Scope and Contents
The Families collection contains articles, bibliographies, books, greeting cards, leaflets, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, reports, and syllabi addressing a range of topics subsumed under "the family" including homemakers, housework, marriage, unwed mothers, and divorce. The material spans the period from 1853-1980. There are a few documents from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1907 article on motherhood and a 1928 article entitled "Yashee: Motherhood and Babyhood in Soviet Russia." These items reflect the prevailing attitudes of those decades by defining marriage and motherhood as the normal and desirable goals for all women, and defining those who did not pursue marriage and motherhood as maladjusted.
The majority of the items date from the years 1960-80. Many of these documents--such as Marvin Sussman's study, The Capacity of U.S. Families in the 1970s to Provide an Appropriate Child-rearing Environment (1973) and the booklet, Eleven Million Teenagers: What Can Be Done about the Epidemic of Adolescent Pregnancies (1976) --reflect the middle-class liberal concerns and anxieties that emerged from national social programs like the Great Society and the War on Poverty. A great deal of this material presents the feminist critique of marriage and the family as it was articulated by both well known feminists and more mainstream writers and journalists. The collection contains documentation of the changes in American family structures and norms that resulted from the cultural and socio-economic changes that took place during the 1960s and 1970s. It also demonstrates the presence of a small but vocal minority of women who joined organizations such as the Martha Movement to protest women's movement away from traditional definitions of housewife and mother.
Dates of Materials
- 1829 - 1999
- Majority of material found within 1930 - 1980
- Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without additional restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials created by individuals or organizations may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
2.417 linear feet (5 containers)
Language of Materials
Collection contains articles, bibliographies, books, greeting cards, leaflets, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, reports, and syllabi addressing "the family," including topics such as homemakers, housework, marriage, unwed mothers, and divorce. Includes feminist critique of marriage and the family by both well-known feminists and more mainstream writers and journalists. Contains documentation of the changes in American family structures and norms that resulted from the cultural and socio-economic changes of the 1960s and 1970s.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown source. Accession numbers: no accession number, 93S-1, 09S-68. Accessions were received on the following dates: ?-1993, 2009-08-10.
Finding aid revised by Kate Weigand, 2001.
- Child rearing
- Displaced homemakers
- Divorced mothers
- Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935
- Greeting cards
- Marriage counseling -- United States
- Married women
- National Organization for Women
- Significant others
- Sterilization (birth control)
- Teenage pregnancy -- United States
- Women -- Psychology
- Women's liberation
- Working mothers -- United States
- Finding Aid to the Families collection
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Madison White
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2005-09-23: mnsss91 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-12-14: Updated to conform to DACS
- Location of finding aid
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063