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LIBRARY GUIDE TO Women Studies Pathfinder

Discovering American Women's History Online. Offers state and subject indexes to resources and research tools for finding secondary and primary resources.

Women's Studies Encyclopedia. Ref. HQ 1115 .W645 1999 3 vols.
Signed articles about 1000 words in length. Vol. 1, science; vol. 2, literature; vol. 3, history, religion and philosophy.

American Women's History. Ref. HQ 1115 .W4 1994
This book excludes celebrities in "gender-stereotypical" professions and concentrates on "the memorable and deservedly famous." The entries, however, are not as candid as one would like, as they tend to ignore the biographees' less favorable sides.

Encyclopedia of Women's History in America. Ref. HQ 1410 .C85 2000
Includes women who "stand out" in several ways. Entries tend to be informative, rather than critical. The appendix includes several documents on women's history including court decisions, legislation and declarations.

ABC-CLIO Companion to Women's Progress in America. Ref. HQ 1410 .F76 1994
This book is not really an encyclopedia as the entries are too short. Still, it provides "encyclopedic" information on women "whose achievements were unusual for the time." Entries are informative, not critical. Contains chronology and bibliography.

Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories. Also in print, Ref. HQ 1190 .E63 2000
Concentrates on feminism as it developed in English speaking countries since the 1960's. It includes mini biographies of feminists and it is also cross disciplinary in scope. Each entry includes bibliographies for further research.

Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics. Ref. HQ 1236.5.U6 E53 1999
Contains 700 alphabetically arranged entries on every woman "who has served in a political capacity." Includes biographies of suffragettes, feminists and anti-feminists. Entries contain biographies for further research. Appendices contain speeches and documents, tables, oganizations and a timeline.

Reader's Guide to Women's Studies. Ref. HQ 1180 .A1 R43 1998
This book is not strictly speaking an encyclopedia but it does have an "encyclopedic" format. The book covers 500 topics, including people. It lists the best books on each topic and then provides a summary of each book. Alphabetically arranged but there is a thematic list.

Handbook of American Women's History. Ref. HQ 1410 .H36 2000
Provides summary definitions for concepts, events, organizations and persons in American history.

A Companion to Feminist Philosophy. Also in print, HQ 1190 .C665 1998
Not your typical reference book as the chapters consist of scholarly essays. This feature makes this book an excellent place to begin research on a philosophical aspect of feminism. The book is divided into several parts such as Ethics and then chapters such as Procreation, Health care and so on.

International Encyclopedia of Women and Sports. Ref.GV 709 .I58 2001
This 3-volume work covers biographies, countries and regions, events, issues, medicine and health, organizations, sports. Each entry is "essay" length in scope and includes bibliographies. A shorter but related title is Encyclopedia of  Women and Sports. Ref. GV 709 .S44 1996. It is, however, entry formatted and very uncritical.

Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers.   Also in print, Ref. HQ 1236 .R29 2001
International in scope, this book provides short essays on women reformers.  Includes references.

International Encyclopedia of Women's Suffrage.   Ref. HQ 1236 .H28 2000
Emphasizes international suffrage organizations and individuals.

Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women.   Ref. HQ 1115 .R69 2000
Three volumes in length, this set provides comprehensive articles on a broad range of topics from arts and literature to violence and peace.

Violence in America: An Encyclopedia.   Ref. HN 90 .V5 V5474 1999
There are articles in this set dealing with women and domestic violence.

Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World's Culture. Ref. HQ 16 .E53 2004, 2 vols.

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women's Issues.
Presently covers four areas: Europe (Ref. HQ 1588 .G74 2003); Asia and Oceana (Ref. HQ 1726 .G74 2003); Sub Saharan Africa (Ref. 1788 .G74 2003); The Middle East and North Africa (Ref. HQ 1726.5 .G74 2003).

Encyclopedia of Women and Gender. Also in print, Ref. HQ 1115 .E53 2001

Women in the Middle Ages. Also in print, Ref. HQ 1143 .W643 2004
Two volumes. Mostly biography, but topics too. Very scholarly.

Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures.  HQ 1170 .E53 2003
Three volumes.  Entries are scholarly.  Alphabetically arranged and include such things as Family Relations, Domesticity and Hospitality.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Ref. HQ 1121 .O93 2008
Scholarly articles on broad topics such as feminism and also individuals. Three volumes, entries are long and scholarly.

From Suffrage to the Senate: America's Political Women: An Encyclopedia of Leaders, Causes and Issues. Also in print, Ref. HQ 1236.5 .U6 S32 2006

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society - Also in print, Ref. HQ 1236 .R29 2001.

 Encyclopedia of American Social Movements Ref  HN E594 2004


Larousse Dictionary of Women. Ref. HQ 1115 .L37 1996
Biographical entries on 19th and 20th century women in the Western world.

A Feminist Dictionary. Ref. HQ 1115 .K73 1985
This book seeks to "document words, definitions and conceptualizations that illustrate women's linguistic contributions. . ." It typically defines the word and then uses a literary allusion to illuminate it, e.g., "Christians". "Purveyors of Christianity which has `destroyed the history and culture of the people of Africa and North and South America. . . .'"

Encyclopedia of Feminism.  HQ 1115 .T87 1986
Less strident than the previous title, this book provides entries on people and ideas in feminist thought, i.e., "A Woman's Place."

Dictionary of Feminist Theory. Ref. HQ 1115 .H86 1995
Considers both people and concepts in feminist thought.

Biographical Sources

Women in Particular: An Index to American Women. Ref. HQ 1412 .H47 1984
Indexes biographical articles from 54 collected biographies.

Index to Women of the World from Ancient to Modern Times. Ref. HQ 1123 .A1 I73 & supp.
Covers 13,000 women who appear in 945 collected biographies.

Who's Who of American Women. Ref. CT 3260 .W5 (1970/71 - 2009)
Published annually. This series is good for brief biographical information: birth, education, etc.

Notable American Women.   Ref. CT 3260 .N57; Ref. CT 3260 .N573; and Ref. CT 3260 .N5725 20024
1607-1950The Modern Period; Completing the Twentieth Century. Scope includes women who had a public life. Articles range from 400-7000 words. A very scholarly source.

Great Lives from History (American Women Series). Ref. HQ 1412 .G74 1995
Includes articles on 409 women "whose lives have had a distinct impact on North American society and culture." The word "Great" in the title is used loosely. Articles are comprehensive and include bibliographies. A fine and creditable source.

Women in World History. A Biographical Encyclopedia. Ref. HQ 1115 .W6 1999. This is a projected 16 volume work of which 10 have been published. True to its title this work is "world scope". The entries are comprehensive and the have many attractive features among them sources, suggested reading, location of manuscript collections and media productions.

American National Biography.   Ref. E 176 .A68 1999
Twenty-five volumes in length, this is the best source for scholarly sources.

N.B.  I have several sources on Black American Women in my pathfinder called " Black Americans."

I really didn't know where to put this, so it ended up here.

The Almanac of Women and Minorities in World Politics.   Ref. HQ 1236 .M347 2000
Alphabetically arranged by country, it lists prominent women in government, when they got the right to vote, etc.

Sexuality and Gender

Lesbian Almanac.   Ref. HQ 75.6 .U5 L35 1996 and The Gay Almanac.   Ref. HQ 76.3 .U5 G367 1996

Gay and Lesbian Biography.   Ref. HQ 75.2 .G39 1996
Provides about a page or so of coverage with references.

Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia.   Ref. HQ 75.5 .L4395 2000
Covers biographies and broad topics, such as religion, politics, sociology.  There is a subject guide in the front.  Essays or entries are written by scholars.  Index in the back.

