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Women and Gender Studies: A Research Guide

Primary Source Databases

Primary Sources

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information, such as firsthand accounts of events in letters, diaries, interviews, or historical news reportage.

Digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. Collections range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to interviews with women engineers from the 1970s.

American Memory: American Women

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.


Women Working,1800-1930

Part of the Open Collections Program at Harvard University Library, this is a great place to look for primary sources of women working in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century. The digitized collection includes: books, pamphlets, images and some manuscripts. It is easy to browse or search the collection.

Queer Zine Archive Project

The mission of the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is to establish a "living history" archive of past and present queer zines and to encourage current and emerging zine publishers to continue to create. In curating such a unique aspect of culture, we value a collectivist approach that respects the diversity of experiences that fall under the heading "queer."

Digital Collections from the Sallie Bingham Center at Duke

Collections of materials on the Women's Liberation Movement, African American women's experiences under slavery, and Civil War women. The Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture acquires, preserves and makes available to a large population of researchers published and unpublished materials that reflect the public and private lives of women, past and present.