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Women's History


Women's History in Primary Sources

This is a guide to gender history and women's history in scholarship and primary source collections at Boston College.

Looking for Women in World History

Here you will find a selection of primary source suggestions associated with topics commonly top in world and global history courses. If you don't see your topic, contact your history librarian (Bee Lehman) for assistance. 

What's on This Page

This page has a lot on it. You can use the following anchors (links down the page) to jump straight to a relevant box.

    Sources: Authors who Happen to be Women

    Broad Digital Collections

    Samples: Women in the Mughal Courts (India)

    Samples: European and Indigenous Women in the Americas in the 16th century

    Samples: Women in the Aztec Empire

    Samples: Witches in Europe and North America

    Sample: Women and Wakashu in Edo Period Japan

    Sample: Colonial Mexico

    Samples: Female Monarchs in the Early Modern

    During the early modern period, dozens of women reigned across the world. This is a sample of only a few.

    Elizabeth I

    Njinga Mbandi, 1581–1663

    Christina, Queen of Sweden, 1626-1689


    Nur Jahan, 1577-1645

    "The powerful empress Nur Jahan (1577-1645) was an ardent patron of gardens. This intimate composition depicts the empress relaxing with her husband, Jahangir, and Prince Khurram, the future emperor Shah Jahan, in what is almost certainly the Ram Bagh garden. Nur Jahan remodeled this Agra garden in 1621, shortly before the painting was created." Curtesy of the Smithsonian under Creative Commons license. 

    Catherine the Great of Russia

    Samples: Women in the Ottoman Empire

    Sample: Women in the Ming Dynasty in China

    Sample: Women in 18th c. England

    Sample: Women in 20th c. Factories

    Sample: Women at Work during WWII

    Sources: Advertisements

    For additional help

    For additional recommendations, contact your subject liaison (Dr. Bee Lehman) at or schedule an appointment with them.