Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Searching the Catalog
These links are sample searches in the Duke Libraries catalog based on library subject headings related to women's reproductive health and women as reproductive health practitioners and providers. You can limit by location to "Rubenstein Library" to focus on historical sources.
Primary Sources from the Rubenstein Library
Primary Sources from Other Libraries
Selected manuscript collections from the Rubenstein Library with a focus on reproductive health. For more sources, try searching the catalog with suggested subject terms (links in left sidebar) or consult with our librarians.
Louise Hortense Branscomb papers, 1864-2002
Dr. Louise Hortense Branscomb was a physician from Birmingham, Alabama. This collection includes Dr. Branscomb's diaries, notebooks, correspondence, photographs, and personal papers relating to her medical career and civic service in Birmingham during the 20th century. The Volumes Series includes Dr. Branscomb's medical notebooks, which she used as indices to assist her diagnoses and treatment of various illnesses. She also kept logs of her surgeries and baby deliveries.
Mamie Draper midwife journal, 1894-1912
Collection consists of a midwife's journal of deliveries. Included is each infant's name, date of birth (and sometimes death), birth weight, parent's name, name of delivering doctor and in most cases a lock of the baby's hair.
English midwife's diary, 1834-1841
Manuscript record of 300 sequentially numbered births maintained by a midwife, probably in the West Midlands of England, although areas of London are mentioned as well.
Fannie Maud Holgate letters (William C. Holgate Papers)
The letters of Fannie Maud Holgate beginning around 1872, both before and after her marriage to Perry C. Harley, include with routine family matters in the life of a middle-class family in the Victorian Era. Topics of relevance include birth control, abortions, a smallpox epidemic, and life in various female academies.
Collections from the Duke Medical Center Archives
Eleanor B. Easley Papers, 1928-2000
Eleanor Beamer Easley (1907-1998), a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology who practiced in Durham, North Carolina. Easley was the first female graduate of Duke's School of Medicine's first four-year class. In 1941, Easley helped co-found the Durham Women's Clinic.
Selected Published Works
Louise Bourgeois Boursier
Boursier was a French midwife who lived approximately 1563–1636, and served as midwife to King Henry IV of France and his wife Marie de Médici. She was the first woman to publish about childbirth practices, combining her practical knowledge with emerging scientific approaches to women's reproductive health.
Sanger was an American birth control activist who popularized the term "birth control." She opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established what became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger is a controversial figure in part due to her support of eugenics, however her writing, legal cases, and advocacy contributed to widespread availability of contraception in the U. S.
Marie Carmichael Stopes
Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (15 October 1880 – 2 October 1958) was a British author best known for founding the first birth control clinic in Britain, and publishing Married Love (1918), a book about sex which included information about birth control.
Sanitary Health Sponge
Modern forms of the contraceptive sponge were popularized in the west during the birth control movement of the early twentieth century. The Sanitary Health Sponge sits inside a pouch of pink netting with a cord for easier removal.
Lisa Unger Baskin Collection