Women and Social Movements in the United States,1600-2000

  1. Project Staff
  2. About Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
  3. Subscription and Free Trial Information
  4. Submission Guidelines
  5. Preparing Transcriptions
  6. FAQ
  7. History of the WASM Website
  8. Project Contributors
  9. How to Cite Sources from WASM
  10. Reviews
  11. Permissions
  12. Copyright
  13. Archiving
  14. Sensitivity Statement and Takedown Policy
  15. Errata
  16. Technical Support



  1. Project Staff


Rebecca Jo Plant

Rebecca Jo Plant is an associate professor in History at the University of California, San Diego. The author of Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America (University of Chicago Press, 2010), and co-editor of Maternalism Reconsidered: Motherhood, Welfare, and Social Policies in the Twentieth Century (Berghahn, 2012), she has held major fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Australian Research Council. Along with Frances M. Clarke, she won the 2015 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize and Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’ Prize for best article for “‘The Crowning Insult’: Federal Segregation and the Gold Star Mother and Widow Pilgrimages of the Early 1930s” (Journal of American History). The two of them are currently completing a jointly authored study on the problem of underage enlistment during the American Civil War.

Book Review Editors

Katherine Marino

Katherine Marino is an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth-century U.S. and Latin American history; histories of women, gender, sexuality, and race in the Americas; human rights; and transnational feminism. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Women’s History, Gender & History, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies. Her book, Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), is based on her dissertation that won the Organization of American Historians Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation on U.S. women's history. Her work has received support from national organizations, including the Mellon Foundation, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences where she was a Visiting Scholar in 2015-2016.

Donna Schuele

Donna Schuele is a lecturer in the Departments of History and Finance, Law and Real Estate at California State University, Los Angeles; a Research Affiliate with the Center for the Study of Women at UCLA; and President of the Historical Society of Southern California. She received her J.D. and her Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2013, while a member of the Department of Criminology, Law & Society at UC Irvine, she received the Lecturer of the Year Award, and her teaching has also been honored by the American Political Science Association. Her work appears in two anthologies, On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American Southwest (University of California Press, 2012) and Taming the Elephant: Politics, Government, and Law in Pioneer California (University of California Press, 2003), as well as the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Western Legal History, California History, and the Journal of Family Law. She is currently working on a biographical project focusing on retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, as well as a book on the 1982 case, Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, for Kansas University Press’s Landmark Law Cases and American Society series.

Editorial Assistants

John Gove is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of California San Diego. They hold a Bachelor of Science in political science from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in history from San Diego State University. Their MA thesis, From the Campus to the Community: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1970s San Diego, explores outreach and community-building among San Diego’s earliest gay rights activists, while also examining the ways in which women, people of color, transgender people, and the poor and working class pushed back against their own marginalization within this already marginalized community. They are currently working on their PhD dissertation, which traces the development of LGBTQ political activist organizations in Southern California from the end of World War II through today.

Founding Editors

Tom Dublin and Kathryn Kish Sklar

Kathryn Kish Sklar is Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at the State University of New York at Binghamton. In 2005-2006 she was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford, and from 1974 to 1988 was Associate Professor and Professor of History at UCLA. Among other books, she is the author of Florence Kelley and the Nation’s Work: The Rise of Women’s Political Culture, 1830-1900 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995) and Catharine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973), both of which were awarded the Berkshire Prize. With Thomas Dublin from 1997 to 2019 she co-edited Women and Social Movements in the United States. She and Thomas Dublin also co-edited Women and Social Movements International since 1840 (2012); and Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820 (2017). She is currently completing a study of the social origins of minimum wage in the United States, 1835-1941. She and Thomas Dublin live in Berkeley.

Thomas Dublin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860 (Columbia University Press, 1979), winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Merle Curti Award. His latest book, The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century (Cornell University Press), co-authored with Walter Licht, received the 2006 Merle Curti Award for Social History and the Philip S. Klein Prize.

Denise Ireton served as Managing Editor for Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 until 2019. She earned her Ph.D. at Binghamton University in 2015. She is an independent researcher and historical consultant with ten years’ experience in project management and teaching. Currently, she is revising a study on activist women and international citizenship during the period between the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and the start of World War II in 1939.

