Selection Criteria

The documents in this resource were carefully chosen so as to present in compelling detail the various social and cultural forces that shaped the everyday lives of women and men during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The fundamental parameters for the project were that it should provide a thematically unified but eclectic range of material published in the United States during this time.

Selection of material was informed by the bibliography The Glory of Woman: Prescriptive Literature in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, which highlights published works of prescriptive literature in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.  Additional titles from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University were selected to illuminate the popular culture and social history of the era more generally by including periodicals, pamphlets, tracts, broadsides and ephemera alongside rare books and illustrative guides.

Additionally, the resource includes a virtually complete run of the society journal Town Topics, which was sourced from the New York Public Library.


A note on exclusions

Where exclusions have been made, this is largely due to:

  • Collections falling outside the defined remit of this resource
  • Existing open-access content
  • Copyright and permission considerations.