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Mary Thom papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00715

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection document Thom's personal and professional life. They include correspondence; manuscript drafts; research and interviews for her biography of Bella Abzug and Ms. magazine projects; published works by Thom and others; and photographs.

Dates of Materials

  • 1944 - 2013

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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. 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

Mary Thom was a feminist activist, author and editor of Ms Magazine. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Paul and Susan Thom. The family soon moved to Akron where her father worked as an engineer in the steel industry. Her mother encouraged her precocious daughter's interest in Shakespeare and jazz. After attending a private girls' high school as a scholarship student, Thom went on to Bryn Mawr College where she earned a degree with honors in history in 1966. While in college, she became active in the civil rights and anti-war movements and joined the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She entered graduate school in 1966 at Columbia University, in pursuit of a PhD in European history but left in 1968 after the tumultous student strike that began there in April, 1968. She stayed in Manhattan and for the next three years, working as an associate editor at Facts on File and, in 1971, volunteered for the newly-founded National Women's Political Caucus. The following year Thom joined the staff of Ms. magazine, first as a volunteer, then a researcher, and eventually serving as editor until 1991. After she left to become a freelance writer and editor, Thom maintained an association with Ms. until 2001. While still at Ms., Thom edited the book, Letters to Ms. (1987), and in 1997 published Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and Feminist Movement. With Suzanne Braun Levine, she co-edited an oral history tribute, Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed Off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied Against the War and for the Planet, and Shook Up Politics Along the Way (2007). In addition to her freelance career, at the time of her death Thom was editor-in-chief at the Women's Media Center, founded in 2005 as a non-profit progressive women's media organization by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem. An avid motorcyclist for years, Thom died April 26, 2013, when her motorcycle struck another vehicle on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Yonkers, New York. She was, according to Gloria Steinem,"one of the women's movement's best editors."

Extent

12.272 linear feet (15 containers )

0.00102 Gigabytes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Mary Thom was a feminist activist, author and editor of Ms Magazine. The materials in this collection document Thom's personal and professional life. They include correspondence; manuscript drafts; research and interviews for her biography of Bella Abzug and Ms. magazine projects; published works by Thom and others; and photographs.

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

These papers were donated by Susan Loubet and Sarah Dunlap, 2013-2014.

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.

Processing Information

Starting in September 2022, Smith College Special Collections will be renumbering many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. The following changes will be made in this collection: Accession 2014-S-0061, Boxes 1-3 renumbered as Boxes 11-13

Title
Finding aid to Mary Thom papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Ellice Amanna
Date
2019-06-19
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.
  • 2019-06-19: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
  • 2020-06-02: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2021-06-09: Added content lists 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