  1. About Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000

ISSN 2164-5361

This website is a resource for students and scholars of U.S. women’s history and U.S. history more broadly. Loosely organized around the history of women in social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000, the site seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding of U.S. history while making the insights of women’s history accessible to scholars and students at universities and colleges. It features learning-centered document projects, as well as extensive collections of primary sources. We are also an online journal and publish new issues twice a year (fall and spring), featuring new document projects and book reviews, as well as a host of other material, including essays, roundtables, and other special features. The site is published by Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company, with support from the University of California at Irvine and San Diego. It is available to academic libraries by subscription or purchase.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 contains the following resources:

  • More than 140 document projects that present and interpret primary source documents, the great majority of which are not otherwise available online. Each document project poses an interpretive question or series of questions and provides a collection of documents that address the question. Altogether the database contains about 9,500 documents, 1,500 images, and 1,200 links to other websites. They demonstrate that historical analysis is an interpretive process based on documents and encourage viewers of the site to participate in that process. We add four new document projects or additions to existing projects annually.
  • About 5,900 of these publications consist of primary source collections pertaining to Women and Social Movements in the United States. These materials were selected by the founding editors for their relevance to the focus of the website. For a listing of Primary Source Collections, make a link from the “Primary Source Sets” tile on the home page of the database.
  • A dictionary of social movements and organizations.
  • A chronology of U.S. Women's History.
  • Teaching Tools with lesson ideas and document-based questions related to many of the website's document projects.
  • Book and website reviews published twice annually.
  • An online edition of the five-volume biographical dictionary, Notable American Women (1971-2004).
  • An Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States that currently includes about 3,750. We are still adding to the collection, and the resource should be completed in 2024. The collection includes radical, mainstream and black women suffragists who were primarily active from 1890 to 1920.


  1. Subscription and Free Trial Information

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 is available for one-time purchase of perpetual access, or as an annual subscription. Perpetual access customers of Women and Social Movements, 1600-2000, edited by Thomas Dublin and Kathryn Kish Sklar need to purchase annual updates to access the more recent additions to the database. Please contact us at sales@alexanderstreet.com if you wish to begin a subscription, purchase the annual updates, or request a free 30-day trial.

  1. Submission Guidelines

Women and Social Movements (WASM) welcomes proposals for online document projects. Prospective submissions should be built around primary sources addressing a question or theme concerning some aspect of women and social movements in the United States, broadly defined. The project’s focus should also speak to issues raised in relevant secondary literature. Our submission process is slightly different than that of a typical academic journal, as WASM is really the only venue for publication of such work.

  1. We ask prospective contributors to initially submit a proposal, consisting of a 3-5 page abstract noting the project’s thematic focus and animating questions, its connection to relevant historiography, and an annotated list of the 20-30 primary documents likely to be included in the project.
  2. We send proposals out for double-blind peer review. Based on reviewers’ comments and the editors’ assessments, we will either accept a proposal, urge the author to revise and resubmit, or decide not to move forward.
  3. Once a proposal is accepted, the author moves forward to create the full-scale document project. It should include an introductory essay (about 6,000 to 8,000 words) that sheds light on the conceptual questions prompted by the documents, contextualizes these themes within existing scholarship, and outlines the structure of the project. It will also include about 20-30 primary source documents (texts, images, audio or video), with accompanying headnotes that offer context for each document and explain any obscure references within the documents. The project should also include a bibliography, a set of related links, 5 teaching questions, and a list of 5-10 relevant searchable key terms. Authors of projects accepted for publication on the website will also need to secure permission for the publication of any copyrighted material. Our staff will work closely with you to provide support in this process.

We encourage prospective contributors to contact the editor, Rebecca Jo Plant (rjp@ucsd.edu)to discuss their proposals before submitting them. Please also feel free to email wasmatuc@gmail.comwith any questions you may have. All submissions must be electronic via email attachments. Beginning in July 2024, Patricia Schechter of Portland State University will become the new editor. She will be reachable at schechp@pdx.edu.

Professor Jay Kleinberg of Brunel University has written an article describing her experience preparing a document project for WASM and has kindly permitted us to post the piece here for prospective contributors. You may find her discussion helpful if you are anticipating preparing your own document project.

  1. Preparing Transcriptions

A note on transcription of primary sources: To facilitate searches on the site, we have occasionally transcribed documents. Otherwise Optical Character Recognition software renders many searches incomplete. To prepare our key-entered transcriptions of documents we begin with photocopies or photographs of the original documents, whether archival manuscripts or published works. On most occasions we also include an image of the original document. We transcribe originals as they appear and do not correct errors in spelling or non-standard punctuation except in the case of typographical errors in printed sources or insignificant errors in manuscript sources. Errors have not been noted with "[sic]" except in cases where recognition of the error illuminates the document. We add words only occasionally to clarify the meaning of an obscure passage and always use brackets [ ] on such occasions. We use ellipses to indicate places where we excerpt portions from a longer document. Where we delete a paragraph or more, we insert asterisks to mark this editing. We also add signatures in brackets if the original document is an internal copy of a letter and as such does not have a signature.

  1. FAQ

How much content is in the database?

