Papers of Mary Steichen Calderone, 1904-1971
Correspondence, speeches, printed material, etc., of Mary Steichen Calderone, physician and pioneer in the field of sex education.
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Access. Unrestricted. Clippings in Series IV were discarded after microfilming and are available only on microfilm M-125.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Steichen Calderone is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in her published works, including specifically The First Picture Book, The Second Picture Book, and The Family Book about Sexuality, is held by her heirs. Copyright in photographs by Edward Steichen is held by the Estate of Edward Steichen. Researchers must obtain copies and written permission from the estate in order to use them in publication. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. All open material may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent6.88 linear feet (16+1/2 file boxes)
Some of the clippings on the sex education controversy, 1968-1969 (Series VI), were filmed in 1989 under a Title II-C grant from the United States Department of Education; the bulk was filmed in 1993 with funds provided to the Harvard University Library's Preservation Office by the Aaron and Clara Rabinowitz Greenhut Fund. Clippings were discarded after filming; request M-125 for microfilm copies.
Mary Steichen Calderone, crusader and pioneer in the field of sex education, was born on July 1, 1904. She is the daughter of the eminent photographer, Edward Steichen, and the niece of poet Carl Sandburg. Dr. Calderone graduated from Vassar College in 1925 with a B. A. in chemistry. After an interval of several years during which she studied dramatics, married and divorced, she turned to the study of medicine for the career that has made her a leader in public health, birth control and sex education.
After graduating from the University of Rochester Medical School in 1939, she interned for a year with the Children's Medical Service at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She then attended the Columbia School of Public Health and received a Master's degree in Public Health in 1942. It was during this time that she met Dr. Frank Calderone whom she married in 1941. Her husband, then a district health officer, shortly thereafter became deputy commissioner of health of New York City. He later served as chief administrative officer of the World Health Organization and director of health services with the United Nations Secretariat.
Mary Calderone served as physician to the public schools of Great Neck, New York until 1953 when she joined the staff of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America as its medical director, a post she held until 1964. It was her association with Planned Parenthood that made Dr. Calderone realize the widespread demand and need for more sex information. Planned Parenthood received a constantly growing number of letters asking questions not only about birth control but sexual problems in general. The establishment of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States was formally announced in January of 1965 with its stated purpose: "To establish man's sexuality as a health entity: to identify the special characteristics that distinguish it from, yet relate it to, human reproduction; to dignify it by openness of approach, study, and scientific research designed to lead towards its understanding and its freedom from exploitation; to give leadership to professionals and to society, to the end that human beings may be aided toward responsible use of the sexual faculty and towards assimilation of sex into their individual life patterns as a creative and re-creative force."
During the years with SIECUS, Dr. Calderone has traveled thousands of miles, addressing high school and college students, parents, educators, religious leaders and professional groups. A compelling speaker, she is especially popular with youthful audiences who appreciate her candid nononsense factual replies to their questions.
Dr. Calderone has spearheaded a virtual revolution in liberalizing United States attitudes toward sex education and as a result, has become the target of extremist groups. In 1969 right-wing organizations spent an estimated $40,000,000 on a virulent "hate" campaign which reached its highest intensity in the Spring of 1969. Several hundred newspaper clippings for the period February-June 1969 are included in the collection and are a valuable source of background material on the resurgence of conservatism in the United States.
Attacked, vilified, tagged a Communist and an "aging libertine," Dr. Calderone has continued her work with equanimity. Describing SIECUS and her role as executive director, she says: "The point is, not that I am so important, but that I am the focal point in an organization that has become focal in a nationwide and worldwide movement -- that is, a movement on the part of the major professional groups in medicine, education, religion, nursing and others, to understand human sexuality on their own behalf and on behalf of the people whom they serve.... What I have been saying is that, unwittingly and involuntarily, SIECUS and therefore I, have become part of a nationwide trend that would seem to have significance for future historians of this epoch, from the sociological and political points of view."
