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COLLECTION Identifier: T-83

Audiotape collection of Edna Rankin McKinnon, ca.1970


Interviews conducted by Wilma Stokely Dykeman with Edna Rankin McKinnon, birth control advocate. Includes discussion about the her childhood, travels, and family planning outreach efforts.


  • Creation: 1970

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the audiotapes of Edna Rankin McKinnon is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.


22 audiocassettes

Collection consists of interviews with Edna Rankin McKinnon by Wilma Dykeman as research for her biography of McKinnon entitled, Too Many People, Too Little Love. Subjects mainly include anecdotes about her travels, significant people she met along the way, Pathfinder Fund founder Dr. Clarence Gamble, her friends Mr. and Mrs. Charles Zukoski, outreach in the United States and abroad, and her recollections of birth control advocates included in Lawrence Lader's book, Breeding Ourselves to Death. Some topics span over several tapes, but with little repetition, except where noted. Tapes are grouped by region when possible. Although her career stretched over many decades, much of the time period covered in interview is the early to mid-1960s. Exact recording dates are unknown.


Edna Rankin McKinnon worked with the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (1936-1947) establishing birth control clinics around the country, was Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association, Chicago area (1947-1957), and a field worker for the Pathfinder Fund, a private organization for international family planning (1958-1966). In this last position she traveled throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East to help establish family planning organizations and clinics.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 76-143

The audiotapes of Edna Rankin McKinnon were given to the Schlesinger Library by Wilma Stokely Dykeman on May 6, 1976.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Edna Rankin McKinnon Papers (MC 325).

Processing Information

Processed: July 2011

By: Melissa Dollman

McKinnon, Edna Rankin, 1893-1978. Audiotape collection of Edna Rankin McKinnon, ca.1970: 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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