Popular Periodicals for and about Women

These popular periodicals are a sample of CRL collections that support a global perspective for research on women. They represent three areas of the world on which CRL has strong collections: Slavic, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. In acquiring materials from South and Southeast Asia, CRL collaborates closely with the Library of Congress to identify and acquire key publications.

Soviet Popular Periodicals

A member’s deposit of nearly 900 titles of popular Russian journals, mostly from the 50s through the 70s, contains magazines specifically targeted to women, such as Russia’s Rabotnitsa. This magazine, like others in the collection aimed at women, provides instructional advice on home decorating, beauty and clothing, including sewing patterns. The women’s magazines highlight activities by Communist women throughout the Soviet Union and criticize the United States and capitalism in political cartoons.

Magazines for Contemporary Women in Southeast and South Asia

Examples of periodicals held by CRL deal with family life, women’s interests and issues, and fashion in these areas of the world.

  • Al Muslimah (Malaysia) [CRL holdings; 1989–present]—A Malay-language magazine that provides commentary on current events on an array of topics, including religion, education, social concerns, and family life. The magazine also offers consumer information, practical how-to advice, and inspirational stories.
  • Femina (India) [CRL holdings; 1969–present]—Femina is the largest circulation women’s English-language magazine in India and it sponsors the annual Miss India pageant, the most prestigious beauty pageant in India. The magazine appeals to upscale young women, offering tips on beauty, fashion, health, money matters, and relationships. It provides recipes, fiction, articles on travel, and celebrity interviews.
  • Visage (Pakistan) [CRL holdings; 1993–present]—A glossy, upscale, English-language fashion magazine featuring designer fashions, personality profiles, book reviews, “Womantalk” and “Mantalk” sections, and cosmetic, perfume, and public health advertisements.

Women’s Wear Daily and the Beginnings of Juniors Fashions

Jaime Minard, a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, accessed more than 450 volumes of Women’s Wear Daily from CRL’s collections in her ongoing research of the St. Louis fashion industry from the 1930s–1960s. Findings to date indicate that St. Louis was the origin of the junior apparel craze and creation of that market sector. The origins trace back to Lang-Kohn, Inc., a St. Louis women’s wear company, that manufactured the first junior size garments in the country in 1926. Shortly after, the first junior department opened at Kline’s, a department store in St. Louis.

Minard’s research of Women’s Wear Daily and other sources illuminates how the fashion industry in St. Louis grew and how activities and innovations there influenced and drew from other parts of the country.

Search the CRL catalog for Women’s Periodicals