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Resources for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Fingers with Gender Symbols on Nails Statues of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Bloomer Rainbow Triangle

Gender, Sexuality and Women's studies is an interdisciplinary field. It attempts, on one hand, to fill gaps in traditional academic disciplines and, on the other, to formulate a new field of feminist and gender studies. This guide to library resources for gender, sexuality and women's studies lists some of the reference books and indexes available to the researcher, but it is not comprehensive. Don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help if you aren't finding what you need. Also, never underestimate the power of browsing. Books in our library are shelved by topic, so scan the nearby shelves whenever you find a work that is particularly useful or interesting to your work.

Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
Many disciplinary and general databases will contain material relevant to Women's Studies. The following resources may be particularly useful.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • PapersFirst
    Index of papers presented at conferences worldwide. Covers every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Centre. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
  • ProceedingsFirst
    Index of worldwide conference proceedings. It covers every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop, and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Centre, and contains in each record a list of the papers presented at each conference. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
  • Women Studies Abstracts
    Rush, NY: Rush Publishing 1972
    This quarterly publication, only available in print format, contains listings of works in the field by broad subject category, each accompanied by a summary. There are author and subject indexes that cumulate for each year.
    • Location(s): Ref HQ 1101 .W66
Reference Works
These reference sources provide a wealth of information about gender, sexuality and women's studies. Once again, the list is not comprehensive. Please talk to a reference librarian if the resources on this list are not meeting your needs. Be sure to browse the shelves nearby, since books in our library are shelved by topic.
  • Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Chronologies
    • Dictionary of Feminist Theory
      Columbus: Ohio State UP 1995
      Covers theoretical issues in feminism and is particularly useful for putting them in historical context. Helpful for pinpointing primary documents relating to feminist theory.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .H86 1995
    • Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories
      London: Routledge 2000
      An alphabetical dictionary offering brief but illuminating articles on a wide variety of feminist theories as they are applied to a wide range of subjects. Each entry is followed by a selective list of key works on the topic. An excellent place to get a quick snapshot of feminist theory at work across disciplines.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1190 .E63 2000
    • Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America
      New York: Scribner's 2004
      Offers in depth articles on over 500 topics related to GLBT history, including events, communities, individuals, professions, legal issues, and topics such as "coming out," "closet," and "gay liberation."
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 76.3 .U5 E53 2004
    • Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities: A Social, Cultural, and Historical Encyclopedia
      Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio 2004
      Covers a wide range of approaches to the subject, with articles on individuals, pivotal events and movements, social processes, and the representation of gender in canonical and popular culture.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1090.3 .M436 2004
    • Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender
      Detroit : Macmillan Reference 2007
      Broad theoretical essays address issues of sex and gender at the personal and the social level; others examine issues of identity, status, class, ethnicity, race, and nation; of sexuality and the body; of social institutions and the structures of representation - all through the lens of gender.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ16 .E52 2007
    • Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender
      San Diego, CA: Academic Press 2001
      Provides long, in-depth articles on topics on current research about the psychology of women and gender. Includes topics such as gender and achievement, aging, child care, and body image concerns.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .E52 2001b
    • Feminist Glossary of Human Geography
      Arnold 1999
      A specialized dictionary that tries to capture significant changes in the field as they relate to theory and gender. Includes geographic approaches to such topics as sisterhood, nature, identity, and justice. The bibliography at the back of the volume provides a gateway to the most important books and essays on the topic.
      • Location(s): Ref G 63 .G5 1999
    • Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Literature for Children and Young Adults
      Provides summaries of books with gay and lesbian content, including fiction, nonfiction and picture books
      • Location(s): Ref PS169 .H65 D24 2000
    • Oxford Reference Online
      Over 100 full text language and subject dictionaries and reference works. Topics covered include general reference, language, science and medicine, humanities, social sciences, and business.
