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Grey Literature in Multicultural Women's & Gender Studies (MWGS) Research

This guide will help provide information about grey literature and resources to find grey literature that can be helpful in MWGS research.

Finding Grey Literature at TWU

Because of grey literature's wide range of documents and formats, you can find grey lit a little bit everywhere at TWU. 

Vertical Files, Subject Files, and Biofiles

Vertical Files (VF), Subject Files, and Biofiles

Vertical files, subject files, and biofiles are all resources found in libraries all around the world. Both subject and biofiles are vertical files, but oftentimes the names are used interchangeably. At TWU we house these items on the 2nd floor of the library in Special Collections. These items are in file folders housed in vertical file cabinets (thus the name vertical files) and contain a wide variety of resources captured on a specific person or subject. The resources within these files could be newspaper clippings, manuscripts, and other pieces of ephemera. They are captured from internet searches, previous research material, and more. The files are built up over time and kept to be added to when pieces are encountered. These are great resources when beginning research and get a base of knowledge on the subject or person.

Every library will contain vertical files on their own choice of people and subjects. TWU's vertical files contain biofiles on past faculty at TWU, distinguished alumna and guests, as well as important Texas women, both past and present. There are subject files on campus history, buildings, traditions, and a variety of subject surrounding TWU from its earliest days. There are also subject files on women's groups, and events both surrounding Texas and the nation.

To locate these files at TWU, please call Special Collections (940) 898-3751 or search TWUniversal. Please note that these files and other items in Special Collections and University Archives cannot be checked out. They also have different hours than the rest of the library. Please consider calling first to make sure the file is available and they are not closed for a special event.

Special Collections is open:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Locating Vertical Files, Subject Files, and Biofiles in TWUniversal

To try and search TWUniversal for vertical files, subject files, and biofiles, add your keyword and then choose 'Refine my results" and choose 'Available in the Library'.



Oral Histories

Oral histories are an important grey literature resource. These resources are personal accounts of a person's life or during a moment in time. Although oral histories are oftentimes conducted through an interview process, they differ slightly from some or general interviews in the fact of what the intent is, as well as the long-term goal. According to the Smithsonian Institution Archives, an "oral history is a technique for generating and preserving original, historically interesting information-primary source material- from recollections through planned recorded interviews" (Smithsonian Institution Archives, n.d.) -

The Oral History Association defines it as, "a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving, and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies" (Oral History Association, n.d). -


TWU's Oral History Collection contains over 1000 interviews, covering a variety of topics from a variety of subjects. The collection contains oral histories from the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, as well as past faculty members, members of women's organizations, experiences during the Covid Pandemic, and more. These oral histories come in a variety of formats including some in their original formats such as cassette tapes and microfiche, as well as those transcribed and available online, bound in book format, and those born-digitally. Below you will find a link to a spreadsheet containing information regarding some of the titles in TWU's Oral History Collection. For more information regarding the Oral History Collection at TWU,  please click here or contact Special Collections, 940-898-3751.