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Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project, 1997-2014 (ongoing)
14 boxes (10.75 linear ft., and digital files)
Collection number: MS 669

Abstract:
The project, begun by Arden Eversmeyer in 1997, continues to collect the life stories of lesbians 70 and older from around the country. The collection includes full transcripts and audio recordings (tapes and digital files); plus related correspondence, releases, and photographs (primarily color photocopies). Some interviewee files contain additional biographical material, writings, speeches, and memorabilia.

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:

  • Researchers must sign an Access Agreement Form to protect the privacy of interviewees and other third party individuals named in the records
  • Some interviews require permission to be used (see list)
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies--digital files are available for most interviews

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the oral histories, except where noted on individual release forms. Copyright to other materials may be owned by the creators or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

This oral history project began in 1997 when Arden Eversmeyer started working with women she knew who were ill and dying in her community of Houston, Texas. Next, she began collecting stories from friends as she traveled. The project came to be called the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project and expanded to include the life stories of lesbians 70 and older (i.e., those who were born in the early years of the 20th century). Twenty two of the interviews were published in the book A Gift of Age: Old Lesbian Life Stories by Arden Eversmeyer and Margaret Purcell (2009).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project includes interview transcripts and audio recordings (cassette tapes and digital files); plus related correspondence, releases, and photographs (primarily color photocopies). Some interviewee files contain additional biographical material, writings, speeches, and memorabilia.

Narrators include:

