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.
- Andrews, Gregg. "A Pike County Lawyer Goes to the Penitentiary: The Strange Case of 'Miss Lou' Collins, 1921-1923."
Missouri Historical Review 113, no. 3 (April 2019): 166-184.
- Brandimarte, Cynthia Ann "Fannie Hurst: A Missouri Girl Makes Good."
Missouri Historical Review 81 (April 1987): 275-295.
- Brenner, John, and Harper, Kim, edits and annotations. "The Civil War Prison Diary of Lizzy Powell."
Missouri Historical Review 112 (October 2017): 46-70.
- Brown-Kubisch, Linda "Show Me Missouri History: Celebrating the Century."
Part 3: Missouri Historical Review 94 (July 2000): 434-462.
- Bruce, Janet "Of Sugar and Salt and Things in the Cellar and Sun: Food Preservation in Jackson County in the 1850s."
Missouri Historical Review 75 (July 1981): 417-447.
- Caldwell, Dorothy J. "Carry Nation, a Missouri Woman, Won Fame as a Kansas Crusader."
Missouri Historical Review 63 (July 1969): 461-488.
- Christensen, Lawrence O. "Being Special: Women Students at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy."
Missouri Historical Review 83 (October 1988): 17-35.
- Clemens, Cyril "The True Character of Mark Twain's Wife."
Missouri Historical Review 24 (October 1929): 40-49.
- Cottrell, Debbie Mauldin "Mount Holyoke of the Midwest: Virginia Alice Cottey, Mary Lyon, and the Founding of the Vernon Seminary for Young Ladies."
Missouri Historical Review 90 (January 1996): 187-198.
- Crighton, John "The Columbia Female Academy: A Pioneer in Education for Women."
Missouri Historical Review 64 (January 1970): 177-196.
- Dains, Mary K. "Forty Years in the House: A Composite Portrait of Missouri Women Legislators."
Missouri Historical Review 87 (January 1993): 150-167.
"Missouri Women in Historical Writing."
Missouri Historical Review 83 (July 1989): 417-428.
"The Congressional Campaign of Luella St. Clair Moss."
Missouri Historical Review 82 (July 1988) 386-407.
"Women Pioneers in the Missouri Legislature."
Missouri Historical Review 85 (October 1990): 40-52.
- Dewitt, Petra. "Heroines on the Home Front: World War I and the Council of National Defense's Woman's Committee, Missouri Division."
Missouri Historical Review 112 (April 2018): 169-188.
- Dobkins, Linda Harris "What Men Expected, What Women Did: The Political Economy of Suffrage in St. Louis, 1920-1928."
Missouri Historical Review 109 (October 2014): 1-17.
- Doerschuk, Albert N. "Extracts from War-Time Letters, 1861-1864."
Missouri Historical Review 23 (October 1928): 99-110.
- Ehrlich, George, and Sherry Piland "The Architectural Career of Nelle Peters."
Missouri Historical Review 83 (January 1989): 161-176.
- Ekberg, Carl J. "A Parisian Woman in Colonial Ste. Genevieve."
Missouri Historical Review 114, no. 2 (January 2020): 105-120.
- Ford, Elyssa. "'We Sure Led the Parade:' Alma Nash, the Missouri Ladies Military Band, and the Push for Women's Suffrage from Rural Missouri to the Nation's Capital."
Missouri Historical Review 113, no. 3 (April 2019): 145-165.
- Forester, Rachel. "From the Stacks: Early Women Architects of Kansas City: The Mary Rockwell Hook Papers."
Missouri Historical Review 113, no. 3 (April 2019): 206-209.
- Fraser, Caroline. "Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Making of an American Icon."
Missouri Historical Review 113, no. 2 (January 2019): 94-104.
- Giffen, Jerena East "Add a Pinch and a Lump": Missouri Women in the 1820s."
Missouri Historical Review 65 (July 1971): 478-504.
- Graham, Margaret Baker "Stories of Everyday Living: The Life and Letters of Margaret Bruin Machette."
Missouri Historical Review 93 (July 1999): 367-385.
- Griffin, Maude E. "Vinnie Ream: Portrait of a Sculptor."
Missouri Historical Review 56 (April 1962): 230-243.
- Guinn, Lisa G. "Building Useful Women" from the Depths of Poverty: The Founding and Establishment of the Girls' Industrial Home and School in St. Louis, 1853-1916."
Missouri Historical Review 100 (April 2006): 125-140.
- Harris, Charles F. "Catalyst for Terror: The Collapse of the Women’s Prison in Kansas City."
Missouri Historical Review 89 (April 1995): 290-306.
- Hoffert, Sylvia. "The Emancipation of Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly, St. Louis, 1847-1860."
Missouri Historical Review 112 (July 2018): 243-259.
- Jervey, Edward D., James E. Moss "From Virginia to Missouri in 1846: The Journal of Elizabeth Ann Cooley."
Missouri Historical Review 60 (January 1966): 162-206.
- Kemper, Mary Lee "Civil War Reminiscences at Danville Female Academy."
Missouri Historical Review 62 (April 1968): 314-320.
- Kempker, Erin "The Union, the War, and Elvira Scott."
