New Research Guide! American Women: Resources from the Serial & Government Publications Collections

“Wonder Woman for President–Wonder Woman 1000 Years in the Future!” Wonder Woman no. 7 (Winter 1943).

We’re excited to announce that our research guide, American Women: Resources from the Serial & Government Publications Collections, is now available online! Part of the American Women Series from the Library of Congress, this guide is adapted and expanded from the original print guide American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States (Library of Congress, 2001).

Newspapers, Periodicals, Government Documents, and Comic books are rich resources for the study of women’s history and they document the place of women in society and acknowledge society’s recognition of women as audience and as contributors.


“Round the World with Nellie Bly–The Worlds Globe Circler,” New York World (New York, NY), January 26, 1890, p. 21.






From women as producers of the news to factual (and fictional) representations of women, the resources listed in this guide provide unique insights into women’s history through primary source materials. The guide is organized by type of material: News, Periodicals, Government Publications, and Popular Culture. Some featured sections include:



  • Women in the News Business highlights the major contributions of women to the newspaper industry since its beginnings in the United States in the 18th Century and the gradual emergence of women as reporters, columnists, editors, and CEO’s.


  • Edward Penfield. Harper’s [for] June. 1897. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

    Using the Periodical Collections provides helpful search strategies and directions for locating periodicals both by, for, and about women, that are held both in the Serial & Government Publications Division as well as throughout the Library.


  • Since 1972, Federal Advisory Committees have produced reports and other materials on women’s issues in the United States, and document their development over time.


  • The Library of Congress is a depository library for the United Nations, which has a variety of programs that highlight women’s issues, promote human rights and gender equality, and monitor women’s involvement in economic and social issues around the world. Official UN records, reports, studies, and statistical compendia include a wealth of information about American women, placing them and U.S. policies toward women’s issues within a larger context.

Schutz Group Photographers (Washington, D.C.). “1st International Congress of Working Women called by the National Womens’ Trade Union League of America,” Washington, D.C., October 28, 1919. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.


  • “Wonder Women of History–Carrie Chapman Catt,” Wonder Woman no. 26 (December 1947).

    Comic Books and Pulp Fiction materials offer unique opportunities to consider how women were and are portrayed in some of America’s most popular media. They also provide a record of the changing nature of women artists, editors, publishers, and writers in a historically male dominated field.

    We hope this guide is useful to you as you either begin or continue your research using our primary source materials! Questions? Get in touch with us via Ask-a-Librarian anytime or through our chat service Monday – Friday noon-4 p.m. EST.


Let’s Talk Comics: Crime

Inspired by the true detective and mystery pulp fiction magazines from the early 20th century, such as Black Mask, Detective Story, and G-Men, crime comics were one of the most popular genres of the Golden Age during the 1940s and 1950s. But public fascination with crime dates back even earlier with publications such as The […]

Pulp Fiction at the Library

“Murder Straight Ahead,” “Yesterday I Lived!”, “The Lonely Corpse.” With titles like these, who could resist these stories? In an era before television or even paperback books, people found excitement and entertainment in the form of pulp fiction magazines. Read more about the collections in the Newspaper Reading Room!