Introduction

The History of Women is an indispensable research tool for all those interested in the study of women’s history. Primary source materials, selected from the world’s most important library holdings through 1920, have been brought together to create the most comprehensive microfilm collection ever assembled on the subject.

The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College are the two renowned women’s history archives that form the core of the microfilm collection. These extensive archives contain invaluable documentary evidence of women’s individual and corporate activities.

Other notable collections have contributed incomparable additional resources to the Smith-Radcliffe materials. The Jane Addams Hull House Library provided depth in its coverage of the settlement house movement, and of the activities of women in social reform in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The unparalleled private collection of Miriam Y. Holden offered an incisive look at Medieval and Western European women. New York Public Library and Boston Public Library added rare early imprints and periodicals on women outside America. And the Mcpherson Collection at Scripps College enriched the History of Women in its unique holdings on the role of women in the westward movement.