Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project, 1971-2006
Smith College seal
Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project, 1971-2006
60 boxes (28 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 406

Abstract:
Forty-one interviews (with complete transcripts) of individuals throughout the world who have made important contributions to the reproductive health movement since 1965. Includes reproductive health advocates, communication specialists, lawyers, managers, physicians, researchers, social workers and others. The series addresses the historical period 1965-2005.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection except for the following interviews: Mohammed Alauddin, Peter J. Donaldson, Elizabeth Maguire, and Margaret Neuse. See box list below for specific closure periods.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to all of the oral histories except for the interview with Mercedes Concepción who has retained copyright to her interview. Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to the Sophia Smith Collection.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Project History

The Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project began as a discussion in the Population, Reproductive Health, and Family Planning section of the American Public Health Association in the late 1990s. In her newsletter message to the section membership, Deborah R. McFarlane, then chair, discussed the need for archiving the papers of people in the field who were retiring and asked for ideas. Jack C. Smith, an eminent statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), read the column and called Deborah. "Not only do the papers of prominent people in our field need to be saved," he said, "but we need to save their stories. These stories are far more compelling than statistics." Jack convinced Deborah and many others of the need to conduct an oral history project with leaders in the population and reproductive health movements.

Peggy Curlin in Nepal, n.d.

Peggy Curlin in Nepal, n.d.

Jack retired shortly after and spent the next several years looking for an appropriate repository, speaking with oral historians, professional organizations, and friends in the field. He secured funding for a pilot project interviewing the directors of the Division of Reproductive Health at CDC: these interviews were conducted by Rebecca Sharpless, director of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University. Sadly, Jack died in October 2000, but not before he had identified the Sophia Smith Collection (SSC) at Smith College--following discussions with its director, Sherrill Redmon--as the best place to preserve the interviews and make them available for research. He was impressed with the commitment of the SSC to documenting the history of women's health and the reproductive rights movement and felt that the project's records would be a logical complement to the SSC's impressive holdings on the subject, including the Margaret Sanger Papers, the archives of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and many other collections.

In 2001, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, in Menlo Park, California, generously awarded funding to Deborah R. McFarlane of the University of New Mexico for this project. Dr. J. Joseph Speidel, then population program director at Hewlett, has continued to assist the project with his connections to key figures throughout the field.

To preserve the accounts and papers of pioneers in population and reproductive health, McFarlane enlisted the support of the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College and the Institute of Oral History at Baylor University. The thirty-eight interviews were conducted by Rebecca Sharpless and Deborah McFarlane between 2002 and 2005. The oral history tapes and transcripts arrived at the SSC beginning in 2005, where they were edited and processed by oral historian Revan Schendler.

Some of narrators in the Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project have agreed to donate their papers to the SSC. Others will donate their papers to the Francis Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University, or other appropriate archives. Where known, this information is included in the list of narrators.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, includes accounts of individuals throughout the world who have made important contributions to the field. Reflecting the voices and perspectives of advocates, communication specialists, lawyers, managers, physicians, researchers, social workers and others, the series addresses the historical period 1965-2005.

There are forty-one audio recorded interviews with complete transcripts for each. Project records include correspondence and emails between project staff and narrators; and biographical materials, some of which include writings. Jack Smith's professional files include memoranda, emails, correspondence, newsletters, reports, database searches, and project proposals pertaining to the planning and execution of the History Project. They also document some of the important events in the history of the reproductive health movement since 1965. Also included are writings by Deborah McFarlane.

Selected transcripts have been digitized and are available on the SSC Web site.

The collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection except for the following interviews: Mohammed Alauddin, Peter J. Donaldson, Elizabeth Maguire, and Margaret Neuse. See box list below for specific closure periods.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to all of the oral histories except for the interview with Mercedes Concepción who has retained copyright to her interview. Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to the Sophia Smith Collection.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Additional Formats

Audio recordings of interviews have been copied to CDRom for research use.

Transcripts are available in both paper and electronic formats.

Selected transcripts have been digitized and are available on the SSC Web site.

History of the Collection

Jack Smith donated his original project records to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2000. Thirty-eight interviews were conducted by Rebecca Sharpless and Deborah McFarlane between 2002 and 2005, and Deborah McFarlane facilitated the transfer of the completed interviews and transcripts to the SSC from 2005-2007, where they were edited and processed by oral historian Revan Schendler.

Processing Information

Processed by Revan Schendler and Burd Schlessinger, 2006-2007.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Contents List
SERIES I. ADMINISTRATIVE FILES AND PROJECT HISTORY



Jack Smith's administrative files: memoranda, emails, correspondence, newsletters, reports, database searches, and project proposals pertaining to the planning and execution of the initial phases of the project,
1971-2000

Box 1
Freeman, Ronald: curriculum vitae, and correspondence,
2004

Box 2
McFarlane, Deborah: writings and notes,
2001, n.d.

Box 2
Smith, Jack: curriculum vitae,
n.d.

