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Voices of Feminism Oral History Project oral histories

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00535

Scope and Contents

The Voices of Feminism Oral History Project documents the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. Narrators include labor, peace, and anti-racism activists; artists and writers; lesbian rights advocates; grassroots anti-violence and anti-poverty organizers; and women of color reproductive justice leaders. Interviews average 5-6 hours and cover childhood, personal life, and political work.

Each narrator's document box includes the recorded interview (on dvds or video tapes, plus audio CDs); the unedited and edited transcripts; correspondence between interviewer and narrator; a biographical survey; and the interviewer's guide. Some narrators' files include background materials and photographs.

Dates

  • 1990-2014

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Most of the oral histories are open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of the Smnith College Special Collections.

Whenever a narrator has requested that the Sophia Smith Collection restrict access to her interview, it is noted in the finding aid below.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, most of the narrators have assigned the copyright in their work present in these oral histories to Smith College. Whenever a narrator has retained copyright to an oral history, either permanently or for her lifetime, this information is noted in the finding aid below.

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 other than the oral histories, 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

The Voices of Feminism Archival Development Project, funded by the Ford Foundation from 2002 to 2008, aimed to bring race, class, and sexual diversity to the holdings of the Sophia Smith Collection. The project consisted of several parts: a) searching for personal papers and organizational records of women of color, grassroots organizers, and others marginalized in traditional historical accounts, b) conducting oral histories, c) collaborating with Gloria Steinem as she works in her own papers and identifies potential donors, and d) developing plans for a video documentary series based on these new materials.

Project staff included Joyce Follet, director and oral historian; Kelly Anderson, oral historian; Sheila Flaherty-Jones, editor; Kathleen Banks Nutter, oral historian; Loretta Ross, consultant and oral historian; Revan Schendler, consultant and editor; Kate Weigand, oral historian. Interviews were also conducted by Martha Ackelsberg, Nancy MacLean, and Evelyn C. White.

Biographical information about each of the narrators is available in the finding aid, below.

Extent

63 oral histories

30.75 linear feet (78 boxes)

2,560 Gigabytes (1,145 files (video, audio, transcripts) )

Overview

Oral History Project documenting the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States. Narrators include labor, peace, and anti-racism activists; artists and writers; lesbian rights advocates; grassroots anti-violence and anti-poverty organizers; and women of color reproductive justice leaders. Interviews cover childhood, personal life, and political work. Most oral histories consist of audiovisual recordings and transcripts, plus some background information.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use copies of the original audiovisual materials in this collection.

In-house use copies (audio CD, VHS and DVD) are available for all unrestricted interviews, and digital copies of most of the videos are available online but restricted to the Smith campus only: http://media.smith.edu/departments/ssc/vof/vofvideo-list.html. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request additional access to digital copies.

Additional Formats

Digital versions of transcripts are available online through links in the container list below whenever allowed by the narrators.

Most of the video has been digitized and is available online, but restricted to access on the Smith campus only: http://media.smith.edu/departments/ssc/vof/vofvideo-list.html

Related Material

In addition to their oral histories, the following women have donated their personal papers to the Sophia Smith Collection:
Papers are expected from: Patricia Reeve and Catherine Roma.

Related organizational records in the Sophia Smith Collection include:

Processing Information

Processed by Joyce Follet, Revan Schendler, and Burd Schlessinger, 2007
Title
Finding aid to the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project oral histories
Author
Joyce Follet, Revan Schendler, and Burd Schlessinger
Date
2007, 2018
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsor
The project was made possible with generous support from the Ford 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)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:15-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 05/23/2018: Updated to include Marian Kramer interview

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063