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Women’s History Month: Occupations and Contributions

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Stephen Wesson, of the Library of Congress, contributed to this post.

For teachers exploring Women’s History Month with their students, the Library of Congress offers a multitude of resources, both old and new.

There are two longstanding starting points for finding women’s history resources: the Women’s History Month portal, which includes resources from a number of different U.S. cultural institutions, and the many women’s history posts published by Teaching with the Library of Congress through the years. Here are a few recent highlights:

In addition to the many Library of Congress online collections that are specifically focused on materials created by and about women, women and their contributions are well represented throughout many other collections.

Kim Spicer working for Gateway Electric

Photograph of Uchechi Cooper using a rotary hammer drill.

Trisha DiCienzo on cargo pier.

One especially notable source for information on women’s lives is the Occupational Folklife Project, which documents people discussing their working lives. The Project includes interviews with and photographs of women in many career roles, from styling hair and home care services to iron work, architecture, and industrial fishing.

Students exploring these interviews might focus on a single woman’s reflections on her career or look across multiple resources to look for patterns to learn more about women’s careers and contributions. They might also take inspiration from these accounts to search for other evidence of women’s working lives elsewhere in the Library’s collections, or to seek out similar stories from women in their lives today.

Please share any ideas you discover for bringing these collections into the classroom!

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