chapter  40
21 Pages

Western European Women’s Studies: Improving Access Through Published Microform Collections

WithSarah Pritchard

Over the past 15 years, women’s studies has become a well-established field in American and European universities and publishing houses. Although library collections of secondary and contemporary resources have grown to support the needs of researchers and writers, information about and access to primary and historical materials remains elusive. There are certain inherent difficulties in the subject. First, women’s studies is a highly interdisciplinary field, drawing on resources from many other subjects and re-interpreting existing materials. Second, researchers face problems in identifying and understanding sources because of inconsistent or biased vocabulary in the original texts and in later bibliographies and catalogs. Third, women’s studies in its relationship to feminist and other political movements seeks to draw on a large body of alternative and ephemeral material that is often not collected or incorporated into traditional library collections or reference tools.