Skip to main content

Casse Culver papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00826

Scope and Contents

The Casse Culver papers primarily document Culver’s work as a musician in the 1970s and a Reverend for Hear and Be Healed (HBH). The collection includes sound recordings of Culver's music (including her recordings for Bearsville Records and the Belle Starr Band), sound recordings of HBH teachings, business files from her time in the music industry, song sheets, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, concert posters, and journals.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1950 - 2019


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use with the following restrictions on access:

Boxes 40 and 43 contain moldy materials. These boxes are closed to research, until the materials can be cleaned or digitized.

Conditions Governing Use

Boden Sandstrom indicates an express wish to retain full ownership of any and all copyrights currently controlled by Boden Sandstrom in Casse Culver’s published and unpublished music and lyrics, but the Donor has agreed all materials in this collection can be made available for display on the internet or in physical exhibition, including the reproduction in electronic form, or by any other means, subject to standard archival practices and as permitted by applicable law. In addition, Boden Sanstrom indicates an express wish to retain full ownership of any and all copyrights currently controlled by Boden Sandstrom in the remaining Materials, but Boden Sanstrom grants the Smith College a nonexclusive right to authorize all uses of these materials for research, scholarly, or other purposes pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Biographical / Historical

Casse Culver was a lesbian folk singer/songwriter in the women’s music movement during the 1970s. She founded her own publishing and production companies (Sweet Alliance Music and Athena Productions), toured both solo and with the Belle Starr Band, and played at women’s music festivals. Casse met her partner Boden Sandstrom in 1974, and together, they started the company Woman Sound (later City Sound Productions), the first all-woman sound company, and worked on Culver’s 3 Gypsies album (Urana Records, 1976).

Born in 1944 in Bethesda, Maryland, Culver started her career busking as a street singer. At the 1969 Woodstock music festival, she made contacts that led to a record contract, resulting in a mainstream album that was never released. While living in Washington D.C. Culver befriended the Furies Collective, a short-lived but influential separatist lesbian-feminist collective. In the early 1970s, she worked as an organic gardener in Woodstock, and later started a landscaping company called Good News Gardening. Later, Culver started a church, Be Heard and Be Healed, with a focus on women and the LGBTQ+ community. She served as its Reverend for over a decade.

In 2013, Casse and Boden married. Culver worked as a house manager for women with disabilities at the Jubilee Association of Maryland up to her retirement. She continued writing songs and poetry until passing away in 2019.

Source: Sandstrom, Boden and Armstrong, Toni, “MEMORIALS: Cassie Culver 1944 - 2019,” OLOC E-news, January 2020. Accessed November 17, 2021. Casse Culver Papers, Smith College


47.001 linear feet (47 containers)

Language of Materials


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.

Some content was received from the donor in digital form and is not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email to request access to this digital content. Note that Special Collections may not be able to provide the required software to read all files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Boden Sandstrom in December 2020.


During accessioning, financial documents and Wave Culver material were destroyed. Phone lists and the duplicate Hear and Be Healed material was returned to the donor. Duplicate posters were offered to a bookseller.

Processing Information

This collection was accessioned by Althea Topek in 2022. The contents were removed from original boxes and the material was placed in archival housing by Maureen Cresci Callahan in 2021. Original order was maintained and the donor provided a content box list that was repurposed to create the finding aid inventory.


Finding aid to the Casse Culver papers
Vivian DeRosa, Amy Kitmacher, Althea Topek
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063