  • Allen, Ann
  • Atkins, Gail
  • Austin, Delores
  • Avery, Charlotte
  • Bailey, Karen
  • Bambeck, Kathy
  • Barfield, Beth
  • Barnes, Shaba
  • Bart, Pauline
  • Beers, Jinx
  • Berman, Ruth
  • Bissell, LeClair
  • BlueHeron, Hannah
  • Borders, Virginia (Ginny)
  • Bottini, Ivy
  • Boudreaux, Jean ("Shewolf")
  • Brand, Doreen
  • Breed, Deedy
  • Breeze, Nancy
  • Brindley, Mary Beth
  • Bronson, Ricci (AKA Cortez, Ricci)
  • Brown, Janet
  • Brundage, Pauline (interview closed, permission required)
  • Campbell, Laurel
  • Carroll, Miriam
  • Cason, Louise
  • Cassingham, Barbee
  • Cathcart, Helen
  • Clegg, Roberta
  • Clifton, Mickie
  • Cohn, Sally
  • Coleman, Marion
  • Coleman, Pat (audio quality very poor, no transcript)
  • Cooper, Gerry
  • Cosgrave, Sandy
  • Daly, Edith (Edie)
  • Debra, Ruth
  • Deetz, Ann
  • deLeeuw, Care
  • Doclar, Charlotte
  • Doublex, Vashte
  • Downey, Phyllis
  • Dunnewald, Ann
  • Duplaix, Sally
  • Durham, Pat
  • Eaton, Fran
  • Eden, Jean
  • Eversmeyer, Arden
  • Fagan, Portia
  • Feingold, Marlene
  • Ficklen, Martha
  • Fine, Judith
  • Fitzgerald, Jessie
  • Flagg, Bonita
  • Fly, Alta
  • Foley, Mary
  • Ford, Tre
  • Fowler, Dorothy (Dotty)
  • Frey, Lucille
  • Gandy, Patricia
  • Gates, Jennie
  • Gerber, Barbara
  • Gieske, Mickie
  • Glass, Kathryn
  • Gobrecht, Elli
  • Gold, Laura
  • Goodrich, Ellen
  • Hathaway, Rosemary
  • Hayes, Ethyl (aka Kim) (Interview closed, permission required)
  • Healey, Shevy (audio quality very poor, no transcript)
  • Heindselman, Lois (Partial audio only)
  • Herrick, Lynn (interview closed, permission required)
  • Hickok, Beverly
  • Hiner, Jo
  • Hoffman, Dorothy
  • Howard, Bea
  • Ives, Janice
  • Johanson, Johanna
  • Jones, Barbara
  • Jones, Joann
  • Kalish, Barbara
  • Kalscits, Helen
  • Kate, Arden
  • Kelley, Cynthia
  • Kennedy, Barbara
  • Killough, Margaret
  • Knowles, Bobbie
  • Kostenbader, Margot
  • Kurtz, Connie
  • Lane, Sunlight
  • Larsen, Vivian
  • Lawler, Carmah
  • Levy, Janice
  • Lloyd, Jean
  • Majors, Nelda
  • Marevis, Ann
  • Mariano, Marie
  • Marks-Nelson, Harriet
  • Martin, Vera
  • Maser, Shirley
  • McConnell, Betsy
  • McGough, BJ
  • McVey, Jess
  • Meyers, Joan
  • Mirkin, Jackie
  • Morris, Bessie
  • Morton, Virginia
  • Mountaingrove, Jean
  • Murray, Ruth
  • Neal, Aminita
  • Nessler, Violet
  • Osborne, Nancy
  • Palmer, June
  • Parke, Avis
  • Parrish, Maxine
  • Pearce, Marie
  • Pepper, Adobe Jean (audio very poor, no transcript)
  • Perry, Ocie
  • Pierson, Joyce
  • Pontius, Leoma
  • Pratt, Sue
  • Quinn, Lucy
  • Rasmussen, Joan
  • Red, Ida
  • Reed, Suzanne
  • Reeves, Joy
  • Reynolds, Christine
  • Ridalls, Shirley (no transcript available)
  • Riddle, Katherine
  • Rivers, Diana
  • Roerdon, Chris
  • Rudnick, Betty
  • Russ, Joanna
  • Rust, Marjorie (interview closed, permission required)
  • Samuels, Eunice
  • Santikos, Kiki
  • Schafer, Eleanor ("Ellie")
  • Sciacca, Barbara (interview closed, permission required)
  • Scott, Emma Lou
  • Shoemaker, Betty
  • Siegle, Anne (interview closed, permission required)
  • Silver, Ruth
  • Sjogren, Elizabeth
  • Stancich, Gloria
  • Stewart, Annalee
  • Stoneking, Carole
  • Swofford, Leanne
  • Tate, Sandy
  • Taylor, Ruth
  • Thomas, Helen
  • Thompson, Joanna
  • Tignor, Sandra
  • Tippit, Mattie
  • Tobias, Jane
  • Todd, Beverly
  • Ullman, Kate
  • Van Cleave, Kay
  • VanDiggelen, Margaret
  • Voelkel, Donna
  • Walton, Jeanne
  • Wansley, Ann (Restricted access)
  • Warner, Nancy
  • Weber, Elaine
  • Weiss, Irene
  • Wheeler, Phoenix
  • Wilkins, Karen
  • Williams, Jayne
  • Williams, Sue Parker (Rainbow)
  • Wilson, Jean
  • Wilson, Pat
  • Yoder, Marilyn
  • Zarchin, Natalie

Audio interviews and transcripts are also available online (Smith campus access only), unless otherwise noted above.


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:

  • Researchers must sign an Access Agreement Form to protect the privacy of interviewees and other third party individuals named in the records
  • Some interviews require permission to be used (see list)
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies--digital files are available for most interviews

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the oral histories, except where noted on individual release forms. Copyright to other materials may be owned by the creators or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." 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:

Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Additional Formats

Original audio tapes have been copied to digital files for research use. Transcripts are also available as digital files and Audio interviews and transcripts are also available online (Smith campus access only), unless otherwise noted above.

History of the Collection

The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project collection was donated to the Sophia Smith Collection beginning in 2011 by Arden Eversmeyer and Margaret Purcell.

Accruals:

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


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
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 -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Lesbianism -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Lesbians -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project

Contributors
  • Eversmeyer, Arden
  • Purcell, Margaret, 1951- (Margaret Christine)

Genre terms
  • Oral histories


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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