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The Civil War: Women and the Homefront   Tags: history, united_states, united_states_history, women, womens_studies  

Guide to print and manuscript materials at the Rubenstein Library related to women and their roles in the Civil War.
Last Updated: Dec 11, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Women and the Civil War

Numerous resources on the topic of women and the Civil War are available at the Rubenstein Library. This guide is a starting point for doing research on the topic.

  • Primary Sources Online: This section includes digitized material from Duke Libraries and other sources, primary source databases, and microfilm collections.
  • Manuscript Collections: Women during the Civil War wrote about their experiences in letters and diaries that are part of manuscript collections held by the Rubenstein Library. This section is divided alphabetically.

For more information about Civil War materials in the Rubenstein Library:
Civil War Resources LibGuide

Search the Catalog for Women and the Civil War

All materials in the Rubenstein Library are included in the online catalog, so you can search for rare books, manuscripts, and secondary sources all in one place. This list includes a few sample searches to help get you started.

  • Women and the U.S. Civil War
    This search includes primary and secondary sources and is based on a simple keyword search for "women," "United States," and "civil war."
  • Civil War Women's Clothing
    This search brings up materials related to dress during the 19th century in America
  • Civil War Women Soldiers
    Women served the army as nurses, cooks, and laundresses, but though they weren't allowed to enlist, hundreds of women also served as soldiers on the battlefield. Disguised as men, their motives varied, but their stories continue to fascinate.
  • Civil War Women Spies
    Another area that has captured the imagination and interest of history buffs is women who served as spies. This link leads to secondary and primary sources about these wily and resourceful women who passed military secrets.

Sallie Bingham Center

Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Duke University

Phone: 919-660-5967


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