The collection is arranged in six series:
- Series I. Biographical and personal, 1904-1971. Folders 1-7.
- Series II. Professional Papers, 1955-1964. Folders 8-220. Correspondence from the files of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, arranged alphabetically by subject. Subject designations are those of the Planned Parenthood Federation.
- Series III. Professional Papers, 1955-1964. Folders 221-225. Speeches, proceedings of panel discussions, symposia, interviews with Mary Steichen Calderone, articles by Mary Steichen Calderone, from the files of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
- Series IV. Professional Papers, 1964-1971. Folders 226-239. Correspondence, printed material from the files of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, hereafter referred to as SIECUS.
- Series V. Professional Papers, 1964-1971. Folders 240-291. Printed articles by Mary Steichen Calderone, interviews with Mary Steichen Calderone, articles by others, from the files of SIECUS.
- Series VI. Clippings and articles re: sex education controversy in the United States, 1968-1969, from the files of SIECUS. USE MICROFILM, M-125. Originals discarded.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession Numbers: 1458, 1462, 1463, 1502, 1537, 1547, 1622, 1665, 69-7, 69-9, 71-93, 71-87.
The papers of Mary Steichen Calderone were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in 1968, 1969, 1971 by Mary Steichen Calderone.
There are related materials at the Schlesinger Library; see Mary Steichen Calderone Additional papers, 1922-1979 (73-150--81-M35), Mary Steichen Calderone Additional papers, 1967-1982 (82-M129), and Mary Steichen Calderone Additional papers, 1954-1983 (83-M184), Mary Steichen Calderone Additional papers, 1914-1989 (MC 622), and Mary Steichen Calderone videotapes, 1979-1985 (Vt-7)..
BOOKS REMOVED AND CATALOGUED SEPARATELY
- Manual of Contraceptive Practice, edited by Mary Steichen Calderone
- Abortion in the United States, edited by Mary Steichen Calderone
- Release from Sexual Tensions, by Mary Steichen Calderone
- Box 1: Folders 1-7
- Box 2: Folders 8-23
- Box 3: Folders 24-45
- Box 4: Folders 46-62
- Box 5: Folders 63-76
- Box 6: Folders 77-86
- Box 7: Folders 87-115
- Box 8: Folders 116-147
- Box 9: Folders 148-165
- Box 10: Folders 166-180
- Box 11: Folders 181-198
- Box 12: Folders 199-220
- Box 13: Folders 221-225
- Box 14: Folders 226-236
- Box 15: Folders 237-250
- Box 16: Folders 251-273
- Box 17: Folders 274-292
- Baumgartner, Dr. Leona 19, 20, 41, 43
- Best, Winfield 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 23, 29, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 69, 72, 81, 85, 163, 167, 199, 204
- Bierman, Dr. Jessie M. 137
- Binger, Dr. Carl 24
- Brekke, Dr. Bart 15, 16, 19, 20, 129
- Brodie, Jessie Laird 179
- Broughton, Philip 198
- Campbell, Mrs. Walter 8, 71
- Canfield, Cass 50, 72
- Chenoweth, Dr. Alice 41, 44, 216
- Clarke, Dr. Hans 5
- Corner, Dr. George 149
