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About the Gateway

Unlike most American Memory presentations, American Women is not a collection of digital items. It is a gateway--a first stop for Library of Congress researchers working in the field of American women's history.

The site contains a slightly expanded and fully searchable version of the print publication American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2001). The guide has been redesigned for online use, with added illustrations and links to existing digitized material located throughout the Library of Congress Web site. These materials are supplemented by a small number of newly digitized items that provide a sample of the many relevant types of materials available in Library of Congress holdings (see Building the Digital Collection). The Research Guide also provides practical search tips, detailed collection summaries of the Library's voluminous multiformat holdings, and links to fuller catalog record descriptions and digitized material (see About the Guide for further information regarding the content and structure of the Research Guide portion of the site, as well as tips for using its search feature).

In addition to the Research Guide, the gateway home page also provides information regarding preparing to do on-site research at the Library of Congress; tips on searching for women's history resources in the Library's catalogs; guidance on finding materials relating to women within the Library's American Memory collections; and helpful orientations to women's history sources in the Library's online exhibitions and audiovisual Web broadcasts of lectures, readings, and symposia.

Simultaneously a guide, an online magnet for digitized women's history materials drawn from a plethora of Library sources, and a gateway, American Women is an innovative addition to American Memory. The site will continue to evolve and grow as new subject approaches to women are explored, additional items and collections on women are identified and digitized, and new programs on women's themes are offered for public viewing over the Internet.

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