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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Primary Sources

Finding and using key resources in women's and gender studies in a strategic manner

About Primary Resources

Primary sources provide first-hand evidence to support research claims or arguments. Created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented, primary resources provide insider knowledge to inform a topic under study. Primary sources include those documents created contemporaneously with events or conditions as they occur, as well as autobiographies, memoirs, artist statements, interviews, and oral histories recorded later. Original creative works (art, photography, film, music, literature) and original artifacts are primary sources. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, published or unpublished format, in microform, or in digital format.

For more information,

Digital Archive Collections on Women's Studies


Below are a select group of digital primary source collections relating to Women's and Gender Studies. To see all primary source digital collection at Colby click here.


Historical Newspapers and Journals

American Periodicals Series Online Journals  Digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the 20th century. Titles include Godey's Ladies Book and popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal.

19-Century Masterfile gives citations for writings from 1800-1900 from several nations.  It includes references to articles, newspapers, books, and U.S. and U.K. government documents.  You will have to search for the full text of what you find here separately, but it is a rich source of primary materials for the 19th-century.  You may find some items in our own catalog, or through WorldCat, which you can search directly for more primary material from any century.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective, 1907-1984 and Readers Guide Retrospective      Indexes scholoary and popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.

Bibliographies of Diaries

REF Z 7963 .B6 C55 1989  Women's Diaries, Journals, and Letters

REF Z 5305 .U5 G66 1987  The Published Diaries and Letters of American Women

REF Z 5305 .U5 A 74 1983  American Diaries [2 volumes]

REF Z 1247 .M3  American Diaries ...written prior to the year 1861

REF Z 1251 .E1 F6 1967  New England Diaries, 1602-1800

REF Z 7963 .B6 A32 1983   Through a Woman's I: An Annotated Bibliography of American Women's Autobiographical Writings, 1946 - 1976


Your Librarian

Bonnie Paige's picture
Bonnie Paige
On leave Spring 2021- please contact for research help
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