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Rosie the Riveter: Real Women Workers in World War II

Image of Sheridan Harvey Meet Sheridan Harvey, Women's Studies Specialist, Humanities and Social Sciences Division, Library of Congress.

Sheridan Harvey explores the evolution of "Rosie the Riveter"and discusses the lives of real women workers in World War II.

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Note: To view the Webcast, you must have the RealPlayer software, available at the RealNetworks player download site.

Library of Congress Web Sites of Interest
America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
American Memory photographs of women war workers.
American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States
A detailed guide to locating women's history materials at the Library of Congress. This site includes discussions of:
  • Government films encouraging women to work. U.S.Office of War Information (OWI), Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound section. For background on the OWI, see Today in History June 13th
  • Manuscript Collections relating to women in World War II.
  • World War II posters
  • Recorded Sound materials from World War II
  • Women on Armed Forces Radio Service in the Recorded Sound Reference Center. You can also do a keyword search on the American Women site for the following phrases: world war ii; rosie riveter.
Library of Congress Online Catalog
To search the catalog for materials about women in World War II, select Basic Search, then Subject. There is no single subject heading that will retrieve all books on the subject, but the following headings will lead to relevant items:
  • Women aircraft industry employees
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States [or the name of a state]
  • Women--Employment--United States--History--20th century
For other informative titles, select Basic Search, then Command Keyword, and enter the phrase "Rosie the Riveter".
Norman Rockwell's Rosie
American Treasures Exhibit.
Rosie Pictures: Select Images Relating to American Women Workers During World War II
A selection of popularly requested images and a cross-section of Library of Congress holdings.
The Veterans History Project
A Library of Congress project to document the contributions and experiences of military personnel, civilian volunteers, support staff, and war industry workers from World War I to the Persian Gulf wars.
Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters During World War II
Activities of eight women in World War II.

For Younger Researchers

D-Day, June 6, 1945 America's Story.
Image shows a woman defense worker.
Jigsaw: Solve the Puzzle, a Rosie Picture American Memory. The Learning Page: The Big Picture.
Images of women and girls involved in war work, including conservation, selling war bonds, and civil defense.
On the Homefront: America During World War I and World War II American Memory. The Learning Page: Features & Activities.
Images of women and girls involved in war work, including conservation, selling war bonds, and civil defense.
Other Web Sites of Interest
Powers of Persuasion: Posters from World War II
See the section "It's a Woman's War Too!" for the famous poster "We Can Do It!" by J. Howard Miller, produced by Westinghouse for the War Production Co-Ordinating Committee.
Rosie the Riveter Trust
Site for the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Park, Richmond,California. Includes a bibliography and links to other Rosie the Riveter Web sites.
Other Materials of Interest

Print Sources on Civilian Women in World War II

Anderson, Karen.Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations, and the Status of Women During World War II. New York: Berkley Books, 2001. LC call number: D767.92 .B47 1992

Bachle, Rosemary Eckroat.Women's War Memoirs. Waco, Tex.: Western Heritage Books, 1999. LC call number: D811.A2 B27

Bowman, Constance.Slacks and Callouses. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1944. Reprint by Constance Reid, Washington: Smithsonian, 1999. LC call numbers: TL724.1.W6 B6 1944 and TL724.R45 1999

Campbell, D'Ann.Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984. LC call number: HQ1420.C32 1984

Carpenter, Stephanie A.On the Farm Front: The Women's Land Army in World War II. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2003. LC call number: D810.W7 C368 2003

Colman, Penny.Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II.New York: Crown Publishers, 1995. LC call number: HD6065.C64 1995

Dabakis, Melissa."Gendered Labor: Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter and the Discourses of Wartime Womanhood." In Barbara Melosh, ed., Gender and American History Since 1890. London: Routledge, 1993. LC call number: HQ1075.5.U6G45 1993

Frank, Miriam, Marilyn Ziebarth, and Connie Field. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Working Women During World War II. Emeryville, Calif.: Clarity Educational Productions, 1982. Includes several photographs from the FSA-OWI Collection. LC call number: HD6068.2.U6 F72 1982

Gluck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, the War, and Social Change. Boston: Twayne, 1987. LC call number: HD6073.A452 U64 1987

Harris, Mark Jonathan, Franklin D. Mitchell, and Steven J. Schechter, comps.The Homefront: America During World War II. New York: Putnam, 1984. For Sybil Lewis and Inez Sauer quotations used in Sheridan Harvey's Webcast, see pp. 118-121, 129, 131. LC call number: E806.H64 1984

