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Rosario Morales Papers, 1980-2011
3 boxes (3.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 712

Abstract:
Feminist; Communist; Author; Poet. Papers contain correspondence, writings (manuscripts, drafts, journals, free writing, publications), conference files, memorabilia, and awards that document her personal and professional life as an author, poet, feminist, and activist. Writings included here are primarily autobiographical, focusing on her identity as a Puerto Rican feminist. Morales' writings often underscore the importance of intersectionality in the feminist movement. Correspondents include Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, editors of the 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back. The collection also includes some materials of her daughter, writer Aurora Levins Morales. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

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 papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveat: the collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection except for materials created by Rosario Morales. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify all copyright holders.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Rosario Morales (1930-2011) was raised in el barrio of New York City. In 1949, Morales joined the Communist Party and married Richard Levins, the son of Ukranian Jewish immigrants and a scientist. Together they moved to Puerto Rico in 1951 where they became active in the Puerto Rican Communist Party and the Fellowship of Reconciliation while working a small farm in the mountains. They eventually returned to the U.S., first to Chicago then to Cambridge, but the people and culture of Puerto Rico remained at the center of Morales' work. Morales and her daughter Aurora Levins Morales became active in the women's movement in the late 1960s, were a part of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, and co-authored a book of poetry and prose called Getting Home Alive in 1986. Despite struggles to be taken seriously as a scholar, Rosario Morales was recognized as a major contemporary Puerto Rican writer. Morales contributed to the groundbreaking book, This Bridge Called My Back, a collection of writings by women of color feminists, and her work appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. In addition to the Communist Party and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, Rosario Morales was involved in a number of other organizations related to her identities as a feminist, Marxist, working class, Puerto RIcan woman. Rosario Morales died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2011.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rosario Morales Papers contain correspondence, writings (manuscripts, drafts, journals, free writing, publications), conference files, memorabilia, and awards that document her personal and professional life as an author, poet, feminist, and activist. The materials in this collection primarily date back to the 1980s and 1990s, and are especially reflective of Rosario Morales' processes as a writer. Writings included here are primarily autobiographical, focusing on her identity as a Puerto Rican feminist. Morales' writings often underscore the importance of intersectionality in the feminist movement. Other topics covered include communism/Marxism, writing and publishing processes, Cuba and the Cuban blockade, and feminist theory. Of note is correspondence with Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga, the editors of the 1981 anthology This Bridge Called My Back, including notes on public readings and publicity for the groundbreaking book by and about women of color. The papers also include some materials of her daughter, writer Aurora Levins Morales.

[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 papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveat: the collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection except for materials created by Rosario Morales. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify all copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

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

Rosario Morales Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Rosario Morales Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by her family in 2013.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Jen LaBarbera (intern), August 2013


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, Spanish


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
  • Communism -- Puerto Rico
  • Feminists -- United States
  • Jewish women
  • Latina women -- Social conditions -- History
  • Levins Morales, Aurora, 1954-
  • Morales, Rosario, 1930-
  • Puerto Rican women -- United States
  • Puerto Rico -- Social conditions
  • Women authors, Puerto Rican
  • Women communists -- United States -- Biography -- Sources

Contributors
  • Levins Morales, Aurora, 1954-


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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