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Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project, 2010-2013
12 boxes (8.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 661

Abstract:
Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, woman-identified-woman, queer, or who prefer not to identify with sexuality categories. The project provides a complex and nuanced collective story of American lesbian history and experience. Narrators include grassroots activists and political organizers; educators and academics; musicians, writers, and artists; as well as community and religious leaders. They come from a variety of class, ethnic, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds. Interviews cover childhood and growing up experiences; education and employment; activism and politics; family, identity, relationships and community.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The oral histories are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection, with the following exceptions:

  • For the following narrators, contact the SSC for a copy of the interview: Martha Acklesberg, Michelle Barale, Terry Boggis, Chris Collier, Alix Dobkin, Deborah Earley, Wendy Essery, Jan Everhart, Deborah Faison, Julia Flachs, Peggy Gillespie, Ann Hackler, Andrea Hairston, Janet Harris, Lori Harris, Karla Kavanaugh, Annie Lanzillotto, Rebecca Lukens, Mary McClintock, Carole Oglesby, Cody Penotte, Catherine Pittman, Judith Plaskow, Bet Power, Carmen Quinones, Holly Richardson, Jodie Shapiro, Peggy Shaw, Rebecca Shaw, Ellen Shumsky, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Jennifer Walters, Kate Wolfe, Nanci Young
  • For the following narrators, contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; a signed access agreement is also required: Carol Cote
  • For the following narrators, the interviews are closed: Carla Cooke (until April 15, 2042); BJ Entwistle (until January 1, 2032); Sharon Fagan (until January 1, 2029); Pam Howland (video closed only); Delilah Rosel; Laura Sullivan
  • For the following narrators, the small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed: Geri Dinardo; Catherine Madsen (portions and video closed until January 1, 1952); Leslie McKenzie; Renee Ruffino; Susan Stinson (portions closed until January 1, 2044); Jay Toole
  • Due to privacy concernes, online transcripts and video are only viewable from Smith campus computers.
Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to all of the oral histories except for those of Carla Cooke and Nanci Young, who have retained copyright to their interviews. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to the Sophia Smith Collection and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Project History

Interviews were conducted by Smith College students in Kelly Anderson's "Documenting Lesbian Lives" course beginning in the spring of 2010. Students were trained in both United States lesbian history and oral history techniques and protocols.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, woman-identified-woman, queer, or who prefer not to identify with sexuality categories. The project provides a complex and nuanced collective story of American lesbian history and experience. Narrators include grassroots activists and political organizers; educators and academics; musicians, writers, and artists; as well as community and religious leaders. They come from a variety of class, ethnic, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds. Interviews cover childhood and growing up experiences; education and employment; activism and politics; family, identity, relationships and community.

Narrators include:

  • Ackelsberg, Martha
  • Barale, Michelle
  • Boggis, Terry
  • Browne, Karen
  • Chapman, Mare
  • Choi, Gina-Kamas
  • Collier, Chris
  • Cooke, Carla
  • Cote, Carol
  • Davenport, Kate
  • DiNardo, Geri
  • Dobkin, Alix
  • Earley, Deborah
  • Elkin, Marty
  • Entwistle, BJ
  • Essery, Wendy
  • Evans, Judith
  • Everhart, Jan
  • Faison, Deborah
  • Flachs, Julie
  • Fusco, Lisa
  • Gillespie, Peggy
  • Hackler, Ann
  • Hairston, Andrea
  • Harris, Janet
  • Harris, Lori
  • Heller, Deborah
  • Howland, Pam
  • Irvine, Janice
  • Jerome, Judith
  • Kavanaugh, Karla
  • Laird, Joan
  • Lanzillotto, Annie
  • Lathrop, Janet
  • Lukens, Rebecca
  • McClintock, Mary
  • McHaelen, Robin
  • Millington, June
  • Morningstar, Betty
  • Myles, Eileen
  • Nelson, Kristi
  • O'Donovan, Alice
  • Oglesby, Carole
  • Pato, Roberta
  • Penotte, Cody
  • Perez, David
  • Pittman, Catherine
  • Plaskow, Judith
  • Power, Bet
  • Quinones, Carmen
  • Rees, Kelly
  • Richardson, Holly
  • Ruffino, Renee
  • Shaw, Peggy
  • Shaw, Rebecca
  • Shumsky, Ellen
  • Spitzer, Rabbi Toba
  • Sullivan, Laura
  • Toole, Jay
  • Walters, Jennifer
  • Wolfe, Kate
  • Young, Nanci

