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Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
Papers of Presidents and First Ladies
Congressional Collections
Legal Collections
Military and Diplomatic Affairs
Literature and Journalism
Artists, Architects, and Designers
Actresses and Actors





What This Guide Includes

The breadth and depth of the division's holdings preclude compiling an exhaustive list of women's history sources. Instead, the twelve sections listed in the navigator bar on the left attempt to identify the division's major collecting areas and to describe some of the significant women's papers in each category. Many collections could easily have appeared in more than one category, reflective of the many roles and interests of their creators, but such overlap was resisted in favor of highlighting the collection's main emphasis.

Collections of men's papers are also included, but since virtually every collection in the division contains at least some correspondence with women, references to men's papers are generally limited to the most relevant examples within each topic. Researchers are encouraged to consult the Library's catalog and reference librarians for additional information.

When the name of a collection is cited, it appears in boldface. The birth and death dates of most of the women whose papers are described are supplied. Also provided are the item counts and span dates of the collections, but be sure to click on the [catalog record] links to obtain the most current item count and dates since additions are frequently acquired.

What This Guide Does Not Include

Microfilm editions of original manuscript materials held in other repositories are not described, but a search of the Library of Congress Online Catalog will identify titles that are available for use in the Manuscript Reading Room. The accessibility of such microfilm allows scholars to consult in one research trip various women's history sources scattered across the country. It permits, for example, the researcher interested in Jane Addams to consult both the microfilm edition of her papers held by Swarthmore College as well as original items relating to her in this division's Breckinridge Family Papers. It enables researchers studying women's roles in antilynching campaigns to access this division's original records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the same time they consult the microfilm records of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching held at Atlanta University's Robert W. Woodruff Library.

Many of the microfilm editions held by the Manuscript Division were produced by commercial vendors and acquired through copyright deposit, including the series:

Women's Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College

and the important multirepository compilations:

Grassroots Women's Organizations

Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries

  • Series A, Holdings of the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, c1991-c1993 [catalog record]
  • Series B, Holdings of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, The Carter Family Papers, 1888-1989, c1993 [catalog record]
  • Series C, Holdings of the Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary in Virginia: Miscellaneous Collections, 1773-1938, c1994 [catalog record]
  • Series D, Holdings of the Virginia Historical Society, c1994-c1997 [catalog record]
  • Series E, Holdings of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, Louisiana State University Libraries, c1997 [catalog record]
  • Series F, Holdings of the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, c1998 [catalog record]
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