Margaret G. Frantz papers
Scope and Contents
The collection includes correspondence, clippings, and articles, with a substantial amount from author and close friend Jessica Mitford. Materials pertaining to Frantz's teaching career at the University of California at Santa Cruz; topics include Women's Studies and American Studies curricula, women's rights, civil rights, radical social movements in the U.S., and second and third wave feminism.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1938 - 2016
- Frantz, Margaret G. (Person)
Language of Materials
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The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection.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
Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1922, Marge Frantz (born Margaret Louise Gelders) was a lifelong activist. Introduced to radical politics and the Communist Party by her father Joe Gelders, Frantz's activism began early, with the Young Communist League in 1935. Frantz's Party activity ranged from selling the Daily Worker on the New York City subway to organizing the Alabama delegation to the American Youth Congress. Frantz finally left the Party in 1956, though her agitation far from ceased. She was an organizer for the United Electrical Workers, campaigned for Wallace, worked for Planned Parenthood, was a part of the free speech movement in Berkeley, and a stalwart of the peace movement. After she and husband Laurent (also a radical and former Communist Party member) had four children, Frantz returned to college (graduating from Berkeley in 1972) and went on to a PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she spent three decades as a celebrated and inspirational teacher. Frantz retired from teaching in 1989, but continued her activism while living in Santa Cruz with her partner, Eleanor Engstrand. Frantz died on October 16, 2015 in Santa Cruz.
34.355 linear feet (33 containers)
Professor; Pacifist; Labor reform advocate. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, and articles, with a substantial amount from author and close friend Jessica Mitford. Materials pertaining to Frantz's teaching career at the University of California at Santa Cruz; topics include Women's Studies and American Studies curricula, women's rights, civil rights, radical social movements in the U.S., and second and third wave feminism.
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
Donated by Margaret G. Frantz (2010-2013) and Virginia Frantz (2015).
Accessioned by Burd Schlessinger, February 2010
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.
Genre / Form
- College teachers
- Communists -- United States
- Female friendship
- Feminists -- 20th century
- Jewish women
- Labor movement
- Lesbian and queer women
- Lesbians -- United States
- Women civil rights workers -- United States -- Correspondence
- Women in higher education
- Women radicals
- Women's studies -- California
- Margaret G. Frantz papers
- Finding Aid
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:20-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063