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American Women: Resources from the Serial & Government Publications Collections

Women in the News

In possession. 1895. Library of Congress Serial and Government Publication Division.
Cartoons showing women entering the offices of the Milwaukee Journal ("Invasion") and men leaving ("Retreat"); and woman working at desk in office as man waits at the door with flowers. Signs in office read "Positively no men will be admitted today" and "No smoking."

Open any newspaper today and women can be found on every page—in articles, in advertisements, as reporters, and as publishers. Finding the women in the newspapers of yesteryear is more of a challenge—women involved in the production of newspapers were often unnamed, women reporters had to prove their competence, and newspaper publishers and advertisers only slowly recognized the importance of women as audience and as consumers.

The Library's newspaper collection is the largest such collection in the United States. On a current basis, the Serial and Government Publications Division receives major titles published in all 50 states and from over 179 foreign countries. Although the division does not receive every newspaper published in the United States or the world, the collection's sheer size, breadth, and diversity of viewpoints are unmatched. Scholars researching a broad geographic area or a subject encompassing whole regions of the United States or foreign countries are able, in a visit to a single institution, to examine a wide range of newspaper titles with comprehensive, long runs. Most newspapers are housed in the Serial and Government Publications Division. But, newspapers written in non-roman alphabets—Slavic, Asian, or Near Eastern, for instance—are housed in the Asian, European, or African and Middle Eastern divisions as appropriate.

Other titles that many researchers may consider to be newspapers (such as Anne Royall's Paul Pry, the New York Ledger, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, and Equal Rights of the National Women's Party) are classified as periodicals in the Library of Congress because they are subject specific and are not designed for general interest. These are available in the General Collections, the Microform Reading Room, or the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Newspapers that the Library classifies as periodicals generally include the underground press, military camp newspapers, and trade newspapers.