This section highlights materials and how to access them for just two of the many cultural communities covered by Area Studies
collections: American Jewish women and Latina women. Previously, the Library has published guides to its collections for the
study of Indian and Alaska native peoples of the United States and for the study of African American history and culture.4 American Jewish women and Latina women exemplify the religious and ethnic pluralism of the United States. The Hispanic community
constitutes the largest and the fastest growing minority cohort of the population today. In addition, a focus on these two
groups of women demonstrates how doing research at the Library in a non-roman vernacular-script language such as Yiddish,
spoken by the majority of Eastern European Jewish women immigrants in the latter part of the nineteenth century and well into
the twentieth, or in a Western foreign language such as Spanish, spoken by Latinas, can enrich scholarship through the use
of multiple language sources.
Since location of items in the Library is determined by format as well as by subject and language, examples of resources concerning
these two groups of women come from several collections and can be found in various specialized reading rooms. They emphasize
the interdisciplinary nature of research on women in general and in particular the importance of looking at the
Library's collections across all of the reading rooms in order to plumb most thoroughly the depths of resources available.
Keep in mind that the two groups selected are only examples; you can use the methods described to research women from other
backgrounds. In doing so, it is very likely that you will uncover unexpected aspects of women's history in the United States.