Database Tutorial: "Women And Social Movements In The United States"
Wo me n and So cial
Mo ve me nts in the Unite d
State s, 1600-2000
A TUTORIAL BY
Diana J. Matthews
Women and Social Movements in the US
(WASM) is an Alexander Street Press
database devoted to the impact of American
women on politics and everyday living from
1600-2000. This resource contains primary
source material as well as other reference
materials for scholars and students. This is a
good source for researchers in women’s
studies, American history, social sciences and
What Types of Material Are
WASM offers many historical items that are of value for
researchers. A listing of the types of materials follows:
Getting to the Database
WASM is available through the USF Libraries. If you are
on-campus, you may skip to the next slide. Otherwise,
pick one of the two following methods:
Through Blackboard/MyUSF: Through the USF Libraries Website:
2. Go to http://my.usf.edu 2. Go to http://www.lib.usf.edu
3. Log in. 3. Near the upper left corner there
will be an icon that says “Not
4. Click on the ‘USF Libraries’
Connected – Log in Here.” Click
6. Now click the “USF Libraries”
5. You may then log in with your
NetID (Blackboard) log-on or
with your library number.
You should see this icon
Now you are ready to continue.
on the library homepage:
Getting to the Database
After logging on, you will need to navigate the library’s website:
1. Click the “Databases by Title/Subject” link under the
“Resources” tab (this is the default tab, and the link
is the third one down).
4. In the search bar, type “women and social
movements” and click the “GO” button.
6. It is the only result. Click on the title to open up the
Exploring the Basic Edition
The blue side bar gives you options in exploring what WASM has to offer.
As you explore through the database, WASM provides
a persistent navigating toolbar at the top of the screen.
This “Search Navigation Bar” allows you to switch
between options. Your current location is shown in
We are currently in the advanced search.
Finding Out About WASM
If you’d like to learn more about
WASM, click the “About” link to
find out about citing, navigating,
the people involved, errata,
technical requirements and more.
WASM is not just a database—it’s also
an online journal called Women and
Social Movements. The journal is
published four times a year and
includes document projects, book
reviews, archive news, a listing of new
documents added to the database,
lesson plans, and more.
You can also browse previous issues
at the bottom of the current issue.
WASM has created a timeline of
important events documented
within the database. Along with
this timeline are links to related
documents (if any). This
chronology is great for seeing
the complete history in the
WASM gives you multiple
options for browsing, based
on specific types of
information. You can look
at anything from images to
document projects, social
movements to subjects.
Browsing is great for
exploring what WASM has
to offer, and is
recommended for novice
When you click “Browse” you will receive a list of
the items in the database, organized by
whichever browse facet you chose (e.g. browse
author). You are also able to sort in a variety of
ways (depending on the facet) and go to
designated sections. There are nine different
ways to browse.
A complete list of every source (work or manuscripts)
in the database.
A list of every major author in the database.
Every letter, speech, diary entry, chapter in the
database organized by year
A listing of major images in the database
Browsing Document Projects
A complete list of all Document Projects in the database
Browsing Teaching Tools
A complete list of lesson plans, document based
questions and teaching websites in the database
A list of major movements described in the database
A detailed subject listing for all primary and
secondary materials in the database
Note that the
Browsing the Bibliography
This allows you to view all items in the database
Another search option is to
“find” by three different
aspects: sources, authors,
and social movements. This
allows you to specify criteria
to limit your searches. This
can be used when you have
a specific item in mind or if
you wish to view items that
have specific characteristics
When finding sources, you have a
multitude of options to search by. Not sure
what to pick? Click the “Terms” button to
see a listing of all acceptable search terms.
You may add
more than one
term into the list
You may try to find authors fitting specific criteria, such as female
African American authors in New York in the early 19th century.
You may also click on one of the highlighted letters in order to see all
authors with last names beginning with that letter.
The results screen for authors allows you to view biographical details
or view their works. You may limit by primary author or by secondary
Primary authors are the authors of primary documents;
secondary authors are the authors of document projects,
teaching tools, or other secondary sources.
You may also wish to find items related to a certain social movement,
such as the Society of Friends or the Jewish Women’s Congress.
available to you.
Here is a sample search results page for Catholic social movements.
Help While Finding
If you find yourself confused at any point while trying to “find” items,
you can always click on one of the criteria names to be taken to a help
file about it. The help file will give you a description, instructions
about use, examples, and notes.
The final way to find items is
to search the available texts
for a specific word or phrase.
You may do a simple search
or an advanced search.
The simple search gives you 8 different criteria to search in. You
also have the “terms” option.
The advanced search gives you 24 criteria to search in, while
continuing to offer the “terms” option.
Regardless of how you choose to search, your results will always
show your search term in red, so you can see it in context.
If there is too much text (especially when you get a large amount of
results), you may view line by line to see more quickly how relevant
the item is.
If you’re having problems, an extensive help
screen is available. The Help File is split into six
parts: Guided Tour (link is currently down),
Introduction, Finding Tools, Searching, Fields
and Their Descriptions, and Results.
We’ve been looking at the Basic Edition of WASM. There is also a
Scholar’s Edition available. What’s different about it? According to
Alexander Street Press, it contains everything from the Basic Edition,
plus 75,000 additional pages. To get to the Scholar’s Edition, click on
the link in the text on the main page.
Navigation remains the same in the Scholar’s Edition except for the
addition of the “Women’s Commissions” link, which also causes
“Current Issue” and “Chronology” to be on the same line.
The Women’s Commissions page is currently indexing
75,000 pages of reports published by commissions in all
fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam,
and the Virgin Islands. The publications include reports,
pamphlets, posters, and ephemeral materials.
Navigation is identical to
the Basic Edition, just
with slightly different