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last updated: 2/23/2010

Women's History Month


Well behaved women seldom make history


-- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich – writing about Puritan funeral services


Books and Journal articles on women from the “Women Firsts” display in Wells Lobby


Wu Zetian (625-December 16, 705)

The first and only woman to reign over China. 

  • Dien, Dora Shu-fang. Empress Wu Zetian in fiction and in history: female defiance in Confucian China / Dora Shu-Fang Dien. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 2003. [IUB-Stacks: DS749.42.W8 D54 2003]

  • Huo, Jianying. "Talented Women of Ancient China." China Today 53, no. 2 (February 2004): 58-61.


    16th century

    Graínne Ní O’Malley/Ní Mháille (1530-1603)

    The first known female pirate in the Atlantic.

  • Chambers, Anne. Granuaile: life and times of Grace O'Malley c 1530-1603. Portmarnock [Ire.]: Wolfhound Press, 1979. [IUB-Stacks: DA936.O43 C53]

  • Chambers, Anne. "Ireland's Pirate Queen." World of Hibernia 4, no. 4 (Spring 1999):110.


    17th century

    Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia (1646-1684)

    The First Woman in the World to Earn a University Degree.

  • Guernsey, Jane Howard. The Lady Cornaro: Pride and Prodigy of Venice. Clinton Corners, N.Y.: College Avenue Press, 1999. [IUB-Stacks: PQ4621.C67 Z68 1999]

  • King, Margaret L. "Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia (1646-1684): The First Woman in the World to Earn a University Degree." Catholic Historical Review 95, no. 2 (April 2009): 355-357.


    18th century

    Jeanne Baret (1740-1816)

    A French woman, became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in 1776. 

  • Atkins, Jeannine. How High Can We Climb?: The Story of Women Explorers. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2005. [IUB-EDUC, Children’s Collection: 910.82 ATK]

  • Schiebinger, Londa. "Jeanne Baret: the first woman to circumnavigate the globe." Endeavour 27, no. 1 (March 2003): 28.


    19th century

    Juana Manso (1819-1875)

    The first woman to be appointed to a government position, and considered the first radical feminist in nineteenth-century Argentina. 

  • Lewkowicz, Lidia F. Juana Paula Manso (1819-1875): Una Mujer del Siglo XXI. Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2000. [IUB-Stacks: HQ1532.M36 L489 2000]

  • Peard, Julyan G. "Enchanted Edens and Nation-Making: Juana Manso, Education, Women and Trans-American Encounters in Nineteenth-Century Argentina." Journal of Latin American Studies 40, no. 3 (August 2008): 453-482.


    20th century

    Wangari Maathai (b. April 1, 1940)

    The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

  • Beller, Ken and Heather Chase. Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World. Sedona, Arizona: LTS Press, 2008. [IU-EDUC Children’s Collection: 327.172 BEL]

  • Maathai, Wangari. The Challenge for Africa. New York: Pantheon Books, 2009. [IUB-Stacks: JQ1875 .M33 2009]

  • Warah, Rasna. "Kenya's Lone Crusader Wins Nobel Peace Prize." UN Chronicle 41, no. 1 (December 2004): 58-62.


    21st century – Elinor Olstrom (b. August 7, 1933)

    A professor at Indiana University, is the first woman to receive the Nobel in economics in its forty-one year history.

  • Ostrom, Elinor. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2005. [IUB-Stacks HF5549.5.M5 O88 2005]
  • Uchitelle, Louis. "2 U.S. Social Scientists Share Nobel in Economics." New York Times, October 13, 2009.


    Databases: Indexes

    • - about - Covers the history of the United States and Canada from pre-history to the present, indexing more than 2000 journals published worldwide, dissertations and reviews.
    • Contemporary Women's Issues (CWI) - about - A multidisciplinary, full-text database of articles about issues that influence women's lives around the world.
    • Gender Studies Database - about - Citations to articles, books, conference papers, pamphlets, dissertations and other publications about women and feminism, women's studies and men's studies.
    • GenderWatch - about - Full text database with a focus on how gender impacts a variety of subject areas.
    • Historical Abstracts - about - Index to journals, chapters and theses about world history, 1450 to present. Consult America: History and Life for coverage of U.S. and Canada.

    Databases: Primary Sources



    Websites outside the IU community

    Discussion Network

    • H-Women - H-NET Network discussing women's history.


    DVDs and documentaries


    Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed: DVD. 2004; Beverly Hills, CA: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.   

    A documentary film on Shirley Chisholm who, in 1968, became the first black woman elected to Congress, and in 1972, she became the first black woman to run for president.

    [IUPUI: E840.8.C48 C45 2004]


    Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice. DVD. Written by William Greaves, produced by William Greaves and Louise Archambault. 2004; San Francisco, Calif.: California Newsreel

    [IUB Wells Media Services: E185.97.B26 I32 2004]


    Iron Jawed Angels. DVD. Directed by Katja von Garnier. 2004; HBO Video.

    [IUB Wells, Media Services: PN1997 .I587 2004b]


    Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change. DVD. Directed by Jayasri Majumdar Hart. 2007; Arlington, VA: Distributed by PBS Home Video.

    [IUPUI:  E185.61 .S6158 2007]


    Books and resources for Educators

    Bank, Barbara J. ed., Sara Delamont and Catherine Marshall, associate editors.  Gender and Education: An Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers, 2007. [IUB-EDUC: LC213 .G425 2007 v.1] [IUB-EDUC: LC213 .G425 2007 v.2]


    Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Kids on strike! Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999. [IUB-EDUC  331.8929 BAR]


    Bolden, Tonya. 33 things every girl should know about women's history: from suffragettes to skirt lengths to the E.R.A. New York: Crown Publishers, 2002. [IUB-EDUC Children’s Collection: 305.4097 THI]


    Chick, Kay A. Teaching Women's History Through Literature: Standards-Based Lesson Plans For Grades K-12.  Silver Spring, Md.: National Council for the Social Studies, 2008. [IUB-EDUC HQ1121.U5 C453 2008]


    Matthews, Glenna. American Women's History: A Student Companion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. [IUB-EDUC: 305.4097 MAT]


    Myself and women heroes in my world: kindergarten social studies / National Women's History Project. Santa Rosa, CA: The Project, 1985. [IUB-EDUC, Teaching Materials Center: HQ1181.U5 N38 1985]  


    Woman's suffrage movement bulletin board display kit. Santa Rosa, CA: National Women's History Project, 1988. [IUB-EDUC, Teaching Materials Center: JK1905 .W747 1988]


      • IUCAT - about - The Indiana University online catalog.
      • WorldCat - about - Thousands of libraries may be searched from this one catalog; Interlibrary Loan requests can also be made.

        • last updated: 2/23/2010