Spotlighting women who have broken new paths in society, business, culture and healthcare
This fourth instalment of the multi award-winning Women’s Studies Archive program, which has won a Platinum Award at the 2023 Modern Library Awards, Female Forerunners Worldwide, focuses on individual women and organizations around the world who have broken new paths in society through business, social reform, popular culture, health care, and more.
Covering over three centuries, the primary sources included span from 1759 to 2002. Key highlights include contributions of African American women trailblazers; nursing journals from around the world (including Britain, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean); popular magazines from Australia and New Zealand; and collections concerning the supernatural and crime.
This resource supports students and scholars working in the fields of women’s history, gender studies, and social history by enabling research on key topics such as civil rights, political activism, literature, women’s experience of prison and the justice system, medicine, work and professional representation, racism and slavery, spiritualism, missionary work, and periodicals.
"A niche primary source collection with unique documents highlighting significant and lesser-known women trailblazers that pays particular attention to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Several of the collections bring attention to marginalized voices, including those who were enslaved or imprisoned. It is a solid selection for institutions that support advanced research in the humanities, history, gender studies, and other scholarly areas with a focus on women’s lived experiences." – Reviewed for Library Journal by Gricel Dominguez, a Librarian at Florida International University
Renowned libraries and collections represented in this module are listed below. For more detail about each collection, see the Collection Description document in the Additional Resources section.
Amistad Research Center:
- Papers of Mary McLeod Bethune, 1923-1942
- Fredi Washington Papers, 1925-1979
Library of Congress:
- Women's Joint Congressional Committee
- Papers of Louise Chandler Moulton
London Metropolitan Archives:
- HM Prison Holloway Records from the London Metropolitan Archives
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library:
- National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses Records, 1908-1951
- Katz/Prince Collection, 1967-1973
- Earl Conrad/Harriet Tubman Collection
- Gwendolyn Bennett Papers, 1916-1981
- Eusebia Cosme Papers, 1927-1973
Royal College of Nursing:
- Historical Nursing Journals
Senate House Library, University of London:
- Ida Holden Papers
- Edinburgh Seances
- Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys-Davids Papers
- Diaries about Spiritualism and Other Topics
- Caroline Jones Collection
State Library New South Wales: Hidden Treasures of the Mitchell Library:
- Sydney Periodicals, 1886-2016
- Australian and New Zealand Women's Organisations, 1835-2002
The National Archives (Kew, United Kingdom):
- HM Prison Holloway Records
- Suffragettes, 1886-1935
Yale Divinity School:
- Yale Divinity School Periodicals
- American History
- African-American Studies
- Associations & Nonprofit Organizations
- British Studies
- Communication & Media Studies
- Gender & Women's Studies
- Health & Medicine
- Social History
Platform Features & Tools
Researchers can see the frequency of search terms within sets of content to begin identifying central themes and assessing how individuals, places, events, and ideas interact and develop over time.
By grouping commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections within search terms—helping to shape research by integrating diverse content with relevant information.
Search across the content of complementary primary source products, including books, in one united, intuitive environment, enabling innovative new research connections.