Encyclopedia of Homosexuality.   Ref. HQ 76.25 .E53 1990
Two volumes in length, this title contains 770 scholarly articles.

Completely Queer: The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia.   Ref. HQ 75 .H63 1998
This book is for a popular audience.

Gay Rights.   HQ 76.8 .U5 K73 2000
Contains a glossary, biographical listing, chronology and the law of gay rights.

Encyclopedia of Sexual Behavior.   Ref. HQ 9 .E4
Two volumes, this set contains scholarly essays on broad topics, such as Love, Pregnancy, Courtship, etc.

International Encyclopedia of Sexuality.   Ref. HQ 21 .I68 1997
Three volumes and arranged by country, each chapter covers 13 areas, such as HIV, contraception, abortion, etc.

Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family.   Ref. HQ 9 .E52 1995
There are several chapters in this three-volume set on topics related to sexuality and women's issues.

Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World's Cultures. Ref. HQ 16 .E53 2004


We have four chronologies which are very similar, although all should be consulted. The coverage is usually about 4000 C.E. to 1992. Entries cover the arts, literature, occupations, achievements, etc. Chronologies include:

A. Timetables of Women's History.   HQ 1121 .G74 1994
B. Chronology of Women's History.   HQ 1121 .O47 1994
C. Women's World: A Timeline of Women in History.  HQ 1122 .F69 1995
D. Milestones: A Chronology of American Women's History.  HQ 1410 .W434 1997. Organized year by year.

Women's Firsts.  Ref. CT 3203 .W66 1997
This is not exactly a chronology like the examples above. It covers 2500 "groundbreaking achievements" by women. Alphabetically arranged, i.e., by broad topic, and then by date.

Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography. Ref. HQ 1180 .A1 K75 2004
Internet Sources

Yahoo's Women Studies. This actually is a subset of Yahoo's Sociology. Links include feminist theology, bibliographies, events, education and many more.

International Women's Web Sites This is an alpha listing of international women's sites.

Women and Gender Studies Web Sites. Arranged by theology, philosophy, lesbian, health, etc.

H-Women. This is a discussion site.

International Institute of Social History. 

American Women "A Gateway to Library of Congress resources for the study of women's history and culture in the United States."

Women Working,1800-1930 Covers: "Women Working, 1800 - 1930 focuses on women's role in the United States economy and provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image resources selected from Harvard University's library and museum collections. The collection features approximately 500,000 digitized pages and images including:
7,500 pages of manuscripts,photographs and pamplets.

Women's Studies/ Women's issues Resource Sites 
"a selective, annotated, highly acclaimed listing of web sites containing resources and information about women's studies / women's issues, with an emphasis on sites of particular use to an academic women's studies program. If you're looking for sites on a specific women-focused topic, you may prefer to use the following subject sections rather than scroll through the all-inclusive alphabetical listing (the "last updated" sections are marked update)."

Digital Librarian Hundreds of sites alpha arranged.

Gender and Sexuality Sites There are many sites alpha arranged and also links to subjects and people.

Women's History Sourcebook There are thousands of sites divided by Country and then by topic; back to ancient times.

WWW Virtual Library History Covers archives, museums, associations, discussion groups, topics and much more.


Statistical Handbook on Women in America. Ref. HQ 1420  .T34 1996
Contains statistical information, gleaned from government sources, on demography, employment, health, and social characteristics.

The World's Women: Trends and Statistics (1970-90, 1995, 2000, 2005). Ref. HQ 1154 .W95
Arranged by six chapters such as health and childbearing, education and training etc. Each chapter begins with a essay type overview followed by statistical information geographically arranged.

You can also find information in the Library Catalog, by using "women" as a subdivision of another term in a subject search, i.e., click on Subject Search and then type in museums women or african-american women. Be sure to browse in the HQ 1100-HQ 1400 area for additional titles.

Dan Ring
Dan Ring The content of this guide was originally curated by Dan Ring.
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