrage movement and in the wider arena of social reform that led to the increasingly organized and mobilized suffrage movement in those years. This is in contrast to earlier interpretations that give credit for efficiency, success and militant tactics to a few key, national figures.

Strom, Sharon Hartman. Political Woman: Florence Luscomb and the Legacy of Radical Reform. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001.

This biography presents Florence Hope Luscomb’s story against the backdrop of Boston politics and larger struggles for social justice. Luscomb participated in every significant social reform movement of her time—from securing women's right to vote and supporting trade unionism to advocating an end to the war in Vietnam. Luscomb also ran for public office: Boston's city council, Congress, and for Governor of Massachusetts.

Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn. African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

This book considers black women’s involvement in the larger, mostly white-controlled organizations as well as their work within their own black communities, institutions, and organizations.

Wandersee, Winifred D. On the Move: American Women in the 1970s. Twayne Publishers, 1988.

In this popular history of the women’s movement, Wandersee describes a women’s movement that was both unified on the “big” issues and factionalized in politics and philosophy; that had its roots in both mainstream organizations and the radical New Left; that was both successful in advancing women’s liberation and a contributor to the conservative backlash of the 1980s. Wandersee also looks at the impact of the movement on the women who did not consider themselves activists or feminists and the legacy of the 1970s.

Weigand, Kate. Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

Red Feminism traces the development of a distinctive Communist strain of American feminism from its troubled beginnings in the 1930s, through its rapid growth in the Congress of American Women during the early years of the Cold War, to its culmination in Communist Party circles of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

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Reference Materials: Print

Bolden, Tonya. 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History. Crown, 2002.Young Adult.

A book about women that is actually a collection of stories, poems, history, lists of organizations and biographies of women who made a difference in the lives of all American women.

Coppens, Linda Miles. What American Women Did, 1789-1920: A Year-by-Year Reference. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2001.

A chronological account of women's accomplishments in the areas of domesticity, work, education, religion, the arts, law and politics, and reform efforts.

Fisher, Gayle Veronica. “Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of Woman Suffrage in the United States: A Bibliographic Essay.” Journal of Women’s History 7, 3 (Fall 1995): 172-199.

Fuller, Kathryn Wagnild and Gayle Veronica Fischer. “Edited Collections of Primary Sources in United States Women’s History: An Annotated Bibliography.” Journal of Women’s History 7, 4 (Winter 1995): 206-229.

Harvey, Sheridan, ed. American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States. Washington: Library of Congress, 2001.

Hine, Darlene Clark, ed. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Pub., 1993.

Smith, Bonnie Hurd. Salem Women’s Heritage Trail: Four Centuries of Salem Women. Salem, MA: Salem Chamber of Commerce, 2000.


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Primary Sources/Primary Sources Included: Print

Baxandall, Rosalyn and Linda Gordon eds. Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

Excellent new collection of documents specifically focused exclusively on women’s liberation and the years between the mid 1960s and the mid 1970, before “feminism” became the term of choice. The narrow and specific focus of this collection is unique.

Berkeley, Kathleen C. The Women’s Liberation Movement in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

This introduction to the movement provides not only a narrative overview, but also a wealth of ready-reference materials, including 13 lengthy biographical profiles of key figures, a broad selection of 15 primary source documents, a glossary of terms, and a useful annotated bibliography.

Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn, ed. American Women Activists’ Writings: An Anthology, 1637-2002. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002.

This work is distinguished from many similar efforts by both its chronological scope it ranges from Anne Hutchinson's 1637 trial to Hillary Clinton's 1995 speech at the World Conference on Women in Beijing and by the breadth of the activism these women have engaged in, which includes Eileen Collins's being the first woman to pilot a U.S. space shuttle.

Haesly, Richard, ed. Women's Suffrage. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

Primary-source documents give a history of the topic, from "The Movement Begins" to "The Nineteenth Amendment." Each one is summarized in the table of contents.


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Children’s Literature

Adams, Colleen. Women's Suffrage: A Primary Source History of the Women's Rights Movement in America. New York: Rosen Central Primary Source, 2003.

Gr. 5-8. Books in the Primary Sources in American History series show young people how original sources work and how they are used in writing nonfiction… Suffrage leads off with a discussion of the role of women in early reform movements, then moves into a more detailed consideration of the women's movement, including profiles of individual pioneers. Highlighting chapters are photographs of original documents, declarations from the first Women's Rights Convention, excerpts from a pamphlet, and more. Booklist

Ash, Maureen. The Story of the Women's Movement. Chicago: Children's Press, 1989.

