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Women's Studies

Historical Sources

Finding Historical Sources

You are expected to find and use high quality literature. You'll need to use a range of different sources and demonstrate your ability to find good results in order to impress your tutors and to develop your research skills.

Historical Newspapers & Magazines


The Morrell and Burton Libraries contain directories of periodicals and indexes to their contents. Among the most useful for historians covering the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are:

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. By William Frederick Poole ... rev. ed. Gloucester, Mass: Smith, 1958. 6 vols. [in 7] 1802-1906.

The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals 1824-1900. W.E. Houghton editor. Toronto U.P., 1966-89. 5 vols.

Barrow, Margaret. Women 1870-1928: a select guide to printed and archival sources in the United Kingdom. London, Mansell, 1981.

Kanner, Barbara. Women in English social history 1800-1914: a guide to research. 3 vols. New York, Garland, 1987-90.

All microfilms are listed in full on YorSearch

Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. The emancipation of women. British Library Microfiche Publications, 1987.
Includes Women and work (1857), and Objections to the enfranchisement of women considered (1866).

Butler, Josephine Elizabeth. Josephine Butler Letter Collection.
Letters from and to Josephine Butler (1816-1907) from the collection held in the Women's Library (formerly the Fawcett Library), London Metropolitan University. Includes chronological, name and subject indexes.
Butler, Josephine Elizabeth. Women's work and women's culture. Macmillan, 1869.

Cobbe, Frances Power. Life of F.P. Cobbe. Bentley, 1894.

Colonial discourses: series one: women, travel and empire, 1660-1914. Adam Matthew Publications, 1999-2001.
Part 1. Early travel accounts by women, and women's experiences in India, Africa, Australasia and Canada (25 reels).
Part 2. Women and the Orient (25 reels).
Part 3. Women and the Orient (26 reels).

Conservative Party (Great Britain). Archives of the British Conservative Party: Conservative Party committee minutes 1909-1964. Harvester Microform Publications, 1986. 

Davies, Emily, and Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith. Women and education, 1849-1921: the papers of Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon from Girton College, Cambridge. Research Publications, 1985.

Fawcett, Millicent. What I remember. Unwin, 1925.

Ladies of Llangollen: letters and journals of Lady Eleanor Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831) from the National Library of Wales. Adam Matthew Publications, 1997.
Also known as the Hamwood papers.

Larpent, Anna Margaretta. A Woman's View of Drama, 1790-1830: the diaries of Anna Margaretta Larpent in the Huntington Library. Adam Matthew Publications, 1995.

Marsden, Dora. Dora Marsden collection. Series II. Correspondence C. Women's suffrage. Box 1, folders 28-29. Box 2, folders 1-2. Princeton University Libraries, 1993.
Manuscript correspondence between Dora Marsden and Mary Gawthorpe, and others, 1909-13, with some miscellaneous papers.

Martineau, Harriet. Women, emancipation and literature: the papers of Harriet Martineau, 1802-1876, from Birmingham University Library. Adam Matthew Publications, 1991.

National Society for Women's Suffrage. Occasional papers. Inter Documentation.
Covers the period June 1881 - March 1900.

Occasional Paper: issued by the Midland Counties Electoral Union for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts relating to Women. Inter Documentation, 1984. Nos. 1-77. 1877-1886. 

Pankhurst, Estelle Sylvia. Women, suffrage and politics: the papers of Sylvia Pankhurst 1882-1960. Adam Matthew Publications, 1994.
Personal archive in full, along with minute books and records of the East London Federation of the Suffragettes, 1913-1920, and the Women's Franchise League, 1896-1897; including correspondence with E.C. Wolstenholme Elmy, James Keir Hardie, Dora Russell, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Christabel Pankhurst and Ramsay MacDonald.

Sex and Sexuality, 1640-1940: literary, medical and sociological perspectives. Part 1. Adam Matthew Publications, 1998.

Sexual politics in Britain. Harvester/Primary Source Microfilm, 1967-1983.
Consists of periodicals, pamphlets, and leaflets concerning women's and gay rights published since the early 1970s.

The Suffragette Fellowship Collection in the Museum of London. Harvester Press, 1985.
Incorporates annual reports and minute books from the National Women's Social & Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. Also personal papers, correspondence, pamphlets, photographs etc.

Women Advising Women, Parts 1-4. Adam Matthew Publications, 1992 - ...
Part 1: early women's journals, c1700-1832, from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Part 2: advice books, manuals, almanacs and journals, c1625-1837, from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Part 3: the Lady's magazine, 1770-1800.
Part 4: the Lady's magazine, 1801-1832.

