Villanova faculty and students now have permanent access to close to 5,000 new primary sources on women’s history from around the world. The Library recently acquired a digitized version of the Gerritsen Collection. The original collection is housed in the Spencer Library at the University of Kansas and consists of more than 4,700 books, pamphlets and periodicals. The materials span four centuries, from 1543 to 1945 and 15 languages. English (British and American) documents are most heavily represented (over 2,000 titles), but German (929) and French (734) titles are strongly represented as well.
In the late 1800’s, Dutch physician Aletta Jacobs and her husband C.V. Gerritsen began collecting books, pamphlets and periodicals reflecting the evolution of a feminist consciousness and the movement for women’s rights. The Gerritsen Collection has since become the greatest single source for the study of women’s history in the world. For a more detailed description, see “The Gerritsen Collection.” by Janet Sharistanian et al. in Feminist Studies, vol. 3, no. 3/4 (spring-summer 1976), pp. 200-206.
Links to the Gerritsen Collection can be found under Databases A-Z as well as on the primary source tabs of the History and Gender & Women’s Studies subject guides of the Library’s web site. Individual catalog records for all individual titles in the collection with direct links to the digital documents will be added to the Library’s catalog in the near future.
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