Defining Gender, 1450‑1910

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Defining Gender, 1450-1910 provides access to over 60,000 images documents (both manuscripts and printed sources) of original British source material useful for investigations in many disciplines, including women’s and gender studies, history, literature, sociology and education. It includes a wide range of primary source material including ephemera, pamphlets, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, manuscript journals, poetry, receipt books and conduct and advice literature that reveal attitudes towards gender. It also includes contextual essays by leading scholars from Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, which introduce the major themes of the project and provide direct hypertext links to the sources.

The key topics covered in the database are represented in five “Sections:

  1. Conduct and Politeness.
  2. Domesticity & the Family.
  3. Consumption & Leisure.
  4. Education & Sensibility.
  5. The Body.


Detailed “Help” section, including search techniques, is available on the opening page.

For help using these indexes see: How do I find an article on my topic?

Dates covered

Mid-15th to early 20th century.

Updating frequency



Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service
Birmingham Central Libraries
University of Birmingham Library
The Bodleian Library, Oxford
The British Library, London
Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull
Cambridge University Library
Clark Library, Los Angeles
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
Leeds University Library
The London Library
Marlborough College, Wiltshire
St Hilda’s College Archive, University of Oxford
Somerville College Archive, University of Oxford

Type of coverage

Full text.

Print counterpart or
related resources


Producer/content provider

Adam Matthews Publications

Vendor/electronic presentation provider

Adam Matthew Publications