Women's Studies Section

Association of College & Research Libraries / American Library Association
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
Primary Sources for Women's Studies TEXT
Court Documents
Government Documents
Interviews / Press Conferences / Speeches
Oral Histories
Subjects for Women's Studies Birth Control / Reproductive Rights
Cuban Women
Law / Legal Status / Public Policy
Middle Eastern Women
Native American Women
Personal Narratives
Politics and Government
Social History
United States
Women's Rights
Coverage Dates pre-18th century through 21st century
Archive is Ongoing / Completed Ongoing
Publisher Yale University Law School
URL http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm
Date Searched January 2007


The Avalon Project is a burgeoning full-text archive containing more than sixty landmark collections in the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government. Of special note are various collections of treaties, statutes, speeches of the President, documents of the League of Nations and the United Nations, documents on 9/11 and a significant database on the African American Experience. The collections are divided into century groups which include pre-18th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Century. Documents are listed individually in an alphabetical title list on a Major Collections page.

A special feature is the addition of links within a document to supporting documents expressly referred to within the text. Additional content is being added on an ongoing basis.

Women's Studies Content

Within documents which have shaped law and society for the last several hundred years or longer, the fully searchable full-text format makes these key documents accessible for exploration of women's studies issues for the first time. Many of these documents ignore issues of gender but where they are addressed, Avalon allows them to be identified, albeit cumbersomely. Because the database lacks a controlled vocabulary and does not highlight search words in retrieved documents, it is difficult to determine the relevance of search results without wading through the entire resulting document.

Some resources of interest to women's studies are


The entire database is searchable, and searching is allowed on some of the individual collections. Searching is based on an UltraSeek platform, and can be finely drawn. However, exact punctuation must be followed for boolean searching. For example, the default operator is OR, so that women's rights would find all documents that contain the term women's OR the term rights. To search women's rights, double quotes must be used: "women's rights."

Truncation yes (automatic)
Boolean yes (use + for AND, use - for NOT)
Phrase Searching yes (use " ")
Help Screens/Quality yes
Controlled Vocabulary no
Keywords in Context no

Archive Review:
Susan White
Princeton University

Last updated: January 16, 2007

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