Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600 to 2000

"Outstanding Academic Title 2004" Winner! –Choice

"ASP has the cleanest, most responsive search apparatus in the business. The uncluttered presentation and ample hypertext anticipate users' needs with extensive data on primary texts, sources, and translation and offer keyword searches in context, line-by-line, or by author or year... Summing Up: Highly recommended." –Choice

"Best Reference Database 2003" Winner! –Library Journal

"Alexander Street Press scoops the electronic publishing wold yet again with a powerhouse product... This is an exciting resource and an intriguing publishing model." –Library Journal

"Far more comprehensive than any other website in the field... Not only the biggest, but far and away the best, using a method of organization that benefits students, teachers, and scholars alike." –Women's History Review

"It is a superb resource for researching and teaching social and political change in the US from the colonial period to the present." –History Workshop Online

Women and Social Movements in the United States brings together primary documents, books, images, scholarly essays, book reviews, Web site reviews, and teaching tools, all documenting the multiplicity of women’s activism in public life. It’s one of the most heavily visited resources for women’s studies on the Web, and it appeals to students and scholars at all levels. The database is edited by the project’s creators, Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin of the State University of New York at Binghamton, together with an editorial board of leading scholars from around the US.


Women and Social Movements: Basic Edition is ideal for teaching U.S. history. It is organized around more than 110 document projects, each posing a new interpretive question and then providing 20 to 50 primary documents that address the question, together with an interpretive introduction and headnotes, bibliography, and related links. Together these document projects provide 4,600 documents, 1,300 images, and 1,000 links to other sites. The presentations reveal the process of historical change, and they help students to develop skills needed to analyze the primary documents. Some examples:

  • How Did the Ladies Association of Philadelphia Shape New Forms of Women's Activism During the American Revolution, 1780–1781?
  • How Did White Women Aid Former Slaves During and After the Civil War, 1863–1891?
  • How Did Black and White Southern Women Campaign to End Lynching, 1890–1942?
  • How and Why Did the Guerrilla Girls Alter the Art Establishment in New York City, 1985–1995?
  • How Have Recent Social Movements Shaped Civil Rights Legislation for Women? The 1994 Violence Against Women Act.
  • …and dozens more, with new document projects, reviews, and teaching tools added quarterly.

Alexander Street has thoroughly indexed the materials in the Basic Edition to allow for in-depth research never before possible. A user interested in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s use of the word girls, for example, can find relevant passages written by her, written about her, or contained in works she edited.  These passages can then be sorted by date written, date published, author, and more to provide unprecedented insight into the topic.  

The database contains tens of thousands of exhaustively indexed pages of books, pamphlets, and related materials that provide in-depth access to the published histories and records of women’s reform organizations in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Examples of fully indexed works are The History of Woman Suffrage (six volumes, 1881–1922), the proceedings of the national conventions of women's anti-slavery societies in the 1830s, and annual reports of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.


The Scholar’s Edition features enhanced content and search tools that make it ideal for research and scholarship. It includes the Basic Edition plus 90,000 additional pages of previously inaccessible data and statistics from the publications of local and state commissions on women since 1963. These publications embrace an astonishing range of issues, employing pamphlets, posters, personal narratives, advice literature, training guides, interviews, and other ephemera that provide snapshots of women’s struggle for equality over time and across regions. The items are rich in personal testimony, chronologies, milestones, biographies, laws and legal challenges, recommendations, training instruction, and self-help guides. The Scholar’s Edition is a must for anyone interested in in-depth research in US History, Women’s Studies, and Sociology.

The Scholar’s Edition also includes an indexed, searchable online edition of the highly respected research tool, Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary (five volumes, 1971–2004), fully integrated into the broader Women and Social Movements database. For the first time, the rich resources of this biographical dictionary are available to scholars online, employing the powerful research tools pioneered by Alexander Street.   

Also unique to the Scholar’s Edition is the growing Black Woman Suffragists project. In her dissertation 35 years ago, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn identified 80 black women supporters of the women’s suffrage movement. After many years of careful research, our editors have identified writings by 60 of these women, totaling more than 1,200 items with 12,000 pages, which will be added into the Women and Social Movements in the United States collection. The project also includes accompanying essays by Terborg-Penn and 16 additional scholars.

Research tools unique to Women and Social Movements

Alexander Street’s Semantic Indexing, an extensive author database, and a powerful full-text search engine give in-depth access and add significant value to the documents and document projects.  Searches such as these take seconds: Find all the writings and speeches of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Find social movements involving Jewish women. Find all 20th century organizations related to education. Find abortion statistics for North Carolina in the 1960s. There is also a Dictionary of Social Movements, a Chronology of U.S. Women's History, and substantial linking to related Web sites.

Women and Social movements in the United States fulfills the promise of digitized content by allowing users to delve deeper into primary sources than ever before. Even commonly cited materials take on a new life, and scholars will find fresh, valuable information with every click of the mouse. 


The resource is edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin of SUNY Binghamton, together with the other members of the editorial board:

  • Harriet Alonso, City University of New York
  • Joyce Antler, Brandeis University
  • Karen Anderson, University of Arizona
  • Sherri Barnes, University of Maryland
  • Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland
  • Victoria Brown, Grinnell College
  • Lara Campbell, Simon Fraser University
  • Patricia Cleary, California State University at Long Beach
  • Carol Coburn, Avila University
  • Kathleen Laughlin, Metropolitan State University
  • Judith Ezekiel, University of Toulouse
  • Nancy Page Fernandez, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
  • Estelle Freedman, Stanford University
  • Jennifer Frost, University of Auckland
  • Melanie Shell-Weiss, Johns Hopkins University
  • Joanne Goodwin, University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • Linda Janke, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
  • Paivi Hoikkala, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona
  • Nancy Hewitt, Rutgers University
  • Nancy Janovicek, University of Calgary
  • S.J. Kleinberg, Brunel University
  • Shira Kohn, New York University
  • Rachel Dranson, New York University
  • Carol Lasser, Oberlin College
  • Stephanie Gilmore, Independent Scholar
  • Kriste Lindenmeyer, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Marjorie Murphy, Swarthmore College
  • Katherine Osburn, Tennessee Technological University
  • Elisabeth Perry, St. Louis University
  • Janice C. Reiff, University of California–Los Angeles
  • Hasia Diner, New York University
  • Joan Sangster, Trent University
  • Kimberly Springer, King's College, London
  • Marjorie Spruill, University of South Carolina
  • Laura Westhoff, University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • Cynthia Wright, University of Toronto
  • Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Iowa State University

Publication details

Both the Basic Edition and the Scholar’s Edition are available either through subscription or a one-time purchase of perpetual rights. A library that purchases the content receives an archival copy of the data. Customers who have previously purchased access to Women and Social Movements in the United States can upgrade to the Scholar's Edition.