The Global Turn in American Women’s History
Biographical dictionaries such as American National Biography can play a key role in mapping these larger patterns of interaction and exchange. Although such reference works still lag in their coverage of women and other under-represented groups (women make up less than 20% of the ANB’s 19,000 entries), such sources offer a wide range of individual biographies whose links and cross references are the building blocks of a map of interconnections for understanding wider patterns of social movements and activism, both nationally and internationally. As scholars follow the story outward from the United States, they can profitably consult other national biographical dictionaries for information on key players. In this way biographical dictionaries can encourage and facilitate new research at the same time they profit from the identification of potential new subjects worthy of inclusion.