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Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The collection contains sixty oral history interviews (audio recordings) with African-American midwives who practiced in the southern United States, primarily Alabama. Interviews were conducted by Holmes in 1981, with support from an National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. The interviews "...provide an extraordinary snapshot of midwifery, African American traditions, spiritual beliefs, and personal birthing experiences. Many of these women practiced in rural and impoverished areas and others broke ground attending births in hospital delivery rooms when doctors were unwilling to provide black women with medical care."[from donor's description of her papers]

The collection also contains digital photos of the "Reclaiming Midwives: Pillars of Community Support" exhibit at the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection: This collection is closed to research until March 2022.

Language of Materials


Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063