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The General Collections



Starting Places
arrow graphicSecondary Sources
Microform Materials
Doctoral Dissertations
Congressional Documents
Indexes to Anthologies
Biographical Sources
Women's Writings
Other Sources




Secondary Sources
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San Juan, Puerto Woman in factory. Jack Delano, photographer. 1941. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USF34-048222-D (b&w film neg)

bibliographic record

In this essay's focus on types of materials, especially primary sources, you must not forget that the General Collections contain numerous secondary sources. Women's history surveys such as Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America, by Sara M. Evans (New York: The Free Press, 1989; HQ1410.E83 1989) [catalog record] and Eleanor Flexnor's Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States (enlarged ed. by Eleanor Flexner and Ellen Fitzpatrick; Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996; HQ1410.F6 1996 MRR Alc) [catalog record] mingle on the shelves with much more narrowly focused titles such as Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Women and Urban Change in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1820-1868 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999; HQ1525.S26 M38 1999) [catalog record] and Katherine Osburn, Southern Ute Women: Autonomy and Assimilation on the Reservation, 1887-1934 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998; E99.U8 O83 1998) [catalog record].

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Pee-a-rat and baby, c1899. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-111572 (b&w film copy neg)

bibliographic record

Works such as these and the thousands of others in the General Collections are the fruit of historians' hard toil to uncover, analyze, and synthesize evidence in an effort to understand and explain how women have lived. Such texts are valuable for

  • their depictions of women's lives in other times and places
  • reminding readers of the variety of women's experiences
  • models to reconstruct women's roles
  • showing the significance of gender as a category for historical analysis
  • presenting different research methodologies
  • quoting primary sources that are not easily available
  • providing notes and bibliographies that lead to other works
Secondary sources are indispensable to historical research and make up a major portion of the General Collections.

SEARCH TIPS: Recent secondary sources in The General Collections are rarely mentioned in this guide because they are often available at other libraries around the country, and they are usually easy to find through specific LC subject headings and published bibliographies. See “Library of Congress Subject Headings” and “Library of Congress Call Numbers”. See also Bibliographies.

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