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Research Quick Start Guides

Women in Society

Guides | Encyclopedias | Biography | Bibliographies | Indexes | Atlases | Statistics | Timetables | Directories | Other Libraries | Internet Resources

See also guides on Women Writers, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, and Native American Studies, plus the Feminist Studies Collections Web site.

Guides to Information and Research Methods

Guides to Information and Research Methods can help you get started.

Introduction to Library Research in Women's Studies (Green Library Ref. Z7961.S42 1985) provides an "Introduction to research tools and library services valuable in the investigation of topics related to women."

Doing Feminist Research, 1981 (Stacks HQ1206.D65) presents "accounts of sociological work undertaken by sociologists who have been influenced by feminism, or by the feminist critique of sociology, or both."

Feminist Jurisprudence: Emerging from Plato's Cave--A Research Guide (Green Library Ref. KF477.A1H65 1996)

Homosexuality: a Research Guide (Green Library Ref. Z7164.S42D96 1987)

Latinas of the Americas: A Source Book (Green Library Ref. Z7964.L3S76 1989)

Women in Popular Culture: A Reference Guide (Green Library Ref. HQ1426.F685 1982)

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide useful descriptions, overviews, and lists of references.

"Feminist Criticism in 1990" in vol. 65, pp. 312-60 of Contemporary Literary Criticism (Stacks PN771.C58) and "Feminism in the 1990s" in vol. 76, pp. 377-415 give an overview, plus a collection of articles and essays.

The 1995 Information Please Women's Sourcebook (Green Library Ref. HQ1420.I54) "an overview of the major issues facing women and a guide to finding the sources" needed to make informed decisions.

Women's Studies Encyclopedia (Green Library Ref. & Stacks HQ1115.W645 1989) v. 1, "Views from the Sciences" including the social sciences; v. 2, "Literature, Arts, and Learning"; v. 3, "History, Philosophy, and Religion."

Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (Green Library Ref. E185.86.B542 1993) has articles on general topics, many biographies, and includes bibliographies.

Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (Green Library Ref.& Stacks HQ76.25.E53 1990) surveys the entire field of homosexuality, including conflicting theoretical perspectives where these exist.

The Encyclopedia of Aging (Green Library Ref. HQ1061.E53 1995) "A Comprehensive Resource in Gerontology and Geriatrics."

Older American Almanac (Green Library Ref. HQ1064.U5O416 1994) "provides information on aging-related topics in the United States," including a section on "Gender and Ethnic Diversity in Aging."

The Disability Rights Movement (Green Library Ref. HV1553.P42 1997) includes a section on "Women with Diabilities," plus related entries on individuals and organizations.

Encyclopedia of American Social History (Ref HN57.E58 1992) "Social history prods us to ask questions about the identities that unite and divide us according to such overlapping categories as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, and sexual and political orientation." Contains lengthy essays with bibliographies.

Handbook of American Women's History (Green Library Ref. HQ1410.H36 1990) short introductory essays with lists of references.

Women's Rights in the United States: A Documentary History (Green Library Ref. HQ1236.5.U6W68 1994) key documents with brief introductions to each section.

"Nineteenth Century Women's Diaries" in vol. 48, pp. 308-54 of Nineteenth Century Contemporary Literature (Green Library Ref. PN761.N5) looks at women's diaries as "valuable tools to understanding fully the nineteenth century." Includes an overview and essays from various sources.

Encyclopedia of Women and Sports (Green Library Ref. GV709.S44 1996) provides an overview of the history of women in sports followed by articles (with references) on individuals, organizations, sports, and issues. Includes timeline, bibliography, and an index.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Green Library Ref. QH332.E52 1995) lengthy articles (with bibliographies) about a wide variety of issues including women, sexism, feminism, homosexuality, abortion, abuse, circumcision, etc.

Encyclopedia of Social Work, 1995 (Green Library Ref. HV35.E5) provides an "overview of social work in the United States-its history, its current concerns and interests, the state of its art, and its view of the future"

Abortion: A Reference Handbook (Green Library Ref. HQ767.5.U5C67 1996) and International Handbook on Abortion (Green Library Ref. & Stacks HQ767.I668 1988) which assembles data "from all continents on the general pattern of the legal status, indications for abortion, service delivery, abortion incidence, fertility trends, and the profile of contracepting and aborting women."

