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Harriet F. Pilpel papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00311

Scope and Contents

The Harriet F. Pilpel Papers consist of 13.75 linear feet and are primarily related to her professional work with sexual and reproductive rights, dating from 1913 to 1981. The bulk of the papers date from 1966-81 and focus on sexual rights and liberties. The collection is essentially Pilpel's reference files, and is primarily composed of court documents from various legal cases on the state and federal level, as well as newspaper clippings and articles. There is very little personal correspondence or other materials that are not accessible through the public domain in the collection. However, the files allow for a comprehensive, state-to-state comparison of a variety of sexual and reproductive laws, and provide a sense of the debates going on in individual states and the country regarding sexual and reproductive issues. Types of material include correspondence, memoranda, press releases, reports, legislation, notes, journal and newspaper articles, and court documents.

Major topics found throughout these papers include family planning, abortion, contraception, sterilization, as well as the funding of these activities. Related topics include consent and notification for family planning activities, distribution and advertisements related to sex, sexual activities, and the sexual and reproductive rights of minors. The subject "reproductive rights" serves as an all-inclusive category that contains information about subjects such as maternity rights and population, as well as materials related to several aspects of sexual rights and liberties. "Minors" includes all subjects related to minors except the sterilization of mentally incompetent minors, which is located with the materials related to the sterilization of the mentally incompetent. Organizations represented include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL); Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), briefly known as Planned Parenthood-World Population; the Association for the Study of Abortion; and the Association for Voluntary Sterilization. Prominent Supreme Court cases documented include Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), United States v. Vuitch (1971), Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972), Roe v. Wade (1973) and Doe v. Bolton (1973), Bellotti v. Baird (1975), T.H. v. Jones (1975), Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976), and Carey v. Populations Services International (1977).

Dates of Materials

  • 1913-1981

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to material written by Harriet F. Pilpel belongs to Judith P. Appelbaum and Robert H. Pilpel, and will pass at death to his/her estate. 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 Pilpel, 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

Harriet Fleischl Pilpel was born in New York City in 1911 to businessperson Julius and Ethel (Loewy) Fleischl. She was graduated from Vassar in 1932 and received a Master's degree in 1933 and a law degree in 1936, both from Columbia University.

She married Robert Pilpel, a social service executive on June 15, 1933. They had two children, Judith Ethel Pilpel Appelaum and Robert Harry Pilpel.

Harriet Pilpel was a member of the New York Bar and senior partner in the law firm of Greenbaum, Wolff & Ernst who specialized in First Amendment issues. Between 1937 and 1991, she participated in twenty-seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. A prolific lecturer and author of publications related to copyright, abortion, marriage, birth control, civil liberties, and the law, she was also active in many organizations including the board of directors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America for whom she was legal counsel. Pilpel was also counsel to a number of other associations, including Sex Information and Educational Council of the United States, Association for the Study of Abortion, and Association for Voluntary Sterilization. In addition, she served on the boards of the National Abortion Rights Action League, the American Civil Liberties Union, and The Alan Guttmacher Institute. She died in her sleep April 23, 1991.

Extent

12.042 linear feet (29 containers)

Abstract

Lawyer; birth control advocate; and abortion rights advocate. The Harriet F. Pilpel Papers are primarily related to her professional work with sexual and reproductive rights. The collection is essentially Pilpel's reference files, and is primarily composed of court documents from various legal cases on the state and federal level. The papers allow for a comprehensive, state-to-state comparison of a variety of sexual and reproductive laws, and provides a sense of the debates going on in individual states and the country regarding sexual and reproductive issues. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, press releases, reports, legislation, notes, journal and newspaper articles, and court documents.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into two series:

  1. I. United States
  2. II. Individual States and Territories
  3. III. International
  4. Oversize Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Harriet F. Pilpel donated her research files to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1982.

Related Material

Other materials related to Pilpel within the Sophia Smith Collection can be found in the Florence Rose Papers, the Dorothy Kenyon Papers, and the records of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Many of Pilpel's works are available in the Five College Libraries. Additional Harriet Pilpel papers are housed at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College.

Processing Information

Processed by Kara M. McClurken, 2002.

Title
Harriet F. Pilpel papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Kara M. McClurken
Date
2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss155 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:11-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063