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Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project oral histories

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00661

Scope and Contents

Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, woman-identified-woman, queer, or who prefer not to identify with sexuality categories. The project provides a complex and nuanced collective story of American lesbian history and experience. Narrators include grassroots activists and political organizers; educators and academics; musicians, writers, and artists; as well as community and religious leaders. They come from a variety of class, ethnic, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds. Interviews cover childhood and growing up experiences; education and employment; activism and politics; family, identity, relationships and community.

Dates

  • 2010-2019

Conditions Governing Access

Some of the oral histories in this collection have restrictions on access. Please see the notes attached to an individual interview for information about restrictions that apply to it.

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

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to all of the oral histories except for those narrators who have retained copyright to their interviews. See individual interviews in resource record for specific information regarding copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Interviews were conducted by Smith College students in Kelly Anderson's "Documenting Lesbian Lives" course beginning in the spring of 2010. Students were trained in both United States lesbian history and oral history techniques and protocols.

Extent

10.75 linear feet (26 containers)

8,456‬ Gigabytes (853 digital files (video, audio, and transcripts))

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, woman-identified-woman, queer, or who prefer not to identify with sexuality categories. The project provides a complex and nuanced collective story of American lesbian history and experience. Narrators include grassroots activists and political organizers; educators and academics; musicians, writers, and artists; as well as community and religious leaders. They come from a variety of class, ethnic, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds. Interviews cover childhood and growing up experiences; education and employment; activism and politics; family, identity, relationships and community.

Arrangement

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. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project was donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Kelly Anderson and her students beginning in 2010. Annual additions are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Additional Formats

Full transcripts and streaming video of many interviews are available online to the Smith campus community. Researchers may also request copies of electronic transcripts or video files.

Related Materials

The Sophia Smith Collection The SSC holds the papers of the following: Martha Ackelsberg; Carole Oglesby; Judith Plaskow; Ellen Shumsky; and Women's Music Collection (June Millington).

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, July 2010. Additions received 2011-2018 were processed by SSC oral history interns.
Title
Finding aid to Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project oral histories
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Ellice Yasner Amanna
Date
2010
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)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-12: Removed term "purchase" from access note, re: digital files
  • 2019-06: New accession added
  • 2020-06-16: Revised use, access and web access notes, added agents and updated finding aid to current standards

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063