Betty Taymor papers now available for research

Letter from Hubert H. Humphrey to Betty Taymor, March 24, 1967

Letter from Hubert H. Humphrey to Betty Taymor, March 24, 1967

Guest post by Rachel Sherman, graduate student in UMass Boston’s History Department. Sherman processed this collection.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the papers of Betty Taymor are now processed and available for research. UASC’s recent acquisition of this collection reflects the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service.

Betty Taymor pioneered the path for women entering politics in Boston. This small collection of personal papers documents the activities of Betty Taymor during her democratic political career. The collection includes Taymor’s correspondence with political leaders including John F. Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, and Jimmy Carter. It also includes manuscripts and scrapbooks featuring articles about Taymor’s political work.

Taymor served as a trailblazer for women entering community politics and public policy in the Greater Boston area. From her beginnings with volunteering for the Americans for Democratic Action to combat McCarthyism in the 1950s, to campaigning for both President John F. Kennedy and Senator Edward Kennedy in the 1960s, Taymor aimed to speak for the voices unheard. She established the Program for Women in Politics in 1968 at Simmons College. Over the subsequent two decades, the program developed into what is today the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy (CWPPP) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Taymor’s legacy continues as the CWPPP serves to provide education and professional certification and experience for women leaders in politics. This collection sheds light on the political activities of women in Boston and helps document the history of the CWPPP at UMass Boston.

The timeline of the documents ranges from 1955 to 2009, with the bulk of the records dating from 1960 to 1994. The materials within the collection include correspondence such as letters, invitations, and telegrams between local, regional, and national democratic political members. Other documents include four scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and photographs focusing on Betty Taymor’s political career and personal life.

Materials in this collection are now available for consultation in the Archives Research Room (Healey Library, 5th floor). View the finding aid for this collection here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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