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Alphabetical lists
Personal and family papers
Organization records
Subject collections
Oral histories
Collections by subject
Finding aids
Digital collections

Personal and family papers

There are more than 400 collections of personal papers accumulated by individual women or by families (see also Family Papers subject guide). They include such materials as letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs. Among the most widely used collections are those of birth control crusader Margaret Sanger; Ellen Gates Starr, co-founder with Jane Addams of the Chicago settlement, Hull House; Mary van Kleeck, social researcher and reformer;

Ellen Wright Garrison, 1905
Ellen Wright Garrison, circa 1905
(Garrison Family Papers)

and the Garrison, Hale, and Ames families. More recent acquisitions include the papers of author and activist Gloria Steinem and lesbian feminist and architect, Phyllis Birkby.

Click on the alphabetical bar to browse the Personal and Family Papers:

A  | B  | C  | D  | E-F  | G  | H  | I-K  | L  | M  | N-O  | P-Q  | R  | S  | T-V  | W-Z

Woman and children at Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, n.d.
Woman and children at the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, n.d. (Margaret Sanger Research Bureau Records)

Organization records

The organization records are the archives of women's associations — minutes, correspondence, reports, publications, and related materials. Among the more than 80 organizations represented are Sorosis, one of the oldest women's clubs in the U.S.; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; the National Board of the YWCA; Ms. magazine; the National Congress of Neighborhood Women; and the Women's Action Alliance.

Click on the alphabetical bar to browse the Organizations Records:

A-F   |  H-M   |  N-S   |  T-Z

Subject Collections

The 37 subject collections consist mainly of printed materials (pamphlets, articles, books, periodicals, clippings, fliers, broadsides, and other ephemera), but also include organization records, biographical materials, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and audiovisual materials. The most extensive subject collections focus on the women's rights, suffrage, peace, and women's liberation movements; education and employment; and the activities of American women abroad. Collections date as far back as 1540, however the bulk of materials date from the nineteenth to mid-twentieth century and new materials are added on a regular basis.

Oral Histories

The oral histories include individual interviews and oral history projects that make up the "Oral History Collection," as well as oral histories within larger manuscript collections. The oral history projects cover such topics as women in the birth control movement, social work, suffrage movement, Italian immigrants, African American women, and American women in the Vietnam War.

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 © 2005 Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 Page last updated on Monday, 02 December 2013