Women's Studies Collection Development (Summary)Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines women's experiences and gender roles as they affect the lives of women and men, culture, and the course of history. Most Women's Studies scholarship is informed by a feminist perspective. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field, material relevant to Women's Studies is found throughout Memorial Library (the research library for the humanities and social sciences), in the (undergraduate) College Library Women's Collection, the Social Work Library, the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, which is responsible for collecting material on North American women's history, and virtually all other University of Wisconsin-Madison libraries.
Library CatalogThe Library Catalog is the unified online catalog of holdings throughout the University of Wisconsin-Madison libraries and the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
In Memorial Library
Women's Studies material in Memorial Library includes books, periodicals, microforms, audiovisual items, and electronic resources. Memorial Library collects Women's Studies material comprehensively to support the curriculum of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, courses in other disciplines that examine gender factors, and research on women and gender topics in the social sciences and humanities. In addition, the Office of the University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian is housed in Memorial Library. This Office publishes current awareness resource periodicals and research guides and offers reference assistance and library instruction.
Women's Studies subject areas emphasized in the Memorial Library collection are feminist theory (including critiques of social, political, philosophical, and scientific theories of women's nature); sociology (including the study of women in self-selected and socially-defined groups, the study of social problems affecting women); studies of the intersection of gender with race, class, ethnicity, sexual preference, and other "differences;" women's history; and literature by women, literary criticism about women's writing, and studies of women writers. Memorial Library also has extensive material on women and gender aspects of anthropology, economics, education, film studies, health, linguistics, mass communications, philosophy, psychology, political science, religion, and science; and information in many languages on the lives of women in every country and inhabited region of the world.
For information on LGBTQ Studies and other aspects of gender and sexuality, contact the Social Sciences Librarian (especially for Economics and Political Science) Emilie Songolo, 278F Memorial Library, (608) 265-4740, or by email form; or Tom Durkin (especially for Sociology and Anthropology, (608) 262-7340 and (608) 262-6195, or by email form.
The Memorial Library Department of Special Collections includes the Cairns Collection of American Women Writers, 1650-1920, and other literary special collections with relevant material. For information on this collection as well as other English-language holdings in literature, linguistics, and film studies, contact the English Humanities Bibliographer, Susan Barribeau, 278D Memorial Library, (608) 262-9585, or by email form.
Both the Memorial Library Reference Collection and the Reference Collection in the Women's Studies Librarian's Office contain Women's Studies and Gender bibliographies, biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, and other related reference works.