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History of Reproductive Health: Home

This guide provides resources in the history of reproductive health.

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This guide provides a starting point for researchers inside and outside of Yale to find resources related to the history of reproductive health, primarily in America.  For any research questions, please email Melissa Grafe using the link in the box on the right.

This guide will:

  • Describe search strategies for finding primary and secondary sources.
  • Provide links to online primary and secondary sources.

General resources

Background sources (or “reference” works) are great places to start. Reference works include scholarly encyclopedias, handbooks, scholarly “companions," and similar sources that contain essays providing background information on a topic and overviews of the relevant scholarship. Citations to the secondary literature will always be included, and often so too will citations to primary sources.  Here are some of these recommended resources:

Oxford Bibliographies

Many annotated bibliographies in a variety of fields, often with citations to both primary and secondary sources.

There are bibliographies related to teenage pregnancy, midwifery, miscarriage, women in medicine, and fetus and embryos, including histories of these topics, but be sure to search the whole database too, as you'll also often find relevant articles in other modules.

Oxford Handbooks

A useful collection of many handbooks, each with numerous articles. Browse and search for single chapters or whole books such as The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

A scholarly encyclopedia that is a great place to start your research. Each article has a "Discussion of the Literature" that usually has many recommendations for primary sources.

Articles include "Women and Reproduction in the United States during the 19th Century," last updated in 2019.

Librarian for Medical History

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Melissa Grafe
John R. Bumstead Librarian for Medical History
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Yale University
333 Cedar Street
New Haven, CT 06510