The original print version of the "American Women" research guide contained five topical essays, each exploring an aspect of women's history by analyzing resources held in different Library divisions. The purpose of these essays was to demonstrate for researchers how to identify collections relevant to a topic that are physically separated across the Library's twelve major reference centers.
Slightly modified for online navigation, the essays complement the division-by-division collection descriptions that constitute the bulk of the research guide. They permit discussions of topics only briefly mentioned in the broader divisional overviews, and they illustrate how different aspects of American women's history may be investigated by focusing on:
Many more topics and avenues of research await the staff's attention, and additional essays will be added in the future. For now, the original five essays are available together with historian Susan Ware's introduction to the book and a brief piece describing the 1780 broadside "The Sentiments of An American Woman," which graced the end papers of the print volume.