This course will consider issues relating to the documentation and interpretation of women's lives. Through research in the personal papers of various women who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the class will focus on the following questions: what documents survive and why; and to what extent, if any, did gender inhibit or facilitate the fulfillment of aspirations of vocations of these women and why. Course requirements comprise participation in weekly class sessions, updates on the progress of one's research and difficulties and discoveries therin, and a paper of journal length size relating to a subject in which primary source materials have been extensively consulted. The paper should include a bibliography of published accounts and a critical evaluation of surviving papers. A list of subjects compiled by the professor will draw on resources available in several Penn repositories, including the Deparment of Special Collections, the University Archives and Records Center, the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and other special libraries in the Philadelphia area.