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Perhaps the foremost women's archival collection anywhere, the Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College, Harvard University "collects manuscripts, books, and other materials essential for understanding women's lives and activities in the United States." This is a non-circulating collection but is open to anyone interested in researching American women. All you need do is register at the desk. This library is a treasure, and well worth visiting with or without a specific research project.
Local women's studies researchers are lucky. Here in Massachusetts we have two of the premier women's studies special collections. They are worth visiting for research, or simply for the wow factor of exploring, for fun, our rich heritage.
Smith College of Northampton, Massachusetts (in the western part of the state) also maintains "an internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, photographs, periodicals and other primary sources in women's history." The Berkshires are a wonderful place to visit, if you go to Northampton, put this on your trip planner.
Although more a virtual archive than a physical library, the Jewish Women's Archive is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is designed to allow researchers "to gain access to archival collections documenting the lives and experiences of North American Jewish women. This online searchable resource offers information on hundreds of women, women’s organizations, and manuscript collections, along with a rich array of primary source material."
Want to identify other women's archives elsewhere in this country, and throughout the globe? This website can help. It is now sponsored by Aletta, Institute on Gender Equality and Women's History (formerly the IIAV), which is itself "the home of the renowned collection, the International Archives for the Women's Movement." This web directory, Mapping the World, is an online database "in which you can find information on women's information centres and libraries that are open to the public. It currently contains more than 400 women's information centres from over 140 countries."
"Women's History Sources is a collaborative blog that serves as a current awareness tool for anyone who is interested in primary sources at archives, historic sites and museums, and libraries. Some of the types of sources that the blog covers: New exhibits in archives, libraries, and museum; New digital collections (artifacts, diaries, oral histories, photos, etc.); Featured objects/documents from other blogs and websites; "In the News" - stories that feature original documents or artifacts; "On this Day" - digital resources that are related to an event on a specific date; Recent books that include letters, diaries, photographs, etc."