Women and Gender Studies

The Newberry’s Women and Gender Studies materials can be found throughout the Library’s core collections. This includes artists’ books, zines, poetry, feminist and Native American literature, graphic novels, maps, and guide books. Currently, the bulk of gender-related materials are focused on women's studies. There are also a significant number of gender-related materials, especially artist books, found in the Wing collection for the history of printing and writing.

Gertrude Stein and Fanny Butcher, Chicago, 1934

To locate Women and Gender Studies related materials in the Newberry’s collections, you can conduct a Subject search in our catalog (see below). Some of these subject headings are antiquated but currently still used by the Library of Congress:

Feminism -- (location) -- History

Feminist literature

Gender identity



Human rights

Transgender people -- (location)

For those items listed as on the 3rd floor Reference shelves, you might also consider looking at the call numbers around those books, since there should be materials dealing with similar topics nearby. All items with a “Ref” call number can be viewed on the open shelves on the 3rd floor of the Library. General and Special Collections items must be retrieved by staff.

Zackodnik, Teresa, ed. African American Feminisms, 1828-1923. London: Routledge, 2007. Location: 3rd floor Reference. Call number: Ref HQ1418 .A52 2007.

Herring, Scott, ed. The Cambridge Companion to American Gay and Lesbian Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2015. Location: General Collection 2nd floor. Call number: PS153.G38 C36 2015.

Evans, Robert C. LGBTQ Literature. Hackensack, NJ: Salem Press, 2015. Location: General Collection 2nd floor. Call number: PS153.S39 L43 2015.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. New York: Facts on File, 2006. Location: Reference 3rd floor. Call number: Ref PN471.S58 2006.

Gifford, James J., ed. Glances Backward: An Anthology of American Homosexual Writing, 1830-1920. Location: General Collection 2nd floor. Call number: PS 509.H57 G53 2007.

To find modern manuscript and ephemera collections related to Women and Gender Studies, go to the Modern Manuscripts and Archives search page, and search by keyword, subject, or a specific name.

Newberry Library. Early Women’s Literature: A Provisional Checklist of Works in the Newberry Library Written by or about Women and Published before 1700. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1993. Location: Checklist Area in the General Reading Room. Call Number: Ref Z 6611 .W6 N48 1993. Other copies available.


For a comprehensive list of all our databases, visit our Databases webpage.

Most of the databases at the Newberry are subscription databases; therefore access is available to registered readers only within the library building. Those listed below without the asterisks are subscription databases.

*Explore Chicago Collections: Search for thousands of archival collections and digital images at member institutions all over the Chicago area.

JSTOR: Provides full-text access to an archive of major scholarly journals. Contains complete runs from their first volumes up through approximately five years ago.

Women and Social Movements: A full-text database and teaching resource organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection includes more than 162,000 pages of text, written by 2,500 primary authors. It also includes book, film, and website reviews, and teaching tools.

Digital Exhibitions

Elizabeth I. Ruler and Legend

This exhibition explores the life and reign of this remarkable queen, examining how her unique personality was forged and why her legend has endured.

World War I Comes to the Newberry

The exhibit is accompanied by American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924, an exhibit that documents the work of hundreds of American women who left comfortable lives in the United States to volunteer humanitarian service in France during and after the conflict.

Gerber Hart Library

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives was founded in 1981 to be a depository for the records of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified (LGBTQ) individuals and organizations, and for other resources bearing upon their lives and experiences in American society. Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has since grown into being the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ circulating library with over 14,000 volumes, 800 periodical titles, and 100 archival collections.

Women and Leadership Archives

Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, and makes available permanently valuable records of women and women’s organizations, which document women’s lives, roles, and contributions. The WLA grew out of the need to care for the records of Mundelein College and expanded to collect papers of women leaders and women’s organizations. Collection strengths include the subject areas of activism and women’s issues; authors; education; environmental issues; public service; social justice; women religious; and the fine, performance, and visual arts.

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