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American Women: Topical Essays

Part of the American Women series, these essays provide a more in-depth exploration of particular events of significance in women's history, including the 1913 woman suffrage parade, the campaign for the equal rights amendment, and more.

Introduction

[Suffrage envoys from San Francisco greeted in New Jersey on their way to Washington to present a petition to Congress Suffrage envoys from San Francisco greeted containing more than 500,000 signatures.] [1915]. Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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:

  • events–1913 suffrage parade
  • people–Marian MacDowell
  • movements–campaign for the equal rights amendment
  • geographical regions–California before 1850
  • types of material–pictorial representations of American women before 1800

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.