Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about the achievements and vital roles of women throughout history. We've compiled lists of resources that enable you to explore the stories and experiences of women around the globe. You can also peruse the many Women’s History Month recommended reading lists available in our online catalog.
Films on Demand offers more than 700 videos on Women’s Studies, including two exceptional series from the BBC: Extraordinary Women, a collection of 12 documentaries that focus on a fascinating woman like Indira Gandhi or Maria Montessori; and Her Story: The Female Revolution, a 4-title series that explores how women have worked to control their own destinies and make better opportunities for themselves.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers access to several databases with extensive resources on women’s histories. North American Women’s Letters & Diaries provides digital images of the letters and journals of more than 1,300 women. You can browse the collection by author, years, or by historical events, such as the Boston Tea Party or the Emancipation Proclamation. NCPedia and Biography Reference Center allow you to browse their collections under the subject of Women.
Freading offers ebooks such as The Suffragette: The History of the Women’s Militant Suffrage Movement, a firsthand account by E. Sylvia Pankhurst, an English campaigner in the suffrage movement; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, who escaped slaver in North Carolina; and Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front, by Diane Atkinson, which tells the story of two World War I ambulance drivers who established a first-aid post in a Belgian village.
We also have brand-new titles of interest like Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet, by Claire Evans; Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History, by Tori Telfer; The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, by Clemantine Wamariya; The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elain Weiss; and The Little Book of Feminist Saints, by Julia Pierpont and Manjitt Thapp.
I Shall Be Near to You, by Erin McGabe, is a fictionalized account of a real woman who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Civil War. Shani Boianjiu’s The People of Forever Are Not Afraid tells the stories of three women in the Israeli army. In the Time of the Butterflies is Julia Alvarez’ story of four sisters who actively opposed the dictatorship of General Rafael Leonides Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen introduces us to Ladydi, who is from a rural area of Mexico where girls are disguised as boys to hide from human traffickers.
Graphic novels offer myriad perspectives on women’s experiences. Octavia Butler’s Kindred is a graphic novel version of her 1979 classic that tells the story of Dana, a black woman who travels in time between 1970s California and the pre-Civil War South. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Its follow-up, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, tells of a return to Iran after the narrator has made a new life in Austria.
For Young Adults
The Amelia Bloomer List is a great resource for young readers to find fiction and nonfiction that celebrates women’s history. A task force of the American Library Association annually compiles a list of "well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18)." Novels that have appeared on the list include Hattie Ever After, by Kirby Larson, about a teenage Midwesterner who moves to San Francisco to become a reporter in the early 20th century; and Secret Keeper, by Mitali Perkins, which tells the story of a teenager in the 1970s who struggles with the traditions of her community in New Delhi, India. Nonfiction titles from the list include Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: a Friendship that Changed the World, by Penny Colman; and Heidi Hemming’s Women Making America, a look at women’s roles in U.S. history from the Revolutionary War to the present.
The library offers various collective women’s biographies for young readers. Check out Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, by Elena Favilli; Courageous Women of the Civil War: Soldiers, Spies, Medics & More, by M.R. Cordell; or Kate Schatz’ Rad American Women A-Z or Rad Women Worldwide. You might also enjoy Rachel Ignotofsky’s Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, or Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes.
We also offer a wide array of biographical picture books in our collection, including Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows Up in the Bronx, by Jonah Winter; Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing, by Dean Robbins; Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer, by Diane Stanley; and Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children, by Jan Pinborough. Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World, written by Susan and illustrated by 14 women artists, introduces young readers to courageous women including Ruby Bridges, Frida Khalo, and Malala Yousafzai. Chelsea Clinton has followed up She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, with She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History.
For more Women’s History Month resources, check out these websites:
- The National Women’s History Project
- Women's History Month: A joint website of Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Poetry Foundation's Celebration of Women's History Month
- Poets.org's Women's History Month page