The History of Women's History
There have been many changes in perspective on women's history since it began to be added to the historical record, along with shifting definitions of its historical importance.
Contribution history, seen in early attempts to include women in the written record, recorded the lives of women who were distinguished according to traditional notions of importance through careers, social status, or marriage to famous men.
Social history, a product of the 1960-70s, attempted to discover and record how ordinary people lived, leading to studies into women's domestic, economic, social, and community lives.
Bifocal history became popular in the 1970s and again in the 1990s as historians studied women as entities separate from men, with choices and power of their own, in reaction to previous portrayals of women.
Ethnic and Class studies also gained popularity in the 1980-90s with focus on telling the stories of marginalized groups, along with studies of women' roles in these groups.
For an in-depth essay on this topic by a Vermont historian, click here.