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HIST 114J / WGSS 114 Women, Gender, and Work in U.S. History: Secondary Sources and Background Reference

Scholarly Books

The following scholarly books and articles are recommended by AnneLessy:

General U.S. History - background and context

American Women's History - resources and context


Essays and Articles:

Key Scholars and Texts in Women's, Gender, and Labor History


Selected reference works

Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start your research. They are also incredibly useful for gleaning background information to use in situating your biography subject in a time period or events with which you aren't familiar. Reference works include bibliographies, scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other sources that provide overviews of topics and suggestions for further reading.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

A scholarly encyclopedia of potentially great use in the early stages of your research project. Each article has a discussion of the literature, including primary sources. A great starting point for finding more sources and arranged into browsable subject areas. 

Gale in Context: U.S. History

This resource brings together reference articles, along with selected primary and secondary sources for getting started on your research.

Oxford Bibliographies

This is an extensive collection of annotated bibliographies that are keyword searchable and can also be browsed by subject and geographic areas. These bibliographies are a great starting point for finding resources, primary and secondary, for your research topic. 

Oxford Handbooks Online
Lengthy chapters in the Oxford Handbooks usually provide helpful overviews of scholarly topics and historical literature, along with suggestions for further reading. A number of the handbooks may be helpful depending on your research topic. 

Wiley Online Library

Includes scholarly journal articles and monographs as well as reference works. Often a single chapter or two within a reference work can provide a helpful starting point for research. Thousands of articles in this reference database touch on topics relating to eugenics. Titles include A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and A Companion to Post-1945 America.

Secondary sources

The following bibliographic databases will be helpful for finding secondary sources, especially scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles, magazine articles, book reviews, and citations to book chapters and edited collections of books. Please note: the full text of articles will not always be available in these databases. If you see the "YaleLinks" icon instead of a PDF, click on the icon to discover whether we have online access to the article: 

And, don’t forget, Orbis, Books+ and Articles+ are all useful tools for locating secondary sources!

Guides to Historical Research & Writing