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Women: Position and Progress Collection, 1804-2001
4 boxes, 30 volumes (3 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 431

Abstract:
Collection contains manuscripts and published material, including books dating from the early nineteenth century. The collection consists primarily of published sources such as lectures, sermons, and printed material; but also includes a significant amount of unusual and unique material such as household bills and inventories, letters, lists, and notes.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy all copyright holders. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Scope and Contents of the Collection
"The American Woman's Home," pamphlet by Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1870

"The American Woman's Home,"
pamphlet by Catharine E. Beecher
and Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1870

The Women: Position and Progress Collection contains manuscript and published material, including books dating from the early nineteenth century. It documents both dominant attitudes about middle- and upper-class women's roles and gender-conscious women's and men's efforts to expand and overturn those roles, and illustrates the impact of such efforts on women's status and position in Western societies. The collection consists primarily of published sources such as articles, printed lectures and sermons, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets; but also includes a significant amount of unusual and unique material such as household bills and inventories, letters, lists, and notes.

About half the material in the collection dates from the nineteenth century. The bulk of material consists of articles, books, and pamphlets that reflect the widely divergent views about women's roles that made "the woman question" such a visible and contentious issue in this period. Prescriptive literature, such as advice books with titles such as How the Good Wife Taught Her Daughter, and The Young Bride's Book, and an assortment of printed lectures and sermons clearly illustrate the power and prevalence of traditional assumptions about women's "natural" maternalism and domesticity. Emerging arguments about the need for women's equality and women's rights are also well-represented in the older segment of the collection by articles from magazines and newspapers, pamphlets, and printed lectures. A few examples of personal letters, household bills, and lists of house rules for servants from a Worcester, Massachusetts home provide a small glimpse into the realities of daily life for upper- middle- and working-class women during the 1830s-80s.

The twentieth century material reflects a similar range of opinions about women's social, political, and economic roles, and documents the dramatic shifts in women's status over the last hundred years. Anti-feminist attitudes are primarily represented in a variety of articles and essays from both scholarly and popular publications. Feminist points of view as expressed in magazine and newspaper articles, scholarly essays, and speeches are far more evident in twentieth century material. Unusual items from the twentieth century includes a typewritten outline of the history of the women's movement in the U.S. compiled in 1944 by Mary Williams, a professor at Goucher College; a few personal letters; and a toy catalog which probably dates from the 1940s or 1950s.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy all copyright holders. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Position and Progress Collection, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Materials in this "artificial" subject collection were either purchased or given to the Sophia Smith Collection by various donors. Some items may have been removed from other collections.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised in 2010. Introductory text by Kate Weigand. Recent additions may not be reflected in the finding aid.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Clippings
1889-1981

Box 1: folder 1
Exposition\ exhibitions
1876-1974

Box 1: folder 2
History of women--general
1910-1975

Box 1: folder 3
Magazine articles, 19th century


Box 1: folder 4
Magazine articles, 20th century


Box 1: folder 5a-c
Pamphlets



1804-98

Box 1: folder 6
1900-40

Box 2: folder 7 a-c
1941-43, n.d.

Box 3: folder 8
Postcards
n.d. (late 19th, early 20th century)

Box 3: folder 8a
Manners and customs



American Woman's Home by Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
1870

Box 3: folder 9
Green, Mary: household bills
1833-35

Box 3: folder 10
Green Hill, Worcester, MA: household lists; rules for young school girls
1874-88 n.d.

Box 3: folder 11
May, Samuel J.: three letters to wife Lucretia
1835

Box 3: folder 12
General and miscellaneous
1848-1969

Box 3: folder 13
Pamphlets and booklets
1845-1959, 2001

Box 3: folder 14-14a
Books



Lectures on Female Education and Manners by J. Burton. Baltimore
1811

Box 4: folder 1
Noble Deeds of Woman; or, Examples of Female Courage and Virtue by Elizabeth Starling.
1850

Box 4: folder 2
Woman, in her Social and Domestic Character and New every morning, a year book for girls by Mrs. John Sandford
1833, 1886

Box 4: folder 3
The Ladies Album
1856

Box 4: folder 4
Maternal instruction by Elizabeth Helme
1804

Box 4: folder 5
How the goode wif thaught hir daughter, extracted from Hindley, Chas., ed. The Old Book Collector's Miscellany, v.2
1872

Box 4: folder 6
Books on Shelf



Bracken, Peg. I Try to Behave Myself: Peg Bracken's Etiquette Book
1966


Bragdon, Elizabeth, editor. Women Today: Their Conflicts, Their Frustrations and Their Fulfillments
1953


Cole, Wolliam and Florett Robinson. Women are wonderful! A history in cartoons of a hundred years
1956


Copley, Esther. Female excellence, or hints to daughters designed for their use from the time of leaving school till their settlement in life
circa 1850s


The Cosmopolitan Report: The Changing Life of American Women
1986


Dahl, Arlene. Always Ask a Man: Arlene Dahl's Key to Femininity
1965


Donnelly, Eleanor C., editor. Girlhood's Handbook of Woman: A Compendium of Views
1898


Dye, Judith Levett. For the instruction and amusement of Women: the growth, development, and definition of American magazines for women 1780-1840. University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.
1977


Farmer, Lydia Hoyt, editor. The National Exposition Souvenir: What America Owes to Women
1893


Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Manmade World or Our Andocentric Culture
1911


The Good Housekeeping Woman's Almanac: The Book With All the Answers for Women by the editors of World Almanac
1977


The habits of good society: a handbook for ladies and gentlemen
1860


Hankins, Mary Louise. Women of New York
1861


Hersey, Heloise. To Girls: A budget of letters
1901


Holtby, Winifred. Women and a Changing Civilization
1935


Hosmer, William. The Young Lady's Book
1852


Life Magazine: The American Woman (special issue)
Dec 24 1956


Martineau, Harriet. Household Education
1867


Massachusetts Review. Woman: An Issue
1972


Melendy, Mary. The Ideal Woman for Maidens, Wives, and Mothers
1911


Michelet, M.J. Woman (translated from the French by J.W. Palmer)
1860


Rogers, Agnes. Women are here to stay
1949


Royden, Maude. Women's Partnership in the New World
1941


"This Crisis in History": Report of the Third Annual New York Herald Tribune Women's Conference on Current Problems,
1933


Thornwell, Emily. The ladies guide to perfect gentility
1856


Tobias, Roscoe Burdette and Mary E. Marcy. Women as Sex Vendors: or, why women are conservative, being a view of the economic status of women
circa 1918


Vann. The Five Talents of Woman: A Book for Girls and Women
1895


West, Jane. Letters to a Young Lady in Which the Duties and Character of Women are Considered
1806


Wilcox, Ella Wheeler. Men, Women and Emotions
1893


Women: Pro and Con, a compilation of quotes about women illustrated by Jeff Hill (Peter Pauper Press)
1958


"I'll be no submissive wife: a ballad" (sheet music), composed by Alex Lee
1838

Flat File

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Etiquette for women--History--Sources
  • Housewives--History--Sources
  • Manners and customs--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Marriage--History--Sources
  • Middle class women--Attitudes
  • Motherhood--History--Sources
  • Women's rights--History--19th century--Sources
  • Women's rights--History--20th century--Sources
  • Women--Conduct of life
  • Women--Periodicals
  • Women--Sexual behavior--History
  • Women--Social and moral questions

Contributors
  • Sophia Smith Collection


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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