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

The oral histories are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection, with the following exceptions:

  • For the following narrators, contact the SSC for a copy of the interview: Martha Acklesberg, Michelle Barale, Terry Boggis, Chris Collier, Alix Dobkin, Deborah Earley, Wendy Essery, Jan Everhart, Deborah Faison, Julia Flachs, Peggy Gillespie, Ann Hackler, Andrea Hairston, Janet Harris, Lori Harris, Karla Kavanaugh, Annie Lanzillotto, Rebecca Lukens, Mary McClintock, Carole Oglesby, Cody Penotte, Catherine Pittman, Judith Plaskow, Bet Power, Carmen Quinones, Holly Richardson, Jodie Shapiro, Peggy Shaw, Rebecca Shaw, Ellen Shumsky, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Jennifer Walters, Kate Wolfe, Nanci Young
  • For the following narrators, contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; a signed access agreement is also required: Carol Cote
  • For the following narrators, the interviews are closed: Carla Cooke (until April 15, 2042); BJ Entwistle (until January 1, 2032); Sharon Fagan (until January 1, 2029); Pam Howland (video closed only); Delilah Rosel; Laura Sullivan
  • For the following narrators, the small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed: Geri Dinardo; Catherine Madsen (portions and video closed until January 1, 1952); Leslie McKenzie; Renee Ruffino; Susan Stinson (portions closed until January 1, 2044); Jay Toole
  • Due to privacy concernes, online transcripts and video are only viewable from Smith campus computers.
Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to all of the oral histories except for those of Carla Cooke and Nanci Young, who have retained copyright to their interviews. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to the Sophia Smith Collection and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

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

Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Additional Formats

Full transcripts and streaming video of most interviews are available online, from Smith campus computers only. Researchers may also request to purchase copies of electronic transcripts or video files.

History of the Collection

The Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project was donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Kelly Anderson and her students beginning in 2010. Annual additions are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, July 2010. Additions processed by SSC oral history interns.


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
  • Ackelsberg, Martha
  • Barale, Michelle
  • Bisexuality -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • Boggis, Terry
  • Browne, Karen
  • Chapman, Mare
  • Choi, Gina-Kamas
  • Collier, Chris
  • Cooke, Carla
  • Cote, Carol
  • Davenport, Kate
  • Dobkin, Alix
  • Earley, Deborah
  • Elkin, Marty
  • Entwistle, BJ
  • Essery, Wendy
  • Evans, Judith
  • Everhart, Jan
  • Faison, Deborah
  • Flachs, Julie
  • Fusco, Lisa
  • Gillespie, Peggy
  • Hackler, Ann
  • Hairston, Andrea
  • Harris, Janet
  • Harris, Lori
  • Heller, Deborah
  • Howland, Pam
  • Irvine, Janice
  • Jerome, Judith
  • Kavanaugh, Karla
  • Laird, Joan
  • Lanzillotto, Annie
  • Lathrop, Janet
  • Lesbian artists -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Lesbian feminism -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Lesbian mothers -- United States
  • Lesbianism -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Lesbians -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Lukens, Rebecca
  • McClintock, Mary
  • McHaelen, Robin
  • Millington, June
  • Morningstar, Betty
  • Myles, Eileen
  • Nelson, Kristi
  • O'Donovan, Alice
  • Oglesby, Carole
  • Oral histories
  • Pato, Roberta
  • Penotte, Cody
  • Perez, David
  • Pittman, Catherine
  • Plaskow, Judith
  • Power, Bet
  • Quinones, Carmen
  • Rees, Kelly
  • Richardson, Holly
  • Ruffino, Renee
  • Shaw, Peggy
  • Shaw, Rebecca
  • Shumsky, Ellen
  • Spitzer, Rabbi Toba
  • Sullivan, Laura
  • Toole, Jay
  • Walters, Jennifer
  • Wolfe, Kate
  • Young, Nanci


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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