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Linda Janet Holmes oral histories of African-American midwives

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00672

Scope and Contents

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.

Dates of Materials

  • 1979 - 2010

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is closed to research until March 2022.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Linda Janet Holmes has retained copyright in her works donated to Smith College. 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 those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Linda Janet Holmes, 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.

Donor permission required for posting any interviews online.

Biographical Note

Linda Janet Holmes is a women's health researcher, writer, independent scholar, and activist. She is a research scientist for the New Jersey Department of Public Health, has served as executived director of the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Affairs, and a board member of the National Black Women's Health Project. She is widely recognized for having conducted interviews with sixty African-American midwives in 1981, with support from an National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. The research led to numerous publications and multi-media productions, as well as book chapters in The American Way of Birth, and The Black Women's Health Book. She co-authored, with Margaret Charles Smith, the award-winning book Listen To Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife (1996), and also curated a traveling exhibition titled Reclaiming Midwives: Stills From All My Babies, that documents the work of still photographer, Robert Galbraith.

Extent

5.5 linear feet (7 boxes. Other materials in the collection: 1 oversized box.)

0.138 Gigabytes

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Linda Janet Holmes is a women's health researcher, writer, independent scholar, and activist. She is a research scientist for the New Jersey Department of Public Health, has served as executive director of the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Affairs, and a board member of the National Black Women's Health Project. This collection contains sixty oral history interviews (audio recordings) with African-American midwives who practiced in the southern United States, primarily Alabama. The interviews were conducted by Holmes in 1981, with support from an National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Arrangement

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

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

Collection was donated to the SSC by Linda Janet Holmes in 2011

Processing Information

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

Creator

Title
Finding aid to the Linda Janet Holmes oral histories of African-American midwives
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Ellice Amanna
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-04-09: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2020-06-04: Added agents and access and use notes to the interviews. Also added General note and amended Access note.
  • 2021-07-02: Content description added from accession inventories

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063