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ALS/WMST 394: Seminar in Transnational Feminisms: Home

Jorge Estrada

Finding Background Information in Reference Sources

Background information on a topic can often be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources. These reliable sources provide helpful overviews, clarify definitions, and often include bibliographies at the end of an article. They are excellent starting points for research when you need to know important concepts, names, and dates, or if you are looking for ideas in general.  There are encyclopedias in the reference area on the first floor of Milne Library that cover most topics.  Those relating specifically to feminism and women’s studies can be found in the range HQ1101-2030.7. 

Recommended reference sources:

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society                                    

REF HQ 1115 E54 2009, 2 vol.

Arranged alphabetically by topic, this set covers a wide range of categories such as organizations, popular culture, biographies, crime, gender roles, economics, social movements, ethnicity, and reproduction.  The Reader’s Guide at the beginning of each volume is very helpful in finding entries on related topics. 

The Women’s Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism

REF HQ 1115 W644 2006, 2 vol.

Volume 1 covers topics A-Z and provides a helpful topical list of entries on page xxxiii.  Volume 2 provides primary documents on such topics as definitions, consumerism, globalization, resisting culture, and identities. 

Women’s Studies Encyclopedia

REF HQ 1115 W645 1989, 3 vol.

Excellent interdisciplinary encyclopedia.  Volume 1, “Views from the Sciences,” covers natural, behavioral, and social sciences; health and medicine; economics; linguistics; and political and legal sciences.  Volume 2, “Literature, Arts, and Learning,” covers literature, art, music, and education.  Volume 3, “History, Philosophy, and Religion,” covers various aspects of history, religion, and philosophy. 

Women Studies Abstracts

REF HQ 1101 .W6

Consists of scholarly research in women studies, covering 30 key areas, from education, physical and mental health to employment, interpersonal relations, literature and the arts.

Finding Books

Books often treat a topic more comprehensively than journal articles. Books can be a good place to find an overview of a topic. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of each chapter.  Search Everything, the Classic Catalog, and WorldCat all search for books but in different ways.


Search Everything is the default search on the library home page. Because this searches the library catalog as well as several periodical databases, you can use it to find print and electronic books. After you enter your search terms, the left side of the results screen allows you to limit your search in many helpful ways. To limit it to just print books here in our library, click on Location and choose Milne Library – Book (Print).


Classic Catalog also searches for books here at Milne.


WorldCat searches well over a billion items, including books in Milne Library AND books from thousands of libraries worldwide. From the library home page, choose WorldCat WorldCat under databases rather than the tab at the top.  You can request books from other libraries by clicking the blue Request Via Interlibrary Loan link.


Search Terms:

Below are common subject headings used to describe books related to transnational feminism.  You can combine these terms with other keywords in your searching.


§  Feminism – Cross-cultural studies

§  Feminism – Developing countries

§  Feminism – History

§  Transnationalism

§  Women’s Rights – [country]

§  Women – Economic Conditions – Cross-cultural studies

§  Women – Political activity – [country]


To locate primary sources, try adding search terms such as:

§  correspondence

§  diaries

§  interviews

§  sources

§  archives

§  narratives

§  memoirs

Finding Articles

Since journal articles are often more focused than books, they may provide more specific and more current information than books. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of an articles and books.

Recommended databases:

Open Access Journals:


Formerly Phoebe, this publication of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at SUNY Oneonta provides a forum for cross-cultural feminist analysis, original research, debate and exchange.  1989 – 2011.


Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice

Publication of Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada that focuses on the dissemination of knowledge on the numerous and varied interdisciplinary topics related to women’s studies.


S & F Online

Produced by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, this publication focuses on feminist theories and women’s movements.


Additional Resources for Finding Primary Resources and Archival Collections

ArchiveGrid connects you with over 1.7 million descriptions of archival collections from around the world. In the beta mode, you can browse collections by topic, or even search for archival collections near you.

Barnard Center for Research on Women maintains an amazing archival collection of pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, reports, and various other publications from women's movements internationally.

Barnard Zine Library is a collection of over 3,500 self-published digital collections such as the Digital Public Library of America; the Library of Congress American Memory Project; Gallica (French primary source materials curated by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France); and EuroDocs (a list of European open access, historical sources maintained by Bringham Young University).

Library Research Help

Librarians are available to help you in several ways:

∙       Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library, located on the first floor.

∙       Call the Research Help Desk at 436-2729.  If the librarian is busy, you can leave a message.

∙       Email a question to a Milne Librarian at get a response within 48 hours.

∙       Request a research consultation to meet individually with a librarian.  The request form is available on the library website.



Heather Beach, Reference & Special Collections Associate Librarian, 109 Milne Library 607-436-3585