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Carolyn G. Heilbrun papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00274

Scope and Contents

Personal correspondence and professional papers including writings (published and unpublished), research files, teaching material, speeches and professional activities. Also includes Amanda Cross manuscripts and related material as well as research material for the Gloria Steinem biography The Education of a Woman, including hundreds of audio tapes of interviews.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1945 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use with following restrictions on access:

Accession #99S-43, boxes 4 and 5 (personal) are closed until Jan 1, 2034. Accession #06S-61 is closed until Jan 1, 2034.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Carolyn G. Heilbrun has assigned copyright in materials received (from her) through 1999 to Smith College; however, she retains copyright to all of her published works and to material received from 2000 onward. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Carolyn Gold Heilbrun was born 13 January 1926 in East Orange, NJ; moved to NYC, 1932; married James Heilbrun, 1945. B.A. Wellesley, 1947; M.A. English Lit, Columbia, 1951; Ph.D. Columbia, 1959. Honorary Degree, Smith 1989. Instructor, then Professor of English and Comparative Lit., Columbia, 1960-1992 (retired), specializing in British Modernism. First director, Institute on Women and Gender, Columbia, 1986-88 and Director, Institute and Women's Studies, 1988-89. Published more than a dozen mystery novels under pseudonym Amanda Cross, plus 9 scholarly books including Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (1973); Writing a Woman's Life (1988); biography of Gloria Steinem, Education of a Woman (1995); and Reinventing Womanhood (1979), and numerous articles. Also lectured and consulted on women in literature; mystery writing; women's studies, etc. Founding President, Virginia Woolf Society, 1976-78. Board of Directors, Mystery Writers of America.


0.01889 Gigabytes

38.729 linear feet (37 containers)

Language of Materials



Carolyn Gold Heilbrun was born 13 January, 1926. She was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University from 1960-1992, specializing in British Modernism, and published more than a dozen mystery novels under the pseudonym Amanda Cross, plus nine scholarly books. Her papers include personal correspondence and professional papers, including writings (published and unpublished), research files, teaching material, speeches and professional activities. The collection also includes Amanda Cross manuscripts and related material as well as research material for Steinem biography, including hundreds of audio tapes of interviews.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the collection was donated by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, 1989-1999. Two additional donations were made by her family in 2006. Virginia Cox donated a small amount of correspondence in 1999 and 2008 and Mary Ann Caws donated two letters in 2012.

Processing Information

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

In 1998 Carolyn Heilbrun returned material she borrowed from the Gloria Steinem papers (SSC-MS-00237) and sent new material created in the process of writing her Steinem biography, The Education of a Woman. Part of the new material was added to the Heilbrun papers and approximately 0.5 linear feet was added to the Steinem papers. This material consisted of correspondence between Heilbrun and Steinem about Steinem’s life, notes on and lists of people to contact about Steinem, and correspondence between Heilbrun and others about Steinem. In 2023 the Steinem papers were reprocessed and material added to the collection by people other than Steinem and her staff were removed from the collection. This 0.5 linear feet of material from the Steinem papers was reunited with the rest of the Heilbrun papers as folders in box 37 under the Accession 1998-S-0005 series.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Carolyn G. Heilbrun papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-01-02: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
  • 2020-06-22: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2021-07-08: Content description added from accession inventories
  • 2023-09-11: Edited to add material from accession 1998-S-0005 transferred from Gloria Steinem papers

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063