In the Archives: Socialist Feminism Pamphlets of the 1970s

aam_c_0To celebrate Archives Month, I will be posting highlights from our collections throughout October. I hope that this will turn into a regular series. To learn more about Archives Month, visit the Society of American Archivists website.

The collection that I would like to highlight this week is the Judith Smith collection of socialist feminist pamphlets, 1970-1981. In the 1970s, Smith was part of a group of women that organized and ran the Somerville Women’s Health Project, a health clinic which offered free medical care to low-income women and children. She was also a member of the Boston’s Women Union and its orientation committee, the Tuesday Night Orientation Group. The committee was later renamed the Tuesday Night Socialist Feminist Group and continued to meet until 2001, even after the Boston Women’s Union dissolved. Smith is a professor in the American Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Smith’s collection comprises 28 pamphlets and booklets, many of them published by local small presses, on a variety of topics, including race, class, sexism, women’s liberation, women’s wages, housework, family, and witchcraft. Browse the gallery below for a selection of pamphlet covers from Smith’s collection, which she donated to University Archives and Special Collections in 2005.

View the finding aid for the Judith Smith 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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10th annual Mass History Conference explores the history of women at work in Massachusetts

Contribution by Sarafina Collura to the Waltham Mass. Memories Road Show, an initiative of University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

Contribution by Sarafina Collura to the Waltham Mass. Memories Road Show, an initiative of University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston.

When: Monday, June 2, 2014 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.

Online registration is open through Friday, May 30th by visiting https://go.masshumanities.org/.

Click here for directions.

On June 2nd, staff and volunteers from historical organizations, public historians, and interested individuals are invited to join with historians from across the state in exploring the history of women at work in Massachusetts at the tenth annual Mass History Conference. This day-long conference will welcome the many small historical organizations that preserve, interpret, and deepen the exploration of Massachusetts history.

The stories of lesser-known women change-makers get lost in the larger narrative of industry, politics and conflict, but the timing is right for an examination of their tales of great and compelling variety, of lives lived with courage and determination. This anniversary conference, Never Done: Interpreting the History of Women at Work in Massachusetts, features noted Harvard scholar Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, who will present the keynote.

The Mass History Conference, widely celebrated as the best networking and skill-sharing opportunity for historians of our state culture, is co-presented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Public History Program, the University of Massachusetts Boston Public History and Archives Track, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth & Ned Bacon.

Online registration is open through Friday, May 30th by visiting https://go.masshumanities.org/.

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