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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1139

Joseph R. Stanton Pro-Life Collection, 1821-2019 (inclusive), 1962-1997 (bulk)


Professional correspondence, writings, research, printed materials, etc., of pro-life activist Dr. Joseph R. Stanton, Jr.


  • Creation: 1821-2019
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1962-1997


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Most of the collection is open for research. Series I and II are unavailable for research while being digitized. Some material containing medical information of individuals has been removed or redacted from folders #34.5, 35.5, 48.2, 74.8, and 88.2. Originals are closed until the likely deaths of the individuals involved. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. The Sisters of Life hereby transfers and assigns to the President and Fellows of Harvard College any copyright they might hold in any unpublished material. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


167.34 linear feet ((394+1/2 file boxes, 1 folio box, 1 folio+ box, 1 card box) plus 8 folio folders, 6 folio+ folders, 8 oversize folder, 6 supersize folders, 5 photograph folders, 1795 audiotapes, 4 compact disks, 2 phonograph albums, 122 videotapes, 46 DVDs, 2 film strips)

The Joseph R. Stanton Pro-Life Collection includes correspondence, writings, reports, clippings, legal briefs, photographs, printed materials, and audiovisual materials.

The materials in this collection were either created by Stanton or collected by him or the Sisters of Life from pro-life activists and organizations. Included are organizational files from the Value of Life Committee (VOLCOM), correspondence from pro-life leaders connected with VOLCOM, and printed materials and ephemera from pro-life organizations and groups across the United States and abroad. The papers trace the development and activities of the pro-life movement, from abortion, eugenics and population control to the ethical implications of new medical technologies at the beginning and end of life. The collection highlights political and legislative efforts, as well as medical research and educational work; and documents the shifting strategies, internal conflicts, and perseverance of the pro-life community in the United States. The majority of the Stanton Collection arrived at the Schlesinger Library already arranged in series; and this arrangement has been maintained. However, there is overlap, duplication, and redundancy of content within and across all series. Titles for Series I-XI and folder titles were created by Stanton or the Sisters of Life and have been retained; folder titles added by the archivist have been put in brackets. Please note that throughout the collection users will find printed materials showing explicit images of aborted fetuses.

Some of the original series or folder titles in this collection may contain terminology which could be considered objectionable or outdated. The archivists chose to preserve this language in an effort to maintain historical context. The archivists also chose to use the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" in the narrative sections of this finding aid when referring to both political sides of the movement. The meanings of pro-life and pro-choice are easily understood by most people and the terms continue to be in common use; however, we acknowledge that these terms are not always favored by each side.

Series I, VALUE OF LIFE COMMITTEE (VOLCOM) ARCHIVES, 1944-1995 (#1.1-14.8, 353F+B.1-353F+B.6, FD.1, SD.1), includes correspondence, articles and clippings, statements and appeals, notes, speeches, board meeting minutes, printed materials, financial information, etc. The series contains materials primarily related to the early years of the Value of Life Committee as well as the organization's major initiatives and campaigns. The series begins with folders of articles on abortion and euthanasia (#1.4-2.41) copies of which Stanton may have distributed to others. Stanton's articles also include speeches and typescripts.

From VOLCOM's creation in 1970 through the late 1990s the organization maintained extensive research files on various bioethical issues, including abortion, medical ethics, death and dying, and sex education. Early in its existence the Value of Life Committee briefly hosted a 24-hour hotline which provided assistance to pregnant women to help them seek alternatives to abortions and provide them with support and professional help. Beginning in the mid-1970s they organized a traveling "Life Educational Exhibit" which presented the biological development of human life before birth, and which traveled by invitation to high schools, colleges, fairs, and educational conventions throughout Massachusetts. The text for the exhibit was written primarily by Dr. Micheline Mathews-Roth. Accompanying the exhibit was the brochure, "Life, when did your life begin?" The organization also distributed articles and information to activists and the general public as part of an education campaign, and advertised on highway billboards.

VOLCOM acted as sponsor of two amicus curiae briefs before the United States Supreme Court, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), a case upholding a Missouri law restricting the use of state funds for abortion; and Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health (1990), the first "right to die" case heard by the Court. Several VOLCOM members were also individually active in the pro-life movement, published on the topic and testified by invitation before state and national legislatures in the areas of their expertise.

VOLCOM also published a number of public advertisements, appeal letters, and declarations of concern in Boston newspapers, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. They sponsored public statements on the humanity of the unborn, on fetal pain, and on the use of aborted human fetuses for research and transplantation. Public statements in this series include to the Massachusetts State Legislature where VOLCOM helped wage a campaign against attempts to liberalize Massachusetts abortion laws in response to the debate on abortion law reform (March 23, 1971); and to the American Medical Association for their committee hearing on abortion (November 30, 1970). Also included are published letters to President Richard Nixon asking him to affirm or reaffirm his stance against abortion. In 1970 the Nixon letter protested government sponsored abortions at federal domestic installations of the United States Department of Defense. The public letter to President Ronald Reagan asked him to ban non-therapeutic research on aborted fetus. See Series II for the public letters to President George Bush (#43.5-44.3) and President Bill Clinton (#49.1-49.4).

Correspondents include clergy, other pro-life activists, Congressional representatives, supporters and members, etc., and correspondence folders in general also include articles/clippings, statements/writings, etc. See Series II for additional correspondence and information on VOLCOM's activities. Research files that were part of the VOLCOM library of articles and resources can be found throughout the collection, see for instance Series V, Topic Files. For fetal models used in VOLCOM's life exhibit, see Series XII, 350CB.1m-351FB.2m. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series II, VALUE OF LIFE COMMITTEE (VOLCOM) CORRESPONDENCE, 1859, 1968-1997 (#14.9-54.2, FD.2), includes professional correspondence regarding politics and legislation related to euthanasia, living wills, right to die, abortion, and related life issues. The correspondence is primarily between Stanton and politicians, religious leaders, medical professionals, academics, pro-life activists and organizations, newspaper editors and journalists, and the general public, including individuals wanting to organize pro-life groups. Letters to VOLCOM include requests for membership in VOLCOM, to be added to the mailing list, to help in VOLCOM's efforts, for information from VOLCOM, and for articles and other pro-life materials; responses to VOLCOM's published letters and public statements; and expressions both of support and opposition to VOLCOM and the pro-life movement. Also included are requests for or responses to Stanton's participation on television programs, at events, or at other speaking engagements in schools, conferences, and other venues; for information on VOLCOM pregnancy services; from students requesting information for debates, articles, school papers, etc.; and donations and support from individuals, estates, foundations, and corporations. Also included are direct mail letters and related flyers, publications, etc., from pro-life organizations.

