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COLLECTION Identifier: 84-M205--85-M186

Papers of Lila Leibowitz, 1967-1984


Correspondence, minutes, newsletters, clippings, etc., of Lila Leibowitz, anthropologist, professor, and author.


  • Creation: 1967-1984

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lila Leibowitz is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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.


3 linear feet ((3 cartons), plus 1 audiotape)

This collection consists of the professional papers of Lila Leibowitz, including drafts and reprints of articles and the draft of her book on Eastport, Maine; correspondence with colleagues, including drafts of their articles sent for Leibowitz's comments; correspondence, minutes, and newsletters of anthropological societies; reprints, clippings, and unpublished papers pertaining to women's issues; and lecture notes, course handouts, exams, and student papers.

Approximately two cubic feet of printed materials have been removed from the collection; these were about primate behavior, evolution, schizophrenia, IQ, race and IQ, sex roles and development in animals, evolution and early man, peoples of the sea, human origins, aggression, sociobiology, and apes and the evolution of language. They dated from the 1970s and 1980s and were published in American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, American Scientist, American Sociological Review, Anthroquest, BioScience, Boston Globe, Business Week, Culture in History, Current Anthropology, Fortune, Human Behavior, Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Primatology, Life Magazine, National Institutes of Health newsletter, Natural History, New England Journal of Medicine, Psychology and Social Science Review, Psychology Today, Quoddy Tides (Eastport, Maine), Science News, and Technology Today.


Lila Leibowitz, anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northeastern University, was born Lila Shapiro in New York City. She received her B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1952 (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1959 and 1971. In 1956 she married Richard Leibowitz; they had two daughters, Karla (born 1958) and Jean (1960). She joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 1965 and served as Executive Officer, 1971-1974, 1975-1976. Leibowitz lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, until her death in June 1984.

Lila Leibowitz was known for her cross-disciplinary research encompassing sociology, anthropology, biology, and psychology. She researched the sexual division of labor and was a critic of sociobiology, which stresses innate gender differences and the natural superiority of males. She wrote many articles and was author of Females, Males and Families: A BioSocial Approach (1978), Evolution in Tuberculin Treatment (1966), and a community study of Eastport, Maine, which was not completed. Leibowitz was guest lecturer at many universities, and was a member of such local groups as the Boston Genes and Gender Study Group and the Sociobiology Study Group of Science for the People. She was a member of the Association of Women in Sociology (AWIS) and the American Anthropological Association, board member of the Anthropology Research Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and member and president (1976-1977) of the Northeastern Anthropological Association. For further biographical information, see the curriculum vitae in #62.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 84-M205, 85-M48, 85-M186

This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1984, and in March and August 1985 by Richard Leibowitz, Leibowitz's husband.


  1. Carton 1: 1-37
  2. Carton 2: 38-73
  3. Carton 3: 74-92

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: February 1985

By: Jane S. Knowles

Leibowitz, Lila. Papers of Lila Leibowitz, 1969-1984: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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