Women's Studies 640 (Spring 2003)
Books, magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, etc., written by women's movement
organizations and individual activists are primary sources for studying them.
Books and articles published about the organizations and activists, as
well as related historical, theoretical, biographical, and other contextual
analyses are referred to as secondary sources. Search Madcat for both primary
and secondary published material available in campus libraries, and microform
copies of archival material. Archives collect (unpublished) papers of individuals
and organizational records, such as minutes of meetings, internal memos, etc.
We have two archives on campus: the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives Division,
which has numerous collections of records of mostly U.S.-based activist women's
organizations (some local or state branches, some national) and papers of individuals,
and the UW Archives, which has institutional records for UW-Madison, UW-System,
and the UW Colleges, as well as the papers of many individuals associated with
the university. In addition, libraries and archives here and elsewhere have
been digitizing items from their collections and mounting them on the Internet.
Finding Primary Sources Using Madcat
- Published book collections of source material have subject headings with
the term "sources" or "personal narratives" in the subject
Examples: Modern American women : a documentary history / Susan Ware,
ed. has among its subject headings Feminism--United States--History--20th
- Feminist periodicals of a particular time period can be found in Madcat
by clicking on "set more limits" and from the resultant limits
page putting in a date range for the start of the periodical, such as 1960-1980
(after typing 1960 in the left-hand box and 1980 in the right hand box, be
sure to select the radial button just to the left of the word "range").
Click on "set more limits." This will take you back to the regular
search screen, but with the date limit in effect. From the Basic Search Screen,
select "keyword" and type ("women's rights"
or feminis?) and periodical? in the search box. In some cases the Library
now has electronic versions of periodicals going back to this time period
(especially off our backs, which is still publishing and is available
from its first issue in 1970 in
Genderwatch). The Madcat record will tell you if the Library has an electronic
version of the periodical and from what start date in the database. NOTE:
Limits stay in effect through subsequent searches unless you click on "undo
limits." The question mark is the truncation symbol in Madcat. Feminis?
will find feminist, feminists, feminism, feminisms, and féminisation.
Examples: Common Woman and Common Woman is the Revolution (1971),
Berkeley; The Feminist Voice (1971-72), Chicago; Encuentro Femenil:
the First Chicana Feminist Journal (1973), San Fernando, CA; A Journal
of Female Liberation (1968-71), Cambridge, MA; Second Wave (1971-80),
Boston; Scarlet Letter (1971-72), Madison, WI; Fem : publicación
feminista mensual (1976- , Mexico); Les Cahiers du GRIF (1973-
, Belgium); and Agenda : a journal about women and gender (1987- ,
South Africa). For non-U.S. periodicals, it would be better to have a date
range up through 2002 for start of publications, but also to add a country
or regional name to the keyword search, in Basic Search as in this example:
("women's rights" or feminis?) and Africa?
- If you know the name of an organization from the time period, do an author
search for the organization. Newsletters and other individual publications
may turn up. In addition, the Historical Library often groups pamphlets and
other miscellaneous publications from organizations using the name of the
organization as the author and "[miscellaneous publications]" as
- Search for publications by an individual either as an author or keyword
search. Keyword will also include books and articles about the person,
but it will also turn up essays she has written in anthologies edited by others,
which will not appear in the author search.
Finding Primary Sources in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
Use ArCat (catalog of the Wisconsin
Historical Society's archival holdings that have thus far been catalogued):
Includes descriptions of the personal papers and organizational records held
in the Historical Society Archives in Madison and in the Society's Area Research
Centers around the state. Some mention more detailed finding aids, some of those
are online and linked within the Arcat records. Women's History Resources
at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, by Mary Fiorenza and Michael
Edmonds (5th ed., Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1997; Historical
Society Library Stacks Z7961 A1 W57 1997 and Memorial Library Reference Stacks
Room 262 [non-circulating] HQ1426 S79 1997) describes the secondary literature
that provides entrée to archival sources and describes in detail by subject
(homes/households, work, wartime, reform movements, religion, and media) and
by example the different types of material available (first-person accounts,
periodicals, images, material culture, etc.) Diaries, correspondence, reminiscences,
interviews, and other types of material are found in the collections.