Women's Movements of the World: An International Directory and Reference Guide (Green Library Ref. HQ1883.W63 1988)

The Women's Desk Reference : An A-Z Sourcebook (Ref HQ1236.5.U6F73 1993)

The Nonsexist Word Finder: A Dictionary of Gender-free Usage (Green Library Ref. PE1689.M23 1987) appendices provide guidelines and readings on the subject.


Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Green Library Ref. CT3260.N57) covers women who died before 1950 and Notable American Women: The Modern Period (Green Library Ref. CT3260.N573) covers women who died 1951-1975.

Native American Women : A Biographical Dictionary (Green Library Ref. E98.W8B38 1992)

Notable Black American Women (Green Library Ref. Desk E185.96.N68 1992)

Notable Hispanic American Women (Green Library Ref. E184.S75 N68 1993)

Larousse Dictionary of Women (Green Library Ref. HQ1115.L376 1996) biographical sketches of notable women living and dead, worldwide; however, "the coverage is inevitably weighted towards 19th- and 20th-century women in the western world." Contains a brief chronology and lists of quotes, but no bibliography.

An Annotated Index of Medieval Women (Green Library Ref. CT3220.A56 1992)

Women in the Biological Sciences: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook (Green Library Ref. QH26.W66 1977)

Women of Mathematics: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook (Green Library Ref. QA28.W66 1987)

Women Film Directors: An International Bio-Critical Dictionary (Green Library Ref. PN1998.2.F67 1995) entries include "biographical information, critical essay, selected filmography, and selected bibliographic information."

Women Philosophers: A Bio-critical Source Book (Green Library Ref. B105.W6K47 1989) and Women Philosophers (Green Library Ref. B105.W6W64 1996)

Women in Psychology: A Bio-bibliographic Sourcebook (Green Library Ref. BF109.A1W65 1990)

Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century: A Biographical Dictionary with Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Q141.O34 1986)

Women in Sociology: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook (Green Library Ref. HM19.W59 1991)


Bibliographies can help you identify books and articles on a subject. Many of the following include short descriptions called annotations.


Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, 1980-1985 (Green Library Ref. Z7963.F44L63 1987) and Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7961.S75) classics in the field published before 1980.

Women's Issues: An Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7961.M85 1989)

The Women's Movement in the Seventies, 1977 (Green Library Ref. Z7961.K57)

Feminism and Women's Issues: An Annotated Bibliography and Research Guide (Green Library Ref. Z7961.W37 1990)

An Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism (Green Library Ref. Z7963.F44H85 1987)

Feminist Research Methods: An Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.F44M54 1991)

Feminist Theory : A Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.F44N66 1992)

Women of Color and Women Worldwide

Women of Color in the United States: A Guide to the Literature (Green Library Ref. Z7964.U49R4 1989)

The Chicana Studies Index : Twenty Years of Gender Research, 1971-1991 (Green Library Ref. Z1361.M4C457 1992)

Immigrant Women in the United States: A Selectively Annotated Multidisciplinary Bibliography (Green Library Ref. & Stacks Z7164.I3G33 1989)

African Women: A General Bibliography, 1976-1985 (Green Library Ref.Z3507.A45 no. 9)

Women and Religion in India: An Annotated Bibliography of Sources in English 1975-92 (Green Library Ref. Z7964.I5F34 1994)

Women in Japanese Society : An Annotated Bibliography of Selected English Language Materials (Green Library Ref. Z7964.J3H82 1992)

Gender and Anthropology: Critical Reviews for Research and Teaching (Green Library Ref. GN479.7.G46 1989)

See also related Web links for Women of Color & Women Worldwide.


