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It is safe to say that no other collection in this country offers such resources for comparative studies of the feminist movement."

--Anne Firor Scott,
Duke University

The Gerritsen Collection of Women's History provides an entire international library spanning four centuries and documenting the lives and experiences of women in the public and private arenas.

Widely acclaimed as the greatest single source for the study of international women's history and the feminist movement, this collection was begun in the late 19th century by Aletta Jacobs Gerritsen. This leading feminist and the Netherlands' first woman doctor brought together an unmatched body of material from continental Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

These materials permit scholars and researchers to study what authors from various countries were writing about women during the same periods in history. The anti-feminist case is heard as well as the pro-feminist. Many other titles present a purely objective record of the condition of women during a given historical period.

Considered a desideratum for any library supporting programs in women's history, social history, and the history of ideas, the collection is divided into two Series: the Monograph Language Series and the Periodical Series.

Monograph Language Series The 4,471 monographs and pamphlets in this series are available in individual language segments:


  • English Monograph Titles (2,336 titles)--This segment represents perhaps the greatest single source for tracing the origins and growth of the women's suffrage and feminist movements in the English-speaking world. Featured are such materials as the writings of Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Women's Suffrage publication, Ought Women to Have Votes for Members of Parliament? (1879). Such publications as Anti-Suffrage Essays by Massachusetts Women (1916), are also included.
  • German Monograph Titles (929 titles)--The history of an organized women's movement is heavily documented. One biography, for example, traces the origins, problems, and successes of Germany's first national women's rights group--Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauenverein. Other interest areas include women and socialism, the history and legal status of Jewish women, and the Swiss women's movement.
  • French Monograph Titles (734 titles)--Included are valuable biographies, autobiographies, histories, and more, offering research opportunities into topics such as women in the military, French law, and reforms in women's legal, civil and economic rights, and the influence of women on French literature from Gallic times through World War II.
  • Additional Monographs Printed in 12 Languages (472 titles)--These monographs provide information reflecting Gerritsen's interest in amassing a library for the comparative study of the international women's movement.

Periodical Series For the years 1860-1900, which is the period covered by most of the titles in this series, there is no comparable source of literature on women. Gerritsen was scrupulous in collecting complete or nearly complete runs of the periodicals chosen; however, since there were gaps in the files, supplementary titles have been assembled.

This comprehensive group of 265 titles will appeal to general, professional, and specialized audiences. Included in the large selection devoted to women's social, political, and legal rights are The Suffragist (1913-21) and The Women's Protest Against Woman Suffrage (1912-18).


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