In many of Stanton's letters he expresses his thoughts, concerns, and viewpoints on current events related to life issues or in response to articles and editorials. He often outlines areas of urgency or describes issues of importance, such as concern over liberalizing abortion laws or tensions with the American Medical Association. He also writes to corporations, news agencies, and television stations critiquing unbalanced reporting or bias against the pro-life side. One example is Stanton's criticism of IBM regarding their sponsorship of Face the Nation television program and what he believes is the program's pro-choice bias (see 1985 correspondence). Stanton also makes requests to others to write letters or protest, such as in response to the Rockefeller Population Study Commission and United Nations Population Division report (March 1972).

Stanton corresponded extensively with Catholic clergy and Church leadership particularly in Massachusetts, such as Archbishops of Boston Humberto S. Medeiros (1970-1983) and Bernard Law (1984-1997). He often wrote to them to share information regarding the pro-life cause. He also responds to what he sees as anti-Catholic bias in reporting in newspapers such as The Boston Globe and The New York Times.

The correspondence in this series also reflects shifting concerns over time, such as the arrival of RU-486 in the 1980s; the advent of AIDS; sex education in schools (of which Stanton was anti-condom and pro-abstinence); and increasing number of legal cases related to right to die and living will legislation. By the 1980s, Stanton's correspondence shows his frustrations with the political and legislative losses for the pro-life cause. This series also contains information about Stanton's arrests while protesting at abortion clinics. Arrested twice in Operation Rescue protests, he was not prosecuted after the first arrest and found not guilty at a trial in the second instance. While in custody of the Boston Police on the second arrest, he was thrown into an elevator and fractured two ribs. He filed a complaint but the incident was never acted on. In a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger he wrote "thus I bear the scars of police brutality, and the unequal scales of 'justice' in dealing with opposition to abortion" (#44.6).

Pro-life organizations represented in this series include national, state, and regional right to life groups, such as New Hampshire Pro-Life Council, Inc.; Right to Life of Berkshire County, Maine; Michigan Citizens for Life (Pat Nixon); and national offices and local chapters of Birthright, American Citizens Concerned for Life, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Nurses Concerned for Life, Americans United for Life, the Human Life Center, National Right To Life Committee, The Ad Hoc Committee in Defense of Life, Inc., American Life League, and The Center for the Rights of the Terminally Ill, North Dakota. Long term correspondents include Reverend Paul Marx of Human Life International; Dr. J. Robert Nelson of the Institute of Religion, Texas Medical Center; Raymond L. Dempsey; United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop; legislators including the Honorable Henry Hyde; Marie Dietz of the Center for Pro-Life Studies; Judie Brown of American Life Lobby/American Life League, Inc.; Julie Grimstad, director of the Center for the Rights of the Terminally Ill, North Dakota; pro-life activist James McFadden; pro-life lawyer, editor of the Human Life Review, and head of the National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children, R. Martin Palmer, Jr.; and consultant to the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force Mary Senander.

While letters are often signed by Dr. Stanton, there are also VOLCOM letters from other leaders and board members, including Mildred Jefferson, Paul J. Murphy, and Henry Armitage. While many of the letters are divided into "from" and "to" folders, there is some overlap, especially in the earlier files. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series III, STANTON WRITINGS, 1953-1997 (#54.3-61.3, F+D.1), contains Stanton's published and unpublished writings, including speech notes; draft articles; book reviews; in memoriam eulogies; statements and testimonies; public letters; letters to the editor, including The New York Times, The Pilot, The Boston Globe, etc.; opinion pieces; commencement speeches; press releases; interviews and profiles of Stanton; Stanton's curriculum vitae; flyers, programs, and brochures related to events, panel discussions, speaking engagements, etc., which included or featured Stanton; and materials from pro-life groups Stanton was involved with, such as Massachusetts Citizens for Life and Americans United for Life. Also included are other materials not by or about Stanton, such as clippings, letters, flyers, writings by others, a Massachusetts Citizens for Life press packet (#54.6), etc. Topics include living wills, euthanasia, abortion and pro-life actions, in vitro fertilization, and relevant legislation or bills. Of interest are copies of Stanton's published "Letter from a Brookline Jail," including an original draft written on paper towels, as well as other materials related to his protest and arrest, such as a summons, articles, and the legal case Commonwealth v. Joseph Stanton.

Many of the folders in this series were originally titled with Stanton's name or initials. This series, which contains an amalgam of writings, correspondence, collected articles, etc., and are not in any discernible order, may have constituted Stanton's personal files. Many VOLCOM related letters, board meeting materials, etc., were removed to Series I and II.

Series IV, PRO-ABORTION GROUPS, 1949-1996 (#61.4-69.2), contains materials on the leadership, finances, and policy agendas of groups advocating for access to abortion, contraception, sex education, and family planning. Materials include direct mailings, pamphlets, reports, event fliers, fact sheets, publications, action agendas, petitions, and original and photocopied clippings and articles regarding the actions of national pro-choice organizations, including Planned Parenthood (and affiliates). Local organizations such as the Boston Women's Abortion Action Coalition, Boston Women United, and other Boston-area women's health clinics are also represented. Of note are materials related to the proposed 1980 Worcester Planned Parenthood Clinic, such as a determination of need conducted by the Central Massachusetts Health Systems Agency, Inc., and letters from local health organizations in support of the clinic's construction (#63.6). There are also letters from women's health clinics that include printed materials related to clinic services. Of note is a 1972 letter sent by the Self-Help Clinic in Los Angeles, California, providing information on the practices of their clinic to clarify their position after a series of "misleading information" about their teachings had been distributed (#67.3) and a letter from the Charles Circle Clinic (Boston) with clinic brochures (#67.6). Court records, legal case files, and legislation on the issue of abortion are also included, as well as articles from medical publications and research journals detailing abortion and contraception procedures (e.g., the Intrauterine Device, or IUD). Also included are consent and intake forms for receiving birth control pills and pre-abortion appointment instructions.

