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Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project records

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00669

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

  • 1979 - 2018

Creator

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 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).

Extent

15 linear feet (19 boxes and digital files.)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

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.

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

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 specialcollections@smith.edu to request access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project collection was donated to the Sophia Smith Collection beginning in 2011 by Arden Eversmeyer and Margaret Purcell.

Accruals

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

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.

Additional Formats

Transcripts and Original audio tapes have been copied to digital files for research use.

Related Materials

Associated materials can be found in the Old Lesbians Organizing for Change Records.
Title
Finding aid to the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project records
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Madison White
Date
2014, 2019
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)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: 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

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063