Box 2
Baylor University: original transcripts (unedited) on DVD,
2005

Box 2
Sophia Smith Collection project files,
circa 2005-07

Box 2
SERIES II. INTERVIEWS AND BACKGROUND MATERIALS



Alauddin, Mohammad


Box 3
Restrictions on use:

[Closed until December 31, 2015]

Benshoof, Janet


Box 4
Camp, Sharon


Box 5
Cates, Willard


Box 6
Concepción, Mercedes


Box 7
Curlin, Peggy


Box 8
Darney, Philip


Box 9
David, Henry P.


Box 10
Delano, Grace Ebun


Box 11
Donaldson, Peter J.


Box 12
Restrictions on use:

[Closed]

Duke, Robin Chandler


Box 13
Dunlop, Joan


Box 14-15
Frank, Richard


Box 16
Germain, Adrienne


Box 17
Gillespie, Duff


Box 18
Gillespie, Robert


Box 19
Jarmillo, Mario


Box 20-21
Johnson, J. Timothy


Box 22
Kabir, Sandra


Box 23
Kissling, Frances


Box 24-26
Maguire, Elizabeth


Box 27
Restrictions on use:

[Closed]

Minto, Lee


Box 28
Morris, Leo


Box 29
Neuse, Margaret [Closed until January 1, 2020]


Box 30
Pellegrom, Daniel E.


Box 31
Piotrow, Phyllis Tilson


Box 32
Potts, Malcolm


Box 33
Ravenholt, Reimert Thorolf


Box 34
Richards, Cory L.


Box 35
Rogers, Everett M.


Box 36
Rosenfield, Allan


Box 37
Rosoff, Jeannie Isabelle


Box 38
Sadik, Nafis


Box 39
Sai, Fred T.


Box 40
Scruggs, Stirling


Box 41
Seims, Sara


Box 42
Sheeran, Patrick J.


Box 43
Sinding, Steven


Box 44
Speidel, J. Joseph


Box 45
Viravaidya, Mechai


Box 46
SERIES III. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS



Restrictions on use:

[ORIGINAL TAPES CLOSED]

Allaudin, Benshoof, Camp


Box 47
Cates, Concepción, Curlin


Box 48
Darney, David


Box 49
Delano, Duke


Box 50
Donaldson, Peter J.


Box 51
Dunlop, Joan

[Digital file available]



Box 51
Frank, Germain, Gillespie, D.


Box 52
Gillespie, R., Jarmillo, Johnson


Box 53
Kabir, Kissling, Maguire


Box 54
Morris, Neuse, Pellegrom


Box 55
Ravenholt


Box 56
Piotrow, Richards


Box 57
Rogers, Rosenfield, Rosoff, Sadik, Sai


Box 58
Scruggs, Seims, Sheeran


Box 59
Sinding, Speidel, Viravaidya, Minto


Box 60

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Abortion--History--Sources
  • Alan Guttmacher Institute
  • Alauddin, Mohammad
  • Benshoof, Janet
  • Birth control--History--Sources
  • Birth control--Law and legislation--History--Sources
  • Birth control--Research
  • Camp, Sharon
  • Cates, Willard
  • Catholics for a Free Choice (Organization)
  • Centre for Development and Population Activities
  • Concepcion, Mecedes
  • Contraceptives--History
  • Curlin, Peggy
  • Darney, Philip D.
  • David, Henry P.
  • Delano, Grace Ebun
  • Donaldson, Peter J.
  • Duke, Robin Chandler Lynn
  • Dunlop, Joan
  • Frank, Richard
  • Germain, Adrienne
  • Gillespie, Duff
  • Gillespie, Robert
  • International Conference on Population and Development (1994 : Cairo, Egypt)
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • International Women's Health Coalition
  • Jaramillo, Mario
  • Johnson, J. Timothy
  • Kabir, Sandra
  • Kissling, Frances, 1943-
  • Maguire, Elizabeth
  • Minto, Lee
  • Morris, Leo
  • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (U.S.). Division of Reproductive Health
  • Neuse, Margaret
  • Oral histories
  • Pellegrom, Daniel E.
  • Piotrow, Phyllis Tilson
  • Population Action International
  • Population assistance--Developing countries
  • Potts, Malcolm, 1935-
  • Pro-choice movement--History--Sources
  • Ravenholt, Reimert T., 1925-
  • Reproductive health--Developing countries
  • Reproductive health--History--Sources
  • Richards, Cory L.
  • Rogers, Everett M.
  • Rosenfield, Allan
  • Rosoff, Jeannie Isabelle
  • Sadik, Nafis
  • Sai, Fred T.
  • Scruggs, Stirling
  • Seims, Sara
  • Sheeran, Patrick J.
  • Sinding, Steven W.
  • Speidel, J. Joseph (John Joseph), 1937-
  • USAID. Office of Population and Reproductive Health
  • United Nations Fund for Population Activities
  • Viravaidya, Mechai

Contributors
  • McFarlane, Deborah R., 1951-
  • Sharpless, Rebecca
  • Smith, Jack, 1941-2000
  • Sophia Smith Collection


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search