Lavender Legacies Guide: United States: Massachusetts

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Amherst College Library and Marshall Bloom Collection
Archive Project
Bear History Project
The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston
Northeastern University Library Archives and Special Collections Department
Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sexual Minorities Archives/New Alexandria Lesbian Library
Smith College Archives Sophia Smith Collection
Women's Movement Archives

Amherst College Library
and Marshall Bloom Collection
Location: Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002
Address: Box 2256
Amherst College
P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
Phone: (413) 542-2299
Contact: Archivist
Internet address:
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 am - 12 pm, 1-4 pm
Wheelchair Access: yes
Amherst College was founded in 1821. Marshall Bloom graduated in 1966, and shortly thereafter, he founded the Liberation News Service. The Bloom Alternative Press collection consists primarily of the archival copies of underground newspapers from LNS (they required all subscribers to send copies of publications using LNS material; the collection is therefore national in scope).
Information about holdings
Printed material: Library: 1700 volumes, 20 periodical titles; Bloom: 110 periodical titles; Special Collections: 20 periodical titles, 400 paperbacks.
Film/Video/Sound: Library: 50 videos, 20 sound recordings
Other holdings/notes: Archives: 6 theses

Collecting interests
Additions of similar material not already held (i.e., new underground titles and missing issues from titles already held).
Use requirements
Archives/Special Collections materials must be used in the Archives and Special Collections reading room.

Comments about access/use:
The underground newspapers are stored in a remote facility and must be requested at least one day prior to use.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and borrowing privileges for individuals.

Other services/notes:
Research space: only while actively using materials in our collection (i.e., not general study space or places where people can store their books from one day to the next).
Copying: we will make photocopies of anything that a) can physically tolerate it without damage and b) can legally be copied.
Borrowing: Special Collections and Archives materials do not circulate; books from the main library collection do circulate.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Guide: DeSantis, John, and Jaquith, Matthew V., compilers. Gay and Lesbian Materials in the Amherst College Library: A Bibliography. Amherst, Mass., 1994.

Archive Project
Address: 317 Pleasant St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 585-0369
Contact: Phil Gauthier, archivist
Hours: By appointment only.
Wheelchair Access: site is not accessible, but archivist will bring materials to an accessible site by request.
The Archive Project started ca.1991 as an outgrowth of the two local ACT UP and Queer Nation chapters. Initially, it held organizational and subject files related to these two groups. As both organizations grew in size, the archive expanded its purpose by collecting materials relating to local gay organizations and the Northampton Pride March. A news photocopy archive was set up for local gay events, and HIV/AIDS-related information and organizations. Eventually folks in the community started donating items, such as national periodicals, gay men's erotica, buttons, T-shirts and organizational files of groups that disbanded.
Information about holdings
Manuscripts: 4 standard file drawers
Organizational records: 7 standard file drawers
Printed material: approx. 300 books; 7 large boxes gay men's erotica; 10 large boxes periodicals.
Clippings/vertical files: 2 boxes AIDS journals/reports; 2 large boxes unsorted clippings (1990-present); 3 ft. photocopies of newsclippings.
Objects/ephemera: 200 buttons; 8 t-shirts.
Film/Video/Sound: 6-10 videos

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
1969-present, mostly post-1988. Pioneer Valley of Western Mass, especially Northampton-Amherst area. Some general northeastern U.S.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
People: Phil Gauthier (1980-present), Sam Gianneli. Organizations: ACT UP Western Mass. (1990-94), Queer Nation (ca.1990-94), Pride March Committee (1981-96), Pioneer Valley GLB Youth (1991-present), PWA Coalition of W. Mass. (1989-1990), Dignilife (an AIDS organization, 1987-ca.1990), and Valley Gay Alliance.
Subjects: local gay events, HIV/AIDS. As an outgrowth of the archivist's personal interest, subject files relating to Radical Faeries and Needle Exchange are extensive.
Periodicals include: Metroline, Gay Community News, Outweek, Advocate, Valley Women's Voice, Outlook, VWV, Outright families, Queer Noho, Lesbian Calendar, Gay Men's Calendar, VGA Gayzette, RFD, Faeriegram, and Draghead.
Collecting interests
Materials relating to the growth of the gay communities of Western Mass. and community and institutional responses to the AIDS crisis. Also materials documenting Radical Faerie community in the U.S., and local periodicals, especially missing issues of above mentioned titles.
Use requirements
Call ahead to arrange to view the collection.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, Internet reference (email/web), and borrowing privileges for individuals.

