Leslie Tarr Laurie papers
Scope and Contents
Included are correspondence, publications, minutes, reports, clinic data, medical protocols, publicity, photographs, clippings, personnel summaries, financial reports, project files, and grant proposals. The papers document Tapestry's administration, finances, advocacy, publicity activities, education, training, as reflected in the files of Leslie Tarr Laurie during her tenure as CEO/Executive Diretor. Some personal papers of Leslie Tarr Laurie are also included.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1955 - 2021
- Laurie, Leslie Tarr (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use with the following restrictions on access:
At the direction of the donor, materials created between 2014 and 2015 will be restricted for research use until the year 2035.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that she owns copyright, Leslie Tarr Laurie has retained copyright, until her death, in her works donated to Smith College. Upon her death, copyright in these works will transfer 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 Leslie Tarr Laurie, 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.
Leslie Tarr Laurie was born in New York City, the daughter of Elvira (Vera) Rosenfeld Tarr, a professor of education at Brooklyn College, and Philip Tarr, owner of the Hefley and Brown School for Court Reporting, also in Brooklyn. She grew up in Great Neck, New York and attended area schools through high school. She earned a B.A. from Chatham College in Pittsburgh where she met her husband, Bruce Laurie, a US labor historian and professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Leslie Laurie then earned a M.S. from Columbia University and served as Director of Education and Outreach at Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania before she and her husband moved to western Massachusetts in 1970.
In her own words, she "was appalled that there were no subsidized family planning services" in this rural portion of the Commonwealth (David Cline, Creating Choice, 2006, p243). Setting out to change that, Laurie first worked for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM), then based in Newton Centre, just outside of Boston, as the first community organzier for the western part of the state.
But she never felt that PPLM fully supported her efforts. The Family Planning Council of Western Massachusetts (later known as Tapestry Health Systems) was founded in 1973 by Leslie Tarr Laurie and others to provide family planning services (birth control, pregnancy testing, referral for adoption and abortion services) and other health services (STD testing, gynecological exams). Its programs expanded into about 12 clinics in western Massachusetts and into other family planning and health care areas (teenage pregnancy, AIDS, smoking cessation, WIC, needle exchange programs, and so forth). Laurie would serve as CEO/Executive Director of the agency she founded for the next 40 years until her resignation in early 2014. Since then, while remaining active in community-based public health initiatives, she has been working on establishing a medical marijuana clinic in Northampton, Massachusetts.
7.375 linear feet (8 containers)
Language of Materials
Leslie Tarr Laurie helped found The Family Planning Council of Western Massachusetts (later known as Tapestry Health Systems) 1973 to provide family planning services (birth control, pregnancy testing, referral for adoption and abortion services) and other health services (STD testing, gynecological exams). She would serve as CEO/Executive Director of the agency for the next 40 years until her resignation in early 2014. The collection contains correspondence, publications, minutes, reports, clinic data, medical protocols, publicity, photographs, clippings, personnel summaries, financial reports, project files, grant proposals, and personal papers.
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
Donated by Leslie Tarr Laurie, 2014 and 2023.
One folder of job applications for positions at Tapestry was shredded on May 24, 2022.
The following materials were discarded from the 2023 donation during accessioning: routine correspondence (thank you notes, birthday cards, bulk mailings, etc.), family papers, memorabilia, fragments, personnel records of Tapestry staff, routine office files, and damaged material.
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.
The 2023 donation was accessioned by Dan Michelson, March 2023.
Genre / Form
- Computer media
- Court cases
- DVD-Video discs
- Electronic mail
- Financial records
- Government documents
- Job applications
- Legal documents
- Mailing lists
- Annual reports
- press releases
- AIDS (Disease) -- Massachusetts
- Birth control -- Massachusetts
- Birth control clinics -- Massachusetts
- Electronic records
- Fund raising
- Medical marijuana
- Public health -- Massachusetts
- Reproductive and sexual health
- Reproductive rights
- Sex instruction -- Massachusetts
- Sexually transmitted diseases -- Massachusetts
- Teenage pregnancy -- Massachusetts -- Prevention
- Women in development -- International cooperation
- Women's health services -- Massachusetts
- Finding aid to the Leslie Tarr Laurie 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.
- 2019-03-15: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
- 2020-03-25: Added boxes 1-6
- 2020-06-16: Description added for born-digital content.
- 2022-04-04: New inventory created by Grace Hartley
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063