Grade 3-6. The Story of the Women's Movement gives a quick summary of the movement from its start in England to the women in America who fought for freedom for the slaves and then for their own rights. The Equal Rights Amendment and its defeat are included.

Bohannon, Lisa F. Failure is Impossible: The Story of Susan B. Anthony. Reynolds Morgan, 2001.

Gr 6-9. An account of the suffragist's life from her childhood to her death in 1906. …Bohannon weaves interesting social detail into her account with mention of bankruptcy, religion, household chores, wages, travel conditions, and convention etiquette. … The author suggests that intelligence and energy persistently applied really do mean "failure is impossible." Black-and-white photographs (primarily portraits) and reproductions are scattered throughout. School Library Journal

Blumberg, Rhoda. Bloomers! Aladdin Library, 1996.

Ages 5-10. A significant subject--the early struggle for women's rights--receives disappointing treatment from a Newberry Honor winner. Publishers Weekly
Ching, Jacqueline. Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary Woman. New York: PowerKids, 2002. This is an example of the new non-fiction books that combine clear text and helpful illustrations with useful bibliographies and web-links so that students can extend their research beyond the covers of one book.

Corey, Shana. You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! A Very Improper Story. Scholastic, 2000.

Grade 1-3. Text and pictures flow easily and energetically with comic views of ladies in their lavish, lusciously colored dresses. Several scenes cascade down the page, intertwined with type resembling hand-printed letters. The story keeps a clear focus on the social constraints of confining clothing…. The concluding essay sketches a bit more detail about Amelia Bloomer, the attire of her time, and women's continued interest in "bloomers." Dressed in a well-shaped story, this entertaining lesson in social history will be especially enjoyed as read-aloud fare. School Library Journal

Davis, Lucile. Susan B. Anthony: A Photo-Illustrated Biography. Mankato, Minn: Bridgestone Books, 1998.

An introductory biography of the early women's rights activist who fought for women's right to vote.

Dumbeck, Kristina. Leaders of Women's Suffrage. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 2001.

Each of the women in this book dedicated her life to the fight that would eventually win women the right to vote.

Fritz, Jean, and Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan. You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? Putnam: 1999.

Bibliography. Index. Illustrated. Ages 9-12. In this lively biography, Newbery Award-winner Fritz employs her trademark humor and anecdotal style to sketch out the life of the woman destined to shoulder the weighty responsibilities of marriage, motherhood (seven children!), and the fight for women's rights. Stanton—with her cohort Susan B. Anthony—never wavered in steadfastness, though she died 18 years before women's suffrage was achieved.

Harvey, Miles. Women's Voting Rights. New York: Children's Press, 1996.

Gr 3-5. As in other titles in the series, an enormous amount of complex history is broken down into highly readable and accurate text enhanced by excellent black-and-while and full-color photographs and reproductions. Valuable resources. School Library Journal

Ingraham, Gloria D. An Album of American Women: Their Changing Role. New York: F. Watts, 1987 [1972].

Grade 4-7. The highlight here is the abundant and handsome black-and-white illustrations primarily photographs of infamous, famous, and anonymous American women throughout this nation's history.

Johnston, Norma. Remember the Ladies: The First Women's Rights Convention. New York: Scholastic, 1995.

Gr. 4-6. Johnston shows respect for young readers by sorting out fact from supposition and, in the introductory note, acknowledging the difficulties of writing history from incomplete and somewhat unreliable sources. Following a chronology of the women's rights movement though 1920, there are source notes for the many quotations in the text. Booklist

Kendall, Martha E. Failure Is Impossible! The History of American Women's Rights. Lerner Publishing Group, 2001.

“A well-organized, well-documented resource. Kendall frames her discussion of women's suffrage with an account of the struggles of women throughout the centuries beginning with early colonists such as Anne Hutchinson. …Many black-and-white photos and other illustrations add dimension to the text. Four pages of brief biographies of remarkable women complete this thorough, multifaceted history.” School Library Journal

Krisher, Trudy. Uncommon Faith. Holiday House, 2003.