Other services/notes:
Copying services must be arranged; VCR and tape deck available. Internships are available.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
The collection is not indexed, although filing is by subject. Some periodicals are cataloged.

Bear History Project
Address: Nashoba Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 926
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Phone: (978) 343-4631
Contact: Dr. Les Wright
Collecting areas: Bears, gay masculinity, non-hegemonic masculinity, art, iconography of bears. The Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell is our archival repository.

The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston
Address: 29 Stanhope Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 266-7733
Contacts: Archivists: Libby Bouvier, Andrea Still Gray, Stephen Novack; Archivist and Program Coordinator: Andrew Elder

Founded February 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts. Incorporated July 1981. Founded in 1980 by a group of lesbian and gay activists, archivists and historians, the mission of The History Project is to document and preserve the history of Boston’s and Massachusetts’ gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities, and to share that information with GLBT individuals, organizations, allies, and the public. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1981 (as Our Boston Heritage Educational Foundation, Inc.) and in 1997 formally changed its name to The History Project, Inc. The History Project (or THP) is and has always been a stand-alone organization with offices, archives, and programming space located within the community.

Information about holdings
The stated mission of THP is to document and preserve the history of Boston’s and Massachusetts’ GLBT communities, but our coverage and focus regularly extends to encompass the other five New England states and, in some cases, the United States.
We have approximately 700-800 linear feet of material held in our office and archives, and in an off-site storage facility in Boston. The collection size is difficult to estimate due to the large number of oversize and non-standard materials, art, posters, ephemera, objects, etc. We have extensive manuscript collections and papers of individuals; film, video, and radio collections; organizational records; Boston- and Massachusetts-area GLBT-focused/related publications; photographs; books and journals; microfilm; clippings and vertical subject files; objects, clothing, and ephemera (buttons, matchbook covers, glassware, t-shirts, hats, handkerchiefs, key chains); post cards and other paper-based materials; posters (framed and unframed); cloth protest banners and signs of various and sundry sizes and shapes; oral histories; and more.
THP primarily covers the greater Boston area and Massachusetts from pre-Colonial period to present, but collection coverage and focus regularly extends to encompass the other five New England states and, in some cases, the United States.
The History Project has over 75 separate collections, including:
The Gay Community News Collection, which includes several complete sets of the publication, as well as the photograph collections of the newspaper. THP’s overall collection includes complete or near-complete sets of a number of Boston- or Massachusetts-based GLBT-focused publications and newsletters.
Records of the Boston chapters of the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis, as well as the records of the Homophile Union of Boston, the Student Homophile League, the Demophile Club, and other early (pre- and circa- 1970) Boston-based lesbian and gay organizations.
The records of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, an interfaith coalition of religious leaders from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that formed to voice their support for same-sex marriage, and other collections that document the fight for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. These include: the Know Thy Neighbor Collection, materials about Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), and The History Project’s subject files related to same-sex marriage.
The records of the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. The first of its kind in the nation, the Governor’s Commission was established in 1992 by Executive Order of Governor William F. Weld and was disbanded in 2006 by Governor Mitt Romney. The Governor’s Commission was, for many years, responsible for Boston’s Youth Pride march and thus this collection includes considerable materials about and from this event.

Collection Growth:
The THP is interested in collecting materials in all time periods and in all subjects related to Boston and Massachusetts.

Use requirements
Prefer initial inquires be by email, letter, or phone. Appointments are necessary to ensure that materials are available on site for researchers and community members. We maintain regular hours on Monday evenings, and are available at other times by appointment. The History Project offices are wheelchair accessible.

