Defining Gender

Defining Gender

Defining Gender is a collection of digitized primary sources depicting gender in British history, literature, society, and culture from 1450-1910. Materials in this collection allow the viewer to see how British perceptions of gender and gender roles developed and changed. Material types include ephemera, pamphlets, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, manuscript journals, government papers, illustrated writings on anatomy, writings on midwifery, art and fashion publications, receipt books, conduct and advice literature, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and more. To aid in browsing, documents are divided into 5 thematic areas:

  • Conduct and Politeness;
  • Domesticity & the Family;
  • Consumption & Leisure;
  • Education & Sensibility;
  • The Body.

Materials in this collection are from many British libraries and archives, including the British Library and the U.K. National Archives. Some additional materials were sources from the British literature holdings of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dates covered

Mid-15th - Early 20th century.

Resource types