Examples of collections (for more, try the keyword search feminis?)
- Wisconsin Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. Records 1964-1970.
- Documenting the Midwestern Origins of the 20th Century Women's Movement.
Oral History Project, project director Gerda Lerner, interviewer, Joyce
Follet. Oral history interviews were conducted during 1990-1991 with 22 Midwestern
women who were leaders of movements for women in labor, education, politics,
religion, and business at local, state, national, and international levels.
Interview tapes (and in some cases written transcriptions) are held. The Wisconsin
women interviewed were Gene Boyer, Kathryn Clarenbach, Ruth Clusen, Sister
Austin Doherty, Mary Eastwood, Judith Goldsmith, Sarah Harder, Virginia Hart,
Helen Hensler, Midge Miller, Mary Lou Munts, Sister Joel Read, Doris Thom,
and Nellie Wilson. An interview with Milwaukee labor organizer Catherine Conroy
was conducted prior to her death by the University of Michigan-Wayne State
University Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations Program on Women and
Work. For a discussions of the project, see "Midwestern Women's Role
in the Contemporary Women's Movement: an Oral History Project," by Linda
Shult in Feminist Collections 14, 1 (Fall 1992): 17-18; and "Midwestern
Leaders of the Modern Women's Movement: An Oral History Project," by
Gerda Lerner in Wisconsin
Academy Review 41, 1 (1994-1995): 11-15. [Digitization of this volume
is coming soon. If not yet there, see the print version in the Hist. Lib.
AS30 W55 or Memorial AP W812 A169.]
- Social Action vertical file, ca. 1960-2002. The majority of the collection
dates from the 1960's and 1970's, and pertains to the civil rights and anti-Vietnam
War movements of the period, although there is also material generated by
a wide range of liberal, black nationalist, feminist, abortion action, peace,
socialist, communist, labor, and other contemporary social action groups.
Some right-wing material is also included. Many of the folders contain merely
a few sheets, and most consist largely of printed or near-print ephemeral
materials, such as leaflets, handouts, circular letters, mimeographed items,
and near-print newsletters and flyers, rather than original documents. Included
is much information on events at the
University of Wisconsin.
- Women of Wisconsin Labor Oral History Project, 1988-1992. Interviews
with seventeen women active in the labor movement in Wisconsin, selected to
form a representative sample of unions, geographic areas, and type of work
(service, industrial, building trades, public employees, etc.). The women
discuss work experiences, their role in their respective union organizations,
issues important to them as women workers, and prominent leaders with whom
they worked. The project was directed by JoAnne Rica with funding support
from the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, the International Association of Machinists
District 10, the United Steel Workers of America District 32, the WisconsinLabor
History Society, and the Milwaukee Chapter of Coalition of Labor Union Women.
All interviews were conducted by Jambalaya (formerly J. M.Dombeck). In addition
to the tape-recorded interviews, there is background information on the project,
short biographies of each interviewee with a briefdescription of the interview,
and indexes to each interview. There are also photographs of some of the interviewees.
Some Digitized Collections of Primary Documents Related to the Women's Movements
since the 1960s
of Social Change lesson plans and primary documents from eight collections
in the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College: the papers of Constance Baker
Motley, Dorothy Kenyon, Mary Kaufman, Frances Fox Piven, Jessie Lloyd O'Connor,
and Gloria Steinem and the records of the Women's Action Alliance (national
anti-sexism information clearninghouse) and the National Congress of Neighborhood
- Chicago Women's Liberation (1969-1977)
Chronicles 1953-1993, by Toni Carabillo, Judith Meuli, and June Bundy
Csida is a fulltext book mounted on the website of the Feminist Majority.