Throughout the series there is also correspondence, printed materials, publications, direct mail, writings, etc., from pro-life organizations, including the American Abolitionist League, American Life Lobby, Christian Action Council, The Human Life Center, and Stop Planned Parenthood, Inc. Items throughout the series contain annotations possibly by Dr. Stanton, most often in the form of stars, check marks, and underlined or circled text. The contents of each folder may not consistently correspond with the given title, as many folders contain a mix of items pertaining to different groups other than that stated on the folder. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series V, TOPIC FILES, 1845-2004 (#69.3-188.4, FD.3, OD.1) consists of newspaper clippings, published and unpublished articles, printed ephemera, correspondence, handwritten notes and lists, business cards, transcripts of media appearances and court proceedings, financial and legal information, and draft legislation compiled and organized by Stanton. The materials generally relate to three core life issues: abortion and reproduction, euthanasia, and bioethics. Also included are files documenting the work of individuals and organizations active in pro-life and pro-choice work. Although materials center around the United States, there are also legislation transcripts, statistics, news articles, and printed materials regarding abortion and euthanasia in numerous countries, with euthanasia particularly documented in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. The topics in this series were major areas of concern for Stanton and represent the scope of his research and work in the pro-life community. Most of the materials were collected by Stanton. Materials created by Stanton in the form of personal writings, notes, and correspondence are also found throughout the series.

Clippings and articles throughout this series include coverage of abortion legislation; Catholic pro-life perspectives; pro-life and pro-abortion activism; the AIDS epidemic; and birth control methods, particularly natural family planning and medical advances in birth control. Clippings related to bioethics are also well represented, including considerations of genetic testing, Tay-Sachs disease, anencephaly, abortion, birth control and contraception, fetal experimentation, scientific use of fetal tissue, fetology, euthanasia, and hospice care. Clippings follow prominent right to die/euthanasia cases including those of Christine Busalacchi, Elizabeth Bouvia, Paul Brophy, Julie Brown, Nancy Cruzan, Brother Fox, Marcia Gray, Karen Quinlan, Hector Rodas, and Earle Spring, as well as partial court testimony from the Brophy trial (#109.1-109.2). Coverage of other legal cases such as that of "Baby Doe," Roe v. Wade, and Nazi criminal trials are also included. Newspaper clippings also document the progress of "Death with Dignity" legislation at the state level, particularly in Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and California, as well as profiles of the Society for the Right to Die and Hemlock Society founder Derek Humphry. Catholic publications, both national and Boston-based, include articles on abortion; marriage; sexual health and education; LGBTQ issues; papal positions; statements; and writings such as Pope Paul IV's 1968 encyclical letter, Humanae vitae. Additionally, Christian journals and publications are represented, including those from The Family Research Institute and the American Life League, and the Journal of Christian Healthcare. Newspaper and pro-life publication clippings also follow the work of pro-life and pro-choice activists, including pro-choice activist Bill Baird and male pro-life leaders including Stanton; Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue; activist Charles Swain, etc. Medical journal and public health articles address issues of abortion procedures and post-abortion psychology, advancements in obstetrics, contraception, genetic and embryonic research, pain control, medical definitions of death and brain death, and life-sustaining treatments.

Printed materials in this series contain information on genetic counseling; medical and legal options for sexual assault survivors; sexual health and education, including sex education in response to the AIDS epidemic; population education; and legal information for right to die issues. Examples include a booklet published by the 1969-1970 Boston University Student Union titled "Birth Control, Abortion, and Venereal Disease: A Guide for the Boston University Student" (#174.5), a booklet from the Boston Rape Crisis Center containing medical and legal information (#168.1), and numerous instructional materials for do-not-resuscitate orders, living wills, and Christian living wills (#140.1-141.2). Pamphlets and booklets throughout the series contain position statements and action agendas from pro-life and pro-choice organizations; parent groups; pharmaceutical companies; right to die organizations, including the Society for the Right to Die and Hemlock Society; and government entities such as the Supreme Court and Boston Public Schools. Statistics and surveys from the Population Reference Bureau and illustrated informational sex education pamphlets from family planning clinics such as Montreal Women's Liberation, The Family Planning and Population Information Center (Syracuse University), and LISTEN from the Narcotics Education, Inc., are also included (#172.6).

Correspondence in this series includes letters related to Stanton's pro-life activism, including his legislative endeavors and his research on issues of abortion, bioethics, right to die issues, and sex education. Letters also reflect Stanton's notable connection to Catholic leadership and organizations across the United States and throughout the world. Included are letters from prominent figures, such as the Archbishop of Boston Humberto Medeiros who wrote to Stanton and the Value of Life Committee expressing his thanks for Stanton's work on behalf of the Catholic Church during a pro-life action to keep the Massachusetts Abortion Statute in 1972. Stanton received additional letters of support for his opposition to in vitro fertilization from the archbishops of several major American cities, such as Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Correspondents in this series include other notable pro-life activists such as Mildred Jefferson; Marie Dietz, founder of the Center for Pro-Life Studies; and Margaret White, former vice-president of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child. Correspondence with fellow pro-life activists on right to die issues is also included, particularly with Julie Grimstad, director of the Center for the Rights of the Terminally Ill; and Mary Senander, director of the Human Life Alliance of Minnesota, Inc., and spokesperson for the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force. There are also letters exchanged between Stanton and The White House and other offices within the Federal Government expressing disapproval of or support for abortion legislation or public statements, as well as suggestions for enacting a greater pro-life agenda. The manufacture and use of RU-486, also known as the abortion pill, was met with opposition from pro-life groups. Activism against RU-486 is described in correspondence between Stanton and the Pro-Life Action League, and in direct mail and press releases detailing plans for joining a protest meeting at the French Consulate in Boston in 1993 (#171.4).

