Rosario Morales papers
Scope and Contents
The Rosario Morales Papers contain correspondence, writings (manuscripts, drafts, journals, free writing, publications), conference files, memorabilia, and awards that document her personal and professional life as an author, poet, feminist, and activist. The materials in this collection primarily date back to the 1980s and 1990s, and are especially reflective of Rosario Morales' processes as a writer. Writings included here are primarily autobiographical, focusing on her identity as a Puerto Rican feminist. Morales' writings often underscore the importance of intersectionality in the feminist movement. Other topics covered include communism/Marxism, writing and publishing processes, Cuba and the Cuban blockade, and feminist theory. Of note is correspondence with Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, the editors of the 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back, including notes on public readings and publicity for the groundbreaking book by and about women of color. The papers also include some materials of her daughter, writer Aurora Levins Morales.
Dates of Materials
- 1960 - 2014
- Morales, Rosario, 1930- (Person)
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The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection except for materials created by Rosario Morales. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify all copyright holders.
Biographical / Historical
The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Rosario Morales (1930-2011) was raised in el barrio of New York City. In 1949, Morales joined the Communist Party and married Richard Levins, the son of Ukranian Jewish immigrants and a scientist. Together they moved to Puerto Rico in 1951 where they became active in the Puerto Rican Communist Party and the Fellowship of Reconciliation while working a small farm in the mountains. They eventually returned to the U.S., first to Chicago then to Cambridge, but the people and culture of Puerto Rico remained at the center of Morales' work. Morales and her daughter Aurora Levins Morales became active in the women's movement in the late 1960s, were a part of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, and co-authored a book of poetry and prose called Getting Home Alive in 1986. Despite struggles to be taken seriously as a scholar, Rosario Morales was recognized as a major contemporary Puerto Rican writer. Morales contributed to the groundbreaking book, This Bridge Called My Back, a collection of writings by women of color feminists, and her work appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. In addition to the Communist Party and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, Rosario Morales was involved in a number of other organizations related to her identities as a feminist, Marxist, working class, Puerto Rican woman. Rosario Morales died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2011.
5.417 linear feet (5 containers)
Language of Materials
Feminist; Communist; Author; Poet. Papers contain correspondence, writings (manuscripts, drafts, journals, free writing, publications), conference files, memorabilia, and awards that document her personal and professional life as an author, poet, feminist, and activist. Writings included here are primarily autobiographical, focusing on her identity as a Puerto Rican feminist. Morales' writings often underscore the importance of intersectionality in the feminist movement. Correspondents include Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, editors of the 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back. The collection also includes some materials of her daughter, writer Aurora Levins Morales.
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.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Rosario Morales Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by her family in 2013 and 2016.
Accessioned by Jen LaBarbera (intern), August 2013
Starting in September 2022, Smith College Special Collections will be renumbering many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. The following changes will be made in this collection: Accession 2016-S-0008, Boxes 1-2 renumbered as Boxes 4-5
- Communism -- Puerto Rico
- Feminists -- United States
- Feminists -- United States
- Jewish women
- Latina women
- Latina women -- Social conditions
- Levins Morales, Aurora, 1954-
- Morales, Rosario, 1930-
- Puerto Rican women -- United States
- Puerto Rico -- Social conditions
- Women authors
- Women authors, Puerto Rican
- Women communists -- United States
- Women poets
- letters (correspondence)
- Rosario Morales 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)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2020-06-09: Content description added from accession inventory
- 2021-06: Added legacy container inventory to accession 2013-S-0027
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063