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North American Women's Letters and Diaries

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North American Women's Letters and Diaries is the largest electronic collection of women's diaries and correspondence ever assembled. Spanning more than 300 years, it presents the personal experiences of hundreds of women. Complementing Alexander Street Press British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries, the database will be used for research in women's studies, history, sociology, literature, genealogy, and other fields.

The writings provide a detailed record of what women wore, what they ate, what they read, the conditions under which they worked, and how they amused themselves. We can see how frequently they attended church, how they viewed their connection to God, and how they prayed. We can explore their relationships with lovers and with family and friends.

The collection includes approximately 150,000 pages of letters and diaries from Colonial times to 1950, including 7,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts all in electronic format for the first time. The material is drawn from more than 1,000 sources, including journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings, and much of it is in copyright. Represented are all age groups and life stages, a wide range of ethnicities, many geographical regions, the famous, and the not so famous. More than 1,500 biographies enhance the use of the database.

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