The book includes several "early documents," such as the "Homemakers'
Bill of Rights" (1979) and the "Task
Force on Image of Women in Mass Media" (1967).
International League for Peace and Freedom photographs in the Peace Collection,
Swarthmore College; online exhibit, divided by decade.
- Documents From the Women's
Liberation Movement, from Duke includes Notes
From the First Year (1968).
Transnational and National Movements, Non-U.S.
Finding Background Information (Secondary Literature) About Women's Movements
- Do a Keyword search in Madcat for the individual, by name.
- Use Reference Books, such as biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias,
especially those just about women:
- A to Z of Native American Women / by Liz Sonneborn. Hist. Reading
Room and Memorial Ref. E98.W8 S65 1998
- Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia / Darlene
Clark Hine, ed. (2 v.) College Ref. Historical, Memorial Ref. E185.86
- Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia / Paula E.
Hyman and Deborah Dash Moore, eds. (2 v.) Memorial Ref. DS115.2 J49 1998.
Online version of the Appendix, an annotated bibliography and guide to
archival resources, by Phyllis Holman Weisbard: http://www.library.wisc.edu/libraries/WomensStudies/jewwom/jwmain.htm
- Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia / Bonnie Zimmerman,
ed. College and Memorial Ref. HQ75.13 E53 2000, v. 1.
- Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary / Gretchen M.
Bataille and Laurie Lisa, eds., 2nd ed., 2001. There's only an office
copy of the second ed. in the women's studies librarian's office, 430
Memorial (M-F, 8-5). The first ed. (1993) is in College and Memorial Ref.
and Hist. Reading Room E98 W8 B38 1993
- Notable Black American Women / Jessie Carney Smith, ed. Historical
Library, MERIT Ref., Memorial Ref. E185.96 N68 1992; and Notable Black
American Women Book II, Memorial Ref. E185.96 N68 1996
- Notable Hispanic American Women / Diane Telgen and Jim Kamp,
eds. MERIT Ref. and Memorial Ref. E184.S75 N68 1993, and Notable Hispanic
American Women : Book II /Joseph M. Palmisano, ed. Memorial Ref. E184
S75 N68 1998
- Notable Twentieth-Century Latin American women : a Biographical Dictionary
/ ed. by Cynthia Margarita Tompkins and David William Foster. Memorial
Ref. CT3290 N68 2001
- Women in World History : a Biographical Encyclopedia / Anne Commire,
editor, Deborah Klezmer, associate editor. 17v. Memorial Ref. HQ1115 W6
- To find more Reference Books like these, do a keyword search in Madcat
women and biograph? and (dictionar? or encyclop?) and select the
limit "reference collections."
- Search for articles (in some cases just the citations to articles) about
the person in databases, such as Social
Sciences Fulltext, Women's
Studies International, GenderWatch,
Women's Issues, Academic
Research Library, and
Lexis-Nexis. For non-U.S. individuals, add databases such as Latin
American Studies. Biography
and Genealogy Master Index is also a useful index to biographical material
found in over 1,000 "who's who" style reference works.
About Organizations, Movements, and Related Topics
- Do a Keyword search in Madcat for the organization, by name, or try searches
formatted as follows:
("women's rights" or feminism) and [country or region]
, such as ("women's rights" or feminism) and Asia or ("women's
rights" or feminism) and Korea. If you don't find enough on the country
you are interested in, then try a keyword search of the format women and
[country name] , such as women and Chile. The keyword searches
"women's liberation" and "women's movement"
as well as specific activist concerns such as "violence against women",
abortion and feminis?, health and feminis?, "women's health movement,"
pornography and feminis?, prostitution and feminis?, ("sexual assault"
or rape) and feminis?, "women in politics," "lesbian rights,"
and lesbian? and feminis? are all useful searches, too. If you
want to search one of these topics applied to a particular country, add the
country name to the search.
