Getting Started in GWS Research

Gender and Women's Studies Databases

Browse the "New E-Resources: New Databases, Subject Guides and Other Resources" section of the UW-Madison Libraries website for new materials.

To see which databases and other large electronic resources on women/gender the Libraries offer, From the Libraries' Homepage click on the "Databases" tab and then the "Databases by Subject". Select the category "Gender/Sexuality/Women's Studies."

Women’s Studies International indexes women’s studies books, journals, and more.

GenderWatch is a women's and gender issues database with thousands of full-text articles from about 100 magazines, academic journals, regional publications, and newsletters; and some special reports, including conference proceedings and government reports.

LGBT Life With Fulltext includes some 100 journals and magazines in fulltext, plus several fulltext books and citations to many other publications.

Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts provides paragraph-long summaries of articles in a variety of English-language journals from around the world.

All Gender-Related Databases and E-Resources at UW-Madison

Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World
This encyclopedia focuses on women's status starting approximately in the year 2000 and looks forward, defining women in the contemporary world. It includes multimedia features and is especially strong on American aspects of subjects covered and on popular culture topics in general. Categories: activism, arts, business, countries, education, environment, government, health, media, religion, science, sports, sexualities, war, and women's lives.

Drawn from 290 sources, the British & Irish Women’s Letters & Diaries collection includes approximately 100,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from 1500 to 1900, including several thousand pages of previously unpublished materials.

Women Writers Online (1400-1850) is a collection that provides full text access to over 300 works written in English by women in the pre-Victorian period.

The Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period collection includes some 60 volumes from 47 poets, as well as related secondary material.

Women's History Databases and E-Books

Oxford Encyclopedia of Women and World History corresponds to a 4v. set in print, with over 650 biographies of prominent women and over 600 topical articles.

Women and Social Movements in the United States (1600s to present) is divided into document projects that interpret and present materials, many of which are not otherwise available online. Each document project poses an interpretive question and provides a collection of documents that address the question. Documents may be searched individually, cross-searched by collection, or across the entire database.

The Gerritsen Collection includes books and periodicals from around the world documenting the condition of women, the evolution of feminist consciousness, and women's rights. The more than 4,000 books and 265 periodicals in the collection are primarily in English with German, French, and Dutch-language materials strongly represented.

Everyday Life and Women in America gives fully-searchable access to rare periodicals, monographs, pamphlets, and essays which focus on the daily lives of women circa 1800-1920.

Defining Gender contains 50,000 images of original documents from five centuries of advice literature and related material, from diaries, advice and conduct books, as well as articles from medical and other journals, ballads, cartoons, and pamphlets. Much of the material is British in origin. Searching only searches the citations and indexed terms, not the fulltext of the documents.

Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection of images in the ARTstor Database. 36,000 images. Description.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries is a collection of published and unpublished women's diaries and correspondence, drawn from more than 1,000 sources.

British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries is a large collection of British and Irish women's diaries and correspondence, spanning more than 300 years, and written by some 500 women.

Twentieth Century Advice Literature offers how-to books and guides; employee manuals, sorority and fraternity pledge manuals; scouting manuals; textbooks that deal with home economics, health and hygiene, and sex education; teacher-training and course manuals; and more. Not all is specifically directed at women, but several of the texts are.

THE VOGUE ARCHIVE, 1892 to the present, in color!

Women in World History: Primary Sources (from the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University) has sections by region of the world and features a search by time period, source type, and topic.

Discovering American Women's History Online provides access to primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document American women's history. This database is the creation of Ken Middleton, Middle Tennessee University Library. See also American Social History Online, which indexes digitized library collections in 19th and 20th century U.S. social history and In the First Person (indexes diaries, letters, memoirs, oral histories, and other personal narratives in English from around the world.)

Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World
This encyclopedia focuses on women's status starting approximately in the year 2000 and looks forward, defining women in the contemporary world. It includes multimedia features and is especially strong on American aspects of subjects covered and on popular culture topics in general. Categories: activism, arts, business, countries, education, environment, government, health, media, religion, science, sports, sexualities, war, and women's lives.


Feminae is a multilingual scholarly index covering journal articles from 1994 to the present from almost 400 journals, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages (450 CE to 1500 CE).


ViVa is a bibliography of citations to scholarly articles about women's and gender history.

General Databases

Academic Search Elite is a general academic index that indexes almost 3,000 magazines and journals from every academic discipline and provides the full-text of many of them.

ProQuest Research Library indexes more than 2,000 periodicals and provides the full text of many of them. It has a mix of general interest and academic journals including multicultural and women's issues and international affairs.