Hartmann, Susan M. The Home Front and Beyond: American Women in the 1940s.Boston: Twayne, 1982. LC call number: HQ1420.H34 1982

Honey, Maureen.Creating Rosie the Riveter: Class, Gender, and Propaganda during World War II.Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984. LC call number: HQ1420.H66 1984

-----, ed. Bitter Fruit: African American Women in World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1999. LC call number: D810.N4 B4

Litoff, Judy Barrett, and David C. Smith, eds. Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from the Home Front. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. LC call number: D810.W7 S54 1991

103 Rosie the Riveter Stories: As Told by Real Rosies Who Served in the Work Force or Who Helped through Volunteer Work During World War II. [Warm Springs, Ga.]: American Rosie the Riveter Association, 2001. LC call number: D810.W7 A17 2001

Parker, Pauline E., ed.Women at the Homefront: World War II Recollections of 55 Americans. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002. LC call number: D810.W7 W657 2002

Rupp, Leila J. Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1978. LC call numbe: D810.W7 R8

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Oral History Resource Center, California State University.Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women and the World War II Work Experience. 45 v. in 46. Sherna Berger Gluck, Project Director. Long Beach, Calif.: School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Oral History Resource Center, California State University, 1983. LC call number: HD6073.A452 U67 1983

Stevens, Michael E., and Ellen D. Goldlust, eds. Women Remember the War, 1941-1945. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1993. LC call number: D810.W7 W67 1993

Thomas, Mary Martha.Riveting and Rationing in Dixie: Alabama Women and the Second World War. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987. LC call number: D810.W7 T55 1987

Wise, Nancy Baker, and Christy Wise.A Mouthful of Rivets: Women at Work in World War II. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994. LC call number: HD6095.W62 1994

Examples of Books Written during World War II Describing Women's Wartime Jobs and Lives

Ahern, Nell Giles. Punch in, Susie!: A Woman's War Factory Diary. New York: Harper & Bros., 1943. LC call number: HD6095.A655 1943

Alsop, Gulielma Fell, and Mary F. McBride.Arms and the Girl: A Guide to Personal Adjustments in War Work and War Marriage. New York: Vanguard Press, 1943. LC call number: HQ1221.A55

Anthony, Susan B. Out of the Kitchen--Into the War: Woman's Winning Role in the Nation's Drama. New York: Stephen Daye, 1943. LC call number: HD6095.A68

Ayling, Keith. Calling All Women. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1942. LC call number: D810.W7 A9

Baker, Laura Nelson. Wanted: Women in War Industry.The Complete Guide to a War Factory Job. New York: E.P Dutton, 1943. LC call number: HD6068.B3

Banning, Margaret Culkin. Women For Defense. New York: Duel, Sloan and Pearce, 1942. LC call number: D810.W7 B3

Parry, Albert. What Women Can Do to Win the War. Chicago: Consolidated Book Publishers, 1942. LC call number: D810.W7 P3

Examples of World War II United States Government Publications on Women Workers

United States. Office of War Information. Book and Magazine Bureau. Magazine War Guide. For quotation used in Sheridan Harvey's Webcast, see issue of April 17, 1943, p. 1-2. LC call number: D731.U513

United States. War Manpower Commission. Information Service.America at War Needs Women at Work. Washington, D.C: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943. LC call number: HD6095 .A53 1943c

United States. Women's Bureau. Bulletin. Many of these numbered bulletins issued during World War II concern women's involvement in war work. See especially numbers 189-209. LC call number: HD6093.A35

United States.Women's Bureau.Special Bulletins no. 4-20.Another series of pamphlets on women war workers. LC call number: HD6093.A355 nos. 4-20 (in 1 v.)


Evans, Redd, and John Jacob Loeb. "Rosie the Riveter's Song." New York: Paramount Music Corporation, 1942. The song is quoted in Sheridan Harvey's Webcast. Available on sound disc Four Vagabonds: Complete Recorded Works, 1941-1951.Vienna: Document Records, 1999, v. 1. LC call number: SDA 43978 Also on sound disc Sportsmen Quartet. LB. 2537-2538. Hollywood, Calif.: C.P. MacGregor. LC call number: NCPC 08433 or NCPCX 01561

Motion Pictures

Changing the Face of America. Directed by Cass Paley. Videocassette. Copyright: Monterey Movie Company, 1994. LC call number: VAD 7851 (viewing copy)

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter. In the PBS series The American Experience. Videocassette. [198-?]. LC call number: VBG 0677 (viewing copy)

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  July 20, 2010
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