Research space, copying, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, internet reference, audiovisual facilities, and loan agreements for exhibits.

Indices to Collections:
Individual collection finding aids, subject file/organization file inventories, and local databases describing organizations files and subject collections, as well as some photograph collections.

Updating Collection Descriptions
THP updates the community about collections via our online newsletter; though letters and annual reports; through social media sites like Twitter (, Facebook (, and LibraryThing (; through press releases and THP-penned articles in the local press; and through a non-complex online listing of collections. Additionally, THP recently began a beta test of OMEKA ( as a way to display, and to allow researchers and community members to explore, digitized collection materials.

Northeastern University Library Archives and Special Collections Department
Location: 92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: (617) 373-2351
Fax: (617) 373-5409
Contact: Joan Krizack
Wheelchair Access: Yes

Current Holdings:
Manuscript material (personal papers)
Film, video, or sound
Organization's records
Printed (books, journals, etc.)
Clippings or vertical files
Objects and ephemera
What specific time period(s) and geographical region(s) do the holdings cover?
The collection contains over 230 cubic feet of organizational records, clippings, objects and ephemera, film, video, sound, photographs, and microfilm from the 1970's - 2000's.
What significant people, organizations and subjects are documented in the material?
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc.:
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP / Boston):
Bisexual Resource Center:
Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth, Inc.:
Boston Intercollegiate Lesbian and Gay Alliance:
Bromfield Street Educational Foundation:
Gay Community News
Outwrite Writers Conference
The Prisoner's Project
John E. Bush:
William J. Canfield:
The Coalition to Take Back the Night:
Milburn Devenney:
Keri Lynn Duran:
Fenway Community Health Center:
Gay Academic Union of New England:
Gay and Lesbian Labor Activists Network:
John C. Graves:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Political Alliance of Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus:
Men of All Colors Together Boston:
National Lawyers Guild. Massachusetts Chapter, Inc. [Unprocessed] -- The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, an association of progressive lawyers, law students, paralegals, judges, legal secretaries, and community activists, has been active since 1937. It seeks justice by working for immigrant and human rights, building community resources through the Street Law Clinics and the Lawyer Referral Service, acting as legal observers at demonstrations, educating the public about judicial nominees, and promoting workers' rights.
Paul F. Perkovic:
Positive Directions [Unprocessed] -- Founded in 1987, Positive Directions (PD) was a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with HIV and AIDS. PD merged with Northern Lights Alternatives New England, Inc. in 1996, and closed in 2003.
Michael Roos [Unprocessed] -- Michael Roos, born Michael Galvin, was a member of ACT UP/Boston (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), a diverse, nonpartisan group united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis, and acted as the local distributor of AIDS Community Television programs produced in New York from ca. 1988-1992.
Student Homophile League of Boston:
Theatre Offensive:

Collection Growth
Northeastern is actively collecting LGBTQ records.

Access and Use:
What are the requirements for using the organization's/institution's material?
Photo ID required to access material. Restrictions may be set by donors, otherwise not restricted.
Hours: Monday -Friday 8:30am-5pm
Site is wheelchair accessible.

Research space
Reference assistance on site
Telephone reference
Internet reference (e-mail/web)
Copying services
Audiovisual facilities
Exhibitions Loan agreements for exhibits

Indices to the collections:
Finding aids are mounted on the web at:

Updating Collection Descriptions:
News releases on the Archives’ website.

Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Location: Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
10 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495-8647 Fax: (617) 496-8340
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:30 am - 5 pm. See web site for current schedule.
Wheelchair Access: yes

The Schlesinger Library was founded as the Women's Archives in 1943, when Radcliffe alumna Maud Wood Park (1898) donated her papers relating to the woman suffrage movement. In 1967 the library was renamed the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America to honor historians Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger. The library's collections have grown to over 80,000 books and hundreds of periodical titles, as well as thousands of shelf feet of manuscript collections.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
The library holds more than 2500 manuscript collections from individuals, families, and organizations. Women's rights movements past and present, feminism, LBGT rights and advocacy, health and sexuality, social reform, and the education of women and girls are core manuscript holdings.
Charlotte Bunch; Daughters of Bilitis, Boston Chapter; Barbara Deming; Molly Dewson; Alix Dobkin; International Foundation for Gender Education; June Jordan J. Ari Kane-DeMaios; Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization; Pauli Murray; Holly Near; New Words Bookstore; Adrienne Rich; Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald; Abraham Bartlett Smith; Miriam Van Waters; Winifred Wygal
Please contact the library for information about these and other LGBT-related holdings.