- Use Reference Books, such as
- The European Women's Almanac / Paula Snyder. Law Library Ref.
and Memorial Ref. HQ1587 S69 1992
- Encyclopedia of Russian Women's Movements / edited by Norma Corigliano
Noonan and Carol Nechemias. Mem. Ref. HQ1665.15 E5 2001
- Women in the Third World : a Reference Handbook / Karen L. Kinnear.
Memorial Ref. HQ1870.9 K58 1997
- Women in the Third World : an Encyclopedia of Contemporary Issues
/ editor, Nelly P. Stromquist ; assistant editor, Karen Monkman. Memorial
Ref. HQ1870.9 W6548 1998
- Women's Information Services and Networks : a Global Source Book
Memorial Ref. HQ1177 W66 1999
- Women's Movements of the World : an International Directory and Reference
Guide / edited by Sally Shreir. College Ref. and Memorial Ref. HQ1883
- The Women's Movement : Reference and Resources / Barbara Ryan.
Memorial Ref. HQ1236.5 U6 R85 1996
- Search for basic information about current organizations in Associations
Unlimited. Search for articles (in some cases just the citations to articles)
about organizations and movements in databases, including Social
Sciences Fulltext, Women's
Studies International, GenderWatch,
Women's Issues, Academic
Research Library, America:
History and Life, and
Lexis-Nexis. For non-U.S. topics, add databases such as Latin
American Studies and Historical
Abstracts. In most cases, use the same keyword searches as in Madcat,
except that you don't always need to include the word "women" in
searches in databases that are entirely women-focused. Also, databases use
different symbols for truncation (word stemming); an asterisk (*) is the most
common one. In databases that primarily offer citations rather than the fulltext
of articles, do a Madcat journal title search for each journal in which an
article appeared that you wish to read. The Madcat record for the journal
will tell you if the Library has it in fulltext in another database, as well
as where the print version is located on campus. NOTE: look carefully at the
date of the article. If the Madcat record says that the journal is in fulltext
in another database, note the date that journal began in the database. If
your article is earlier, use the print version instead.
- Do an Internet search for an organization, by name (put the full name within
quotation marks in your search), or for any of the women's issues that are
of concern to women activists, such as women's health, sex trafficking, etc.
It is often more effective to use an advanced web search. For example, Google's
Advanced Search lets users limit the result to instances where the term
or phrase occurs in the title of the webpage. There are national, regional,
and transnational feminist organizations. Examples of some regional feminist
organizations: Asia-Pacific Resource and
Research Centre for Women (ARROW), based in Malaysia, CAFRA:
Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action. Transnational
examples: Network of East-West Women (links
women in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Russian Federation with women
in the West).
- Use these sections of the UW System Women's Studies Librarian's website
for useful links:
- Try the Schlesinger Library Vertical File for Women's Studies (1950-1990),
a massive microform set of clippings and other material collected by the Schlesinger
Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College. It is in Memorial
Library Microforms Media Center Room 443 Micro Fiche 5357. The set has three
parts: Biographies, Organizations, and Subjects. There is an Index to the
set shelved in the Microforms Media Center using the same number (5357), which
lists the files alphabetically.
The History and
Future of Women's Health Seminar (1998) includes "Two
Centuries of Womens Health Activism," by Carol S. Weisman, "The
Womens Health Movement From the 1960s to the Present, and Beyond,"
by Sheryl Burt Ruzek, Ph.D., M.P.H., and a response by
Judy Norsigian of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective (Our Bodies,
"Women's Movements and the
Challenge of Transnationalism," by Amrita Basu
This page is http://www.library.wisc.edu/libraries/WomensStudies/Talks/ws640.htm
Return to Course Hand-outs.
Return to Women's
Studies Librarian's Office Homepage.
Email wiswsl at (replace with "@") library.wisc.edu
Mounted December 19, 2002.