The latest number of pages included is listed on the homepage. You can also view "All Works" browse to see a full list of all titles available.

Can you print out pages from the database?

Yes, each page has a printer icon that will allow you to print a limited amount of text for educational research and classroom use. In some cases you will see links to PDF versions of the original text, which you may print. Please note that printing is limited by U.S. Fair Use Provisions and international copyright law.

Are there URLs for each work that can be emailed to students/colleagues?

Yes, each page has a static URL that can be used to direct others to the work. Click the Embed/Link option located at the top the document viewer next to the playlist option.

How do we get stats?

Usage statistics can be obtained by emailing support@alexanderstreet.com. Please state the name of your institution and specify the time period for which you would like usage data.

How do we get MARC records?

We are currently in the process of updating and improving our MARC records for all databases. Once complete, MARC record sets will be posted and available for download at https://alexanderstreet.com/marc-records.

Can I use Boolean operators?

Yes, you can use Boolean operators in any search field.

The “AND” Operator

The AND operator retrieves all cases where words, phrases, and their variations appear in the same specified context (e.g., church AND state). As you enter more search terms, fewer results will be retrieved but each result will be of higher relevance.

The “OR” Operator

The OR operator retrieves all instances where individual words or phrases appear (e.g., avarice OR greed, holy ghost OR spirit).

The “NOT” Operator

The NOT operator retrieves instances where one chooses to exclude a word from a search (e.g., church NOT state).

Rules of thumb using Boolean Operators

1. Entering more search terms into an 'AND' search will reduce the number of results and help you to focus in on the most relevant matches.

2. Entering more search terms into an 'OR' search will increase the number of results and is particularly useful when you want to include synonyms of your main search term.

  1. History of the WASM Web Site

The original WASM website appeared under the joint imprint of the Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and Alexander Street of Alexandria, Virginia. The project began in a senior seminar that Kathryn Sklar taught at the SUNY Binghamton in the Spring of 1997. The course was designed to introduce advanced undergraduates to the excitement of discovering, editing, and analyzing historical documents that focus on women and social movements in American history. The students produced portions of what became the website's first document projects in December 1997.

When the format of documentary projects proved extremely well matched to the emerging internet, Thomas Dublin, Sklar's colleague at SUNY Binghamton, joined her to create an innovative website for the documentary projects, adding his knowledge of U.S. women's history and his experience with the use of computers in historical research. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and later from Houghton Mifflin and ProQuest Information and Learning, the website grew rapidly. In 2001, with a second NEH grant, Sklar and Dublin began a collaboration with eleven faculty from other colleges and universities around the country. By the end of 2002 the website offered 43 documentary projects that interpreted about 1,000 documents ranging from 1775 to 2000. The site attracted about 30,000 viewers a month from more than ninety countries. Yet two aspects of the website were not sustainable: the intensive labor needed to transform student work into authoritative scholarly analysis; and the initial sources of the site's funding.

This combination of success and challenges prompted Sklar and Dublin to reconceive the Women and Social Movements website in the Spring of 2002. Convinced that the technology and the format of the website were ideally matched to generate new knowledge in U.S. Women's History, they decided to encourage faculty and advanced graduate students to create document projects for the site. That effort was remarkably successful; for more than two years Women and Social Movements published regular additions to the website from a wide range of scholars drawing on their specialized knowledge to create documentary projects for the site. Sklar and Dublin established an Editorial Board for the website as well as guidelines for submissions with blind peer review. In the Spring of 2002 they also began discussions with Stephen Rhind-Tutt of Alexander Street, which resulted in the decision to publish jointly with AS. This relationship has provided stability for the website and facilitated its expansion. Along with high scholarly standards, Alexander Street brings unique talents to the technical dimensions of the project. They have developed the site's new search engine, database, semantic (keyword) indexing and design.

In March 2004, WASM became a quarterly online journal, and for five years added new document projects quarterly, publishing on average eight new projects annually. Because each issue grew in size, WASM changed to a semi-annual publication schedule in 2009 to prepare the extensive material. In addition to document projects, with each issue the editors also publish digitized versions of books and pamphlets related to women and social movements in the U.S. expanding the site by about 5,000 pages a year. Initially these volumes focused on one hundred years of the woman suffrage movement, 1830-1930, including its origins in the anti-slavery movement and the women’s rights convention movement, with:

  • the printed proceedings of the three national conventions of anti-slavery women held in the mid-1830s;
  • the printed proceedings of eighteen national woman's rights conventions held between 1848 and 1869;
  • the six volumes of The History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1922) edited by Elisabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and others.