Collecting interests
Anything that falls into our collecting scope will be considered: U.S. women (primarily 19th, 20th, 21st century), social activism, social welfare and reform, LBGT rights and advocacy, employment, the professions, suffrage, labor, women's rights, government, politics, education, medicine/health, and the family.

Use requirements
Open to the public; photo ID and registration required. The collection is does not circulate.

Reading Room, photocopy services, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance, and loan agreements for exhibits.

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
All holdings are cataloged in HOLLIS (Harvard's online public access catalog; and finding aids for most collections are available on OASIS (, Harvard's finding aid database.

News about collections
Online newsletter

Sexual Minorities Archives
Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc.
Location: Northampton, MA
Address: Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1023
Northampton, MA 01061-1023
Phone: 413-584-7616
Web: (under construction)
Contacts: Bet Power, President:
J. Ari Kane, Treasurer:
Mitch Boucher, Clerk:

On July 12, 1974, a collection of feminist and lesbian books, periodicals, and subject files called the New Alexandria Library for Lesbian Women (NALLW) was founded by J.R. Roberts (Barbara Henry) within the Lesbian Feminist Center (LFC) at 3523 N. Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois. The name was later shortened to the New Alexandria Lesbian Library (NALL).
Chicago native Bet Power (Bet J. Alwin) began volunteering in the NALL in 1976 and, when the LFC closed its doors in 1977 and archivist J.R. Roberts moved to Boston, MA, Power took the NALL collection into his apartment in Rogers Park on the north side of Chicago.
In 1979, Power moved the NALL to Crescent Moon Star Farm, 10 acres of deeply rural land in Huntington, Massachusetts once owned by lesbian author Jill Johnston. Power and his partner, Diane Sievers, relocated there from Chicago and paid rent to Sue Krause, the lesbian owner of the property – which included a large farmhouse with a continuous barn; a separate wooden studio with wood-stove heat that had been built by lesbians; and acres of garden space for small farming. The NALL was housed in the separate studio at this location for a year, and then the couple moved it to a large rented house in Worthington, Massachusetts.
When Power and Sievers separated in 1981, Power moved the NALL to a rented apartment in the old silk mill building overlooking the Mill River in Leeds, Massachusetts. With its proximity to Northampton, the collection’s holdings dramatically increased and room for the materials soon outgrew the space. Power located a large rented home for the NALL at 146 Riverbank Road in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1983.
In addition to the initial lesbian holdings, since he became curator in 1977, Power had collected and sought acquisitions of the literature, history, and art of the other communities under the Rainbow flag. On January 1, 1992, Power renamed the collection the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) to reflect his collection, preservation, protection, and accessibility goals for materials from and about transsexuals, transgender persons, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, intersex persons, queers, gender-queers, BDSM/leather folk, fetishists, asexuals, polyamorists, celibates, and any other emerging sexual minority groups of all races and ethnicities. The New Alexandria Lesbian Library remains a core collection within the SMA.
The Sexual Minorities Archives is local, regional, national, and international in its scope of collections and its acquisition policy. SMA has been since 1977 and is currently financially supported by Bet Power plus individual contributions of archival materials and small donations from members of the community. Currently, the SMA remains housed in Power’s home at 146 Riverbank Road, Northampton, Massachusetts, until such time as continuous funding allows for purchase of a permanent public space. The Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc., with Bet Power serving as its Executive Director and Board Chair, intends to continue and expand on the work, holdings, research support, educational programs, and outreach of the Sexual Minorities Archives.

The Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc. continues and expands the work of the Sexual Minorities Archives to collect, preserve, protect, and make accessible the literature, history, and art of all sexual minorities of all races and ethnicities, including: transsexuals, transgender persons, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, intersex persons, queers, gender-queers, cross-dressers, BDSM/leather folk, asexuals, polyamorists, celibates, and other emerging sexual minority groups. We seek to inform, educate, and inspire the TLGBIQ community and our allies to understand our unique stories, and individual and collective experiences.

Information about holdings:
1. Manuscript material (personal papers) : Approx. 50, both boxes and file folders
2. Film, video, or sound: Approx. 400 titles in film/video and 300 vinyl albums or audio cassette music
3. Organization's records: Approx. 100
4. Photographs: 2,000
5. Printed (books, journals, etc.): Approx. 6,000 books; 700 periodicals sets; 200 signed books, first editions, or rare books
6. Microfilm: N/A (not yet!)
7. Clippings or vertical files: 12 4-drawer file cabinets
8. Objects and ephemera: Over 1,000
9. Other (please specify): Oversize posters (Northampton): 250; Oversize posters (US and International): 400; Queer comic books: 100; Pieces of art: 100; Reference materials (guides, annotated bibliographies, dictionaries, etc.): Approx. 150; TLGBIQ political picket signs and banners from local and national equal rights rallies and Pride marches: Approx. 30; T-shirt collection: Approx. 75; Historical Exhibits: 10; Buttons/Pins: Approx. 300; Business cards and bookmarks: Approx. 250
10. What specific time period(s) and geographical region(s) do the holdings cover?
Early 1900s to present; bulk is 1930s to present. SMA is national in scope and covers TLGBIQ literature, history, and art from individuals and communities throughout the US, with extensive Northampton, MA and Chicago, IL collections, and some international and foreign language materials.
11. What significant people, organizations and subjects are documented in the material?
SMA documents the lives of all sexual minorities (transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, queer, S/M leatherfolk, fetishists, and allies). The stories of everyday queers, as well as famous queers, are valued and made accessible to others. Some individual and organizational collections include: Writers and activists Esther Heggie, Juana Maria Gonzalez Paz, Kiriyo Spooner, Marni Gittemor, Kore Sapphire, Batya Weinbaum, Bet Power; correspondence to/from Louis Graydon Sullivan and many other TLGBIQ activists and authors. Lesbian Feminist Center, Chicago, IL, late 1960s to 1977; Womonfyre Books; Common Womon Club; SHELIX; East Coast FTM Group; Venture Out; Northampton Area Lesbian and Gay Business Guild; PFLAG’s T-Net (Transgender Network); Amherst, MA regional PFLAG

Collection Growth:
The SMA seeks to acquire materials across all media about the lives, literature, history, and art of TLGBIQ persons, organizations, events, etc. and our allies. We especially seek materials from the US in all time periods, however, secondarily we collect on foreign organizations and individuals.

Access and Use:
What are the requirements for using the organization's/institution's material? SMA is open to the public with free access to all sexual minority people and our supporters. There is no limit to access based on gender, race, ethnicity, class or any other individual characteristic.
Hours: Access is by appointment as the current setting is in a private home. Appointments may be scheduled on weekdays at any time or on weekends between noon and 5:00 p.m. Visitors and researchers should email or call a few days in advance to schedule an appointment.
Is the site wheelchair accessible? The main entry and 1st floor rooms of the SMA are wheelchair accessible by request (portable ramp and wide rooms, including the 1st floor restroom). The 2nd floor is not wheelchair accessible; however, the curator will bring down materials from that floor upon inquiry. There is no smoking anywhere in the Archives house.
1. Research space
2. Reference assistance on site
3. Telephone reference
4. Internet reference (e-mail/web) Yes. High-speed Internet access on-site and inquiries are frequently answered by email, FB, etc.
5. Copying services Printer, copiers, and scanner on-site.
6. Audiovisual facilities TV, monitor, DVD player/recorder, audio cassette and vinyl records and CD players available
7. Exhibitions Loan agreements for exhibits
8. Borrowing privileges for individuals: VHS videos may be borrowed. Other materials may be borrowed for short periods in special circumstances. SMA has a materials loan agreement that must be completed.

