Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies: Historical Text Collections

Full Text Resources

This list of full text historical databases includes digitized books, manuscripts, journal content, and archives (often in the same database).  Often content spans centuries so titles are listed in alphabetical order.

  • American Consumer Culture: Market Research & American Business, 1935-1965

    This link opens in a new windIncludes early marketing studies for oral contraceptives.

  • Archives of Sexuality & Gender
    Includes digitized records and archives from the Mattachine Society (1951-1976), Gay Activists Alliance (1970-1983), Lesbian Herstory Archive, Hall Carpenter Archives, National Commission on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (1983-1994), ACT UP, Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society (1955-1984), several broad collections of popular, activist and scholarly journals, and sexual history, sexology and erotica from the Kinsey Institute, the British Library Private Case collection and the New York Academy of Medicine.  Part 4 adds collections from South Africa and Australia.
  • British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries, from 1500-1900
    Full text searchable database with additional indexing (geographic, marital status, life events, etc.). 
  • Defining Gender, 1450-1910 
    "Ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature."
  • Digital Transgender Archive
    The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based in Worcester, Massachusetts at the College of the Holy Cross, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than twenty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and private collections. 
  • Everyday Life & Women in America, c.1820-1900
    "The collection is especially rich in conduct of life and domestic management literature, offering vivid insights into the daily lives of women and men, as well as emphasizing contrasts in regional, urban and rural cultures."
  • Gender: Identity and Social Change

    Includes primary sources for the study of gender history, women’s suffrage, the feminist movement and the men’s movement.  Highlights include:

    • Papers of A. J. Munby, including the letters, diaries, photographs, and poetry of Munby and his wife Hannah Cullwick.
    • Papers of Betty Friedan, and other collections from Harvard's Schlesinger Library
    • Men's studies collections from the University of Michigan
    • Suffrage collections from the University of Manchester
    • full list of collections
  • Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online, 1543-1945This link opens in a new
    Covers years 1543-1945, bulk is 1880-1920. The collection is especially rich in women's journals, scholarly medical and sociological studies, and housekeeping and advice manuals. The journals of the suffrage era are a particular strength.

  • History Vault: Women's Studies Collections

    • Women's Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library: Voting Rights, National Politics, and Reproductive Rights
      • Woman's Suffrage: Series 1: Part A: National Leaders, Part B: New York, Part C: The South, Part D: New England;
        Part E: the Midwest and Far West.
      • Series 2: Women in National Politics, Part A: Democrats, Part B: Republicans, Jeanne Rankin, Jessica Weiss
      • Series 3: Sexuality, Sex Education, and Reproductive Rights, Part A: Family Planning Oral History Project,
        Part B: Papers of Mary Ware Dennett and the Voluntary Parenthood League.
      • Women's Studies Records of the Bureau of Vocational Information, 1908-1932.
    • Women at Work during World War II: Rosie the Riveter and the Women's Army Corps
      Contains two major sets of records documenting the experience of American women during World War II: Records of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Correspondence of the Director of the Women's Army Corps. Primary sources document a wide range of issues pertinent to women during this time of turbulent change, including studies on the treatment of women by unions in several Midwestern industrial centers, and the influx of women to industrial centers during the war. Topics covered in records and correspondence include women's work in war industries, pivotal issues like equal pay, childcare and race, and extensive documentation on the women who joined and served in the Women's Army Corps as WACs.
    • Margaret Sanger Papers
  • Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH)
    HEARTH is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines published between 1850 and 1950.

  • Independent Voices
    "Independent Voices chronicles the transformative decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s through the lens of an independent alternative press. Consolidated for the first time, Independent Voices provides over 1,000 titles from the special collections of dozens of libraries. Independent Voices provides easy access to the powerful voices of feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Latinos, gays, lesbians and more."

