New look for ‘Defining Gender’ resource.


Defining Gender  explores the study and analysis of gender, leisure and consumer culture; one of the most vibrant areas of social, cultural and intellectual research, transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries. This exciting collection of original primary source material from British archives will enrich the teaching and research experience of those studying history, literature, sociology, education and cultural studies from a gendered perspective.

The broad range of thematically organised documents from selected libraries provides an excellent opportunity for comparative study and research. Manuscripts, printed works and illustrations combine to address the key issues from both masculine and feminine perspectives. They are indexed to provide ready accessibility for students across all five sections.

A wide range of different types of content is available, encompassing; ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature.

The content is organised under the following thematic areas

  • Conduct and Politeness
  • Domesticity and the Family
  • Consumption and Leisure
  • Education and Sensibility
  • The Body

The service has just been relaunched on a new platform, with updated layout to ease navigation. The new-look site showcases the same unique documents with additional functionality:

  • New document listing with ability to sort and filter documents
  • Revised metadata and increased searching capabilities for effortless browsing
  • New interactive chronology with direct links into the resource and individual documents
  • Updated editorial content such as Biographies which have been updated with links to primary source materials

This resource is available via the Electronic Library and the Library Catalogue.


When you login, choose the Introduction menu bar option for access to information about the resource, including a tour. Use the Explore option on the menu bar  to start browsing or searching.

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