Case Studies

These case studies present examples of research you can pursue in this database.

Case studies model how you can search for persons and cohorts or sets of persons and visualize your results. You will find examples of the information about individuals and the various versions of their lives that you can discover in the list of books in our database. See portraits, graphs of relationships among the women in different tables of contents, and the BESS Viewer, which shows our interpretation of the short biographical narratives.

Case studies focus on our typologies. CBW goes beyond the biographical data on individual women that may be available on Wikipedia or in printed biographical dictionaries. This bibliography of printed collections of women’s lives introduces readers to more complex and varying interpretations than in the reference works. At the same time, CBW avoids isolating a single biography. Instead, we assign types or category terms to persons and texts, which helps us explore networks of female roles as they have changed over time. Women of various types appear in collections of different types, as when different short versions of Frances Trollope’s life appear in a collection of biographies of women writers or in a book that includes the lives of women travelers, or again, in a miscellaneous volume of narratives about successful European women who lived in different countries and eras. Some case studies will share examples of occupation or social identity, such as African Americans and nurses.