Kennesaw State University
Women's Work in the 19th Century

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Women's Domestic Work

These links are mostly electronic versions of 19th century primary sources that give an idea of what home life was like for women in the 1800's.

    Lady's Books

  • Harpers Bazar -- A collection of 19th Century articles and illustrations taken from the 19th Century magazine, Harper's Bazar (C.1867-1900). This weekly periodical combined "....the useful with the beautiful, and aiming to include every thing that will be interesting to the family circle.... Being intended largely for ladies, it will devote a considerable space to the matters which fall particularly under their jurisdiction, such as dress and household affairs." [Harper's Bazar, November 2, 1867.]
  • Godey's Lady's Book Online --This page includes articles and illustrations from the original Godey's Lady's Book. The collection contains five issues all from 1850 (Jan,F,Mar,Ap,Nov).
  • Hope Greenberg's Godey's Lady's Book Site -- This collection spans the years 1855-1858. It contains excerpts and commentary arranged by subject (selected authors, illustrations, editorials, etc.)

  • Diaries and Letters

  • New England Diaries --A collection of four diaries written by New England women in the 19th century. Although one can view the actual diary in the original form, no transcription is provided so one must decipher the faded handwriting oneself.
  • Letters of Emma Spaulding Bryant -- Unusually frank letters from Emma Spaulding to her husband in the summer of 1873. They reveal much about matrimonial relationships and medical practices of the time that were mostly kept private. Included is scanned image of letters and transcription.
  • See also Civil War Correspondence and Diaries and African-American Women's Letters and Diaries.

    Secondary Sources

  • Shakers --The Shakers in 19th century America with articles on life and meetings with several articles of related interest. There are links to Shaker museums around the country.
  • Study Center at --- This site is an internet-based resource directory for Victorian living. It contains articles on victorian lifestyles and women's issues, some from Godey's Lady's Book. There is information on women's 19th century fashion, culture, and antiques. It also has a hotlist of museum web sites and other non-commercial 19th century web sites.
  • Women's Health in Indiana --An article on women's health issues in 19th century Indiana. The issues include diseases, illnesses, childbearing, abortion, "female matters", and how these were dealt with in 19th century Indiana.
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