This series also includes Stanton's writings and materials pertaining to his public appearances, including his speech addressing in vitro fertilization and embryonic transfer given at the 1980 National Right to Life Convention (#182.3) and a syndication list and interview transcript related to his appearance on The Phil Donahue Show's episode on in vitro fertilization in 1979 (#147.1). Other writings by Stanton in this series can be found in the form of handwritten notes, drafted legislation, statements, articles, and editorial work.

Also within this series are clippings, publications, correspondence, financial information, and donor lists for organizations, funds, and foundations. Included are correspondence, meeting minutes, clippings, and Life Advocacy Briefings for Massachusetts Citizens for Life; and there are extensive materials related to the National Right Life Committee, including board minutes and related meeting materials, direct mail, financial information, publicity, reports, media and education campaign materials, press releases, correspondence and internal memos, etc. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series VI, INTERNATIONAL AND STATE FILES, 1949-2003 (#188.5-195.20) includes newsletters, handwritten notes, newspaper clippings, published and unpublished journal articles, printed ephemera, correspondence, press releases, business cards, envelopes, checkbook balances and financial information, legislative reports, draft legislation, and transcripts of court testimony. The materials generally relate to pro-life activism within each state and country, with additional focus on abortion legislation as well as the work of pro-life organizations, such as fundraising letters and conference information. Most of the materials in this series were collected by Stanton, while some were addressed specifically to Sisters of Life. This is particularly apparent within materials pertaining to Operation Rescue (#190.6-190.7), which includes correspondence with Sister Janice DeMaggio.

Printed materials come from numerous pro-life organizations, including Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Ireland), Colorado Right to Life Committee, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc., National Youth Pro-Life Coalition (NYPLC) (throughout, but particularly in New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio folders), Save Our Unwanted Life (SOUL) which was a sub-organization of NYPLC, American Citizens Concerned for Life, Inc., Right to Life – Lifespan of Metro Detroit, The U.S. Coalition for Life (Pennsylvania), Americans United for Life, and Right to Life Australia. This series includes correspondence and press releases related to the National Rally for Human Life, hosted on September 3, 1972 by NYPLC (#192.4). There are also materials from pro-life groups less represented elsewhere in the collection, including Project Rachel, which focused on post-abortion counseling (Massachusetts); Pax: A Christian Center for Nonviolence (Pennsylvania); Feminists for Life (Maryland); National Organization of Episcopalians for Life (NOEL) (#193.14); and Women For Life, which opposed abortion on socialist grounds (England).

Leaders of these pro-life organizations are represented within clippings, published and unpublished writings, and correspondence. Materials include administrative writings such as president's reports and board of directors meeting notes of the Massachusetts Citizens for Life (President Marianne Rea Luthin), New Hampshire Pro-Life Council, Inc. (Director Russell Pond), and Americans United for Life (President Paige Comstock Cunningham). Also included are print advertisements for education offerings by John C. Willke and Barbara Jean Willke (Ohio); transcripts of court testimony by Randy Engel, director of The U.S. Coalition for Life (Pennsylvania); writings of and clippings about Father Paul Marx, founder of The Human Life Centre, St. John's University; and fundraising letters from Judie Brown, president of the American Life League. There is a significant number of clippings regarding and correspondence with Margaret Tighe, chairwoman of Right to Life Australia. Many of these materials surround Stanton's visit to Australia to speak against euthanasia in 1988 (#194.4).

Most legal materials in this series pertain to abortion legislation, including drafted legislation, testimony transcripts, legislative reports, and legal correspondence. Legislation includes restrictive abortion laws pre-Roe v. Wade, particularly Abele v. Markle (#189.1), and in reaction to the Roe v. Wade decision, particularly Constitutional Right to Life Committee v. Cannon (#193.3). Additional abortion legislation discussed includes the Hatch Amendment, 1982; the Hyde Amendment; the Helms Bill, 1982; the "Corrie" Abortion (Amendment) Bill and the Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979 (Ireland); and the Abortion Act of 1967 (England). Clippings in the New York folders focus on the aftermath of the decriminalization of abortion on April 10, 1970. Other materials relate to statistics about abortions and births in New York City, pro-life reactions to this legalization, clinics and referral services that offer abortion, and the interest of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller to uphold legalization despite push back from President Richard Nixon. There are also materials regarding euthanasia legislation (Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, and Australia).

Clippings in the International folders focus on specific pro-life issues, including anti-abortion doctors (#195.1-195.2), in-vitro fertilization (#194.3), contraception (#195.8), and population studies (Hungary, India, Japan, and Sweden). This series contained many pro-life newsletters, most of which were removed to the Schlesinger Library Books and Printed Materials Collection for cataloging. This series includes materials written in Spanish, French, German, and Irish, however the majority of materials are in English. This series is arranged alphabetically by states; followed by international.

Series VII, AUTHOR FILES, 1881-2004 (#195.21-214.26, FD.4, E.1) includes published and unpublished writings by and about medical professionals, academic scholars, prolife and pro-choice activists, political figures, journalists, and clergy members. The series contains newspaper and journal articles; newsletters; speeches; statements and testimonies; booklets; pamphlets; press releases; reports; correspondence; legal documents and legislation; and materials related to local and national political campaigns. Topics addressed include abortion, contraception, euthanasia, eugenics, and bioethics.

Correspondence in this series relates primarily to pro-life ideas, activism, and current events. There are letters from Catholic clergy, members of Congress, presidential staff and other government figures, media outlets, and editorial boards. Included are letters between Stanton and other members of the Value of Life Committee, pro-life activists, professors, politicians, journalists, and medical doctors. Stanton was in regular contact with former United States Senator Edward Kennedy, whom Stanton disagreed with on abortion. He worked against Kennedy's reelection by collaborating with groups such as Citizens United to Replace Kennedy (#205.4-205.5). Stanton also wrote to members of several presidential administrations over his lifetime to advance the pro-life agenda. On one occasion, Stanton received a letter from First Lady Betty Ford responding to Stanton's concern about her statements on pre-marital sex and relationships during her appearance on the television program 60 Minutes in 1975 (#201.19). Of note is Stanton's correspondence with Peter Burkin, who was arrested and tried for attempted murder and arson with intent to kill following the 1979 burning of a Bill Baird abortion clinic in Hempstead, New York. Stanton's correspondence with Burkin details Burkin's activities following the incident and release from a state mental institution, including the development of a book on the topic of "zygotic personhood," which was Burkin's area of interest in developing pro-life arguments and literature. The end of Stanton's and Burkin's correspondence is evidenced with a September 1982 letter in which Burkin warns Stanton of a "schism" in the pro-life movement due to a lack of effective action (#198.4).

