Margaret Goddard Holt Papers
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> Scope and Contents of the Collection
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Margaret Goddard Holt Papers consist of 55.25 linear ft. of correspondence, diaries, writings, artwork, photographs, short run and small circulation newsletters, periodicals, and publications. The collection primarily concerns Margaret Holt, and also includes significant amounts of material generated by her husband, Lee E. Holt and by several generations of extended family. The collection dates from 1814 to 2004 (bulk 1960-2000).
The papers offer a rich account of Margaret Holt's intellectual interests, political concerns, and personal affairs. Her lifetime diaries are detailed and introspective, and document her inner life, her relationships with family and friends, and her evolving world view from adolescence through old age (the diaries are closed until Jan. 1, 2028). There is extensive correspondence between Holt and her sister, Eleanor Goddard Worthen; her husband, Lee E. Holt; her close friends, including her Jungian analyst and later friend, Paula Elkisch, and the painter, Sarah Blakeslee Speight; and a wide range of more casual friends and acquaintances, fellow activists, and death row prisoners. The personal correspondence is particularly valuable in that in several instances it includes the letters of both Holt and her correspondent. Significant topics covered in letters to the editor and to politicians and elected representatives include the civil rights movement (1960s); the Vietnam War, and Watergate (1960s and 1970s); biological warfare, and the Iran-Contra scandal (1980s); the Persian Gulf War (1990s); and the Iraq War (2000s).
Materials generated by Lee E. Holt and his family, notably family correspondence and photographs, provide context to Margaret Holt's own papers and add a valuable dimension to the collection as a whole. Major topics in the papers include world peace and nuclear disarmament; economic, political, and social justice for disadvantaged peoples in the U.S. and abroad; and objection to U.S. militarism and military interference by the U.S. in the affairs of other nations. There is extensive documentation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as Holt was sympathetic to the Palestinian position. The collection also contains a rich assortment of short run and limited circulation newsletters and printed materials generated by small, local grassroots organizations in the United States and abroad.