During the late 19th and early 20th century, single and independent women formed clubs with other Bachelor Maids. This guide provides access to materials related to "Bachelor Maids" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Bachelor maids were a cadre of single women in the late 19th, early 20th century. Not to be confused with “old maids” (or “spinsters”), these women opted to be independent of men, live on their own and manage their own business affairs. Young, unmarried women’s social groups, known as Bachelor Maids’ Clubs, began in cities such as New York and Washington, DC. Soon thereafter, smaller clubs began forming in cities and towns around the country. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Constance Cary Harrison publishes the book, “A Bachelor Maid."
The Washington Herald newspaper begins publishing the popular column, “Bachelor Girl Chat.” Articles and stories written for Bachelor Girls begin appearing in Women’s Pages in newspapers across the country.