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Women and Life on Earth records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00132

Scope and Contents

Records include only to the original WLOE activities which ended in 1982 and include planning materials pertaining to "Women and Life on Earth: A Conference on Eco-Feminism in the '80s," held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (March 1980); and the Women's Pentagon Action (Washington, DC, Nov. 1980), both organized by WLOE. Additional materials include correspondence, minutes by-laws, financial records, newsletters, writings, talks, clippings, subject files related to the environment and peace, notes, posters, photographs, memorabilia, and audio tapes.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1977 - 2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-82


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use with the following restriction on access: At the direction of the donor, this collection is available for research use with the condition that researchers must sign an access agreement prior to use agreeing to not identify living persons without their permission. Please consult with special collections staff at to begin this process.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Women and Life on Earth (WLOE) was founded in August 1979, after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania by 12 women from the northeastern U.S. who were active in anti-nuclear, alternative energy, peace and women's organizations. They were concerned about the "proliferation of nuclear weapons and technologies, toxic wastes, urban decay, and ecologically destructive means of production," and the threats posed to the quality of life on earth. They formed WLOE to "bring these concerns into the political arena." The organization's kick-off event was a conference: "Women and Life on Earth: A Conference on Eco-Feminism in the '80s," held in March, 1980 (the spring equinox) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It brought together 600 women from the northeastern U.S. WLOE took advantage of the momentum generated by the conference and organized the Women's Pentagon Action, an anti-nuclear protest. In November 1980, 2,000 women encircled the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, demanding "no more amazing inventions for death." Women and Life on Earth activities continued in the U.S. and Britain for several years. The original WLOE network's activities ended in 1982.

In 1999 WLOE launched the Women and Life on Earth Internet project "to connect women internationally, share information and support changes necessary to ensure life and peace with justice in the new millennium." In August 1999 an international board of advisors was formed at a meeting held in western Massachusetts. In 2001 the project moved to Berlin, Germany with coordinator Anna Gyorgy, and the 'war on terror' that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S., and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq "gave further proof of the need for international communication and solidarity for peace with justice."

In January 2004 the German-based association (full name: "Women and Life on Earth: women for international cooperation for peace, ecology and social justice") was granted non-profit status. They currently have an active email mailing list and Web site, and publish an electronic newsletter in German and English, to report on "women and peace, globalization and ecology." It also organizes local programs and guest speakers. [Source: WLOE Web site:]


11.355 linear feet (12 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the papers of Women and Life on Earth, on peace, anti-nuclear, and ecofeminist network. Records include conference materials, correspondence, minutes by-laws, financial records, newsletters, writings, talks, clippings, subject files, notes, posters, photographs, memorabilia, and audio tapes.


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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was gifted by Anna Gyorgy in 2003, 2005, and 2009.

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 Women and Life on Earth records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:17-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-19: Updated to conform to DACS

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063