Grade 7-10. In Millbrook, MA, in the summer of 1837, a fire in the livery killed six people and injured many more. But that was only the beginning of the change in this small New England town. Ten characters tell the tangled tale, including friends and classmates of Faith Common, a brash and outspoken 14-year-old who champions the underdog and rallies the girls against a cruel schoolmaster who believes that "teaching a girl to master geometry is a bit like teaching a mule to dance." Her voice is never heard directly, but her story is part of the complex, interrelated narrative. In the course of the novel, families cope with disappearance and death, downtrodden women assert their collective power, a boy stands up to his preacher father and makes his own way through music, young people in the town help slaves along the Underground Railroad, and Faith is promised a place in the new Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. School Library Journal

Lickteig, Mary J. Amelia Bloomer : A Photo-Illustrated Biography. Mankato, Minn.: Bridgestone Books, 1998.

A biography of the temperance leader and women's rights advocate who spent her life working to improve social conditions for women.

McCully, Emily Arnold. The Ballot Box Battle. Dragonfly Books, 1998.

The story of Cordelia, a young girl whose relationship with her neighbor, the great suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, inspires her to a remarkable act of courage.

Monroe, Judy. The 19th Amendment: Women's Right to Vote. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1998.

Gr 7-9. Monroe details the women's suffrage struggle with an emphasis on the legal and constitutional processes necessary to gain ratification. She provides considerable background about both constitutional history and the people who led the fight, and also explains the impact of the vote on women's societal roles and social conditions. From School Library Journal

Moss, Kary L. The Rights of Women and Girls. New York: Puffin Books, 1998.

Grade 9 Up. This title may be most valuable for its explanations of important legal concepts such as common law and precedent, and the distinctions it makes between civil and criminal law. In addition, various chapters outline related laws and court decisions…. Still, there is a respectable bibliography and a list of organizations with addresses and telephone numbers (no Web sites). A good source of legal information for students of either gender. School Library Journal

Nash, Carol Rust. The Fight for Women's Right to Vote in American History. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1998.

Grade 6-8. Nash chronicles the events from the first suffrage convention in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848 up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920… At times, the text seems to be compressed and at times disjointed. School Library Journal

Parker, Barbara Keevil. Susan B. Anthony: Daring to Vote. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1998.

Grade 4-7. Written clearly and illustrated with period photographs, drawings, and editorial cartoons reproduced in black and white and full color, this book provides a basic overview of Anthony's life… Backmatter includes brief biographical notes on other leading advocates of women's rights, places to visit, and a time line. School Library Journal

Saller, Carol. Florence Kelley (On My Own Biographies) Carolrhoda Books, 1997.

Grade 2-3. Although Kelley was an important figure in the fight against child labor, readers are left without any real sense of the true person behind the biographical facts. Large gaps of her life are left undiscussed. In addition, this beginning reader has an annoying design flaw. Short histories of real child workers are interspersed with the narrative. Although set in italics, they are not set off from the main text in any other way, and children may be confused by the abrupt transitions. From School Library Journal

Smith, Betsy Covington. Women Win the Vote. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Silver Burdett Press, 1989.

Details the history of women in America from 1620 to the present as they have fought for freedom, equality, and particularly the right to vote.

Stearman, Kaye. Women's Rights: Changing Attitudes 1900-2000. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1999.

Gr 6-9. Women's Rights offers chapters on "Women in War and Peace," "Revolution and Repression," "Women's Liberation," and "A Century of Progress?" among other topics. It gives not only a historical perspective, but also addresses contemporary issues facing women around the world.

Swain, Gwenyth. The Road to Seneca Falls: A Story about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1996.

Grade 3-5. This biography uses Stanton's letters, diaries, and reminiscences as background but relates the information in story form, resulting in a book that is enjoyable as well as informative. Black-and-white charcoal-and-pencil drawings provide a sense of the period. Swain covers only Stanton's early years and the events leading up to the Seneca Falls convention, but an afterword describes later events in her life. School Library Journal

Targ-Brill, Marlene. Let Women Vote! Brookfield, Conn: Millbrook Press, 1996.

Discusses the fight for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.


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Websites and Web Resources

Compiled and annotated by Gayle Fischer, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of History, Salem State College ( and SALEM in History staff

Primarily Nineteenth Century

Boston Women’s Memorial

Dedicated in the fall of 2003, this work of public art is installed along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. Depicts Phyllis Wheatley, Abigail Adams and Lucy Stone.

Godey’s Lady’s Book: Two useful sites:
Godey’s Lady’s Book Online

This site allows you to access images, articles and other contributions in five editions of the magazine in 1850. Godey's Lady's Book was one of the most popular magazines of the19th century and was instrumental in popularizing and the image and expectation of women as moral keepers of the home. Each issue contained poetry, fiction, beautiful engraving and articles by some of the most well-known authors in America. Topics ranged from fashion advice, to childrearing to domestic concerns--broadly defined.

