Gender History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

We're sometimes asked 'where is the gender history section?' As the IHR's collections are arranged geographically, by period and  type of material, items on gender history are scattered across the library according to their subject. This guide brings a few examples together. The material falls within the IHR's collection areas of bibliographies and archive guides, reference works, historiography, published primary sources and periodicals. Although the Library holds a small number of secondary works, they are not actively collected. Our collections cover western Europe and its colonial history, from the C5th onwards. The items listed below are just a selection of the range of material we hold, you can browse our full holdings on the catalogue. Some of our material is in closed-access- see further details.

Due to the nature of the subject, much of the material listed here is specifically on the history of women. We hold a much wider range of material which will include relevant material for research in this area - Calendars to manuscript collections in the National Archives and the Parliamentary Debates are just a couple of examples.

Bibliographies and Guides to archives

Useful as a starting point into sources on the subject, these range from broad to very specific subjects. These are usually at the start of the relevant classmark sequence, e.g. B.0 for British history, EF.0 for French history etc., although not for all collections.Des sources pour l'histoire des femmes bookcover image

Reference works/ biographical dictionaries

Women under the Third Reich bookcover image



Historiography/ Historical Methods




Published sources

We hold a range of editions of sources which give insight into the ways gender was perceived and experienced in different periods and places of history, including many editions of letters and diaries of individuals. A few examples specifically on the subject of gender are listed below, but many more of our resources will also be highly relevant:

Women's Letters across Europe 1400-1700 bookcover image


The subject is also covered in a variety of other journals such as Journal of Social History, Oral History and Family and Community History. Current copies of our journals are on open access in the library, and back issues can be ordered from the stack. Many are also available online within the building via the links on the catalogue entry. BBIH and JSTOR are examples of the online databases that can be used to locate journal articles.


For history theses across other universities, see History Online below. See further information on theses holdings at the IHR library. Here is a selected list:

Electronic Resources

A full list of our electronic resources is available at Below are a few examples of resources that could be useful for this subject (most are available onsite in the IHR or via subscription only):

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