Writings in this series include from contemporaries and colleagues of Stanton, many of whom sent him their work for editing and review. The author and psychiatrist Leo Alexander, a medical advisor during the Nuremburg Trials, had a close working relationship with Stanton in which they collaborated to form arguments comparing the liberalization of abortion law to Nazi war crimes related to human experimentation and forced sterilization (#195.22-196.1). Articles, columns, and essays written by Stanton can also be found throughout the series. Please note that some folders in this series contain only one or two items. This series is arranged alphabetically.

Series VIII, LAW AND LEGAL INFORMATION, 1821, 1859, 1964-2004 (#214.27-255.6), includes legal case files, such as briefs, testimonies, affidavits, appeals, complaints, statements, orders, petitions, decisions, judgements, and depositions; as well as clippings and articles related to pro-life issues and court cases; other writings; notes; press releases; reports; federal and state legislation, bills, acts, and statutes; and related correspondence. The majority of materials relate to abortion and euthanasia; however, other life issues are also reflected in case files, legislation, and articles, including wrongful birth, fetal research, bioethics, status of human embryos, etc. There are legal cases containing briefs, testimonies, etc., involving Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the Value of Life Committee, and other pro-life and pro-choice groups. Pro-life organization materials not pertaining to legal cases are also in this series, including memos, reports, and correspondence from Americans United For Life. Approximately two linear feet of National Right to Life Committee files, which include direct mail letters, meeting minutes, reports, memos, financial information, etc., were removed to Series V.

Legal cases also include the files of A. Lawrence Washburn, Jr., the attorney for Patricia Hughes in the case of Patricia Hughes, et al. v. Robert Abrams, Attorney General of New York. Patricia Hughes was president of Mother and Unborn Baby Care of Long Island (also known as A-A-A Pregnancy Options), which was a crisis pregnancy counseling facility which supported alternatives to abortion. This was a First Amendment rights case where Hughes argued on the basis of freedom of speech to engage in activities such as advertising and counseling women who were actively considering having an abortion, including by disclosing information on fetal development.

Non-legal files of note include transcripts and a final report from the National Institutes of Health Embryo Research Panel meetings (1994). The work of this panel influenced President Bill Clinton's stance against using federal funds to support the creation of human embryos for research purposes. Series also contains statements and testimonies from conservative women who attended the International Women's Year state conventions (1977). The testimonies describe convention sessions and respond to the lack of equitable representation for conservative views. Many believed the sessions promoted the Equal Rights Amendment and anti-family, pro-LGBTQ, and pro-abortion views. These testimonies were presented to Senator Jesse Helms and the Ad Hoc Committee on International Women's Year in the United States Senate.

Cases relating to abortion, such as malpractice, right to abortion, clinic violence, parental consent, etc., are grouped under "Abortion" and arranged in loose chronological order within the grouping. Cases relating to euthanasia, including withholding medical treatment or nutrition/hydration, assisted suicide, right to refuse medical or life sustaining treatment, etc., are grouped together under "Euthanasia" and also arranged in loose chronological order within the grouping. Series arrived mostly unfoldered and without any order. A small set of files were in numbered and titled envelopes; these were kept together at the beginning of the series and arranged in numerical order. The rest of the series is arranged alphabetically.

Series IX, CLIPPINGS, 1959-2003 (#255.7-326.1) contains clippings, articles, chapters, etc., from newspapers, magazines, journals, and other publications documenting and tracing the development of life issues, such as abortion, reproduction, contraception, euthanasia, and medical research on women's health. Included is news coverage of abortion legislation, reactions to the Roe v. Wade ruling, advancements in contraceptive technology such as intrauterine devices, the development of RU-486 (the "abortion pill"), incidents of violence at abortion clinics, and statistics on the rate of abortions across the United States and internationally in countries such as India, Japan, and Russia. Popular and religious titles include Parents Magazine, Reader's Digest, Newsweek, National Catholic Register, America, and Commentary. Professional medical journal articles from publications such as Nursing Spectrum, The New England Journal of Medicine, Medical Tribune, etc., relate mostly to abortion, fetal development, psychiatry, and sexual health. Materials in this series were clipped and indexed by Stanton or his assistants and were all originally housed in binders, which have now been disassembled. Some folder titles are by publication name and some are by subject, such as sterilization, breast cancer research, and the instillation abortion procedure. Subject folders contain clippings from multiple publications; folders labeled with a publication name may also contain clippings from other publications. Oftentimes the folders include an index of articles found within. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series X, C. EVERETT KOOP FILES, 1942-2003 (#326.2-345.10) includes handwritten notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, journal articles, printed ephemera, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts and writings, testimony and legal transcripts, curriculum vitae, and travel orders and forms. The materials relate to the work and interests of C. Everett Koop (1916-2013), a pediatric surgeon and surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 1946 to 1981 and the surgeon general of the United States from 1982 to 1989. Koop was also a close friend and colleague of Stanton. Topics addressed by these materials include Christianity, abortion, contraception, death with dignity, sexual education and the sexual exploitation of children, ethics, and the rights and treatment of children who are disabled.

Most of this series consists of Koop's own files which he gave to Stanton and which were organized by Koop's secretary, who as of 1980 was Elizabeth C. Smith (#328.13). Original carton inventory lists are included, which match some but not all original folder titles (#326.2). Koop implemented a few abbreviations on the folder titles, such as "AB" which most likely stands for "abortion," and "ProL" which most likely stands for "pro-life." Although materials track topics nationally and occasionally internationally, there is a slight regional focus on Pennsylvania, where Koop resided until 1982. Koop collected materials about pro-life activism and ideologies, including administrative charts about pro-life activist organizations (#345.7), and materials about beliefs surrounding abortion for Southern Baptists, Mennonites, Unitarian Universalists, and members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (#326.10). Folders #336.16-337.3 contain material about Koop and were most likely assembled by Stanton. These materials track Koop's candidacy for surgeon general and his work while in the position. Included are a 1988 profile of Koop in U.S. News and World Report and a 1981 letter from Koop to Stanton thanking him for his support during the confirmation process (#337.1). There are numerous materials from Stanton throughout the series, consisting of personal correspondence and form letters related to the Value of Life Committee, as well as writings by Stanton.

