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COLLECTION Identifier: T-321

Audiotape collection of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 1973-2000


Collection includes radio and conference appearances by Collective members, a benefit, board meeting proceedings, and a variety of materials on topics relating to women's health, etc.


  • Creation: 1973-2000


Language of Materials

Materials in English, Spanish, Finnish, and French.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material. Access is unrestricted, with the following exceptions: board meetings regarding personnel and interpersonal issues among the group (reels #35-36, 66, 70-71, 77-78, 80-81, 87-88, 93-94) are closed for 70 years from the date of creation to protect personal privacy.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the audiotapes created by Boston Women's Health Book Collective is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other audiotapes in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

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


123 audiotapes

Series I, Radio appearances,1973-2000 (#1-24), includes mainly interviews with Collective members on the origins of Our Bodies, Ourselves, translations, and other topics related to their research.

Series II, Conferences and celebrations, 1979-2000 (#25-31), contains talks given by Collective members at conferences related to women's health and children's rights. Also includes a benefit in celebration of the organization's tenth anniversary.

Series III, Board and research meetings, 1977-1994 (#32-96), contains board meetings and informational presentations to board members by experts, and informal converations with women on a number of topics, including midwifery, postpartum depression, disabilities, etc.

Series IV, Related Research materials,1975-1994 (#97-123), contains a variety of recordings collected by the organization, on topics related to the Collective's research such as women's reproductive health, breast implants, midwifery, the Fat Liberation movement, contraceptives, etc.


The Boston Women's Health Book Collective, a non-profit women's health education, advocacy and consulting organization, began in 1969 when a small group of women gathered after a workshop on women and their bodies at a Boston-area female liberation conference to talk about some crucial health issues and to confront a medical establishment viewed as paternalistic and condescending. Perhaps best known for their pioneering handbook Our Bodies, Ourselves (1971 and subsequent editions and international adaptations), the Collective helped to create worldwide networks of women involved in health education and advocacy. They also produced Ourselves and Our Children (1978), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives, A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships (1980), and Ourselves, Growing Older: Women Aging with Knowledge and Power (1987 and 1994), among others.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Radio appearances, 1973-2000 (#1-24)
  2. Series II. Conferences and celebrations, 1979-2000 (#25-31)
  3. Series III. Board and research meetings, 1977-1994 (#32-96)
  4. Series IV. Related research materials, 1975-1994 (#97-123)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2010-M64

These audiotapes were given to the Schlesinger Library by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, via Judy Norsigian, in April 2010.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Boston Women's Health Book Collective Records, 1905-2003 (MC 503) and Additional Records of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 1966-2010 (MC 667).

Processing Information

Processed: August 2011

By: Melissa Dollman

Boston Women's Health Book Collective. Audiotape collection of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 1973-2000: 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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