Skip to main content

American Women: Resources from the General Collections

Travel Accounts & Missionary Journals

Fitz W. Guerin. [2 women, one in man's clothing, on sailboat}. 1902. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Travel accounts of all sorts—published and unpublished, by women and men, by foreigners and Americans, written for pleasure, pay, or spiritual expression—can provide a wealth of unusual detail on topics such as manners, clothing, education, childcare, health, regional differences, interpersonal relationships, and political events.

Such works are rarely indexed, so only patient perusal of individual volumes will uncover the gold. In these often overlooked sources you can explore important questions of gender, class, race, and national identity and observe interactions among people of different cultures.

Follow the links below to browse these appropriate Library of Congress Subject Headings for locating travel accounts:

An English mission in New Guinea. 1919. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Women's experiences far from home can also be found in reports and letters published in women's missionary journals. The general collections have several thousand books and pamphlets by missionaries and missionary organizations. The kind of information you can find includes:

  • names of members of the denomination with home towns
  • donors and dollar amounts
  • obituaries
  • excerpts from letters and journals of women missionaries and foreign women who have been converted
  • annual budgets and meeting reports
  • texts of original hymns sung at meetings and composed by women
  • information on Native American women

Follow the links below to browse these appropriate Library of Congress Subject Headings for locating missionary journals:

Library of Congress Call Numbers: BV2612 and BV2350 (for some missionary journals).

Selected Travel Accounts

The following selected materials link link to more detailed bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

Selected Missionary Journals

In journals such as Heathen Woman's Friend (Methodist, 1869-94), Life and Light for Woman (Congregational, 1869-1922), and Messenger of Our Lady of Africa (Roman Catholic, 1930-) you may find names of members of the denomination with home towns; obituaries; excerpts from letters and journals of women missionaries and foreign women who have been converted; texts of original hymns sung at meetings and composed by women; and much more.

Digital Collections

Subscription Databases

The subscription resources marked with a padlock  are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress.  If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Loading ...