This series also contains many published and unpublished original writings and speech transcripts by Koop and others. This includes "Contraception (see Birth Control, abortion)" by Koop (#326.11), a transcript of a 1970 talk given by Koop titled "The Dying Child" (#332.9), and the transcript of a speech given by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, advisory board member of American Citizens Concerned for Life (ACCL), titled "In Support of Life" (#339.6). There are numerous notes and note cards written by Koop throughout, and correspondence with and clippings and other writings about government officials and activists, such as Bill Foege, director of the Centers for Disease Control (#328.2), Hymie Gordon, chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic and advisory board member of ACCL (American Citizens Concerned for Life) (#334.18), pro-choice activist Bill Baird (#337.6), and pro-life activist John C. Willke. Materials from and about the bioethics think tank The Hastings Center are also present throughout the series. Includes materials written in German (with English translations), Chinese, and French, however the majority of materials are in English. This series is arranged alphabetically, with the original carton inventories in the first folder (#326.2).

Series XI, UNITED NATION'S INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (1994), 1965-1995 (#345.11-348.14, F+D.2) includes articles and other printed materials, publications, reports, press releases, programs, some correspondence, etc. The United Nation's International Conference on Population and Development was organized by the United Nations Population Fund and occurred September 5-13, 1994, in Cairo, Egypt. VOLCOM was an accredited non-governmental organization which had two delegates at the conference, Professor Jacqueline Kasun and Dr. Carmel Kelly. According to the Sisters of Life the older materials in this series were used by VOLCOM representatives at the conference. The series also includes reports, published and printed materials, correspondence, etc., which are related to the conference, and were created or distributed before, during, or post-conference. These include VOLCOM planning materials and conference assessments. Of note is a post-conference typescript from Jacqueline Kasun, expressing frustration at the heavy representation and influence of Planned Parenthood and environmental and feminist organizations, the inaccuracies surrounding the idea of a population explosion, and responses from other countries.

Some publications and newsletters were removed to the Schlesinger Library Books Collection for cataloging and the following titles were discarded because they are already held at Harvard Libraries: Population Bulletin of the United Nations (34/35), 1993 and (37/38), 1994; Ageing and the Family, United Nations, 1994; The Ageing of Asian Population, United Nations, 1994. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series XII, MEMORABILIA, 1974-2004, undated (#349.1m-352.11m, F+D.3m-F+D.4m), includes bumper stickers, stickers, buttons, appliques promoting the Human Life Amendment, a pro-life vanity license plate, "Precious Feet" pin, etc. The content on buttons and bumper stickers consists of images and statements supporting pro-life actions and initiatives, as well as campaign publicity for primarily pro-life politicians, such as Ellen McCormack. Of note in this series are fetal models in various stages of development (#350CB.1m-351FB.2m), which were used in VOLCOM's traveling life educational exhibition in the 1970s and 1980s. For more information regarding this exhibition see Series I. Series is arranged alphabetically.

Series XIII, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1965, 1971-1992, undated (#PD.1-PD.6), contains photographs of Stanton, including publicity images, in groups, and at pro-life demonstrations; and images of pro-life billboards sponsored by VOLCOM and the Right to Life League. Of note are photographs of a pro-life rally in Massachusetts prior to the passage of Roe v. Wade, ca.1971. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Photographs in this series are or will be digitized and available online.

Series XIV, ASSORTED PRO-LIFE MATERIALS, 1859, 1938-2019, undated (#354.1-398.5, FD.5-FD.8, F+D.5-F+D.6, OD.2-OD.8, SD.2-SD.6, E.2) includes mostly clippings and print ephemera, such as flyers, booklets, resource catalogs, posters, pamphlets, brochures, etc., as well as correspondence, direct mail letters, reports, writings, notes, etc. The materials, which arrived at the Schlesinger Library mostly loose and unsorted, had been collected and sometimes created by either Joseph Stanton or Sisters of Life. The archivist arranged these materials into categories such as Authors, General correspondence, Organizations, Resource catalogs/Resources, Joseph Stanton and the Joseph Stanton Human Life Issues Resource Library (filed under "Stanton"), and Topics.

Organization files consist primarily of pro-life groups, which are often church-affiliated or community-based. There are also a few pro-choice groups such as the Hemlock Society and Planned Parenthood. Materials include articles and reprints; catalogs and order forms; direct mail and other correspondence; press releases; printed materials, like brochures, booklets, flyers, and posters; conference and event-related materials; clippings; writings; founding documents; directories; mission statements; annual reports; and programs. Materials are filed under the organization name whether the item was created by them or just collected and distributed by them.

Please note that United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) files include materials from the United States Catholic Conference and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB took its present form in 2001 from the consolidation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference.

Resource files mostly consist of catalogs for audio and video materials, books, objects, religious paraphernalia, and other educational and religious items. Also included in this section are book reviews, bibliographies and other lists, promotional printed materials for books, etc. If a resource catalog is affiliated with a specific organization, the item was filed with that organization.

Topics consist of broad categories related to life issues. Content includes primarily clippings, as well as other writings, articles, typescripts, printed materials, brochures, and flyers. The Religion-Christianity topic folders contain materials related primarily to Catholicism surrounding family planning, abortion, euthanasia, etc. The Religion files also include prayer cards, postcards, religious objects, tracts, booklets, etc.

Many of the brochures found in the Topics section were printed by pro-life companies, including Easton Publishing, Hayes publishing (with designs by J.C. Willke), Last Day Ministries, and Life Cycle Books. For more from some of these publishers see the Resource catalog section. Brochures affiliated with an organization are filed within organizations.

