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Betsy Hartmann papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00808

Scope and Contents

The Betsy Hartmann papers includes publications written by Betsy Hartmann about women's rights, reproductive health and rights, and population, environment and security issues, including her unpublished first novel, Fear of the Child. It also includes speeches, papers and notes from various international conferences on women's rights and reproductive rights. Additionally, the Hartmann papers contain her research, including articles, newsletters, CDs and notes, on reproductive rights, feminist activism on women's health and reproductive rights, feminist challenges to population control, organizing for immigrant rights and environmental justice, and issues related to AIDS awareness, sterilization abuse, controversial contraceptives, and racism and eugenics. Her course syllabi from Hampshire College, her PhD thesis, "Strategic Scarcity: The Origins and Impact of Environmental Conflict Ideas", and interviews, reviews and research done while consulting for the United Nations are also included.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1968 - 2019


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 she owned copyright, Betsy Hartmann has dedicated copyright in her materials to the public domain, with the exception of the unpublished manuscript The Fear of the Child. This agreement is governed by a CC0 (Creative Commons 1.0 Universal) public domain dedication. Hartmann has retained copyright in the unpublished manuscript The Fear of the Child. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Hartmann, 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 / Historical

Betsy (Elizabeth) Hartmann is an activist, professor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction publications relating to activism on reproductive rights, women's rights, population and environmental policy, and American politics and foreign policy. Hartmann went to Yale University and graduated with a BA in South Asian Studies magna cum laude, going on to earn her PhD in development studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Throughout her career, Hartmann has conducted research and engaged in activism in various fields of study, each culminating in the release of a book. Her first nonfiction book, A Quiet Violence: View From a Bangladesh Village (1983) co-authored with James Boyce, explores the dynamics of exploitation, wealth inequality and world hunger though a village study. She is best known for her book Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control (1987, 1995, 2016). She is the co-editor of Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties (2005) and the author of The America Syndrome: Apocalypse, War and Our Call to Greatness (2017). Additionally, she released two novels on the Far Right, The Truth About Fire (2002) and Deadly Election (2007). In 1988, Hartmann became the director of the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College. She was a founding member of the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment (CWPE). She retired in 2016 from Hampshire College as professor emerita of Development Studies.


17.333 linear feet (16 containers)

Language of Materials



Betsy Hartmann is an activist and author of both fiction and nonfiction publications relating to activism on reproductive rights, women's rights, environmental policy, and American politics and foreign policy. This collection documents Hartmann's professional life, and includes her research, manuscripts, correspondence and speeches.


This collection is organized in the order that it was given by the donor.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Betsy Hartmann, 2019.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Venice Teeter, 2020. Minimal organization was done, by placing the materials into folders.

Finding Aid to the Betsy Hartmann papers
Minimum Finding Aid (Completed)
Venice Teeter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-02-26: Created new collection
  • 2020-10-26: Minor changes made to the Scope and Contents and Biographical notes, requested by Hartmann

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063