About Women's Studies Collecting in UW-Madison Libraries


Gender & 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 Catalog

The 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

Gender and Women's Studies material in Memorial Library includes books, periodicals, microforms, audiovisual items, and electronic resources. Memorial Library collects Gender and 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 Gender & 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.

Gender and 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 Karla Strand, the Gender & Women's Studies Librarian; Emilie Songolo (especially for Economics and Political Science); or Tom Durkin (especially for Sociology and Anthropology).

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 Gender & Women's Studies Librarian's Office contain Women's Studies and Gender bibliographies, biographical dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, and other related reference works.

More Details

For a more detailed explanation, see Gender & Women's Studies Collection Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For further information about the Memorial Library holdings in Gender & Women's Studies, or for research questions related to any aspect of Women's Studies, contact the Gender & Women's Studies Librarian, Room 430 Memorial Library, (608) 263-5754, or Email her.