In the late 1800's, Dutch physician and feminist Aletta Jacobs and her husband C.V.
Gerritsen began collecting books, pamphlets and periodicals reflecting the revolution
of a feminist consciousness and the movement for women's rights. By the time their
successors finished their work in 1945, the Gerritsen Collection was the greatest single source for the study of women's history in the world, with
materials spanning four centuries and 15 languages.
The Gerritsen curators gathered more than 4,700 publications from continental Europe, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand, dating from 1543-1945. The anti-feminist case is presented as well as the pro-feminist; many other titles present a purely objective record of the condition of women at a given time.
The Gerritsen Collection consists of two segments: the Periodical Series and the Monograph Language Series.