The State of Research on Pacific Northwest Women

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Department or Administrative Unit


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The article presents investigation of the scholarly literature on Pacific Northwest women's history when the author moved to Seattle to teach local women's history in 1979. The author decided to initiate a thorough search to review scholarly books and articles published throughout history that explored women's history in the Pacific Northwest for the years 1787-1970. The article chose 1970 as an ending point ending point because that is the year Washington State passed the Equal Rights Amendment. In the space of fifteen years, the author perused over two thousand scholarly works including textbooks, reference works, journals, edited memoirs, and university press monographs on Washington and Oregon history to scavenge material on Northwest women. The author expected his efforts to yield a treasure trove of neglected sources that documented a huge spectrum of women's lives and activities. Surely, the women alongside the well-documented male loggers, sailors, miners, ranchers, laborers, union activists, entrepreneurs, Indian chiefs and government officials, had been studied by scholars.


This article was originally published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


​Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies


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