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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:

  • Interview with Martha Acklesberg - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Michelle Barale - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Terry Boggis - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Chris Collier - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Carla Cooke - closed until April 15, 2042
  • Interview with Carol Cote - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; access agreement required
  • Interview with Geri DiNardo - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of interview is closed
  • Interview with Alix Dobkin - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Deborah Earley - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with BJ Entwistle - closed until January 1, 2032
  • Interview with Wendy Essery - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Jan Everhart - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Sharon Fagan - closed until January 1, 2029
  • Interview with Deborah Faison - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Julia Flachs - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Peggy Gillespie - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Ann Hackler - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Andrea Hairston - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Janet Harris - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Lori Harris - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Pam Howland - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview transcript; video of interview is closed
  • Interview with Karla Kavanaugh - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Annie Lanzillotto - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rebecca Lukens - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Catherine Madsen - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview transcript; small portions of the interview are closed until January 1, 1952 and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed until January 1, 1952
  • Interview with Mary McClintock - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Leslie McKenzie - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Carole Oglesby - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Cody Penotte - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Catherine Pittman - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Judith Plaskow - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Bet Power - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Carmen Quinones - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Holly Richardson - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Delilah Rosel - closed
  • Interview with Renee Ruffino - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Jodie Shapiro - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Peggy Shaw - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rebecca Shaw - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Ellen Shumsky - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rabbi Toba Spitzer - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Susan Stinson - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; access agreement required; small portions of the interview are closed until January 1, 2044 and have been removed from the transcript
  • Interview with Laura Sullivan - closed
  • Interview with Jay Toole - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Jennifer Walters - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Kate Wolfe - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Nanci Young - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • The following oral histories are closed: Carla Cooke, BJ Entwisle's, Sharon Fagan, Janet Harris, and Laura Sullivan.
  • Small portions of the interviews are closed and have been removed from the transcripts of: Geri DiNardo, Leslie McKenzie, Renee Ruffino Susan Stinson, Jay Toole.
  • The following oral histories are not available on the SSC Website; researchers may contact the SSC for a copy: Wendy Essery, Ann Hackler, Andrea Hairston, Patricia Holland (pseud.), Karla Kavanaugh, Catherine Madsen, Mary McClintock, Cody Penotte, Catherine Pittman, Bet Power, Carmen Quinones, Holly Richardson, Jodie Shapiro, Rebecca Shaw, Ellen Shumsky, Susan Stinson, and Nanci Young.
  • 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:

  • Interview with Martha Acklesberg - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Michelle Barale - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Terry Boggis - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Chris Collier - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Carla Cooke - closed until April 15, 2042
  • Interview with Carol Cote - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; access agreement required
  • Interview with Geri DiNardo - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of interview is closed
  • Interview with Alix Dobkin - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Deborah Earley - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with BJ Entwistle - closed until January 1, 2032
  • Interview with Wendy Essery - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Jan Everhart - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Sharon Fagan - closed until January 1, 2029
  • Interview with Deborah Faison - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Julia Flachs - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Peggy Gillespie - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Ann Hackler - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Andrea Hairston - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Janet Harris - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Lori Harris - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Pam Howland - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview transcript; video of interview is closed
  • Interview with Karla Kavanaugh - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Annie Lanzillotto - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rebecca Lukens - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Catherine Madsen - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview transcript; small portions of the interview are closed until January 1, 1952 and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed until January 1, 1952
  • Interview with Mary McClintock - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Leslie McKenzie - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Carole Oglesby - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Cody Penotte - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Catherine Pittman - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Judith Plaskow - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Bet Power - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Carmen Quinones - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Holly Richardson - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Delilah Rosel - closed
  • Interview with Renee Ruffino - small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Jodie Shapiro - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Peggy Shaw - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rebecca Shaw - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Ellen Shumsky - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Rabbi Toba Spitzer - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Susan Stinson - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; access agreement required; small portions of the interview are closed until January 1, 2044 and have been removed from the transcript
  • Interview with Laura Sullivan - closed
  • Interview with Jay Toole - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview; small portions of the interview are closed and have been removed from the transcript; video of the interview is closed
  • Interview with Jennifer Walters - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Kate Wolfe - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • Interview with Nanci Young - contact the SSC for a copy of the interview
  • The following oral histories are closed: Carla Cooke, BJ Entwisle's, Sharon Fagan, Janet Harris, and Laura Sullivan.
  • Small portions of the interviews are closed and have been removed from the transcripts of: Geri DiNardo, Leslie McKenzie, Renee Ruffino Susan Stinson, Jay Toole.
  • The following oral histories are not available on the SSC Website; researchers may contact the SSC for a copy: Wendy Essery, Ann Hackler, Andrea Hairston, Patricia Holland (pseud.), Karla Kavanaugh, Catherine Madsen, Mary McClintock, Cody Penotte, Catherine Pittman, Bet Power, Carmen Quinones, Holly Richardson, Jodie Shapiro, Rebecca Shaw, Ellen Shumsky, Susan Stinson, and Nanci Young.
  • 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


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