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The General Collections



Starting Places
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Periodicals for Girls (and Boys)
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Publications of Organizations and Associations
see caption below

Ninth annual convention of the National woman suffrage association. [Washington, D.C., 1883] Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Printed Ephemera Collection

bibliographic record

The Library collects annual reports, proceedings, and journals issued by many women's organizations, as well as those to which both sexes belong. These publications show women's involvement in an enormous range of issues, among them abolition, temperance, concern for the environment, church work, and consumer safety, to name just a few. Within the General Collections you can find more than fifty years of the report of the New York-based American Female Guardian Society and Home for the Friendless (1848-1907, incomplete, HV99.N6 A4), but only fourteen issues of the annual report of Boston's Needlewoman's Friend Society (1848-69, 1894-97, incomplete, HV99.B7 N3).

You can track women's expanding roles in originally male-run groups such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Historical Association (the records of the AHA are held in the Manuscript Division), as well as in the more egalitarian National Spiritualist Association. For this last group, the Library holds carbon copy typescripts of the proceedings of the annual meetings, with many statements by women (1894-1983, incomplete, BX9798.S7 A15).

Membership and officer lists, budgets, reproductions of photographs, association activities, subject matter of papers presented at annual meetings, and sex of the presenters are all potential data for historical research. As with so many of these sources, the absence of women, especially women of color, in many of these volumes informs us of women's place in the organization, and perhaps in the society of the day.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The following volumes are good sources for the names of groups and individuals.

Blair, Karen J. The History of American Women's Voluntary Organizations, 1810-1960: A Guide to Sources. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1989. Z7964.U49 B53 1989 MRR Alc [catalog record].

Davis, Elizabeth Lindsay. Lifting As They Climb. Washington: National Association of Colored Women, 1933. E185.5.N278 D3 MRR Alc [catalog record].

Register of Women's Clubs. 1907-33, incomplete. HQ1406.R4 [catalog record]. Lists many women's organizations by state and town.

Scott, Anne Firor. Natural Allies: Women's Associations in American History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991. HQ1904.S28 1991 [catalog record].

SAMPLE LCSH: To locate publications by women's groups, search the catalog for the name of the group as either a name or a corporate name. For books about a group, search its name as a subject.

Women—United States—Societies and clubs—History

[Name of the organization]

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