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American Women: Resources from the General Collections

Games, Hobbies & Sports

Al Aumuller, photographer. [Two women's league roller derby skaters leap over two who have fallen]. 1950. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Interest in women's sports blossomed in the last quarter of the twentieth century. More women and girls participated in sports from childhood to professional levels, and more authors wrote about them. The Spalding Company, makers of sports equipment, issued a series of guides to promote athletics for women. The 1930 edition of Outdoor Baseball for Girls and Women [catalog record] recommends that baseball be “an important part of the sports curriculum of every American girl” and that it is “especially important for girls in that it offers a rich opportunity for training in social adjustment.” Because of good subject headings and published bibliographies, books on women's sports are usually easy to find.

Browsing by Subject Heading

The Library holds many books and periodicals on other topics related to recreational and leisure activities. A few subjects include: toys, dolls, exercise, sex discrimination in sports, physical education for girls, Title IX, and lesbians in sports.

Below are some Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) that will lead to more resources through browse searches in the Library of Congress Online Catalog:

Browsing by Library of Congress Classification (Call Numbers)

  • GV439 for physical education for girls.
  • These classes also include non-U.S. materials and books for men and boys. For many topics there are no subject headings solely for works on women and girls.
Sports - Golf - Miss Katharine Harley...1908. Bain Collection. Prints & Photographs Division.

To find additional titles on hobbies and leisure-time activities, search the Online Catalog using Subject Headings:

General Subject Headings:

Activity Specific Subject Headings:

Browsing by Library of Congress Classification (Call Numbers)

  • GV1201 and GV1203 for books and periodicals on games and hobbies.
  • These classes also include non-U.S. materials and books for men and boys. For many topics there are no subject headings solely for works on women and girls.

Print Resources

The following titles represent resources which may prove useful in your search for games and hobbies, and women in sports. Each titles links to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

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