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Marjory Nelson papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00551

Scope and Contents

The Marjory Nelson papers consist of a wide range of materials documenting the progression of her life, from faculty wife in a traditional marriage to graduate student, lesbian activist, radical feminist, hypnotherapist, and pacifist. Her activities in the feminist movement are richly documented, from its beginnings in the 1960. There are also correspondence, photographs and other materials representative of Nelson's personal life.

Dates of Materials

  • 1947-2006

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

The material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Permission must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Biographical / Historical

Marjory Nelson was born in 1928 in New Brunswick, NJ, the last of four children and the only daughter born to Dorothy Lewis and Thurlow Christian Nelson. Her siblings were Thurlow Christian Nelson, Jr. (1922-2000), Edwin Lewis Nelson (b. 1924), and John Eric Nelson (1925-1999). Nelson entered Oberlin College in 1946 but left after her freshman year and, on her nineteenth birthday, married ex-Marine Howard Hoekje, a chemist who worked in academia and in corporate chemical research. The couple had three children: Carol Lynn Hoekje (b. 1950), Barbara Jean Hoekje (b. 1953), and Peter Lindsey Hoekje (b. 1956). Although Nelson briefly attended New Jersey College for Women (1947-1949), she defined herself primarily as a wife and mother until the mid-1960s. Inspired by Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, Nelson returned to college in 1964 and began to participate in the radical political movements of that decade. She graduated from the University of Akron with a B.A. in 1966 and an M.A. in Social Psychology in 1968. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976, having completed a dissertation which examined the National Woman's Party, and was instrumental in the founding of Women's Studies at both SUNY-Buffalo and at Antioch College in Ohio. Nelson has been involved in peace, civil rights, feminist, and lesbian activism; her most notable political activities include lobbying for the ERA in Congress, organizing to free Joann Little and the Wilmington Ten, and co-founding the Women's Building in San Francisco. Her articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of feminist publications including Sinister Wisdom, Sojourner, Off Our Backs, and many others. Since the 1980s Nelson lived in San Francisco where she worked as a feminist therapist and a lesbian feminist activist.She passed away in 2018.

Extent

5 boxes (5.5 linear feet)

Abstract

Marjorie Nelson was a lesbian activist, therapist and feminist. The Marjory Nelson papers consist of a wide range of materials documenting the progression of her life, from faculty wife in a traditional marriage to graduate student, lesbian activist, radical feminist, hypnotherapist, and pacifist. Her activities in the feminist movement are richly documented, from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present. There are also correspondence, photographs and other materials representative of Nelson's personal life.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Marjory Nelson papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Marjory Nelson in 2006.

Related Materials

Interview with Nelson in the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2006

Title
Finding aid to Marjory Nelson papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger; Ellice Yasner Amanna.
Date
2008; 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:19-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-03-18: Descritpion added and finding aid updated to current standards

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063