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Scope and Contents

From the Series:

This series is divided into three subseries: Staff, Miscellaneous individuals, and Subjects. It contains correspondence arranged alphabetically in accordance with the office filing system from the early years of PPLM. Letters to and from are interfiled. The correspondence spans the entire evolution of the PPLM from its early conception through name, policy, and personnel changes over the years. For information on specific issues and campaigns researchers are encouraged to check this correspondence by the relevant date.

The first subseries consists of correspondence of thirty-eight PPLM staff members. It is particularly interesting because it contains information about the ongoing internal issues of the organization throughout the years. Some of the more significant correspondence files are those of Blanche Ames Ames, founder and president; Eugene Belise, Executive Director; Lorraine Leeson Campbell, President; Cornelia James Cannon, President; Caroline Carter Davis, Executive Secretary, Field Secretary and Educational Secretary; Mary L. East, Executive Secretary,; Linda M. Hawkridge, President; Hazel Sagoff, Executive Director; and Mary M. White, Executive Secretary. Correspondence of Loraine Leeson Campbell is further divided by date and subject, the latter including letters about diaphragms and population issues. Throughout this series there are letters from Margaret Sanger, Mary Ware Dennett, and Louise Stevens Bryant. Additional correspondence to and from these staff members can be found throughout the records.

The second subseries contains correspondence of approximately 200 people. There are letters from Vera Brittain, Pearl Buck, Jessie Haver Butler, Mary S. Calderone, Robert Latou Dickinson, Clarence Gamble, Alan Guttmacher, Stella Hanau, Katharine Houghton Hepburn, Christian Herter, Norman Hines, Hubert Humphrey, Helen Keller, John F. Kennedy, Antoinette Konikow, Henry Cabot Lodge, Katharine Dexter McCormick, William Alan Neilson, Richard M. Nixon, Harriet Pilpel, Gregory Pincus, John Rock, Florence Rose, Margaret Sanger, Hannah and Abraham Stone, and Robert A. Taft. Correspondence from miscellaneous staff members such as committee chairs, is also located in this series.

The third subseries is arranged by subject, and includes letters against and for birth control and PPLM, letters of appreciation, requests for services and information, letters to the editor, correspondence with other birth control leagues, and letters about the U.S. Post Office and the mailing of contraceptives.

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The records are open to research according to the regulations of Smith College Special Collections with the following exception: for correspondence from individuals requesting birth control located in boxes 19 and 20 along with records of the Mother's Health Office located in boxes 29, 30, and 31, researchers will be required to sign an "Access Agreement" form agreeing to preserve the confidentiality of physicians who did not publicly identify themselves with the birth control movement. Please consult with special collections staff at to begin this process.

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063