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Dolores Alexander Papers, 1945-1998 (Bulk: 1960s-70s)
21 boxes (25.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 582

Abstract:
Writer; Reporter; Lesbian activist. The Dolores Alexander Papers consist of correspondence, writings, and other documents pertaining to Alexander's work as a writer (freelance and as employed by Time, Inc.); files pertaining to Alexander's activism in NOW, Women Against Pornography, and to broader feminist and lesbian issues; files documenting the history of Mother Courage Restaurant in New York; books and audiovisual materials on the subject of achieving financial independence, and Alexander's personal financial information and records. A small amount of biographical information is also included.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • The collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
  • Partially restricted access - contact the Sophia Smith Collection for more information.
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Permission must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Dolores Alexander (b.1931) was raised in a working-class Italian community in Newark, NJ, and educated in Catholic schools. She received her B.A. in Language and Literature from the City College of New York in 1961. During her senior year of college she was chosen by The New York Times to work for 10 months as a paid "stringer" or "cub reporter" to gain experience in journalism. After graduation, she worked from 1961 to 1964 as a reporter, copy editor, and bureau chief for Newark Evening News. Alexander then moved to Newsday, where she worked as a reporter, copy editor, and assistant women's editor, and was feature writer for Newsday's weekend magazine from 1964 to 1969. Alexander became active in NOW in 1966 after coming across a press release announcing the creation of a new women's rights organization. With her background in media, she chaired the Monitor Subcommittee of the National Task Force on Image of Women in Mass Media. In 1969, Alexander became the first executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW). As executive director, she established a national office for NOW in New York City, expanded NOW's membership base nationally, and edited NOW Acts, NOW's national newsletter. Resigning in May 1970 in protest against NOW's homophobic policies and practices, Alexander continued to lecture on women's rights, and worked with the New Feminist Talent Collective, a speaker agency formed by Jacqui Michot Ceballos in response to the demand for speakers on the women's movement. In addition, she opened and ran Mother Courage, a feminist restaurant in Greenwich Village, with partner Jill Ward during the 1970s. She was one of the founders and organizers of Women Against Pornography and worked with New York Radical Feminists. Alexander was also a board member of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL); member of the advisory board of New York chapter of NOW; and member of New York Newspaper Women's Club. She continued to be active in women's causes, including the North Fork Women for Women Fund, a nonprofit group that raised money for women facing health-care emergencies, and the Herstory Writer's Workshop, a community writing project for women interested in writing memoirs. She has been present at many significant events of the women's movement: integrating the Want Ads in the New York Times, the lesbian purge of NOW, the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977, and the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Alexander remains active in the lesbian community on the North Fork of Long Island.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dolores Alexander Papers consist of correspondence, writings, and other documents pertaining to Alexander's work as a writer (freelance and as employed by Time, Inc.); files pertaining to Alexander's activism in NOW, Women Against Pornography, and to broader feminist and lesbian issues; files documenting the history of Mother Courage Restaurant in New York; books and audiovisual materials on the subject of achieving financial independence, and Alexander's personal financial information and records. A small amount of biographical information is also included.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • The collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
  • Partially restricted access - contact the Sophia Smith Collection for more information.
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Permission must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

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

Dolores Alexander Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Dolores Alexander Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Dolores Alexander in 2003.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2007.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/

Language
English


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
  • Alexander, Dolores
  • Feminism--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Journalists--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Lesbian activists--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Lesbian feminism--United States--History--Sources
  • Mother Courage Restaurant
  • National Organization for Women
  • New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century--Sources
  • Pornography--Social aspects--United States--History
  • Women Against Pornography


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