Women's Experience Research Guide

Collections in the holdings at the State Historical Society of Missouri reflect the evolution of gender roles and women’s status over the course of the state’s history. The experiences of Missouri women are documented in scrapbooks, professional and personal papers, organizational records, correspondence, news clippings, and more. These collections illustrate the important roles Missouri women have played in the state’s development. Examples of the Society’s holdings include the papers of DeVerne Calloway, an activist in St. Louis who became the first black woman elected to Missouri’s House of Representatives, and the papers of Ellen “Nell” Quinlan Donnelly Reed, a successful entrepreneur in Kansas City.

Articles in the Missouri Historical Review

Catalog

Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in Merlin, the shared library catalog of the four University of Missouri campuses.The State Historical Society holds numerous books on the history of women in Missouri, the Midwest, and the United States generally. The broadest term to search for women is simply “Women.” For a more specific search on women in Missouri, add the subject term “Missouri” to your search.

Historic Missourian Biographies

The State Historical Society’s Historic Missourians website has an entire category devoted to women in Missouri, providing over 35 biographies on Missouri women. Each biography includes images, primary resources, and other references for further study.

Manuscripts

The State Historical Society of Missouri manuscript collections reflect the varied roles women have undertaken and the causes they have supported and chronicle women's lives from childhood to old age.

View All Women Manuscript Collections

Highlighted Collections

National Women in Media

Established in 1987, the National Women and Media Collection held by the State Historical Society of Missouri documents the roles women have played in media fields, both as media employees and as objects of coverage, how those roles have altered over time, and how attitudes of and toward women have changed.

A selection of these materials have been digitized and are available online.

View All Women and Media Manuscript Collections

Missouri Association of Colored Women's Clubs Records

The Missouri Association of Colored Women's Clubs Records collection includes the records of the state organization and member clubs of an association established to improve the status of black women in the home and community. The records include correspondence, financial records, conference files and programs, and information on the history of the organization and its member clubs.

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online.

Newspapers

During the nineteenth century, many women who were related to Missouri editors and publishers assisted their husbands, fathers, and brothers in newspaper work, from typesetting to editing and writing for the papers. While much of this early work went unnoticed, by the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth, a number of women were beginning to gain recognition in the newspaper business.

For a list of all digitized newspapers, visit the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

For a list of newspapers on microfilm at the State Historical Society of Missouri, visit the newspaper catalog.

 

County City Title Also Available On Date Range Name/Role/Dates
Audrain Vandalia Vandalia Leader Microfilm 1880-1882; 1895-1898; 1901-present (incomplete) Lily Herald Frost, Editor, 1907-1922
Boone Rocheport Rocheport Progress Microfilm 1908-1917 Annie Chapman, Editor and Publisher, 1906-1917
Franklin St. Clair St. Clair Chronicle Microfilm 1927-1977 Dorothy O. Moore, Publisher, 1952-1985
Gasconade Hermann Hermann Advertiser Microfilm 1875-1877 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1874-1877
Gasconade Hermann Hermann Advertiser-Courier Microfilm 1877-1993 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1877-1880
Gasconade Hermann Hermanner Volksblatt Microfilm 1860-1872 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1870-1873
Gasconade Hermann Hermanner Volksblatt Microfilm 1875-1879 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1874-1880
Gentry King City King City Democrat Microfilm 1898-1899; 1903; 1905-1918 (incomplete) Maggie A. Bowman, Editor, 1892-1918
Greene Walnut Grove Walnut Grove Tribune Microfilm 1904-1918 Junia E. Heath, Editor and Publisher, 1903-1916
Grundy Spickard Grundy County Gazette Microfilm 1901-1907; 1910-1922 Jennie Dickson and Artie Dickson (sisters), Editors, 1910-1922
Grundy Spickard Spickard Herald and Grundy County Gazette Microfilm 1907-1910 Jennie Dickson and Artie Dickson (sisters), Editors, 1907-1910
Harrison Bethany Bethany Clipper Microfilm 1905-1922 Ada L. Wightman (with brother Sam Wightman), Editor and Publisher, 1905-?
Henry Clinton Clinton Eye Microfilm 1885-present Amanda E. Moore Woolf (aka “Shawnee Shifters”), Columnist, 1891-1939
Jasper Webb City Webb City Daily Register Microfilm 1903-1907 Alice Creswell Rozelle, Reporter, Editor, and Publisher, 1903-1918
Jasper Webb City Webb City Register Microfilm 1907-1917 Alice Creswell Rozelle, Reporter, Editor, and Publisher, 1903-1918
Johnson Holden Holden Enterprise Microfilm 1876-1937 Dora J. Sankey, Editor, 1876-?
Macon New Cambria New Cambria Leader Microfilm 1914-1961 Editors and Publishers: G. and Nellie Hunton, 1920-1926; Frank and Bettie Robertson, 1926-1943; Jennie Jones Robertson (second wife of Frank), 1947-1950
Marion Hannibal Hannibal Daily Courier Microfilm 1873-1889 Julia M. Bennett, Editor, 1879-?
Newton Newtonia Newton County News Microfilm 1890-1907 Eva and Fidelia Mize (sisters), Editors, 1890-1907
Pettis Sedalia Rosa Pearle’s Paper Microfilm 1894-1909 Elizabeth Dugan, Publisher, 1894-1911
Pettis Sedalia Sedalia Weekly Bazoo Microfilm 1871-1895 Elizabeth Dugan, Editor and Reporter, 1872
Phelps Rolla Rolla Herald Microfilm 1877-1953 Edwarda McCrae Woods, Publisher, 1899-1942
Platte Dearborn Dearborn Democrat Microfilm 1898-1977 Nancy Jane “Jennie” Watson, Editor, 1905-?
Pulaski Waynesville Pulaski County Democrat Microfilm 1902-1917 Mary Louise Wheeler, Editor and Publisher, 1906-1912
Shelby Shelbina Shelbina Democrat Microfilm 1870-1918 Martha Jewett, Editor, 1902-1910
Taney Forsyth Taney County Republican Microfilm 1895-1992 Mary Elizabeth Prather Mahnkey, Columnist, 1930-1948
Wright Hartville Wright County Republican Microfilm 1911-1957 Junia E. Heath, Editor and Publisher, 1916-?

Vertical Files

The vertical files contain magazine and newspaper clippings, handwritten information donated by patrons, bibliographies, programs, brochures, flyers, and other materials that, by reason of their physical formats, cannot be placed on the shelves with books. SHSMO's Columbia Research Center has numerous vertical files beginning with the subject heading “Women.” Several subjects, such as the Civil War, have “women” as a subtopic. There are also vertical files on numerous individual Missouri women. Ask a librarian or archivist for more assistance with these paper files.