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Ms. Magazine records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00362

Scope and Contents

These are the records of the first publication (to 1987) only. The bulk of the collection is office files, editorial (including numerous manuscripts), publicity, promotion, circulation, advertising. The editorial files were sampled--not all transferred. Also included are files on special projects (e.g. Stories for Children); files for Women's Action Alliance and Ms. Foundation for Women; individual editors' correspondence and other professional papers, including those of Gloria Steinem, Pat Carbine, and Letty Pogrebin. There are also research files, printed materials, audiovisual materials, photographs, artwork. The SSC also holds a full run of Ms. magazine issues.


  • circa 1970-circa 1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections ( at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they owns copyright, the donors have assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, 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 the donors, 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

Ms. Magazine first appeared as an insert in New York Magazine in December 1971 and Spring 1972. In July 1972, Ms. began its publication as a monthly magazine. It was co-founded by second-wave feminist activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes; its original editing team included Mary Thom, Mary Peacock, Patricia Carbine, Nina Finkelstein, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Joanne Edgar. Following the November 1988 issue, Ms. was sold to Matilda Publications. In July 1990 it was reborn as “Ms. The World Of Women”, advertisement-free and bi-monthly with an international focus and Robin Morgan as editor.

Ms. focused on women’s issues and the women’s movement, publishing content including fiction, poetry, readers’ letters, and the “No Comment” column concerning sexist journalism and ads. Ms. was the first national publication to approach women’s issues from a feminist perspective; indeed, it was one of the first widely available publications to seriously address women’s issues at all. Particularly groundbreaking were its unprecedented publications concerning abortion (1972) and domestic violence (1976). Ms. Magazine also dedicated articles to topics such as equality in the workplace, sexuality, and birth control. Despite persistent financial instability and criticism from mainstream media, Ms. gained significant popularity with American women, establishing itself as the most notable source of feminist journalism throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

After being passed between several different publishers, Ms. continues to operate today through Liberty Media for Women, a company owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation.


372.75 linear feet (305 boxes. Other materials in the collection: oversized materials film canister and Houston 1977 flag.)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the office files of Ms. Magazine, a magazine edited, published, and written by women, focusing on women's issues and the women's movement, including fiction, poetry, readers' letters, and "No Comment" column on sexist journalism and ads.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Joanne Edgar and Mary Thom in 1988-2013. Accession numbers: 88S-17, 90S-5, 92S-32, 92S-49, 93S-32, 95S-31, 97S-34, 02S-43, 04S-75, 2017S-017.

Related Materials

Full run of Ms. in SSC Periodicals Collection. Ms. Magazine letters collection at Schlesinger Library, 1972-1980 (7 cartons). Voices of Feminism Oral History Project (Steinem). Steinem Papers. Pogrebin Papers. Ms Foundation Records. Mary Thom papers. Dorothy Pitman Hughes papers. Marcia Ann Gillespie papers. Voices of Feminism Oral History Project oral histories.



Finding aid to the Ms. Magazine records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
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.
  • 2018-10-26: Updated to conform to DACS

Repository Details

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

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063