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January 10, 2002
Library of Congress contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
University Press of New England contact: Barbara Briggs (603) 643-7100, ext. 233

Library of Congress Publishes New Guide to Women's History Resources

American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States has recently been published by the Library of Congress in cooperation with University Press of New England. This latest addition to the Library's series of resource guides provides a blueprint for research in the field of American women's history and culture using the Library's vast collections, in various disciplines and formats.

"For more than 200 years, the Library of Congress, the oldest national cultural institution in the United States, has been gathering resources necessary to tell the stories of women in America," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The Library has marshaled the forces of staff specialists and a panel of women's history scholars to unearth these resources and demonstrate an interdisciplinary, multicultural approach to research in this field."

With 12 chapters, nearly 300 illustrations, and five topical essays, American Women is designed to help researchers mine the wealth of information on women in the Library's unparalleled collections. With chapters written by Library of Congress subject area specialists that reflect the diverse holdings of the Library (general collections, newspapers and periodicals, legal materials, rare books, manuscripts, prints and photographs, maps, music, recorded sound, moving images, American folklife, and foreign-language collections), the guide offers useful and practical information about conducting research at the Library of Congress.

The five essays, also written by area specialists, demonstrate how to conduct interdisciplinary research using the Library's 21 reading rooms. Topics include the woman suffrage parade of 1913; the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; woman as symbol; women's westward movement to California; and the life and work of Marian MacDowell, founder of the MacDowell Colony for creative artists.

The guide is edited by Library of Congress staff members Sheridan Harvey, Janice E. Ruth, Barbara Orbach Natanson, Sara Day, and Evelyn Sinclair. Historian Susan Ware chaired the scholars advisory committee and wrote the introduction, which provides a brief survey of the field of women's history.

Selected items illustrated in the guide are on display in the "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" exhibition in the Thomas Jefferson Building and online at These items will be featured in the exhibition during March in celebration of women's history month.

American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States -- a 456-page softcover book with 298 illustrations, many in color -- is available for $35 at major bookstores, through the University Press of New England, and from the Library of Congress Sales Shops (Credit card orders: 202 707-0204).

Scholars Advisory Committee

  • Susan Ware (Committee Chair), Editor, Notable American Women, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University

  • Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Women's Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Joanne M. Braxton, Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of American Studies and English, College of William and Mary

  • Carol F. Karlsen, Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan

  • Alice Kessler-Harris, Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University

  • Vicki L. Ruiz, Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies, University of California, Irvine

Other Library of Congress Resource Guides

The following Library of Congress Resource Guides are available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop, Washington DC 20540-4985 (credit card orders taken at 202-707-0204), or from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh PA 15250-7954 (fax Washington office: 202-512-2250)

  • The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. Edited by Debra Newman Ham. GPO stock no. 030-000-54-7, $24

  • Keys to the Encounter: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of the Age of Discovery. By Louis De Vorsey Jr. GPO stock no. 030-000-00234-2, $18

  • The Largest Event: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of World War II. By Peter R. Rohrbach. GPO stock no. 030-000-00257-1, $15

  • Many Nations: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Indian and Alaska Native Peoples of the United States. Edited by Patrick Frazier and the Library of Congress Publishing Office. GPO stock no. 030-000-00274-1, $33

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PR 01-182
ISSN 0731-3527