Women's Co-operative Guild. Collection of archive material. E.P. Microform, 1983.
Annual reports, early histories, committee minutes, miscellaneous printed material from the period 1883-1939. Introduction to collection on first reel.

Women's Labour League. Miscellaneous papers and minutes. 1906-18.
Archives of the British Labour Party. Series III. General Correspondence and political records. Part 4.

Women's Trade Union League. Papers.
Reports, balance sheets, minutes for the period 1875-1921. Includes Women's Union Journal, Nos. 12-119. 

Women's Trade Union Review: E.P. Microform, 1975.
The quarterly report of the Women's Trade Union League for the years 1891-1906, 1911-1913, 1917-19.

Women's autobiographies from Cambridge University Library. Adam Matthew Publications, 1999.
Pt 1: texts describing the lives of 33 women who lived between 1713-1859
Pt 2: texts describing the lives of 19 women who lived between 1780-1889.  

Women's Labour League. The archives of the Women's Labour League and successors: conference reports and journals of the Women's Labour League and the Labour Party Women's Organisation, 1906-1977. Harvester, 1985.  

All microfilms are listed in full on YorSearch


The Anti-Suffrage Review. Nos. 1-113. 1908-18. Originally published by the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League.

Britannia: official organ of the Women's Social and Political Union. Ed. by Christabel Pankhurst. October 9th 1915 - December 20th 1918.

The Common Cause: the organ of the Women's Movement for Reform. Vols. 2-11. 1910-1920.

The Conservative & Unionist Women's Franchise Review. Nos. 1-27. 1909-16.

English Woman's Journal. Vols. 1-13. 1858-64.

Englishwoman's Review of Social and Industrial Questions. 1866-1910.

The Freewoman: a weekly feminist review. November 1911 - October 1912.

Labour Woman. May 1913-1939. Formerly The League Leaflet.

The League Leaflet: being a paper to interest and to help members of the Women's Labour League and other friends of the Labour Party. January 1911 - April 1913. Continued as Labour Woman.

The Methodist Protest: the organ of the Wesleyan Society for securing the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. Vols. 1-8. 1876-83. From Vol. 3 entitled The Protest.

The National League Journal: a monthly record of the Working Men's National League for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. Nos. 1-114. 1875-1884. Special supplementary number containing a full copy of the Contagious Diseases Acts, 1866-69, on the first fiche. Merged with The Sentinel.

The Protest. Continuation from vol. 3 of The Methodist Protest: the organ of the Wesleyan Society for securing the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts. 1876-83.

The Sentinel: a monthly journal devoted to the exposition and advancement of public morality and to the suppression of vice. Vols. 1-21. 1882-99.

Shafts: a paper for women and the working classes. Vol. 1-7. November 1892-99.

The Shield: the Anti-Contagious Diseases Acts Associations' weekly circular. In seven series covering 1870-86 (ed. by Josephine Butler), 1897-1956 and 1960; annual volumes 1961-68 and a centenary volume 1970.

The Storm-Bell. Ed. by Mrs. Josephine Butler for the Ladies' National Association for the Abolition of State Regulation of Vice. Nos. 1-24. 1898-1900.

The Suffragette. Ed. by Christabel Pankhurst. October 1912 - October 1915. Merged with Britannia in October 1915.

The Vote: organ of the Women's Freedom League. Ed. by Cicely Hamilton and Marion Holmes. September 1909 - November 1933.

Votes for Women. Ed. by Frederick W. And Emmeline Pethick Lawrence. October 1907 - February 1918.

The Woman Worker: official organ of the National Federation of Women Workers. Ed. by Mary Macarthur. 1908-10, 1916-21. Published under the title Womenfolk from February to June 1910. Resumed publication in 1916 as Woman Worker.

The Woman's Dreadnought. Ed. by Sylvia Pankhurst. March 1914 - July 1917. Continued as The Workers' Dreadnought.

Women and Victorian values, 1837-1910, parts 5 and 6: advice books, manuals and journals for women / sources from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Women's Industrial News: organ of the Women's Industrial Council. October 1895 - October 1914.

Women's journals, 1919-1968: from franchise to feminism. Adam Matthew Publications, 1997.
Pt 1: Eve, 1919-1929.

Women's Suffrage Journal. Ed. by Lydia E. Becker. Vols. 1-21. 1870-90.

Women's Suffrage Record. June 1903 - November 1906.

Women's Union Journal: the organ of the Women's Protective and Provident League. Nos. 12-179. 1877-90. Nos 12-119 are included in the Women's Trade Union League's Papers.

The Workers' Dreadnought. Ed. by Sylvia Pankhurst. July 1917 - June 1924. Formerly The Woman's Dreadnought.

British Historical Resources

British historical resources

International historical resources