    • Routledge Critical Dictionary of Feminism and Postfeminism
      New York: Routledge 1999
      The first half of this book consists of a collection of fifteen short, pithy essays on feminism and its impact on a variety of subjects, including the developing world, popular culture, film, language, literature, religion, and psychoanalysis. Included, too, are historical surveys of early feminism, first and second wave feminism, and "postfeminism." The second half offers short introductions to key themes and major figures.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .R68 2000
    • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture
      Provides concise entries on subjects related to queer culture, ranging from arts, politics, literature and many other topics
      • Location(s): Ref HQ76.96 .R68 2006
    • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge
      New York: Routledge 2000
      This resource includes articles on topics related to the arts, literature, culture, economy, education, health, history of feminism, politics, religion, science, etc. Articles provide overviews of topics and include information from world viewpoints and on world conditions whenever possible.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .R69 2000
    • The Women's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record, from Prehistory to the Present
      New York: Holt 1994
      A listing of brief descriptive entries relating to women through history in chronological order. Entries are marked with symbols indicating the topic area in which they fall. Karen Greenspan's Timetables of Women's History (Ref HQ 1121 .G74 1994) presents tables of historical notes year by year, to lay out the concurrent developments in daily life, science, the arts, religion, occupations, and statecraft. Brief essays on periods are also included.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1122 .T73 1994
    • Women in the Third World: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Issues
      New York: Garland 1998
      Offers substantial overviews of topics relating to women in the developing world, including theoretical issues, political and legal contexts, sex-role ideologies, demographics, economics, and women and the environment, as well as regional surveys.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1870.9 .W6548 1998
    • The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism
      Westport, CT: Greenwood 2006
      This two-volume series provides an excellent introduction to Third Wave Feminism, including definitions of terms, biographical sketches, recommendations for further reading. Volume 2 contains a wide selection of primary documents.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .W644 2006
    • Women's Studies Encyclopedia
      Westport, CT: Greenwood 1999 Rev. ed. edition
      Provides short articles on a wide variety of topics.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1115 .W645 1999
  • Biographical Sources
    • The Almanac of Women and Minorities in World Politics
      Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press 2000
      Arranged alphabetically by country, this resource provides brief information about major women in politics in recent history (mainly 20th century). Listings of women and minorities appointed or elected to major posts are also included.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ 1236 .M347 2000
    • American Women in Technology: An Encyclopedia
      Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio 2000
      Offers biographical entries on women in technology. Also offers entries on major fields in technology (i.e. astronomy, computers, safety engineering) and the history of women in these various fields.
      • Location(s): Ref T36 .Z54 2000
    • American Women Writers
      New York: Ungar 1987
      Invaluable for identifying women writers. It provides biographical and literary background on each writer as well as good bibliographies of works by and about them. See also the excellent Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States (Ref PS 147 .O94 1995) which includes biographical entries, entries on works, and many thematic entries that make interesting connections and offer many leads for further research.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 147 .A4 (5 vols.)
    • The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science
      New York: Routledge 2000
      Offers biographical entries with bibliographies on women in science from ancient times to the mid-20th century. Arranged alphabetically, this resource also includes indexes with listings by occupation, country and time period.
      • Location(s): Ref Q 141 .B5285 2000
    • Black Women in America
      New York: Oxford University Press 2005 2nd ed. edition
      A scholarly compilation of biographical and topical articles covering key issues and the lives of women, celebrated and unknown, constituting a definitive history of African American women and their experience in America. Bibliographies are provided at the end of articles to lead the researcher to further sources, both primary and secondary.
      • Location(s): Ref E 185.86 .B542 2005 (3 vols.)
    • Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature
      New York: Prentice-Hall 1992
      A thorough compendium of information on world literature written by women from early times to the present, presenting a wealth of detail in concise and informative articles. Includes lengthy regional surveys at the front of the book. Particularly good for covering non-Western women writers.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 471 .57 1992
    • Dictionary of Russian Women Writers
      Westport, CT: Greenwood 1994
      Covers 448 women writers who in most cases have been neglected in other works. Each entry includes biographical and critical information, a list of publications, and a bibliography of critical sources, most of which are in Russian language publications.
      • Location(s): Ref PG 2997 .D53 1994
    • Dictionary of Women Artists
      London: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997
      Offers 600 entries describing the lives and work of artists in a wide variety of media from Europe, America, and Australasia, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Each sketch includes bio-critical information, exhibition history, and often a bibliography. There are also lengthy essays on women artists in the Middle Ages, convents, academies of art, training and professionalism, modernism, and feminism.
      • Location(s): Ref N 8354 .D53 1997
    • International Encyclopedia of Women and Sports
      New York: Macmillan Reference 2001
      This unique resource contains entries focusing on women's roles in individual sports, in sports in regions and nations throughout the world, in sports events, and in sports organizations. Health issues and general issues such as advertising and youth sports are also covered. Biographies of major figures in women's sports are included.
      • Location(s): Ref GV 709 .I58 2000
    • Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary
      Cambridge: Harvard UP 1971
      Lengthy and thorough biographies of women, followed by useful bibliographies. A supplement, published in 1980, covers the modern period, profiling women who died between 1951 and 1975.
      • Location(s): Ref CT 3260 .N57
    • The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers
      Oxford: Oxford UP 1993
      Offers biographical sketches of over 400 women from medieval times to the present who were born in, spent considerable writing time in, or have significantly influenced British writing. Each entry includes major publications and critical references.
      • Location(s): Ref PR 111 .S48 1993
    • Women in World History
      Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications 1999
      A biographical encyclopedia offering entries on 10,000 women from around the world. Includes indexes by era, geography, occupation, and name.
      • Location(s): Ref HQ1115 .W6 1999 (17 vols.)
    • The Women's Companion to International Film
      Berkeley: University of California 1994
      Offers around 600 brief articles on women filmmakers, actresses, films, film concepts and how they relate to women's filmmaking, women in national cinemas, film genres and their representation of women, and more.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1993.45 .W6 1994
  • Primary Source Collections
  • Women and Social Movements
    Primary source documents related to the history of women and social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000.
    covers events from 1700-2000
  • Book Series
    • The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works
      Aldershot: Ashgate 2000
      A collection of British women's writing from 1500 to 1640, including the writings of Elizabeth and Mary Tudor, Jane Seymour, confessional writing, poetry, and mother's advice books
      • Location(s): PR 1121 .E19 2000
    • Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers
      Oxford: Oxford UP Various Dates
      This series of books, published by Oxford University Press, reprints all sorts of writings-- personal narratives, novels, poetry, anthologies. They are not shelved all together, but can be located on the catalog by searching the series name as a title.
      • Location(s): Various Call Numbers
    • Women in America from Colonial Times to the 20th Century
      New York: Arno Various Dates
      This series of reprints, produced by Arno Press, includes works by and about women published before 1900. As with the Schomburg series, the volumes are shelved in various locations, but searching the catalog using the series as a title will bring up a listing of the works in the series.
      • Location(s): Various Call Numbers
    • American Women's Diaries
      New Canaan, CT: Readex 1984
      This collection of microfilm reproduces the diaries of women who lived and traveled in the western U.S., New England, and the South.
      • Location(s): Microfilm Room - CT 3260 .A64 1984
    • The Cornell University Collection of Women's Rights Pamphlets
      Wooster, MN: Bell & Howell 1974
      This collection of microfiche contains 117 pamphlets published between 1814 and 1912.
      • Location(s): Microfilm Room - Microfiche HQ 1236 .C675 1974
    • Herstory Microfilm Collection
      Berkeley: Women's History Research Center 1973
      This collection of microfilm largely consists of women's periodicals. There is no single detailed index to the series, so use requires a certain amount of inventiveness and patience to use. There are two supplementary collections of clippings arranged in broad subject categories dealing with Women's Law (MicroF KF 477 .A1 W6) and Women and Health (Microfilm MF 96).
      • Location(s): MicroF HQ 1101 .H47
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of women's studies.
