Women's Studies Section

Association of College & Research Libraries / American Library Association
Kentuckiana Digital Library
Primary Source Types for Women's Studies  TEXT
Diaries / Letters / Personal Papers
Oral Histories
Periodicals - Journals
Record Books
Prints / Other Images
Subjects for Women's Studies African American Women
Appalachian Women
Birth Control / Reproductive Rights
Civil War (United States), 1861-1865
Family Studies
Frontier and Pioneer Life
Labor / Employment
Literature - Fiction
Performing Arts
Personal Narratives
Politics and Government
Women’s Rights
Women’s Suffrage
Collections Electronic Text Collection
Oral History Collection
Images Collection
Coverage Dates

19th century - 20th century

Publisher Kentucky Virtual Library
URL http://kdl.kyvl.org/
Date Searched January 2007


The Kentuckiana Digital Library is an ongoing project to organize and provide access to archival collections of colleges, universities, libraries, and historical societies in the state of Kentucky. To that end, the project includes a Finding Aids Collection which provides a single access point to over 4500 archival collection finding aids representing 16 Kentucky repositories. While many of the finding aids consist only of the traditional collection description, there is quite a bit of content that has been digitized. Emphasis is on unique or not widely available materials with a strong Kentucky orientation.

Women's Studies Content

The database is rich in women's studies materials covering a wide variety of subjects - labor, politics, health, education, and women's rights, to name a few. Some of the noteworthy collections are:

  • Laura Clay Photograph Collection - Clay was founder of the Kentucky Equal Rights Assocation and a recognized national leader in the women's suffrage movement. She devoted herself to improving "the unworthy position of women."

  • Margaret Ingels Collection - a pioneer in the air conditioning industry, Ingels was the first woman at the University of Kentucky to receive an engineering degree and the first woman in the nation to receive a graduate degree in engineering. The photographic prints, 178 images, in this collection have been digitized.

  • Mary Elliott Flanery Photographic Collection - Flanery was a member of the Kentucky Equal Rights Commission and fought for women's suffrage. She ran as a Democratic candidate in Boyd County in 1921 and managed to unseat the incumbent Republican, becoming the first woman Kentucky state legislator. This collection consists of 40 photographs by or about Mary Elliott Flanery and her immediate family.

  • Cora Wilson Stewart Collection - a nationally recognized education reformist for establishing an adult education program aimed at eliminating illiteracy known as the "Moonlight Schools." These photographs document moonlight schools in Eastern Kentucky. Most of the 628 images are of classroom scenes or individual or group portraits of students and teachers.

  • Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project - these interviews document the history of the organization that brought primary health care to remote areas of eastern Kentucky.

  • Henrietta Alice Metcalf Performing Arts Photographic Collection, 1880-1955 - includes photographs of a number of actresses including Ethel Barrymore, Sarah Bernhardt, and others.


It is possible to search across all collections or within the individual collections:
  • Finding Aids - Because it is not possible to limit searching to digiized content only, it is difficult to ferret out available primary source material from the vast number of finding aids. There are options to search and browse.

  • Electronic Text - The majority of the digitized books were taken from A Bibliography of Kentucky History, the link to which allows for more search options - author, title, date, subject, and entire record. One may browse the Bibliography by subject, the results of which include a brief descriptive record with annotation for each corresponding title in the collection. All titles have not been digitized, but for those that are, the record includes a link to the item. An interesting feature is that the subjects and date in each record are linked so that one may pull up, for example, all items in the collection with the same publication date. The subjects, however, are very broad and inexplicably exclude "Women."

  • Images - This is organized by the archival collections which make up the Images database. One may browse image collections by title or subject. Search options are keyword or phrase searching on the entire record, title, creator, date, subject, collection, repository, and identifier.

  • Oral History - The transcripts that comprise this collection may be browsed by title. Options for searching include full text, title, creator, subject, collection, and more.

  • Newspapers - the full-text of six newspapers are searchable
Truncation yes (*)
Boolean yes (AND, OR, NOT)
Phrase Searching yes
Help Screens/Quality yes / good
Controlled Vocabulary yes (images and some finding aids)
Keywords in Context yes

Archive Review:
Marcia Barrett
The University of Alabama

Last updated: January 15, 2007

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