WST 337: Resources for Researching 19th and early 20th Century Women's Higher Education

Background Information and Reference Sources

Women in the United States; Social Life & Customs; Social Conditions

The History of Women's Education in the United States

Women's Education, 1790-1830

"Sentimental Womanhood and Domestic Education, 1830-1870"
by Phillida Bunkle. History of Education Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, Reinterpreting Women's Education, (Spring, 1974), pp. 13-30. [online]

"Women's Colleges and Domesticity, 1875-1918"
by Roberta Wein. History of Education Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, Reinterpreting Women's Education, (Spring, 1974), pp. 31-47. [online]

"The Gibson Girl Goes to College: Popular Culture and Women's Higher Education in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920"
by Lynn D. Gordon. American Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 2, (Summer, 1987), pp. 211-230. [online]

"The Education of Jane Adams"
by J.O.C. Phillips. History of Education Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, Reinterpreting Women's Education, (Spring, 1974), pp. 49-67. [online]

"The College Girl of 1930"
by Jeanette Eaton. The Woman's Journal, vol. 15, (May, 1930), pp. 5-7, 42-44. WCC Reserve

Using the UNE Libraries catalog

The UNE Libraries catalog can be searched by author, title, keyword, or subject. The following subject headings are especially useful for women's education topics.

Women College Students
Women--Education (Higher)
Women's Colleges
Women--United States--History--19th century
Women--United States--History--20th century
Women--United States--Social Conditions
Women--Employment--United States
College Students--History
Universities and Colleges--History
United States--Social life and customs
Girls--United States
Young Women--United States
Use also the names of specific women (e.g. Willard, Emma; Blackwell, Elizabeth)
Use also the names of specific colleges (e.g. Smith College)

If you need a book that is not available within the UNE Libraries, you may request it through
MaineCat or Interlibrary Loan.


The databases listed below will help you locate journal articles. Databases usually contain journal article citations and abstracts, and many include the full-text journal article. For more help in finding the specific articles you want, see How to Find a Specific Journal Article. To determine the difference between scholarly and popular articles, see Is It a Scholarly Journal or Isn't It?

America History & Life  Historical literature of the United States and Canada
American National Biography  Biographical profiles of people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.
Annals of American History  Full-text source documents on United States history from 1493 to the present.
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index  Indexing to 19th century books, newspapers, government documents and periodicals.
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)  Includes the history of higher education.
Historical Statistics of the United States  U.S. historical information and statistics from the earliest times to the present.
History Resource Center: U.S.  United States history from pre-colonial times to the present.
JSTOR  Online access to back issues of  core scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.
New York Times Historical  Full text of the national newspaper of record since 1851.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial - 1950 Includes the experience of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters.


Additional Resources