Indices to the collection:
Card catalog for about one-half of the books; finding aids by Archives rooms and by organizational collections; lists of periodical titles and book holdings by subject category; and we will soon have a list of all oversize posters. We are also starting to develop lists of the individual subject file names in each of our five collection categories: Transgenders and …; Lesbians and …; Gays and …; Bisexuals and …, LGBTIQ and …

Updating Collection Descriptions:
We do not currently have a method for doing this; however, we will be doing this in the near future through our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages as well as on our SMA website to be launched this fall.
Once we receive non-profit status, hopefully in 2011, we will publish an email and print newsletter regularly and an annual report.

Smith College Archives
Location: Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
Address: Alumnae Gym of William Allen Neilson Library
Phone: 413-585-2970 Fax: 413-585-2886
Internet address:
Hours: M-F: 9 am - 5 pm; some Sundays during academic year (summer hours: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm). Reading room and exhibits, M-F: 8:30 am - 5 pm (summer hours: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm).
Wheelchair Access: yes
In 1921 Smith College officially appointed its first archivist although the college had been collecting records as early as 1908. The holdings grew into a "college history collection," consisting in large part of the materials that students created while they attended Smith, and, in much lesser amounts, official records of the college. In the 1980s the archives began a records program to bring in college office records, while continuing to collect student material and faculty papers.
Holdings summary
LBGT-related material, in broad categories, 1860s to the present:
- student letters (written home to family and friends) and journals/diaries describe crushes/smashes, female friendships, LBGT activity on campus (scattered over 100 sets of letters and journals);
- student publications include articles about crushes/smashes, female friendships, LBGT activity on campus (scattered);
- student organization records (e.g. Lesbian Bisexual Alliance), ca.3 ft.;
- faculty papers document female friendships, Boston marriages, and lesbian relationships (scattered through ca.5-10 collections of papers);
- administrative records and college publications document administration policies, practices, and public relations toward LBGT issues (scattered); and
- alumnae publications: includes articles in Smith Alumnae Quarterly and LBGT alumnae group newsletters.
Formats include manuscripts, organizational records, printed material, vertical files, audiovisual material, photographs, and microfilm.
Collecting interests
Official records of the college; records of student, faculty, and other college-related organizations; records of alumnae; faculty and major administrators' papers; papers of alumnae (from their student days only); other records which record or describe college activities and events. Full Acquisitions Policy available from the archivist.
Use requirements
Open to all interested users who fill out the registration form and agree to follow the rules.

Comments about access/use:
Some portions of some collections are closed due to donation agreements, college policy, or state or federal law; this may include LBGT material.
Research space, copying, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), loan agreements for exhibits.
Other services/notes:
Borrowing is non-circulating, and is generally available to administrative staff only. Copying services are limited.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Shelflist; selected finding aids to faculty papers, student letters and diaries lists; selected indices; and card catalog.
News about collections
The Smith College Libraries' newsletter reports on specific additions. The annual report is not a public document.

Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College
Location: Alumnae Gym/Neilson Library
Smith College
Northampton, MA
Mailing address: Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: (413) 585-2970 Fax: (413) 585-2886
Contacts: Sherill Redmon - donations and events; Amy Hague - reference; Susan Barker - photograph orders.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 am - 5 pm; some Sundays. Reading room and exhibits, Mon-Fri: 8:30 am -5 pm.
Wheelchair Access: yes

Founded in 1942 as a collection of works by women writers, the scope was expanded to document the lives and activities of women. The collection was renamed in honor of the founder of Smith College, in 1946.

Holdings summary
As a whole, the Sophia Smith Collection documents the historical experience of women in the United States and abroad from the colonial era to the present. Subject strengths include birth control and reproductive rights, women's rights, the contemporary women's movement across race, class, lesbian life and culture, and women in the labor movement. Many of these collections contain rich sources of images and audiovisual materials, as well as manuscript and printed material.
For a list of relevant collections, with links to online finding aids, see our subject guides on Lesbians and Bisexual Women:
[Note: This guide includes women who identify themselves as lesbian or bisexual women. There is another guide for "Women's Companions and Female Friendship," available in the SSC]

Collecting interests
Reproductive rights and birth control, women's rights, the contemporary women's movement, lesbian life and culture, U.S. women working abroad, working women and women in the labor movement. The Sophia Smith Collection is actively collecting in this subject area.

Access and Use:
What are the requirements for using the organization's/institution's material?
Free and open to the public. All visitors must sign in at front desk; researchers must register and show photo ID.
Hours: For research: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Wednesday from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm; some Sundays. Browsing collection and exhibits: Mon-Fri: 8:30 am -5 pm.
No appointment necessary, but it’s advisable to contact the SSC before visiting to alert the reference staff to your research topic.
Site is wheelchair accessible.
For more information on Reading Room policies see
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and loan agreements for exhibits, non-circulating collection.
Other services/notes: Research appointments, class presentations.

Indices to the Collections:
There is a full list of collections on the SSC Website. Finding aids are available in-house for all open collections and most finding aids are available on the Web. Many newer collections are not fully processed and therefore only box lists are available. Holdings are also listed in the Five College online catalog and OCLC (WorldCat); older collections in NUCMC.

Updating Collection Descriptions:
Important additions are listed on the Sophia Smith Collection Website and on Facebook; Annual Report and Smith College Libraries' newsletter.

Women's Movement Archives
Location: Cambridge Women's Center
46 Pleasant St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 354-8807
Contact: Libby Bouvier; Betty Furdon
Hours: By appointment.
Wheelchair Access: First floor is wheelchair accessible. Materials housed on upper floors can be brought downstairs.
Founded in 1981 to preserve the records of grass-roots Boston area feminist organizations and groups, the Women's Movement Archives is part of the Women's Education Center, Inc. (Women's Center).
Information about holdings
Organizational records: 25+ collections
Printed material: 3000+ titles
Clippings/vertical files: 15 ft.
Objects/ephemera: 500+ items
Film/Video/Sound: 25+ items
Photographs: 4 ft, also slides
Other holdings/notes: 400+ reel-to-reel tapes

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
1968-present; primarily greater Boston area.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
The archival collection includes records of Bread and Roses; Female Liberation; The Abortion Action Coalition; Sister Courage; Somerville (Mass.) Women's Center; The Boston Women's Music Collective; The Cambridge Women's Center and affiliated projects (the Women's School, Lesbian Liberation, Women Against Violence Against Women); and papers of many women who have been active locally (as well as nationally) in feminist and lesbian-feminist movements. Significant number of women in these groups are self-identified lesbians and there is material throughout all of the collections documenting lesbians and bisexual women.
The (non-circulating) library holds books on such topics as feminist theory, women's history, poetry, women of color, fiction, autobiographies, and biographies. There is also a collection of 400 volumes on lesbian and gay history and culture. Periodical collection includes such titles as: Sojourner, Sister Courage, Signs, Conditions, Sinister Wisdom, and Off Our Backs, as well as newsletters from community women's groups, rape crisis centers, political action groups, women's centers, and battered women's shelters. The vertical file collection consists of flyers, brochures, articles, position papers, and newspaper clippings on subjects ranging from abortion struggles to women in revolution.
Collecting interests
Materials that document women's lives/activities/organizations. Any time period, though focus is 1960-present. Geographical concentration is Boston area.
Use requirements
By appointment.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, and loan agreements for exhibits.

Other services/notes:
No audio equipment; have VCR. Copying facilities are limited.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Finding aids to most of the collections available for use in the archives and copies can be reproduced for researchers. Entries for all archival collections currently being entered into NUCMC.
News about collections
Women's Center quarterly newsletter and annual reports include summaries of archives activities (including new acquisitions, number of researchers, etc.)