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Marjory Nelson Papers, 1947-2006
5 boxes (5.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 551

Abstract:
Lesbian activist; Therapist; Feminist. The Marjory Nelson Papers consist of a wide range of materials documenting the progression of her life, from faculty wife in a traditional marriage to graduate student, lesbian activist, radical feminist, hypnotherapist, and pacifist. Her activities in the feminist movement are richly documented, from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present. There are also correspondence, photographs and other materials representative of Nelson's personal life.

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.
  • 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

Marjory Nelson was born in 1928 in New Brunswick, NJ, the last of four children and the only daughter born to Dorothy Lewis and Thurlow Christian Nelson. Her siblings were Thurlow Christian Nelson, Jr. (1922-2000), Edwin Lewis Nelson (b. 1924), and John Eric Nelson (1925-1999). Nelson entered Oberlin College in 1946 but left after her freshman year and, on her nineteenth birthday, married ex-Marine Howard Hoekje, a chemist who worked in academia and in corporate chemical research. The couple had three children: Carol Lynn Hoekje (b. 1950), Barbara Jean Hoekje (b. 1953), and Peter Lindsey Hoekje (b. 1956). Although Nelson briefly attended New Jersey College for Women (1947-1949), she defined herself primarily as a wife and mother until the mid-1960s. Inspired by Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, Nelson returned to college in 1964 and began to participate in the radical political movements of that decade. She graduated from the University of Akron with a B.A. in 1966 and an M.A. in Social Psychology in 1968. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976, having completed a dissertation which examined the National Woman's Party, and was instrumental in the founding of Women's Studies at both SUNY-Buffalo and at Antioch College in Ohio. Nelson has been involved in peace, civil rights, feminist, and lesbian activism; her most notable political activities include lobbying for the ERA in Congress, organizing to free Joann Little and the Wilmington Ten, and co-founding the Women's Building in San Francisco. Her articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of feminist publications including Sinister Wisdom, Sojourner, Off Our Backs, and many others. Since the 1980s Nelson has lived in San Francisco where she works as a feminist therapist and a lesbian feminist activist.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Marjory Nelson Papers consist of a wide range of materials documenting the progression of her life, from faculty wife in a traditional marriage to graduate student, lesbian activist, radical feminist, hypnotherapist, and pacifist. Her activities in the feminist movement are richly documented, from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present. There are also correspondence, photographs and other materials representative of Nelson's personal life.

[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.
  • 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:

Marjory Nelson Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Marjory Nelson Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Marjory Nelson in 2006.

Accruals:

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

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2006


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
  • Aged women--History--Sources
  • Ageism -- United States
  • Feminism--United States--History--Sources
  • Lesbian activists--Biography--Sources
  • Nelson, Marjory, 1928-
  • Pacifists--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Sex discrimination against women--United States--History--20th century--Sources


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