Godey’s Lady’s Book – site maintained by Hope Greenberg at the University of Vermont

This site covers material that appeared in the magazine between 1855 and 1858 and is divided into two collections. The first is a “samples” collection which includes highlights from volumes from 1855-1858 and is broken down into more specific sections including Illustrations, Fiction, editorials, and Fashions and Patterns with full-text for each text document and thumbnail pictures for all illustrations. You will also find a sample typical full table of contents from an 1857 volume (LIV). The “complete issues” section of the site includes partial or full volumes of four Godey’s between 1852 and 1855, which can be viewed in their original layout format.

History of Women's Suffrage

This Web site is hosted by The Anthony Center for Women's Leadership, which is located on the University of Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A. It provides a brief history of North American suffrage and biographies of influential suffragists. Those included are Alice Stone Blackwell, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Harriet Stanton Blatch, Amelia Bloomer, Carrie Chapman Catt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Julia Ward Howe, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Anna Howard Shaw, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth. There are also sections on Women's Rights Convention Seneca Falls, NY, timelines and a bibliography.

Massachusetts in the woman suffrage movement. A general, political, legal and legislative
history from 1774 to 1881

[Editorial Note: Harriet H. Robinson's Massachusetts in the woman suffrage movement is perhaps the first serious history of the woman's rights movement. She apparently got the inspiration for writing it at an 1880 Commemorative Convention, held in Worcester on the thirtieth anniversary of the first national woman's rights convention.]

Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

This is the companion site to the PBS documentary by Ken Burns by the same name. Includes timelines, background information and primary sources related to both these two women and their efforts on behalf of women’s rights. Also includes material and resources related to the broader fight for women’s suffrage. At this site you will find lesson plans, articles by respected scholars and bibliographies on not only Stanton and Anthony, but on the historical moment in which they acted and contemporary concerns to which they responded. Some multimedia components on this site may be particularly valuable for classroom teachers.

Travels for Reform: The Early Work of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1852 1861

Stanton and Anthony Mini-Edition. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) led the movement for women's rights in the nineteenth century. The documents in this mini-edition focus on the first decade of their collaboration, from 1852 until 1741, when they honed their skills as reformers in New York State. These primary historical sources are pertinent to the study of women, American politics, New York State, and antebellum reform movements.

Women’s Rights National Historic Park

This site is the web companion to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY which commemorates women's struggle for equal rights, and the first Women's Rights Convention, held at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19 & 20, 1848. Includes information on the participants, the event, the place and the links between the convention and other contemporary movements and concerns, namely Abolitionism. Includes text of the earliest report of the event, as well as one published some 30 years later. Also includes full text of statement Elizabeth Cady Stanton delivered at the convention.

Worcester Women’s History Project

The Worcester Women’s History Project documents the lives and history of women in central and western Massachusetts, but the main draw of this site is its rich “Historical Library” and “Curricula” sections that focus on telling the story of the first NATIONAL woman’s rights convention which took place in Worcester in 1850 which called for "equality for all, without distinction of sex or color," a novel idea even among women’s rights activists. Contemporaries saw it as the beginning of the organized women's rights movement.. The site offers an introduction to “The Woman Question” and to the event, placing it in historical context and then offers visitors access to a wide array of primary sources related to the event and to the wider mid-19th century fight for equality, including materials linking women’s rights and abolition, men’s voices on women’s rights, published commentaries on the convention and the movement including some in Godey’s Lady’s Book. These sources are not scanned in, they appear in type. There are editorial introductions and commentaries on many of them, to help interpret them for visitors. A “Related Websites” section allows visitors to access even more primary documents and information about related archives. The “curricula” section of the site offers teachers access to two wonderful sets of lesson plans. One, “Angels and Infidels” includes pre and post material connected to the dramatic presentation by the same name by Louisa Burns-Bisogno. The other is called “Making the World Better: The Struggle for Equality in 19th-Century America” which focuses on the lives and work of two Massachusetts women: African-American abolitionist Sarah Parker Remond [from a SALEM family] and abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone.

Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Suffrage and Anti-Suffrage

Iron Jawed Angels

Film by Katja von Garnier. Debuted on HBO in February 2004. From website: “IRON JAWED ANGELS recounts for a contemporary audience a key chapter in U.S. history: in this case, the struggle of suffragists who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment. Focusing on the two defiant women, Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O'Connor), [founders of the National Woman’s Party] the film shows how these activists broke from the mainstream women's-rights movement and created a more radical wing, daring to push the boundaries of political protest to secure women's voting rights in 1920.” Website offers a synopsis of the film and an overview of the story of suffrage.

Suffragists Oral History Project

A marvelous resource created and made available by the Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkely! Here, you will find complete and fully transcribed oral histories with women involved in the suffrage campaigns of the early 20th centuries. The oral histories were completed in the 1970s and include the recollections of both well-known and rank-and-file suffragists. Seven prominent figures in the suffrage movement, including (those with the MOST name recognition) Jeannette Rankin and Alice Paul are included. These seven women speak about local, regional and national issues and also mention other members of their cohort including Carrie Chapman Catt. The site’s homepage gives brief bios of each of the seven. But, this site goes beyond the histories of the well-known and includes also five interviews with five diverse ‘ordinary’ women who worked tirelessly for suffrage. Their experiences speak to those of many like them across the nation who gave speeches, made their case at luncheons and teas, and/or picketed at the White House. Links to each interview also provide information for researchers about how to cite as a source.

“Votes for Women” –
two valuable companion sites created for the Library of Congress’ American Memory Collection

“Votes for Women”:

Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association
Collection, 1848-1921

This is a selected collection of text sources from the Library of Congress’ NAWSA collection. It includes 167 books, pamphlets and other material related to the long and at times complex campaign for woman suffrage (and opposition to it). Includes material from and about many of the NWASA’s leaders and proponents. The site is searchable by subject and includes links to other resources. A very useful timeline is included as well as ideas for teaching with the material.

“Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920

This collection of 38 images from the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress includes portraits of many well-known suffrage activists, as well as photographs of parades, picketing and anti-suffrage displays. Here too, you will find cartoons that make a variety of statements about the movement. Includes thumbnail images that can be enlarged.

Woman Suffrage

This page takes you back to 1912 when the public debate over women's suffrage was contested in editorial pages, political cartoons, the streets, and in the home. The pro-suffrage arguments, the anti-suffrage arguments, and information about the political process are portrayed using cartoons, photographs, and essays.

Women Working

This is the prototype of the Open Collections Program. This site will provide access to digitized books (over 2000), manuscripts (10,000 pages) and images (1,000) from the collections of Harvard University Libraries and Museums on the topic of women in the U.S. economy from 1870-1930. The goal of the Harvard Libraries Open Collections Program is to increase the availability and use of textual and visual historical resources for teaching, learning, and research by selecting resources from the Harvard Libraries in broad topic areas, putting them in digital format, and providing access to them through the World Wide Web and the Harvard Library catalogs.

Women’s Liberation

The CWLU Herstory Website

A great place to start any search for materials related to women’s liberation. A wonderful site that tells the story of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, a group of women who came together between 1969-1977 (out of a variety of social movements of the time) to create grassroots programs to change the experiences of women and push for widespread revolution in American society. This site includes much about the history of CWLU, but also helps place the group more broadly in the history of both women’s liberation and women’s rights work more generally. Includes a timeline of women’s liberation, a fantastic section of full-text versions of “Classic Feminist Writings” and a section of “Historical Links” that connects visitors to a host of other high-quality sites related to women’s history and archival resources. This final section is a fantastic gateway to much of the best the web has to offer.

Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement: An On-line Archival Collection

The materials in this small but historically significant on-line archival collection from the Special Collections Library at Duke University were selected by Duke professor Anne Valk to support assignments in her classes in the late 1990s. Material was also contributed by Rosalyn Baxandall (SUNY, Old Westbury) and Linda Gordon (University of Wisconsin, Madison) who have recently published an edited collection of documents from the women’s liberation movement (Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement. New York: Basic Books, 2000). This archive is particularly useful, as it includes not just text documents but also some visual material, a satirical play, a song book (lyrics and music), minutes of a grassroots group and even a report on unequal funding for school athletics by a recent high school graduate.

The Feminist Chronicles, 1953 – 1993

A chronology of the feminist movement [primarily in the U.S.] from 1953 to 1993. Covers
Events, Issues, and Backlash. Also includes early documents from the National Organization for Women and a bibliography. Online version of a print publication.

Teaching Materials

“Agents of Social Change” at Sophia Smith Collection: Women’s History Manuscripts at Smith College

An incredibly valuable section of this website is the portion that offers documents from the
collections and related Lesson Plans connected to women and organization who were “Agents of Social Change” in American history from the 19th and 20th centuries. These materials are geared to middle and high-school students.

