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Reproductive History in the Manuscript Reading Room

General Search Tips

Possible Search Terms

When searching for materials related to the history of reproductive health in the Library of Congress Online Catalog and other repositories, modern terms like birth control and contraception may not yield relevant information across time periods. Searching for terms such as social hygiene, which was used to refer to sexual health in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, may yield relevant results. Women's issues is another possible search term, as it encompasses reproductive health as it relates to sex discrimination.

The list of potential search terms below is not comprehensive, but may yield relevant items from various time periods.

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Comstock laws
  • Family planning
  • Eugenics
  • Purity
  • Reproductive health
  • Reproductive rights
  • Social hygiene
  • Social purity
  • Sterilization
  • Venereal disease
  • Women's health
  • Women's issues
  • Women's rights

Tips for Searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog

When searching in the Library of Congress Online Catalog, you can confine your search results to materials held by the Manuscript Division using "advanced search" (see screenshot below).

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings