Summer can evoke images of friends, music, freedom, and the outdoors. Although people don’t generally associate libraries with music and the outdoors, some collections of personal papers currently held by the Schlesinger Library contain materials from open-air events, such as women’s music festivals. Many of these music festivals began in the 1970s, and women who attended them often experienced them as a form of fellowship. The events provided a supportive community for those who may have felt isolated in the larger society.
Picks & Finds
Radcliffe Day is a time of celebration—a time especially to celebrate Radcliffe College alumnae. In tribute, we highlight some of the popular digital resources from the Radcliffe College Archives. Over time the Library has digitized thousands of photographs and hundreds of publications, making the material accessible online to be enjoyed by alumnae and scholars alike. These sources provide important historical documentation of college administration, student life, and alumnae activity.
A celebrity in her own right among politicians and public figures of the mid-20th century, Mary (Marietta) Endicott Tree’s (1917–1991) life was defined by glamour, public service, and political pursuits. Her life was also characterized by the limitations and opportunities of being a woman in elite and powerful circles.
Last month we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. In addition to Friedan’s papers, which include her research notes and handwritten drafts of The Feminine Mystique, the Schlesinger Library owns several editions of this groundbreaking title. Among the most interesting is a copy of the 1963 edition formerly owned by the women’s rights activist Alice Paul (1885–1977).
In the course of the past 150 years, women’s efforts in behalf of social justice (including suffrage, equal rights, fair labor laws, peace, and civil rights for African Americans and gays and lesbians) have been well documented in diaries, speeches, correspondence, and meeting minutes—some passionate and intimate, others written for a public audience. But what happens to those ephemeral pieces left behind in dresser drawers or rolled up at the back of a closet, forgotten once the march was over or the election won?
The Schlesinger Library recently acquired the Freda Leinwand Papers and photographs collection, consistenting of over 36,000 image many of which document the activities of the Women's Movement in New York City.
The Schlesinger Library's vegetarian cookbooks provide a look into book history, social movements, subcultures, and, certainly, food.
Hundreds of love letters and diary entries about love, heartbreak, marriage, divorce, and family relationships spanning four generations are among the materials in the Louise Walker McCannel Papers, which the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute received between 2008 and 2012.
In 1976, the Portuguese journalist and activist Maria Antonia Palla produced and aired a documentary on Portuguese television titled “Abortion: The Crime Is in the Law.” It documented an illegal abortion clinic and advocated for decriminalization of the procedure. She was jailed for “moral offenses” and “incitation to crime.” Her trial did not occur until 1979.
Concord Academy is known as a top-flight boarding school whose alumni include Caroline Kennedy and Drew Faust. Much of the school's reputation was built under the administration of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, who served as headmistress from 1949 to 1963, and whose tenure was marked by her addresses containing advice for the student body.