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Women
    • 12-449 Sexuality
    • 503-1064 Marriage and the family
    • 1101-2030 Women, Feminism
    • 1121-1154 history
    • 1180 women's studies
    • 1236 women and the state
    • 1381 women and economics
    • 1393 women and religion
    • 1402 - 1870.5 women in regions or countries
For an annotated listing of important books in the field, consult Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography (2004) shelved at Ref HQ 1180 .K76 2004.

Additional journals may be available in full text through various subscription databases. Print journals are housed in the periodicals collection on the first floor of the library.
  • Advocate
  • Bitch
  • Feminist Studies
  • Frontiers
  • Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide
  • Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion
  • Ms.
  • Off Our Backs
  • Out
  • Womans Art Journal
  • Womens Review of Books
  • Womens Studies in Communication
  • Womens Studies Quarterly
  • General
      "This subject guide covers a vast range of queer, GLBTQ, and gender resources related to academics, culture theory, the body culture, music, literature and other related fields. Since its inception as a classroom project in 2000, it has grown to be the key site for links and reviews of Web sites and books." (Description from September 2008 C&RL News)
    • Women's Studies / Women's Issues Resource Sites
      From the Center for Women and Information Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A substantial, selective directory of hundreds of sites on such topics as women and activism, cyberculture, health, higher education, sports and recreation, and women of color. All entries are annotated. Also offers an international directory of women's studies programs and research centers.
      • Location(s): Online.
    • WSSLinks: Women and Gender Studies
      Selected, annotated links for women's studies. Covers art, education, film, health, history, sexuality, music, philosophy, politics, science and technology, and theology. Links are chosen by members of the Women's Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
      • Location(s): Online.
  • History
    • Discovering Women's History Online
      This database, compiled at Middle State Tennessee University Library, offers well-organized access to digitized primary sources in U.S. women's history from prehistorical times to the late 20th century held in various libraries and museums.
    • Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index
      From Haverford College, this site provides a database of journal articles, books, and dissertations on women in the middle ages. Includes a sophisticated search engine and lists of broad topics and subjects.
      • Location(s): Online.
    • The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society
      "GLBTHS focuses on the collection, preservation, exhibition, and accessibility of cultural, historical and artistic materials...The GLBTHS archives represents one of the largest collections of primary resource materials chronicling GLBTQ history." (Description from September 2008 C&RL News)
    • ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives
      "Affiliated with the University of Southern California, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives houses the world's largest research library on GLBTQ heritage and concerns. The Web site provides descriptive listings of the diverse collections available in the archive." (Description from Sept. 2008 C&RL News)
    • WWW Virtual Library: Women's History
      From the International Institute of Social History. A directory of annotated links to women's history resources, arranged by chronological period, geographical location, and by topic, with additional links to discussion lists, conferences, associations, and more.
      • Location(s): Online.
  • Reading Lists
    • Feminist Periodicals
      Lists the current contents of over 150 journals in gender and women's studies on a quarterly basis; a way to scan new research in the field. A project of the University of Wisconsin Women Studies Librarian.
    • Women's Studies: Core Books
      A searchable database of the most important books in print on issues ranging from girls and girlhood to aging, covering women's studies approaches to religion, sports, the arts, law, media, politics, and more. Books are chosen by specialists in the Women's Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
      • Location(s): Online.
  • Social Policy, Social Issues
    • Guttmacher Institute
      Provides research, public policy information and public education related to sexual and reproductive health in the United States and around the world.
    • Institute for Women's Policy Research
      Links to information on violence, employment and economic change, democracy and society, poverty and welfare, the family and work, and health-care policy. The Institute for Women's Policy Research is a nonprofit organization that conducts scientific research for use by women's organizations.
      • Location(s): Online.
Photo Credits (L to R)

Gender Crossing -
Susan B. Anthony meeting partner-in-crime Elizabeth Cady Stanton via mutual friend Ms. Amelia Bloomer in Seneca Falls, NY -
DSC_6828 -

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