For centuries, archives often only valued the voices of white men, neglecting the lived experiences of women and people of color and presenting an incomplete narrative of history. The Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries is committed to expanding our understanding of history by collecting, preserving, and promoting resources related to all women and individuals not identifying as men.
Of the resources included in this research guide, most are authored by women themselves. These unique first-person accounts, mostly from America, span a wide breadth of time, format, and thematic content. They sometimes corroborate popular notions of history and other times completely upset them. The SCRC invites you to explore these manuscripts, university archives, rare books, and artifacts and consider the achievements, struggles, and representations of women throughout history.
This guide is not comprehensive, and we encourage you to visit the SCRC in-person and use our online search tools to find additional collections by, for, and about women.
Special Collections Research Center Search Tools: There are a variety of tools available to guide you in finding materials in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). Don't forget that you also may contact us using the information in the profile box in the left column with any questions or requests for research consultations.
Manuscript and university archives collections are tagged with subject headings on the SCRC's Manuscripts & Archives Collection Guides database. If you are unsure where to start with your research, the following subject headings highlight some of our collections pertaining to women and may give inspiration for other relevant search terms you can use.