Unveiling Herstory: Delving into Women's Roles Throughout History

By Brenna Riedy, Library Assistant
August 10, 2023

Although Women’s History Month is not until March (and we’ve still got over 200 days until March 2024!), learning about women and their role in the history of our nation and world does not have to be held off until then! We can take the time to research women throughout history at any point in the year. One of my personal favorite ways to do so is to find a book about a specific woman, often written by another woman somewhere else in history, to see the world through their eyes. Sometimes this book is about a specific case in history, such as The Radium Girls, and other times it’s more general and expansive, such as No Small Courage. Either way, these books connect me to the bigger story of history through the unique and familiar lens of womanhood.

I’ve chosen to leave out books from this list that are autobiographical or written by the woman the book is about. This is my personal taste because I find that often having a secondary woman involved, the writer, gives so much more character to the story since the writer can have a third-person perspective on the story. These writers are often also given the advantage of time, the ability to look back on a historical event or person and see things in 20/20 vision since they have the perspective of hindsight. This gives the writer the unique ability to see the entire story, or even other contributing factors around that story, to make the book more whole and complete, in my opinion.

If you finish everything on this list, or you prefer to read autobiographies, feel free to branch out from the list and check out some other finds from our collection here at WPL! These 15 books are by no means an exhaustive list. I always suggest trying different search terms in our catalog to find different books. You could try "Women Autobiographies" (there are at least 5 pages of results for that) or "African American Women" if you’re looking for more specific titles. Using the filters towards the left side of the page in our catalog, you can also select search filters like "Tween Collection" or "Children’s Collection" if you’re looking for different age or reading level books. You could even look up "Women’s History" with a filter for DVDs! We have a few relevant documentary films about related subjects. If you have any questions about how our public catalog website works, or want help finding anything related to this topic, feel free to drop by the front desk of the library. We’re always there to help, and the kiosk devices located there conveniently have access to our catalog to do all your searching! Or access the catalog HERE through our website.