Kay Gardner papers
Scope and Contents
The Kay Gardner papers are comprised primarily of musical scores, vinyl phonograph discs, audiotapes, and videocassettes by Gardner, as well as phonograph albums featuring other women artists. The substantial collection of recordings of"women's music,"circa 1970s-80s includes such artists as Alix Dobkin, Chris Williamson, June Millington, Holly Near, Meg Christian, Linda Shear, Lavendar Jane, the Berkely Women's Music Collective, and others. Gardner's teaching materials, including slides, pertaining to music as a form of spirituality and its use as a therapeudic methodology are also included, as are photographs, correspondence, subject files, a small amount of biographical information, posters for Kay Gardner concerts, and artwork.
Dates of Materials
- 1941 - 2003
- Gardner, Kay (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that she owns copyright, Kay Gardner has stated that the copyright on "musician compositions" be retained by Kay's daughters, Juliana Smith and Jenifer Wilson Smith; 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 Kay Gardner, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Gardner's daughters, Juliana Smith and Jenifer Wilson Smith, have asked that people requesting copies of compositions for performance use secure permission from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Kay Louise Gardner was born on Long Island, New York to Enez Melkom and Karl Albert Gardner. She had one brother, K. Winston Gardner. She had two daughters, Juliana Smith and Jenifer Wilson-Smith, to whose father she was married before coming out as a lesbian. Gardner studied music at the University of Michigan and at the State University of New York at Stoneybrook, where she earned a Master of Music (Performance) in 1972. In 1998, she was ordained as a priestess by the Fellowship of Isis in Ireland and, upon her return to the U.S., founded the Temple of the Feminine Divine and the Isium Musicum, a three-year ordination program. She gained the attention of Maine citizens in the 1980s when she filed suit against the Bangor Symphony for sex discrimination, based on having applied for the position of conductor and learning later (having not been hired) that a memo had circulated among the musicians asking how they would feel about playing under a woman conductor. Gardner was committed to making and promoting women's music, and was a founding member of the feminist lesbian band, Lavender Jane (1972), and of Women With Wings, a sacred singing circle. She also founded and recorded works with the New England Women's Symphony, in addition to being a prolific composer and recording artist in her own right. Gardner received numerous awards, including an honorary degree from the University of Maine. Her book, Sounding the Inner Landscape: Music as Medicine, was published in 1990. She died in 2002.
9.105 linear feet (11 containers)
Language of Materials
Kay Louise Gardner was born on Long Island, New York. Gardner was committed to making and promoting women's music, and was a founding member of the feminist lesbian band, Lavender Jane (1972), and of Women With Wings, a sacred singing circle. She also founded and recorded works with the New England Women's Symphony, in addition to being a prolific composer and recording artist in her own right. Her papers include musical scores, vinyl phonograph discs, audiotapes, videocassettes by Gardner, phonograph albums featuring other women artists, teaching materials, photographs, correspondence, subject files, a small amount of biographical information, posters for Kay Gardner concerts, and artwork.
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. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Colleen Fitzgerald (2005), Juliana Smith (2005), and Robin Fre (2006 and 2012).
- Biographical notes
- Computer media
- Gardner, Kay
- Lesbian and queer women
- Lesbian community
- Music -- Instruction and study
- Music -- Manuscripts -- United States
- Music scores
- Music therapy
- Phonograph records
- Women and religion
- Women composers -- United States
- Women in the music trade
- Women musicians
- Women priests -- United States
- Women's music
- Women's music
- Finding aid to the Kay Gardner papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-12-20: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
- 2021-07-22: Content description added from accession inventory
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063