- Cutright, Dr. Eva 72, 192, 219
- De Blanc, The Rev. Msgr. Irving A. 52
- Donnell, Dr. Joseph P. 15
- Dulles, The Rev. Avery 52
- Duvall, Dr. Evelyn M. 85
- Elias, Nathanial 55, 69
- Eliot, Dr. Martha May 20, 43
- Emerson, Dr. Haven 150
- Erhardt, Carl L. 15, 20
- Evang, Dr. Carl 129
- Fagley, Dr. Richard 202
- Fishbein, Dr. Morris 199, 230
- Gamble, Dr. Clarence 69, 151, 164
- Garcia, Dr. Celso-Ramon 162, 163
- Gebhard, Dr. Paul 15, 19, 20
- Genne, Rev. William H. 85
- Goldston, Dr. Iago 13, 16, 19, 20
- Guttmacher, Dr. Alan 8, 15, 16, 20, 24, 25, 41, 43, 48, 51, 52, 57, 69, 72, 82, 205
- Heaton, Gen. Leonard D. 212
- Hellman, Dr. Louis 16, 20, 72
- Helpern Dr. Milton 16
- Hoeber, Paul 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
- Hoover, Dick M. 165
- Huber, H. W. 50
- Jacobs, Sophia Yarnall 191
- Jacobziner, Dr. Harold 8, 15, 16, 23
- Janeway, Dr. Charles 41
- Johnson, Dr. Virginia E. 163
- Kessenich, Dr. William H. 216
- Kinsey, Dr. Alfred 13, 14, 16, 20, 21
- Kistner, Dr. Robert 164
- Kleegman, Dr. Sophie 16, 19, 152
- Knott, Father John 203
- Kolb, Dr. Lawrence 16, 20
- Lanctot, Dr. Claude 52
- Lidz, Dr. Theodore 16, 20
- Lovejoy, Dr. Esther 188
- Mace, Dr. David 168
- Macfarlane, Dr. Catharine 153
- MacLeod, John 163
- Masters, Dr. William H. 163, 165
- Masur, Dr. Jack 218
- Menninger, Dr. Karl 20, 190
- Menninger, Dr. William 20, 190
- Millman, Nathan 60
- Montagu, Dr. F. Ashley 20
- Mudd, Dr. Emily 209
- Muller, Dr. Jonas N. 69
- Myrdal, Alva 136
- Nash, Dr. Ethel M. 162, 163
- Nelson, Dr. Warren O. 20, 65, 68, 163, 177, 219
- O'Brien, Franklin 51, 61
- Oettinger, Katharine 215, 216, 220
- Pilpel, Harriet 10, 15, 20, 21, 41, 51, 56, 125, 160, 161, 164, 218
- Pincus, Dr. Gregory 65, 69, 162,163
- Pomeroy, Dr. Wardell 15, 19, 20, 89, 162, 163
- Pommerenke, Dr. W. T. 19
- Popenoe, Dr. Paul 174
- Rainwater, Lee 162, 163
- Rama Rau, Lady Dhanvanth 119
- Rice-Wray, Dr. Edris 126
- Rock, Dr. John 18, 20, 25, 52, 69, 154, 162, 163, 230
- Rockefeller, John D. III 230
- Roosevelt, Eleanor 23
- Rosen, Dr. Harold 20
- Schauffler, Dr. Goodrich 155, 204
- Schwartz, Louis 20, 209
- Senior, Dr. Clarence 20, 156, 180
- Sobrero, Dr. Aquiles 52, 69, 82, 121, 163, 164
- Steichen, Edward 5
- Stone, Dr. Abraham 15, 16, 19, 20, 69
- Taylor, Dr. Carl E. 162, 163
- Taylor, Dr. Howard C., Jr. 15, 16, 19, 20, 42, 162, 163, 176
- Tietze, Dr. Christopher 15, 16, 19, 20, 52, 69, 71, 72, 73, 78, 79, 80, 82, 157, 162, 163
- Tietze, Sarah 83
- Timanus, Dr. G. L. 16, 19, 20, 158
- Tyler, Dr. Edward 65, 165
- Venning, G. R. 109
- Vogt, William 11, 13, 14, 19, 20, 23, 41, 43, 48, 53, 69, 72, 82, 83, 85, 132, 163, 175
- Whelpton, P. K. 15, 19, 20, 162
- Wood, H. C. 162, 163, 164
- Wortis, Dr. Ethel Emerson 150
Processed: March 1973
Updated: March 2012
By: Joanne Donovan
- Calderone, Mary Steichen, 1904-1998. Papers of Mary Steichen Calderone, 1904-1971: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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