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Gender Studies Portal


Building the Collection

Starting Point for Gender Studies Research

Bella Abzug

Collection Emphases

The primary purpose of the collection is to support the teaching and research needs of the faculty and students in the research area of Gender Studies.

The Gender Studies collection supports teaching and research needs for students and faculty across the curriculum. Gender Studies, a field of interdisciplinary study which analyzes the phenomenon and the significance of gender, is sometimes related to studies of class, race, ethnicity and location.  The two areas included within the Gender Studies collection are Women Studies and GLBT Studies. 

The major portion of the Gender Studies collection supports teaching and research needs for students and faculty in the Women’s Studies Program. The primary focus of the collection is the study of women in the United States. The collection areas are the history of women in the United States, and current research and discourse carried out in the social sciences and Women’s Studies. Other areas include women in theology, feminist philosophy, nursing, education and women in the sciences.  A secondary focus is women and Women’s Studies outside the United States, such as French feminism.  The history and political science collections are strong in documenting and analyzing the experience of women in the United States by covering early women's rights, suffrage, social causes, reform and the women's movement. The collection includes diaries, biographies and autobiographies of their life and work. With the women's movement and the struggle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1960's and 1970's, the social sciences collections have grown to reflect social movement, social activism, gender, and role research.

Acquisition of E-Books

The Library currently purchases in electronic format a growing number of books in Gender Studies. Most of these purchases are reference works and edited books/essay collections. Users generally do not read such works from cover to cover. With respect to reference works users are usually looking for specific information that is rarely more than several pages in length and is easily read online. Edited books/essay collections are quite analogous to e-journals and most patrons are content to read individual chapters and essays online or to read them after having printed them out. Other e-monographs are acquired when the benefits of the electronic are greater than the print format or when there is added value in the e-book for the user. Users can always request that a monograph be purchased in e-format.

For more information on the Library’s e-book selection, see Selection Criteria and the E-Books at Boston College guide. The Library is conscious that the e-book industry is rapidly changing and, as a result, that our policies and selection criteria regarding e-books will inevitably evolve. The Library is interested in your views on e-books, and especially your usage of them.

Acquisition Highlights

  • Hathi Trust
    A digital repository for the nation's great research libraries, HathiTrust brings together the digitized book and serial collections of partner institutions. Over 2.7 million fully searchable volumes in this repository are in the public domain.

More on Collections

For information about how the library collections at Boston College are being developed, go to the Collections page.

Help Us Build the Collections

Please feel free to recommend items for the library collections by e-mailing a Subject Librarian.