The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series XV, AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS, 1966-2010, undated (#T-591.1-T-591.1795, CD-130.1-CD-130.4, Phon-082.1-Phon-082.3, Vt-345.1-Vt-345.122, DVD-166.1-DVD-166.46, MP-89.1-MP-89.2), includes audiocassettes, VHS tapes, compact disks, DVDs, phonograph albums, film strips, and other media of pro-life events, presentations and addresses, conferences and conventions, television and radio programs, interviews, banquets, film productions, etc. Life issues covered in this series range from abortion, euthanasia, fertility, fetology, and health care, to religion, politics, and feminism. Represented in this series are pro-life organizations and activists, scholars, medical professionals, religious figures, and individuals, many of whom are found throughout other parts of this collection, including Dr. Joseph Stanton, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Dr. Jack Willke, and Father Frank Pavone.

Included are extensive runs of certain conference and program series, such as recordings of the National Right to Life Convention panel presentations (1976-1998); Pro-Life Perspective radio broadcasts produced by the National Right to Life Committee (ca.1985-ca.1991); Life Issues radio broadcasts produced by the Life Issues Institute (1991-1998); and episodes of LifeTalk, a television pro-life news magazine program created by Life Dynamics (1999-2007).

The series is arranged into six subseries. Within each subseries, titles are arranged by format and then mostly chronological within each format.

Subseries A, National Right to Life Convention, 1976-1998 (#T-591.1-T-591.1349) consists of audiotapes of presentations, panels, and addresses from the annual convention of the National Right to Life Committee. Speakers include pro-life activists, scholars, media figures, medical professionals, religious leaders, lawyers, and politicians. The tapes were originally housed in binders by year and most included order forms which listed the tapes by number and title. These order forms are located in Series XIV (#371.13). Session titles and descriptions for the tapes were copied from the order form lists as well as from information on the cassettes.

Subseries B, Pro-Life Perspective, National Right to Life Committee radio program, ca.1985-ca.1991 (#T-591.1350-T-591.1494) consists of audio reels of the radio program, Pro-Life Perspective. Since 1985, this show has been the official broadcast of the National Right to Life Committee. The broadcasts provide current news and legislative information on abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and other life issues. Description contains mostly episode numbers. In addition, some of the Pro-Life Perspective reel numbers matched certain entries, by episode number and date, in the Life Issues broadcast partial program inventory located in Series XIV (#368.3). Because of this, we included episode titles from the Life Issues inventory to specific Pro-Life Perspective tapes when it seemed it may be applicable.

Subseries C, Life Issues, Life Issues Institute radio program, 1991-1998 (#T-591.1495-T-591.1733) consists of audio reels of the radio program, Life Issues, a broadcast produced by the Life Issues Institute. As with Pro-Life Perspective, these programs consisted of brief episodes that covered life topics of the day, such as an episode on AIDS in 1992 and an update on RU-486 in 1996. Folder descriptions contain episode title Information for each reel. This information was gathered primarily from the Life Issues broadcast partial program inventory in Series XIV (#368.3). Due to incomplete entries in the inventory some description may be incorrect or incomplete.

Subseries D, Life Talk video magazine, Life Dynamics Incorporated, 1999-2007 (#Vt-345.1-Vt-345.51, DVD-166.1-DVD-166.42) contains VHS videotapes and DVDs of Life Talk, a pro-life talk show first produced by Life Dynamics in 1999. The show was billed as “America’s Pro-Life Television Talk Show” by Life Dynamics and was hosted by Mark Crutcher, the president of Life Dynamics; Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life; and others, including Cherie Johnson, Janet Morana, Troy Newman, and Dr. Johnny Hunter. Life Dynamics promoted the show as offering “cutting-edge information, undercover investigations, newsmaker interviews, up-to-the-minute news, frontline reports, and no-nonsense education” related to abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and other life issues. Any description for the episodes was largely taken from handwritten notes on VHS and DVD cases.

Subseries E, Other audiovisual, 1966-2010, undated (#Phon-082.1-Phon-082.3, T-591.1734-T-591.1795, CD-130.1-CD-130.4, Vt-345.52-Vt-345.122, DVD-166.43-DVD-166.46, MP-89.1-MP-89.2) contains phonograph records, compact disks, audiocassettes and reels, videotapes, DVDs, and film strips. Content includes news and other television program segments, movies, events, debates, interviews, and conference sessions. Included are a 1979 radio debate between Bill Baird and Joseph Stanton (#T-591.1750), Human Life International presentations, interviews with Norma McCorvey (#T-591.1767, T-591.1779), and a panel discussion on life issues which included Dr. Mildred Jefferson and Reverend Paul Marx (#T-591.1772). Of additional note is a 1966 recording entitled How to Teach Children the Wonder of Sex by John and Barbara Willkie (#Phon-082.1-Phon-082.2). Prior to Willkie becoming the president of the National Right to Life Committee in 1980, he and his wife Barbara taught abstinence-only sex education courses for the Catholic Church. Series also includes video footage of pro-life and pro-choice demonstrations, including a pro-choice demonstration sponsored by NARAL against Father Frank Pavone in 2001 (#Vt-345.109). Many of the videos were produced by pro-life organizations, including the American Life League, Birthright, and Concerned Women for America.


Medical doctor, pro-life activist, and historian of the pro-life movement, Dr. Joseph R. Stanton, Jr., was born August 8, 1920, in Boston, Massachusetts, one of ten siblings. His father, Dr. Joseph Stanton, Sr., graduated from Harvard Medical School and was chief of surgery at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts. As a boy, Stanton, Jr., suffered with rheumatic fever and then polio. During this time, Jesuit priests helped take care of his educational needs. He attended Boston College and Yale Medical School and became an associate clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. He was also a visiting physician at Bethany Infirmary in Framingham, Massachusetts, and visiting physician at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. He also had an internal medicine practice in Brighton, Massachusetts. During his career he authored or co-authored medical publications dealing with hypertension, venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, as well as other medical subjects. Stanton married Mary Frances Gordon Stanton (1921-2006), and they lived in Newton, Massachusetts, in Stanton's childhood home and where they raised ten children: Luke, Michael, Anne Marie, Joseph, John, Paul, William, Kathleen, Matthew, and Thomas. Another son, Mark, died in a car accident in 1958 when he was four years old.