  • LGBT Thought and Culture"LGBT Thought and Culture is an online resource hosting books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection illuminates the lives of lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual individuals and the community with content including selections from The National Archives in Kew, materials collected by activist and publisher Tracy Baim from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s, the Magnus Hirschfeld and Harry Benjamin collections from the Kinsey Institute, periodicals such as En la Vida and BLACKlines, select rare works from notable LGBT publishers including Alyson Books and Cleis Press, as well as mainstream trade and university publishers."
  • Manuscript Women's Letters and Diaries from the American Antiquarian Society, 1750-1950
    Previously unpublished letters and diaries of women of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century.
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries
    Letters and diaries from the 17th-century through the Vietnam War era.
  • Perdita Manuscripts, 1500-1700
    Complete facsimile images of over 230 manuscripts written or compiled by women living in the British Isles during the 16th and 17th centuries. Contents include account books, advice, culinary writing, meditation, travel writing, and verse. Perdita manuscripts can be indexed by name, place, genre, and first lines of both poetry and prose

  • Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975: Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest.
    Thematic collections include Fashion, Gay and Lesbian Rights, Sex and Sexuality, Women's Rights, and Religion, Morality, and Censorship.  Includes digitized full run of Gay.
  • Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900 (Adam Matthew)
    "This unique collection showcases the development of 'popular' medicine in America during the nineteenth century, through an extensive range of material that was aimed at the general public rather than medical professionals. Explore an array of printed sources, including rare books, pamphlets, trade cards, and visually-rich advertising ephemera."

  • Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History
    Women's travel diaries and correspondence from the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Includes manuscripts, diaries, travel journals, correspondence, photographs, postcards and ephemera, from 1818 to the 1970s. The geographical area covered by these diaries is far-reaching, with travel to countries within the British, French, Chinese and American empires and discussion of empire and nationalism, as well as description of the post-colonial world. A great variety of modes of transport are covered, including sea voyages, road trips, wagon trains and air travel.
  • Twentieth Century Advice Literature : North American Guides on Race, Sex, Gender, and the Family
    Brings together the instructional, prescriptive, behavioral, and etiquette literature that defined standards of personal conduct for millions of Americans and reflected the prevailing social mores across the twentieth century.

  • Sex & Sexuality
    Collections from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, including the correspondence, research papers and records spanning the careers of the first three directors: Dr Alfred C. Kinsey (1947-1956), Dr Paul H. Gebhard (1956-1982) and Dr June Reinisch (1982-1993).
  • Witchcraft in Europe and America
    A comprehensive collection offering a wide range of writings on the subject of witchcraft.  The majority of texts are in Latin, English and German, although there are also selected items in French, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch and Spanish.  Dates span 1500 to 1930.

  • Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820
    "Explores prominent themes in world history since 1820: conquest, colonization, settlement, resistance, and post-coloniality, as told through women's voices. With a clear focus on bringing the voices of the colonized to the forefront, this highly-curated archive and database includes documents related to the Habsburg Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and United States Empires, and settler societies in the United States, New Zealand and Australia."
  • Women and Social Movements, International: 1840 to presentThis link opens in a new w
    Online archive of published and manuscript primary sources focusing on women's international activism since the mid-nineteenth century. The archive includes proceedings of women's international conferences, books, pamphlets, articles from newspapers and journals, as well as correspondence, diary entries, and memoirs. Also contains numerous online publications of contemporary Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States 1600-2000
    Includes timelines, documents, and biographical sources. 
  • Women's Studies Archive: Women's issues and identities
    This collection includes a number of digitized microfilm collections:
    •   Committee of Fifteen Records, 1900-1901 - includes files and manuscript field reports from anti-vice inspectors
    •   European Women's Periodicals - from the International Archive of the Women's Movement
    •   Grassroot Feminist Organizations, Parts 1& 2
    •   Herstory, Women and Law, and Women and Health/Mental Health - from the National Women's History Project
    •   The Malthusian and Eugenics Review
    •   Planned Parenthood of America Records, 1918-1974
    •   Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 1919-1959; the Women's Peace Union, 1921-1940; and the Woman's Peace Party, 1914-1920
    •    Women's Labour League: Conference Reports and Journals, 1906-1977
    •    Women's Lives Series: American Women Missionaries and Pioneers
    •    Women's Trade Union League and Its Leaders


Multidisciplinary Text Collections - North America

Britain and Ireland