Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project records
Scope and Contents
The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project includes interview transcripts and audio recordings (cassette tapes and digital files); plus related correspondence, releases, and photographs (primarily color photocopies). Some interviewee files contain additional biographical material, writings, speeches, and memorabilia. Some administrative records of the project are also included.
Digital audio interviews and transcripts are available. Contact archives staff for access.
Dates of Materials
- 1970 - 2018
- Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (Organization)
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 Use
The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the oral histories, except where noted on individual release forms. Copyright to other materials may be owned by the creators 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
This oral history project began in 1997 when Arden Eversmeyer started working with women she knew who were ill and dying in her community of Houston, Texas. Next, she began collecting stories from friends as she traveled. The project came to be called the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project and expanded to include the life stories of lesbians 70 and older (i.e., those who were born in the early years of the 20th century). Twenty two of the interviews were published in the book A Gift of Age: Old Lesbian Life Stories by Arden Eversmeyer and Margaret Purcell (2009).
15 linear feet (19 boxes and digital files.)
Language of Materials
The project, begun by Arden Eversmeyer in 1997, continues to collect the life stories of lesbians 70 and older from around the country. The collection includes full transcripts and audio recordings (tapes and digital files); plus related correspondence, releases, and photographs (primarily color photocopies). Some interviewee files contain additional biographical material, writings, speeches, and memorabilia.
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
Audiovisual material in this collection has been digitized, but is not available online. As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email email@example.com to request access to digital copies.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Arden Eversmeyer and Margaret Purcell, 2011-2021.
Existence and Location of Originals
Photographs and supplemental materials found in this collection are copies, and Special Collections does not own the originals. Originals are held by the narrators of the oral herstories in this collection.
Transcripts and Original audio tapes have been copied to digital files for research use.
- Computer media
- DVD-Video discs
- Electronic mail
- Electronic records
- Lesbian and queer women
- Lesbian community
- Lesbianism -- United States -- 20th century
- Lesbians -- United States
- Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project
- Older women
- Oral histories
- Finding aid to the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project records
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Madison White
- 2014, 2019
- 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)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-10-04: Updated legacy finding aid
- 2018-10-12: Removed link to online playlist
- 2020-01-23: Added new accession
- 2020-05-26: Added basic container inventories and removed old narrator list in preparation for adding access and use information
- 2021-07-02: Content description added from accession inventories
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063