TITLE: Early Modern Women Database

Access: http://www.lib.umd.edu/ETC/LOCAL/emw/emw.php3/

The Early Modern Women Database, created as a portal to 200+ Web resources of value for the study of women in early modern Europe and the Americas, focuses on the time period from the 14th century to early 19th century, although primary and secondary resources from antiquity to the present are represented here as well. Materials range from bibliographic databases (including catalogs of libraries worldwide) to full-text resources, image collections, manuscript and archival collections, and sound recordings. The majority of the resources included are freely accessible, and those requiring a subscription license are clearly noted. The database was produced through the collaborative scholarly and technical efforts of members from the Arts & Humanities and Science & Technology teams of the University of Maryland Libraries.

This is an extremely straightforward database to navigate, with little frills. Search features include a "Browse All" by Title, Subject, Type, Time Period, Language, and Geographic Area, although at the time of review only the Title and Subject browse selection retrieved results. Additionally, users can browse within each of the aforementioned categories to narrow their focus or query. Subjects include Art & Architecture, History, Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy & Religion, Science & Technology, and Multidisciplinary. Geographic Areas include Americas, France, Germany/Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, and Spain & Portugal.

Researchers also can perform a simple keyword/phrase or advanced search from the opening screen. Results are displayed alphabetically and contain a brief description of the resource. The advanced search mode allows users to select values via a series of pull-down menus, with the added bonus of limiting by free access, subscription only, or no access limits.

Resources vary from the comprehensive Internet Women's History Sourcebook, which presents information within broadly defined historical periods and areas, to a site devoted solely to Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, a Mexican poet and nun from the 1600s, to Sophie: A Digital Library of Early German Women's Writing.

The site appears to be well maintained and updated, and only a handful of Web resources had moved or retrieved error messages during the review period. The intended audience for the Early Modern Women Database includes high school students through scholars. Because of the simple navigation and display, anyone whose interest lies in early womens studies within an international humanities framework will thoroughly benefit from this scholarly collection of resources. Recommended.

Gail Golderman
Union College
goldermg@union.edu


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