Core Books

About the Core Books Project

The Women and Gender Studies Core Books database is a project of the Association of College & Research Libraries —Women & Gender Studies Section. Book titles currently in print are selected by academic librarians who volunteer to maintain a subject area. The project assists librarians in building Women & Gender Studies collections and can also serve as a guide to instructional faculty in selecting available course readings. Core titles are generally considered to be books that a library supporting an undergraduate or master’s degree in Women’s Studies and/or Gender Studies should own. Each list maintainer also selects the titles that are considered “essential” in that subject area. Titles no longer in print are dropped for each subject and newly published titles are added. The Core Books database is updated throughout the year, with annual editorial oversight.

While originated as the “Core Lists in Women’s Studies,” since 2011 the Core Books bibliographies have been available in LibraryThing.  Browse the LibraryThing tags to select a subject area or perform a basic keyword search of the entire database. Searching also provides a way to retrieve a list of the most essential titles across all subjects and/or titles added in a particular year. You can also sort titles in a variety of ways and use other social features of LibraryThing to connect the WGSS Core Books titles with other LibraryThing members’ collections, reviews and comments.  Please send comments or suggestions to the editor of the project, Karla Strand.

The ACRL/WGSS Core Books Database and Core Lists have previously been hosted by the University of Wisconsin, most recently as a part of the UW Digital Collections, and before that on the UW System Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian’s web site since the early days of the WWW. Prior to web access, the first year of electronic distribution of the bibliographies was through the UW Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian’s gopher site.

Other Core Books information:

Please contact the editor of the Core Books Project, Karla J. Strand, with questions or feedback about the project.