22 open collections for Women’s History Month
In the United States March is Women’s History Month, a time to remember and celebrate women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. And thanks to our contributing partners, JSTOR has an abundance of women-focused primary source collections that are free for everyone to access and use.
Last year we compiled a selection of Artstor and JSTOR collections that mostly centered on the achievement of individual women. This year we’re sharing collections that cover women’s group efforts in fighting for equal rights, making the workplace more fair, and advancing their roles in religion.
Edinburgh Ladies’ Debating Society
The complete runs of two journals, The Attempt (1865-74) and The Ladies’ Edinburgh Magazine (1875-80), featuring contributions from women who became prominent figures in education, suffrage, and welfare.
Hope College: Beyond the Women’s & Gender Studies Classroom (Artstor Public Collection)
The work of students in Hope College’s Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies class—including digital zines, pamphlets, posters, poetry, and art—addressing topics such as feminism’s definition and political goals, reproductive justice, women’s spirituality, sexual assault prevention and recovery, and body image.
Reveal Digital Feminist Collection (Part of Independent Voices)
More than 75 magazines, newsletters, and newspapers created by activists and collectives that helped propel the second wave of feminism from the late sixties and early seventies through the end of the 20th century.
University of Delaware Women’s Studies oral history collection (Artstor Public Collection)
Oral history interviews with faculty as well as students from the 2012 graduating class of Women’s Studies. The interviewees discuss various topics relating to the creation and development of the program, and also personal experiences. The contributor notes that viewers may find some content objectionable.
Wilson College Women’s Suffrage Broadsides and Brochures
Primary sources in the fight for and against American women’s voting rights from the late 19th to the early 20th century.
Washington State Conference for Women, 1977
Held in Ellensburg, Washington, in July 1977, the Washington State Conference for Women brought to the fore debates over a proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the United States. This collection features documents and programs used at the conference in 1977.
The Women’s Library Suffrage Banners
Banners created between 1908 and 1920 used by suffrage campaigners on marches and other events. The banners now speak to us both as testament to the political goals and concerns of the suffrage movement, and as beautiful hand-crafted objects in their own right.
Women’s Suffrage and Equal Rights Collection
The collection traces the development of the American women’s suffrage movement with a significant focus on California’s history. Primarily emphasizes the years preceding and immediately following the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Items relating to alumnae of Philadelphia School of Design for Women (1854-1932), Moore Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (1932-1963), Moore College of Art (1963-1989), and Moore College of Art and Design (1989-present).
International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Photographs
Founded in 1900 to represent workers in the women’s garment industry, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) became a powerful force in American organized labor. Photographs document the workers, the industry, the shops, and factories, as well as the union, its leadership, members, and activities.
Illinois College Jacksonville Female Academy Collection
The Jacksonville Female Academy was established in 1830 to educate and prepare girls for their roles as fashionable women in 19th-century America. These images provide an impression of the course of study, expense of attendance, and behavioral expectations for students.
Nurses in the Spanish-American War
This collection illustrates the vital role of contract nurses in the Spanish-American War, showcasing images and documents from The Military Women’s Memorial Collection. Contract nurses in the Spanish-American War laid the groundwork for the creation of the Army Nurse Corps, which later paved the way for the full participation of women in the United States military.
Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University Records
Pamphlets and newsletters for the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics (PCWP) at Chatham University, a non-partisan center devoted to fostering women’s public leadership through education, empowerment, and action.
Records of the National Union of Women Teachers (NUWT)
Records from 1904-1961, including minutes of the council and various committees, conference reports, branch records, correspondence, press cuttings, handbills, pamphlets, posters, and photographs. There is a large series of subject files on particular issues, individuals, organizations, and campaigns documenting the wide range of the NUWT’s interests.
The Woman Teacher
The full run of the journal of the National Union of Women Teachers (see collection above), which was formed to campaign for equal pay and conditions of service for women teachers but also took an active interest in a wide range of social, professional and educational issues, including the peace movement.
Women in Science
Focuses on the contributions women have made to the field of science over the past 100 years. Numerous photographs, articles, authored textbooks, awards and certificates of achievements, letters of correspondence, pamphlets, and various forms of scientific paraphernalia help illustrate just how large of an impact these women have had throughout the years.
Center for Women and Religion
Newsletters, photographs, and journals from The Center for Women and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union, the earliest established center for women in theological education.
New York League of Unitarian Women
The records of The New York League of Unitarian Women, formed in 1887. Materials include scrapbooks, by-laws, member directories, photographs, event programs, and monthly meeting announcement cards.
An egalitarian theology publication that posits that most limits placed on women by Christians are based on a few misinterpreted and mistranslated Bible verses, and explores these verses to show how they actually free women and men to lead and serve as equals when interpreted within the context of the whole Bible and the cultural norms of the time.
Documents the history of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF), a national membership organization that works to advance justice for women and promote their spiritual growth. Materials include administrative records, newsletters and periodicals, publications and workshop programs, yearbooks and directories, and objects such as quilts, mugs, and pins.
Documents the work of Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion (UUWR), an organization dedicated to “freeing ourselves, others, and the Earth from traditional, historical, and contemporary oppressive and patriarchal systems.” The materials include publications and programming documentation, newsletters, and administrative records.
The world’s most extensive gathering of primary research items dedicated to the spiritual lives of European and South American women—nuns, early female Christian martyrs, and female mystics and saints—produced between 1450 and 1800.
Young Woman’s Journal
The journal was published from 1889 to 1929 by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association (Y.L.M.I.A.),a program for young women in the Church of Latter Day Saints.