The American Antiquarian Society Bibliography, By Women, About Women:
A Selective List of Women's Studies Books Researched at AAS is an excellent list of books to help you with the historical knowledge you need. Some of my favorites on the list?
Basch, Norma. Framing American Divorce: From the Revolutionary Generation to the Victorians. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Kerber, Linda K. No Constitutional Right to be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.
And of course I'd love to see this:
Cohen, Patricia Cline. "Doing Women's History at the American Antiquarian Society," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 102, pt. 2 (1993): 295-305.
In addition to this bibliography, you will be interested in reading the American Antiquarian web page, Women's Studies Resources.