The Female Experience in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century America: A Guide to the History of American Women (Green Library Ref. & Stacks Z7961.C64 1982)

Journal of Women's History Guide to Periodical Literature (Green Library Ref. Z7962.F57 1992)

United States Government Documents on Women, 1800-1990 : A Comprehensive Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7964.U49H85)

Women in Western European History, plus supplement (Green Library Ref. Z7961.F74 1982)

Women in the Third World: A Historical Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7964.D44B96 1986)

See also related Web links for Women in History.


Sex Roles Stereotyping in the Mass Media: An Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. & Stacks Z7164.S42F74)

Women and Film Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.M68C66 1992f) index to journal articles

Women and Mass Communications (Green Library Ref. Z5633.W65L45 1991)


Women and Judaism: A Select Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.J4R88)

Women and Religion : A Bibliographic Guide to Christian Feminist Liberation Theology (Green Library Ref. Z7963.R45F5 1991)


Women and Sexuality in America: A Bibliography (Green Library Ref. & Stacks Z7964.U49S26 1984)

Lesbian Sources: A Bibliography of Periodical Articles, 1970-1990 (Green Library Ref. Z5866.L44G37 1993)


Women in Sport: A Select Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.S6S56 1987)

Women in Sport: An Annotated Bibliography and Resource Guide, 1900-1990 (Green Library Ref. Z7963.S6R45 1991)


Women and Aging: A Guide to the Literature (Green Library Ref. Z7963.A4W54 1997)

Women and Science: An Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.S3O35 1996)

Mothers and Mothering: An Annotated Feminist Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.M67D59 1991)

Women and Work, Paid and Unpaid: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref. Z7963.E7F47 1987)

Acquaintance and Date Rape: An Annotated Bibliography (Green Library Ref.Z5703.4.R35A28 1994)

Contemporary Social Issues: A Bibliographic Series (Ref Z7164.S66C66) is a set of selective lists of books, pamphlets, documents, and periodicals articles "representing a variety of viewpoints and ranging from general to scholarly works." The series includes:

  • Affirmative Action, 1996 no. 41
  • Eating Disorders, 1989 no. 15
  • Feminism Worldwide, 1996 no. 44
  • The Feminist Movement, 1992 no.24
  • Latinas in the United States, 1995 no. 40
  • Rape, 1990 no.19
  • Reproductive Rights, 1988 no. 9
  • Violence Against Women, 1992 no. 26
  • Women and Aging, 1994 no. 35
  • Women and AIDS, 1993 no. 29
  • Women in the United States: Economic Conditions, 1995 no. 38


Indexes can help you identify articles in scholarly journals and other resources. These include indexes in paper and electronic formats. Resources marked with the icon are licensed for the non-profit educational use of Stanford University. If you are having problems accessing databases from off campus, see information on proxy access. For other indexes see the All Databases and Green Library CD-ROMs lists.

Women Studies Abstracts (1972+ shelved at Green Library IC Z7962/W65; 1984+ also in Women's Studies International on the Web ) indexes feminist and scholarly books and periodicals.

Women's Studies Index (1989+ shelved at Green Library IC HQ1180.W68; also on Web as Women's Studies on Disc ) indexes a wide range of periodicals.

Contemporary Women's Issues (1992+, full-text via the Web) reports, articles, and newsletters on issues affecting women.

Gender Watch formerly: Women R (1982+) fulltext articles, newsletters, reports focused on gender and women's issues.

An Index to Women's Studies Anthologies: Research Across the Disciplines, 1980-1984 (Green Library Ref. HQ1180.B76 1994) indexes collections of articles on women's studies written between 1980 and 1984.

Alternative Press Index (1991+ available on the Web; 1969-71; 1974+ shelved at Green Library IC Z7164.S66A5) indexes periodicals devoted to social change, including some gay/lesbian periodicals.

Alt-PressWatch provides fulltext of "a collection of newspapers, magazines and journals of the alternative and independent press."

America: History and Life (1964+) covers U.S. and Canadian history.

Chicano Database (1967+) includes some citations for earlier years. full-text information on Congress and American politics.

Expanded Academic ASAP general index to over 1500 magazines with some fulltext. (1980+) Gale/Infotrac interface to the information once found in Magazine and Journal Articles.

