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Theresa Carr papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00748

Scope and Contents

Personal papers, including much correspondence, journals, poetry, and photographs, reflecting Carr's personal relations both in the United States and Germany. Also, there is a significant amount of material reflecting Carr's decades of political activism, including minutes, pamphlets, fliers, photographs, and organizational records. Also included is a significant amount of personal papers, political materials, and photographs related to Carr's long time lover, Alessandra Nichols.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1920 - 2014


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

To the extent that they own copyright, Alesandra Nichols has assigned the copyright of Theresa Carr's 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 Theresa Carr, 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

Theresa Carr was born in Chicago, the daughter of Vernon and Zola Strut Carr. She grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts and graduated from the town high school, with honors, in 1972. Carr went on to the University of Massachustts Amherst where, in addition to extensive political activities such as co-founding the Orchard Hill Women's Center and the Wounded Knee Support Committee, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Economics in just three years. As a self-proclaimed "Marxist-Leninist lesbian," she joined fellow dormitory residents in transforming the third floor of Dickinson Hall into the "Liberation Corridor." She went on, also at UMass, to earn a Master's degree in Labor Relations and Research, working as a union organizer in the Pioneer Valley. After graduation, Carr lived in Holyoke where she also worked as an apprentice carpenter. By the early 1980s, she moved to New Haven, Connecticut and became a licensed union carpenter in 1982. Throughout the 1980s, Carr continued her intense political activities, including co-founding the Spinsters Opposed to Nuclear Genocide (SONG) and the New Haven Coalition for Justice in El Salvador. She also protested against the United States' intervention in Nicaragua and for Puerto Rican independence; she volunteered at the New Haven Women's Liberation Center and organized neighborhood protests against inadequate city services; over the course of three decades, she was jailed many times as a result of her activism. Carr was also involved in the New England Women's Music scene and in the early 2000s was part of a women's land trust in the Florida Keys. A naturalist and Buddhist, Theresa Carr died after a two year battle against breast cancer. Her ashes were scattered the following year during the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment Reunion.


45.167 linear feet (41 containers)

1000.9196 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Spanish; Castilian


Theresa Carr was an activist and became involved in numerous political activities during her lifetime. Her papers include correspondence, journals, poetry, photographs, minutes, pamphlets, fliers, and organizational records. Also included is a significant amount of personal papers, political materials, and photographs related to Carr's long time lover, Alessandra Nichols.

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.

Other Finding Aids

Some correspondence annotated by student worker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated by Theresa Carr on 2014-02-27.

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. Some media was were unable to be copied.

Finding aid to the Theresa Carr papers
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.
  • 2018-10-18: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2019-06-19: Updated finding aid and published.
  • 2020-03-25: Added boxes 1-41, updated dates
  • 2020-04-03: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063