The professionalization of the study of history in the second half of the nineteenth century, including history's transformation from a literary genre to a scientific discipline, had important consequences not only for historians' perceptions of women but also for women as historians. The disappearance of women as objects of historical studies during this period has elements of irony to it. On the one hand, in writing about women, earlier historians had relied not on firsthand sources but rather on secondary sources; the shift to more rigorous research methods required that secondary sources be disregarded. On the other hand, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents began to reveal significant new historical evidence concerning women, yet this evidence was perceived as substantially irrelevant: historians saw political history as the general framework for historical writing. Because women were seen as belonging to the private rather than to the public sphere, the discovery of documents about them, or by them, did not, by itself, produce history acknowledging the contributions of women. In addition, genres such as biography and memoir, those forms of "particular history" that women had traditionally authored, fell into disrepute. The dividing line between "particular history" and general history was redefined in stronger terms, widening the gulf between amateur and professional practices of historical research.
The passage is primarily concerned with
(A) describing some effects of the professionalization of the study of history on the writing of women's history
(B) explaining some reasons for the professionalization of the writing of history
(C) discussing the kinds of historical writing traditionally practiced by women
(D) contrasting the approach to the writing of history taken by women with the approach taken by men
(E) criticizing certain changes that occurred in the writing of history during the second half of the nineteenth century
Which of the following best describes one of the "elements of irony" referred to in the highlighted text?
(A) Although the more scientific-minded historians of the second half of the nineteenth century considered women appropriate subjects for historical writing, earlier historians did not.
(B) Although archival research uncovered documentary evidence of women's role in history, historians continued to rely on secondary sources for information about women.
(C) Although historians were primarily concerned with writing about the public sphere, they generally relegated women to the private sphere.
(D) The scientific approach to history revealed more information about women, but that information was ignored.
(E) The professionalization of history, while marginalizing much of women's writing about history, enhanced the importance of women as historical subjects.
According to the passage, the development of archival research and the critical editing of collections of documents had which of the following effects?
(A) Historians increasingly acknowledged women's contributions to history.
(B) Historians began to debate whether secondary sources could provide reliable information.
(C) Historians began to apply less rigorous scientific research criteria to the study of women's history.
(D) More evidence concerning women became available to historical researchers.
(E) Women began to study history as professional historians.