Index to Black Periodicals (1984+ Green Library Ref. Z1361.N39I55; also 1988+ on Black Studies on Disc) (Formerly: Index to Periodical Articles by and about Blacks 1950-69; 1971-83).

Historical Abstracts (1965+) covers world history except U.S. & Canada.

Humanities Citation Index, Arts & (1975+).

Humanities Index (1974+ Green Library IC AI3.H8) Author/subject index to periodicals in fields such as area studies, folklore, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion & theology..

International Index to Music Periodicals (via Web)

LexisNexis Academic - selected Lexis-Nexis files especially good for fulltext news, business, and law information. Limited to Stanford students, faculty, and staff.

LexisNexis Congressional (1970+) full-text of U.S. legislative information.

PAIS International, 1972+ ; 1915+ volumes are shelved at Green Library Information Center Z7163.P9) indexes selected books, government documents, and periodical articles on contemporary public issues and the making of public policy.

PsycArticles Fulltext Search fulltext of articles in journals published by the American Psychological Association.

Psycinfo (1887+) indexes and abstracts books, periodicals and other literature in psychology. Also Available from OVID..

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature(1967+) from Biblioline.

Sage Family Studies Abstracts (1981+ Green Library Information Center HQ546.S23; 1999+ on the Web )

Social Science Module from ProQuest - fulltext of journals in the social sciences.

Social Sciences Index, 1974+ (Green Library IC AI3S62) Author/subject index to periodicals in fields such as anthropology, economics, family studies, geography, international relations, law and criminology, political science, policy studies, psychology, social work, sociology, and urban studies.

Sociological Abstracts (1963+) (1952-1973 shelved at Green Library Information Center HM1.S67)


The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, completely revised and updated (Green Library Information Center G1046.E1S4 2003) uses current research and data to explore the status of women worldwide in relation to key issues.

The Women's Atlas of the United States (Green Library Information Center G1201.E1G5 1995) "explores events involving women and their lives geographically."

Atlas of American Women (Green Library Ref. G1201.E1S5 1987f) compares women "spatially over a variety of issues related to birth, death, and everything in between."


Statistical Abstract of the United States (Green Library Ready Ref. Table HA202.A483) published annually, it gathers together a wealth of statistical information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources.

Statistical Handbook on Women in America (Green Library Ref. HQ1420.T34 1991)

Statistical Record of Women Worldwide (Green Library Ready Ref. Table HQ1150.S73 1991)

WAC [Women's Action Coalition] Stats: The Facts about Women (Green Library Ref. HQ1421.W33 1993)

Where Women Stand: An International Report on the Status of Women in 140 Countries, 1997-1998. (Green Library Ref. HQ1154.N39 1997)

Women in the World: An International Atlas (Green Library Ref. HQ1154.S34 1986)

The World's Women, 1970-1990 : Trends and Statistics (Green Library Ref. HQ1154.W675 1991)

Timetables & Chronologies

The Timetables of Women's History (Green Library Ref. HQ1121.G74 1994)

The Women's Chronology (Green Library Ref. HQ1122.T73 1994)

American Women in Sport, 1887-1987: a 100 year chronology (Green Library Ref. GV583.A64 1989)


Encyclopedia of Women's Associations Worldwide : A Guide to over 3,400 National and Multinational Nonprofit Women's and Women-Related Organizations (Green Library Ref. HQ1883.E53 1993)

NWO : A Directory of National Women's Organizations (Green Library Ref. HQ1903.N9 1992)

The She Women's Directory (Green Library Ref. HV1443.B76 1998) lists a wide variety of organizations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Directory of Financial Aids for Women (Green Library Ready Ref. Table LB2338.D564)

In Her Own Image : Films and Videos Empowering Women for the Future (Green Library Ref. HQ1233.I54 1991)

Other Stanford Libraries

In addition to the resources in Green, you may well want to use the resources of other libraries on campus, especially:

Internet Resources

Internet Resources on Women (Green Library Ref. HQ1180.K67 1997) gives tips for using various resources, plus a selection of important Web sites.

Some especially rich sites include:

Last modified: September 17, 2008

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