About This Site

This database simplifies access to digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States. These diverse collections range from Abigail Franks' letters to her son from the 1730s and 1740s (Center for Jewish History) to Katrina Thomas' photographs of ethnic weddings from the late 20th century.

Search and Browse Options

Please see the Search Tips page for several examples of simple and complex searches.

Researchers can browse the database by subject (150+ entries), place (i.e., states), time period, and primary source type. By browsing through these lists of preconfigured searches, researchers not only gain a quick sense of the scope of the database, but may also discover topics (e.g., women engineers) and approaches to research (e.g., using scrapbooks as primary sources) that they had not considered. In addition, many users will be pleasantly surprised by the number of collections that document the history of women in their home state.


Thumbnail Images

Many "short records" in the database include a thumbnail of an image from the collection that the record describes. The use of thumbnails in this way provides a visual cue to the content of the collection. Full records include a thumbnail caption field.


Awards and Reviews

ABC-CLIO Online History Award (2009)

ACRL WSS Award for Significant Achievement (2009)



About the Developer

Ken Middleton is a reference librarian at Middle Tennessee State University Library. He has a second master's degree, with an emphasis in American women's history, from the same university.


Image Credits

Red Hawk, Agnes Davis Dixon (University of Oregon Libraries)

Helen E. Simpson as Child [photograph or print]. National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. In The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920.

Visit Pennsylvania : Where pre-revolutionary costumes still survive / Katherine Milhous [Pennsylvania] : Pennsylvania Art Project, WPA, [between 1936 and 1940] Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection, [LC-USZC2-1182 DLC]

Credits and Acknowledgements

Numerous people have provided valuable advice, technical knowledge, and encouragement. Many thanks to Fagdeba Bakoyema, Al Camp, Mary Hoffschwelle, James Staub, Mayo Taylor, and the entire Digital Projects team at Walker Library.