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Sister Singers Network records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00569

Scope and Contents

Collection documents the activities of the Sister Singers Network, primarily at music festivals, as well as each member group. Types of material include correspondence, programs, publicity and directories.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1981 - 2011


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

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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. 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

In 1981, Echo (Linda Ray) of the Kansas City Women's Chorus and Linda Small of the St. Louis Women's Choir started the Sister Singers Network with a logo, letterhead, and a list of choruses. Their vision was to create a feminist network of women's choruses that could learn from each other and come together to share music. The early SSN choral festivals were part of the Ozark Women's Festivals, until the SSN outgrew them. The first separate choral festival that was hosted by the SSN was in Kansas City in 1984. Sister Singers Network has hosted several international women's choral festivals in various cities around the United States, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Madison, Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids. From 1996 to 1999, the activity of the network dropped significantly and membership lapsed. At the National Women's Music Festival in 1999, a group of chorus women met to discuss revitalizing SSN; later that summer, a mailing went out to all the former SSN choruses, plus any new women's choruses that were known, to invite everyone to a SSN planning meeting in Chicago in October. The Grand Rapids Women's Chorus, with help from Sistrum of Lansing, MI, hosted the next Sister Singers Network Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2001, which was attended by 26 choruses. The organization is ongoing.


7.752 linear feet (14 containers)

11.61 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Women's music organization. Collection documents the activities of the Sister Singers Network, primarily at music festivals, as well as each member group. Types of material include correspondence, programs, publicity and directories.


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.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Linda Ray (2007-2009) and Rita Kissen (2013).

Additional Formats

The various performances have been digitized and are available upon request.

Related Materials

Associated material in the Kansas City Womyn's Chorus Records, Sophia Smith Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2007.

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

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.



Sister Singers Network records
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger.
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 (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:19-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-06-23: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063