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Michele Kort papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00769

Scope and Contents

Mostly papers relating to book projects, childhood history, "Ms. Magazine" and other publications, photographs, audio interview recordings, correspondence, research, articles, and manuscript drafts, including considerable material related to Laura Nyro.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1942 - 2015


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

The estate of Michele Kort has retained copyright; 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 Kort, 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

Author, journalist, editor. January 30, 1950-June 26, 2015. Michele Kort was raised in California's San Fernando Valley. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received both a Bachelor's in Art History in 1971 and a Master of Business in Arts Management in 1975. While completing her MBA, Kort became involved with the Women's Building, an early feminist art space in Los Angeles, where she would later serve as director. Kort remained passionate about feminist art, as well as other forms of women's cultural production, a passion which often found its way into her work as a journalist. Of particular interest to Kort was women's sports, and she herself played basketball at UCLA in the 1960's and 1970's, before the advent of Title IX. Kort's award-winning career in journalism began with "The Grantsmanship News" and spanned many decades. As the senior editor of "Ms. Magazine" from 2003 to 2015, she played a major role in developing online content for the publication and mentored many young women writers. Other publications Kort worked on include "Songwriter," "Living Fit," and "UCLA Magazine." As a freelance journalist, her articles have been featured in "The LA Times Magazine," "The Advocate," "Ms.," "L.A. Weekly," "Women's Sports and Fitness," and "Vegetarian Times." Kort was the author of four published books: "Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro"(2012); "The End of Innocence: A Memoir" with Chaz Bono (2002); "Dinah! Three Decades of Sex, Golf and Rock and Roll"(2005); and "Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage" with Audrey Bilger (2012).


25.146 linear feet (24 containers)

0.2254 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



The collection contains papers relating to Michele Kort's book projects, childhood history, "Ms. Magazine" and other publications, photographs, audio interview recordings, correspondence, research, articles, and manuscript drafts, including considerable material related to Laura Nyro.


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.

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

The collection was gifted by Melissa Sue Kort and Miriam Cutler in 2016 to 2019.

Related Materials

Ms. Magazine Records, Gloria Steinem Papers

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

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.



Finding aid to the Michele Kort 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
  • 2020-06-16: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2021-07-14: Added legacy container inventory to accession 2016-S-0030

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063