Accessing Women’s History Online at the GHL

Monday, February 24, 2020

In anticipation of Women’s History Month this March 2020, we wanted to highlight the many ways you may access resources about Women’s History through the Government & Heritage Library’s collections and online databases.Quiltmaker Lillie Lee with a great-granddaughter, Chatham County, N.C., 1984. Photograph by Mary Anne McDonald


North American Women’s Letters and Diaries via NC LIVE features women’s writings from the Colonial period to 1950. This database includes writings by Abigail Adams, Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Dorothea L. Dix, Julia Ward Howe, and more.


NCpedia has an entire section dedicated to Women’s History ( From the Women’s History section, you can explore Biographies of Women, Women in the military, Spouses of NC Governors, and access the State Library’s Women’s History Research Guide. Additionally, you can find specific search suggestions and terms related to key topics and events relevant to women’s history.

NC Digital Collections

The North Carolina Digital Collections ( has several collections featuring materials from both the State Library and the State Archives relating to women’s history. Many of the materials featured in the NC Digital Collections are also available in our print collections and can be viewed in person by visiting either the State Library of NC or the State Archives of NC:

  • Family Records - comprised of North Carolina family history materials from the holdings of the State Archives of North Carolina and State Library of North Carolina.

  • Women, Marriage and the Law - features digitized primary and secondary documents valuable for researching the legal, historical, and cultural aspects of marriage and other personal relationships in the United States and the United Kingdom from 1815 to 1914.

  • Women in North Carolina 20th Century History - provides a glimpse into the lives of North Carolina women as they changed history in our state and the nation. It focuses on documents gathered from across the holdings of the State Archives, including Private Collections, Organization Records, and State Agency Records. 

  • Council on the Status of Women - contains agendas, reports, correspondence, and publications from organizations in and out of the state related to the council’s goals. The council is a catalyst for improving the status of women and an agent in identifying needs and establishing innovative programs, workshops, and other information-sharing events for women throughout the state. 

  • Future Homemakers Associations - has materials from 1929 to 1984. The collection consists primarily of photographs and administrative records, including local chapter materials, handbooks, correspondence, and more.

  • North Carolina Folklore Journal - past issues of The North Carolina Folklore Journal (NCFJ), which has been in publication since 1948. NCFJ features studies of North Carolina folklore and folklife, analyses of folklore in Southern literature, and articles whose rigorous or innovative approach pertains to local folklife study, many of which feature women artists and contributors.

Search the Digital Collections

You can search all the NC Digital Collections for materials related to women’s history by using any of the following search terms:

  • African American women
  • African American women--Biography
  • African American women--North Carolina
  • League of Women Voters of North Carolina
  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
  • North Carolina--Women--History
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
  • United States. Army. Women's Army Corps
  • United States. Coast Guard. Women's Reserve
  • United States. Naval Reserve. Women's Reserve
  • United States. Navy--Women
  • Women & politics
  • Women & the law
  • Women Airforce Service Pilots (U.S.)
  • Women fishers
  • Women hunters
  • Women in politics--North Carolina--History
  • Women political activists
  • Women prisoners--North Carolina
  • Women--Education--North Carolina--History
  • Women--Employment
  • Women--History--20th century
  • Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--North Carolina
  • Women--North Carolina
  • Women--North Carolina--History--20th century
  • Women--Suffrage
  • Women--United States--History--19th century
  • Women's colleges
  • Women's rights
  • World War, 1914-1918--Women
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women

This is Just a Start

Please know that this is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to explore our Resources page ( and our catalog to discover other resources suiting your research interests!

Andrea Green, Digital Collections Manager