Database Tutorials: North American Women's Letters and Diaries

Use this guide for learning basic skills in using the library's electronic resources

North American Women's Letters and Diaries includes the immediate experiences of 1,325 women and 150,000 pages of diaries and letters spanning over 300 years. The collection also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography of the sources in the database. 


NAWLD User Guide

Find information in North American Women's Letters and Diaries using the following search strategies:


  • Authors
    • Provides an alphabetical listing of the author by last name and includes the content they wrote, as well as, biographical information on the author.
  • Sources
    • Provides a list of books and resources containing information on authors and subjects.
  • Years
    • Sources are sorted according to the year they were published.
  • Places
    • Lists the places where material was written in alphabetical order.
  • Historical Events
    • Provides a listing of historical events and battles.
  • Personal Events
    • Lists personal events, like weddings and childbirth, material was written about.
  • Showcase
    • Features scanned material in the database.




  • Sources
    • This search is an advanced search for the same material in "Browse Sources."  It can be searched by author, title, editor, year, etc.
  • Authors
    • This is an advanced search for the same material in the "Browse Authors."  It can be searched by author, nationality, dates, personal statuses (e.g. familial state), etc.




  • Simple
    • The Simple Search allows searching by author, year written, document type, and subject heading.
  • Diaries
    • The Diaries Search searches only material within written diaries.
  • Letters
    • The Letter Search searches only material within written letters.
  • Advanced
    • The Advanced Search searches both letters and diaries for over twenty fields.  Not all fields have to be used.  Search options include ages, names, material status, number of children, nationality,  events, places written, and more.

Reference Librarian

Tim Hooper's picture
Tim Hooper
Katie Murrell Library