Alexander Street has provided semantic indexing and database searching for these and other resources on the site, greatly improving its scholarly utility. A Dictionary of Social Movements and a Chronology of U.S. Women's History, both especially prepared for the website, provide users unique subject access to both document projects and full-text sources on the site.

Between 2005 and 2019, WASM also published book reviews under the editorial direction of the following scholars: Victoria Brown, Grinnell College; Carol Faulkner, Syracuse University; Jeanne Petit, Hope College; Melanie Shell-Weiss, Johns Hopkins University; Mary Henold, Roanoke University; Kathleen Laughlin, Metropolitan State University; Megan Threlkeld, Denison University. During those years, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Iowa State University and Wake Forest University, edited Notes from the Archives for WASM.

Beginning in January 2001, we augmented the site’s document projects with published lesson ideas and document-based questions. These teaching tools—now numbering 46—are fully indexed and searchable.

In 2006-2007, we expanded the site to include 90,000 pages of publications of state and local Commissions on the Status of Women, which we collected primarily in law-school libraries and archives around the country. We also added Harvard University Press's landmark five-volume Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, available for the first time in electronic form.

While continuing to develop Women and Social Movements in the United States, Sklar and Dublin edited two other digital archives: Women and Social Movements, International, 1840 to the Present (completed in 2010), which contains 150,000 pages of published and manuscript resources generated by women's international activism; and Women and Social Movements in Modern Empires since 1820, co-edited with fifty-five scholars in fields related to modern empires (completed in 2019). That archive contains 75,000 pages of primary sources that view modern empires through women’s eyes. Both archives also include numerous scholarly essays about the documents.

Since March 2015, Sklar and Dublin have worked with hundreds of volunteers to create The Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States, which is now being added to Women and Social Movements in the United States. (For more about this project, see section 2 above, “About.”)

In January 2019, the new editors, Professors Rebecca Jo Plant of UC San Diego and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu of UC Irvine assumed editorial responsibility for Women and Social Movements in the United States.

Sklar and Dublin are happy to pass the site into their capable hands.

  1. Project Contributors

Click here for details of contributors.


  1. How to Cite Sources from WASM

Use the same format you would use for materials in a printed journal. Three frequent options are: 1) Citing document projects. Document projects are the equivalent of a journal article. Cite the author(s), “title of the document project in quotations,” Women and Social Movements in the United States, Volume Number (and after 2003 issue number), (date of publication). 2) Citing material in document project. Cite the author and title of the document or some other portion of the document project, where relevant, include date and give archival location, available online in document project citation. 3) Citing material not in a document project. Cite the author and title and any publication facts, available online in Women and Social Movements in the United States.

  1. Reviews

Click here for reviews about the database.

  1. Permissions

Click here for permissions granted for copyrighted materials used on the web site.

  1. Copyright

All materials in Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 are protected under U.S. and International Copyright Law. Fair use under the law permits reproduction of single copies for personal research and private use. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of protected items requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

  1. Archiving

Texts produced for Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 are considered research materials and receive the same level of stewardship as books, paper documents, and photographs. Copies of the database are given to all purchasing institutions, thereby ensuring that the materials are available to subsequent generations.

  1. Sensitivity Statement and Takedown Policy

Materials contained on the Alexander Street platform include historical content that may contain offensive language, negative stereotypes or inaccurate representations. Alexander Street does not endorse the views expressed in such materials, but believes they should be made available in context to enable scholarly comparison, analysis and research.

In making material available online, Alexander Street and our content partners act in good faith. To the best of our knowledge, content contained within these collections has been cleared for publication by the appropriate rights holders and has not been placed under any restrictions for privacy, cultural or other sensitivities. If you have found material for which you believe you hold the copyright without proper attribution, which contravenes privacy laws, or which is a breach of the protocols determining accession provision for heritage materials which reflect indigenous history, culture, language or perspective, please contact us in writing at history@alexanderstreet.com. Please include with your query:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your contact information
  3. URL to the content in question
  4. The reason for your inquiry

Upon receipt of inquiries, the following steps will be undertaken:

  1. Inquirer will receive confirmation of receipt.
  2. Alexander Street will contact the holding source and/or any related copyright holder to notify of the inquiry.
  3. Alexander Street will make all possible efforts to resolve the takedown request quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Possible outcomes include: Access to content remains unchanged on the Alexander Street platform; Access to content is modified on the Alexander Street platform; Access to the content is removed from the Alexander Street platform.

Alexander Street strives to provide the broadest possible online access to content where permissions have been granted by the known rights holders and/or the content holding institution. Permanent access restrictions will be considered only as an exceptional response.

  1. Errata

Please report any errata to the editors at wasmatuc@gmail.com. There are no known errata at this time.

  1. Technical Support

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