Cobblestone (March 2000): Elizabeth Cady Stanton Issue. Teacher's Guide

In this issue, Cobblestone features the life of social reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a famous nineteenth-century feminist. She helped organize the first U.S. women's rights convention in 1848 to gain support for the right of women to vote.

Cobblestone (March 1985): Susan B. Anthony Issue.

Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment

The National Archives' salute to women's suffrage, including primary sources, activities and links to related websites for educators and students.

Reference Materials: Web

American Women’s History: A Research Guide

Provides “citations to print and Internet reference sources, as well as to selected large primary source collections. The guide also provides information about the tools researchers can use to find additional books, articles, dissertations, and primary sources.” – from website.

WWWomen: Search Directory Category: History

WWWomen is a commercial site, but is a good gateway to finding all sorts of collections and information about women’s history (not just American) on the web. Be sure to carefully assess the sites you visit from here, but there are links to academic libraries, scholarly websites, museums and primary sources.

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Related Archives and Collections

Research Collections in Massachusetts

The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

The Schlesinger Library is one of the best places in the nation to study the history of women in the United State. The Schlesinger Library’s website provides access to information about its collection of “letters and diaries, photographs, books and periodicals, ephemera, oral histories, and audiovisual materials that document the history of women, families, and organizations,
primarily in the 19th and 20th centuries.” Particularly noteworthy subject areas are women’s rights and suffrage, women’s labor and labor reform, women in the professions, science, politics, and family life. The Schlesinger Library holds the papers of Betty Friedan, Julia Ward Howe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Florence Luscomb and others. The library has a significant collection of personal papers and related material connected to the efforts of Massachusetts and Boston area women and organizations in the long struggle for women’s rights. Collections include material about the efforts of 19th century suffrage activities, women’s club work, various local groups dedicated to woman suffrage, the intersection of protective legislation and suffrage work, anti-suffrage activities, the “second wave” of feminism, and Boston women’s liberation groups and activities that had local and national profiles, esp. Bread and Roses and Cell 16. It is also home to a large culinary collection, and the Radcliffe Archives. You will not find primary sources on-line here, and the materials do not circulate, but the Schlesinger’s rich resources are free and open to the public. The collection is completely searchable through the Harvard University library system (HOLLIS). Instructions for searching are found on the Schlesinger’s website. Reference Librarians are available to help researchers.

Women’s Educational Center Records, 1971-1998, Northeastern University Archives and
Special Collections.

These are the records of the Women’s Educational Center in Cambridge, which was established as the Women’s Center in 1971 after a ten-day takeover of a Harvard building, led by members of Bread and Roses, a Boston socialist-feminist group, well known in the history of the second wave. The Center (which is still going strong) has always been committed to empowering women and helping them make changes in their lives. While the material in this collection is not available on line, a detailed finding aid is, and researchers can access the collection by appointment. This collection is one of the best collections of Boston-area material related to the complex and highly energized activities among women activists of the mid-70s through the 1990s. The Center newsletter “On Our Way” from 1971-74 are here; they offer a wonderful window into the ideas that created the Center and shaped its activities in the early years. [ Note: Film footage about the International Women’s Day March that led to the building takeover and the Women’s Center creation is at the Schlesinger Library (see above) along with more
information about Bread and Roses Library in the Rochelle Ruthchild papers and the Annie Popkin papers.]

Sophia Smith Collection: Women’s History Manuscripts at Smith College

The url for finding aids for the collections is:

“The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College is an internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, photographs, periodicals and other primary sources in women's history.” This collection documents the lives and histories of women in the United States from the colonial era (18th century) to the present and is the oldest repository of women’s history in the U.S. The collection is wide ranging and diverse but has specific strengths in birth control, women’s rights,
suffrage, the contemporary women’s movement, the professions and middle-class family life in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collections include visual material as well as manuscript and printed sources. The collection is not available on line* (for exceptions see below), but many of the finding aids (which give details about different collections) are now on line. The public may
conduct research in the collections free of charge. There is an online reference request link on this site if a researcher wants to know more about a specific collection or source. Reference librarians do not conduct extensive research for patrons.

Five College Archives Digital Access

This site provides access and information about Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Smith and University of Massachusetts records and manuscripts on women's history and women's education. Links to specific schools and collections. Some archival material on line; although the selection is limited.


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None listed at this time

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