Missouri Historical Review 95 (April 2001): 287-301.
- Kenney, Anne R. "She Got to Berlin": Virginia Irwin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch War Correspondent."
Missouri Historical Review 79 (July 1985): 456-479.
- Korner, Barbara O. "Duchesne: A Model of Action."
Missouri Historical Review 86 (July 1992): 341-362.
- Kremer, Gary R. "Strangers to Domestic Virtues: Nineteenth-Century Women in Missouri Prison."
Missouri Historical Review 84 (April 1990): 293-310.
- Kremer, Gary R., and Cindy M. Mackey "Yours for the Race: The Life and Work of Josephine Silone Yates."
Missouri Historical Review 90 (January 1996): 199-215.
- Lander, Bryon G. "The Making of Missouri's Equal Pay Law and the Legislative Process."
Missouri Historical Review 77 (April 1983): 310-328.
- Lee, Janice "Administrative Treatment of Women Students at Missouri State University, 1868-1899."
Missouri Historical Review 87 (July 1993): 372-386.
- Ling, Huping "Sze-Kew Dun: A Chinese-American Woman in Kirksville."
Missouri Historical Review 91 (October 1996): 35-51.
- Lukomski, Jennifer "From the Stacks: Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia: The National Women and Media Collection."
Missouri Historical Review 101 (April 2007): 183-186.
- McCune, Sarah Lirley. “The Untimely Death of Annie Roberts and the Politics of Abortion in Late Nineteenth-Century St. Louis.”
Missouri Historical Review 111 (April 2017): 189-203.
- McCune, Sarah Lirley. “Death of a Prostitute: Suicide and Respectability in St. Louis, 1875 to 1900.”
Missouri Historical Review 109 (January 2015): 108-127.
- Miller, Thomas H., interviewer; annotations by Kimberly Harper. "Outside These Walls Someplace There Was a God:" An Interview with World War II Prison Camp Survivor Betsy Herold Heimke, Part 1-2."
First article: Missouri Historical Review 112 (July 2018): 280-300.
Second article: Missouri Historical Review 113 (October 2018): 41-57.
- Morgan, Georgia Cook. "India Edwards: Distaff Politician of the Truman Era."
Missouri Historical Review 78 (April 1984): 293-310.
- Morris, Monia Cook "The History of Woman Suffrage in Missouri, 1867-1901."
Missouri Historical Review 25 (October 1930): 67-82.
- Moss, Carolyn J. "Kate Field: The Story of a Once-Famous St. Louisan."
Missouri Historical Review 88 (January 1994): 157-175.
- Nickell, Frank, and Cox, Jessica. "From the Stacks: Amy Husband Kimmel and the Wednesday Club of Cape Girardeau."
Missouri Historical Review 110 (January 2016): 132-135.
- Painter, Mrs. W. R. "Achievements of the Missouri D. A. R."
Missouri Historical Review 20 (April 1926): 382-387.
- Pedersen, Sharon "Married Women and the Right to Teach in St. Louis, 1941-1948."
Missouri Historical Review 81 (January 1987): 141-158.
- Pickle, Linda S. "Stereotypes and Reality: Nineteenth-Century German Women in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 79 (April 1985): 291-312.
- Read, Georgia Willis "Women and Children on the Oregon-California Trail in the Gold-Rush Years."
Missouri Historical Review 39 (October 1944): 1-23.
- Romeo, Sharon. "'The First Morning of Their Freedom': African American Women, Black Testimony, and Military Justice in Civil War Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 110, no. 3 (April 2016): 196-216.
- Scott, Mary Semple "History of Woman Suffrage in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 14 (April-July 1920): 281-384.
- Sporleder, Josephine. "From the Stacks: The Women as Change Agents Oral History Collection."
Missouri Historical Review 111 (July 2017): 304-307.
- Stepenoff, Bonnie "Mother and Teacher as Missouri State Penitentiary Inmates: Goldman and O'Hare, 1917-1920."
Missouri Historical Review 85 (July 1991): 402-421.
"Freedom and Regret: The Dilemma of Kate Chopin."
Missouri Historical Review 81 (July 1987): 447-466.
- Templin, Lucinda de Leftwich "Two Illustrious Pioneers in the Education of Women in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 21 (April 1927): 420-437.
- Thompson, Dorothy Brown "A Young Girl in the Missouri Border War."
Missouri Historical Review 58 (October 1963): 55-69.
- Towne, Ruth Warner "Marie Turner Harvey and the Rural Life Movement."
Missouri Historical Review 84 (July 1990): 384-403.
- Vaughan, Alma "Pioneer Women of the Missouri Press."
Missouri Historical Review 64 (April 1970): 289-305.
- Welsh, Donald H. "Martha J. Woods Visits Missouri in 1857."
Part I: Missouri Historical Review 55 (January 1961): 109-123.
Part II: Missouri Historical Review 92 (July 1998): 300-392.
- Wolfe, Margaret Ripley "Rumors of a Little Rebellion in Dixie: Real Women and Their Region."
Missouri Historical Review 92 (January 1998): 106-118.
"'Missouri Day' Program for Missouri Club Women."
Missouri Historical Review 9 (July 1915): 241-247.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-?|
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.