After the legalization of abortion in New York in 1970, Dr. Stanton became actively involved in the fledgling pro-life movement. He helped found the Value of Life Committee (VOLCOM), a non-profit, non-sectarian organization incorporated in Massachusetts, in October 1970, "to affirm in the public domain the sacredness and inherent value of all human life from conception to natural death and to protect the lives of unborn children by literary research, publication and service." VOLCOM's mission was "to protect the lives of unborn children in circumstances where their destruction may be sought for sociologic, economic, or eugenic reasons or reasons of convenience." VOLCOM included a board of directors and a board of governors. Joyce Dwyer, registered nurse and associate professor of maternal and infant nursing at the Boston College School of Nursing was nominated as the first president and Dr. Mildred Jefferson as vice-president. Leaders of VOLCOM included physicians, lawyers, scholars, and activists. To fulfill the organization's mission, Stanton along with other organization leaders conducted research, collected materials, lectured, and distributed articles drawn from medical, legal, scientific, philosophic, and religious sources relating to the value of human life from the moment of conception until death. Stanton also helped found Massachusetts Citizens for Life which was incorporated in 1973, four days after the Roe v. Wade decision, and he was actively involved with other pro-life organizations, including Americans United For Life and the National Right to Life Committee.

As a pro-life activist Stanton addressed committees of the United States Congress; argued before state legislatures; published articles and other writings; and gave lectures throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia, advocating for the pro-life movement. He testified before the Ethics Advisory Board of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare on the ethics of test tube fertilization. He also testified before the Appropriations Committee of the United States Congress on behalf of the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. He testified and picketed before the American Medical Association in opposition to its ethical stance on abortion. And he participated in protests in opposition to abortion in New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, Washington, D.C, and in Massachusetts, where he was arrested twice at Operation Rescue protests. He appeared on the David Susskind Show to argue against living wills and spoke against in vitro fertilization on The Phil Donahue Show. He also appeared on CBS Reports The Baby Makers.

Stanton collected volumes of press clippings, books, printed materials from pro-life organizations, and other materials about life issues and the people and organizations working for and against legalized abortion and euthanasia. He kept voluminous files and copied articles for people who wrote to him asking for information. In the 1990s, as his health declined, Stanton entrusted his library and archival materials to the Sisters of Life. The Sisters of Life, an order of nuns actively supporting the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on life, were founded in 1991 by Cardinal John O'Connor of New York. Stanton felt that such a focused order would care for and put to use the historical material he had collected and arranged. The Sisters of Life renovated a large space in their Bronx, New York, convent so that they could house and display Stanton's materials, as well as other related pro-life materials. The Dr. Joseph R. Stanton Human Life Issues Library and Resource Center was dedicated on October 12, 1996. Stanton died on September 8, 1997.


The collection is arranged in fifteen series:

  1. Series I. Value of Life Committee (VOLCOM) Archives, 1944-1995 (#1.1-14.8, 353F+B.1-353F+B.6, FD.1, SD.1)
  2. Series II. Value of Life Committee (VOLCOM) Correspondence, 1859, 1968-1997 (#14.9-54.2, FD.2)
  3. Series III. Stanton Writings, 1953-1997 (#54.3-61.3, F+D.1)
  4. Series IV. Pro-Abortion Groups, 1949-1996 (#61.4-69.2)
  5. Series V. Topic Files, 1845-2004 (#69.3-188.4, FD.3, OD.1)
  6. Series VI. International and State Files, 1949-2003 (#188.5-195.20)
  7. Series VII. Author Files, 1881-2004 (#195.21-214.26, FD.4, E.1)
  8. Series VIII. Law and Legal Information, 1821, 1859, 1964-2004 (#214.27-255.6)
  9. Series IX. Clippings, 1959-2003 (#255.7-326.1)
  10. Series X. C. Everett Koop Files, 1942-2003 (#326.2-345.10)
  11. Series XI. United Nation's International Conference on Population and Development (1994), 1965-1995 (#345.11-348.14, F+D.2)
  12. Series XII. Memorabilia, 1974-2004, undated (#349.1m-352.11m, F+D.3m-F+D.4m)
  13. Series XIII. Photographs, ca.1965, 1971-1992, undated (#PD.1-PD.6)
  14. Series XIV. Assorted Pro-Life Materials, 1859, 1938-2019, undated (#354.1-398.5, FD.5-FD.8, F+D.5-F+D.6, OD.2-OD.8, SD.2-SD.6, E.2)
  15. Series XV. Audiovisual Materials, 1966-2010 (#T-591.1-T-591.1795, CD-130.1-CD-130.4, Phon-082.1-Phon-082.3, Vt-345.1-Vt-345.122, DVD-166.1-DVD-166.46, MP-89.1-MP-89.2)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2021-M127, 2023-M109

The Joseph R. Stanton Pro-Life Collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by the Sisters of Life in August 2021 and August 2023.


Donor: Sisters of Life

Accession number: 2021-M127

Processed by: Laura Peimer, Martha Ball, and Eden Hood

Published materials that were removed from the collection have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection and have been cataloged separately.

Processing Information

Processed: September 2022

By: Laura Peimer, Martha Ball, and Eden Hood, with assistance from Yolande E. Bennett.

Updated: August 2023

By: Laura Peimer, with assistance from Eden Hood, Dominic Scheidegger, and Janin I. Escobedo Garcia

Series XIV and XV, additional memorabilia items (#349.4m-13, F+D.4m-13- F+D.4m-17, 352.9m-10- 352.9m-15, and 352.11m), and born digital documents (#E.1-E.2) were added to the collection in August 2023. #E.1 and E.2 consist of two Microsoft Word documents that have been converted to PDF/As for preservation and delivery.

Updated and additional material added: March 2024

By: Johanna Carll

Folders #398.1-398.5 and PD.6 were added to the collection in March 2024.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Stanton, Joseph R., 1920-1997. Joseph R. Stanton Pro-Life Collection, 1821-2019 (inclusive), 1962-1997 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Sibyl Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, the Class of 1956 Schlesinger Library Fund, the Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund, and the 1933-1934 Alumnae Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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