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Paperless Research, Women's History Month

Women's History Month: Researching with NYPL's E-Resources


Bertha Farnsworth
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "New Orleans Police Department. Bertha Farnsworth. Alias: Bertha Rawlings. Occupation: Wash Woman. Criminal Occupation: Susp. Person. Nativity: Miss." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1908-12-31. Image ID 52SCCDV

March is Women's History Month. In honor of this important month, The New York Public Library has created this list of resources to help you explore the unique and lesser known materials available to our patrons online! These electronic resources are accessible to anyone with a  New York Public Library card.   

1. Women's Rights

Correspondence-Organizational Matters: Labor and Liberal Organizations, Volume 2671. 1945. TS The Roger Baldwin Years, 1912-1950: Sub-Series 18: Organizational Matters – Correspondence, 1917-1951. Mudd Library, Princeton University. American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 database. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990. In this database researchers can review documents related to court cases that impacted and changed the nature of women's rights in America. This archive includes coverage of major reproductive rights cases, such as Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut, equal employment cases, such as Dothard v. Rawlison, as well as other important issues such as voting rights.

Independent VoicesTake a firsthand look at women's activism from the later half of the 20th century in the Independent Voices database. In this archive you will find independent publications from feminist organizations, campus activists groups, and other small press zines and pamphlets, for example, Aint I A Woman, The Amazon, and Country Woman.

If you are looking for other highly recommended databases to explore the history of women's rights try, the Left Index, the Alternative Press Index Archive, or the United Nations iLibrary.

Country Women
Country Women, Volume 1, Issue 3
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University
Series , Feminist. Independent Voices database. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

2. Women's Magazines

Harper's Weekly, January 1, 1910. HarpWeek database. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

Reading historical magazines and other periodicals is one of the best ways to understand life during a certain era. Through New York Public Library's electronic resources you can read Godey's Lady's Book from the early 19th century. Or see how significantly the times have changed by reviewing the entire runs of Harper's WeeklyHarper's Bazaar and Vogue.

Women's Magazine Archive. This archive provides digital access to decades of women's-interest magazines in high-resolution color and in full-text from cover to cover.  The archive includes, Better Homes & Gardens (1922 to 2005); Chatelaine (1928 to 2005); Good Housekeeping (1885 to 2005); Ladies' Home Journal (1883 to 2005); Parents (1926 to 2005); Redbook (1903 to 2005); Cosmopolitan (1886 to 2005); Essence (1970 to 2005); Seventeen (1944 to 2005); Town and Country (1846 to 2005); Woman's Day (1937 to 2005).

For current editions of women's magazines checkout Flipster and PressReader.


Sweetheart Ball
"Lady in Red Sweetheart Ball." Womyn's Words, vol. 15, no. 1, 1997, p. 12. Archives of Sexuality & Gender. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

Archives of Sexuality and GenderIf you are researching LGBTQ history this database provides great access to periodicals, primary source materials and curated collections. Take a look at the Herstory Archive: Feminist Newspapers or explore the Lesbian Herstory Archives Newsletter Collection.

LGBT Life with Full TextIn this archive you will not only find a plethora of newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, but you can also access e-books such as, Between Women: Friendship, Desire & Marriage in Victorian England or Latina Lesbian Writers & Artists.

4. Scholarship

Body Image


Anyone interested in Women's Studies will be happy to know that they can access hundreds of journals and articles through NYPL's e-resources. For example, anyone interested in women's health may want to explore the Women's Health Issues or Body Image databases.

Also, through databases such as Academic Search Premier or ProQuest Research Libraryresearchers can access journals such as, Women & Language and Women in Business.

5. Everyday Life in History

Miss Patty Proud
The New instructive history of Miss Patty Proud, or, The downfall of vanity, with the reward of goodnature. [Two lines of verse] Adorned with cuts. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

Curious about the day-to-day life of women from generations ago? By exploring databases such as, Everyday Life and Women in America, c1800-1920 and America's Historical Imprints you can find instructional books written for women on how to live a moral life, or treatises written on the benefits and downfalls of educating women.

The databases Early American Imprints I and II include rare books by women authors from the 1600s and 1700s such as, Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight, wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year. Together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchyes viz. the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian. And beginning of the Romane Common-Wealth to the end of their last king: with diverse other pleasant & serious poems, by a gentlewoman in New-England, written in 1678 by Anne Bradstreet (and yes, that is the title).

6. Oddities

National Police Gazette
"Lively Row between a Mute Couple." National Police Gazette, 8 Nov. 1879, p. 13. Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture 1790-1920 database. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

Many of our electronic resources will have some type of material that anyone interested in women's studies or history will find useful. However, if you are looking for something a little bit off the beaten path try a database like Crime, Punishment, and Popular CultureThis database includes The National Police Gazette, which covered stories about all types of women criminals, from con artists to murderers. This database also includes digitized books such as, The Detectives Album, a rare police procedural written by Mary Fortune in 1871.

If you are interested in images, explore the NYPL Digital Collections. In our digital collections you will not only find pictures of suffragettes, but also women building machinery during the second World War, 19th century portraits , mysterious mugshots, and random women walking down streets.

The New York Public Library provides more than 500 online research options, many accessible from home with a library card. We challenge you to go beyond the search engine and dig deeper online with NYPL. 


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