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COLLECTION Identifier: T-184: Phon-13

Audio collection of Elizabeth Holtzman, 1973-2006


Recordings of speeches, talks, radio interviews, and campaign advertisements, etc., of Elizabeth Holtzman, lawyer and politician.


  • 1973-2006


Language of Materials

Materials in English and Spanish.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Researchers who wish to use #T-184.92 must sign a special permission form. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the audio created by Elizabeth Holtzman is held by Elizabeth Holtzman during her lifetime. Upon the death of Elizabeth Holtzman, copyright will be transferred to her heir. Copyright in other audio in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.


92 audiotapes
1 phonograph records

The audio collection of lawyer and politician Elizabeth Holtzman primarily contains speeches, talks, and interviews given by Holtzman at both live events and on the radio. There is also a healthy amount of campaign material both in the form of talks and political campaign advertisements. Subseries are organized chronologically. Descriptions for audio reels 9-53 and 59-68 contain location and date only, and their times are approximate. Media formats are 1/4-inch reel-to-reel, audiocassette, microcassette, and phonograph record. Format is audiocassette unless otherwise noted. Titles in quotes and/or italics were transcribed from tape labels. All other titles were devised by the processor. In October 2015, one audiotape (T-184.92) and phonograph record (Phon-13.1) from accession number 81-M300 were added to this inventory. All other audio are from accession numbers: 94-M161 and 2012-M125.

Series I, PUBLIC APPEARANCES, 1973-1992 (#T-184.1 - T-184.65), contains public appearances by Holtzman as a candidate for public office and as an elected official.

Subseries A, Campaign speeches and talks, etc., 1987-1992 (#T-184.1 - T-184.5), includes Holtzman on the campaign trail running for district attorney, comptroller and senator, delivering speeches, participating in a debate, and giving a radio interview.

Subseries B, Other speeches and talks, 1973-1991 (#T-184.6 - T-184.65), includes Holtzman speaking at a wide variety of events held by churches and community groups, and hosts public hearings on the state of New York City's economy.

Series II, RADIO APPEARANCES AND POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS, 1973-2006, n.d. (#T-184.66 - T-184.91, Phon-13.1), includes campaign-related radio interviews with Holtzman, Holtzman's own radio talk show, political advertisements, and related material.

Subseries A, Radio appearances, 1973-1980 (#T-184.66 - T-184.80, Phon-13.1), contains radio and television (audio track only) interviews with Holtzman pertaining both to recent and up-coming elections, as well as her own radio program The Liz Holtzman Show during which she, guests, and callers discuss recent events.

Subseries B, Political campaign advertisements and miscellaneous, ca.1980-1993, n.d. (#T-184.81 - T-184.91), contains campaign radio spots, an interview with a journalist who is writing a piece about her candidacy, and campaign music possibly used by Holtzman.

Series III, CONSTITUENTS, 1973 (#T-184.92), contains one audiotape removed from MC 793, Series I, Subseries E, folder #17.75. The tape consists of a constituent's comments regarding his personal, professional, and military history. He is African-American and speaks about his poor treatment and dishonorable discharge from the Army, which he feels was unjust. He mentions health trouble, poor medical care, difficulty finding a job because of his "nervous condition," race politics, disdain for politicians, and poor treatment of veterans. He is asking Holtzman for assistance and for her help in securing him back pay.


Elizabeth Holtzman was born on August 11, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Sidney Holtzman, was a lawyer in private practice in New York City, and her mother, Filia (Ravitz) Holtzman, was a professor of Russian at Hunter College. Elizabeth Holtzman graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York, in 1958. After graduating from Radcliffe College magna cum laude (A.B.,1962), she entered Harvard Law School (J.D.,1965). While attending law school, Holtzman joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); during the summer months she worked as a law clerk for civil rights lawyer C. B. King. In 1965 Holtzman joined the Wachtell, Lipton law firm in New York City. Two years later she was recruited to work for New York City mayor John Lindsay, becoming the first woman assistant to a New York City mayor. Holtzman was first elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from New York's 16th District in 1972; she served from January 1973 to December 1980 and was on the Judiciary Committee. She was, in 1972, the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. After an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate in 1980, Holtzman was elected New York City's first female district attorney in 1982, heading the city's largest office, Brooklyn.

In 1985 Holtzman was re-elected on the strength of her record of achieving the highest conviction rate in New York City for 1983 and 1984. In 1989 Holtzman was elected as New York City's first female comptroller; and in 1992 Holtzman ran again for the United States Senate, running against Geraldine Ferraro, Al Sharpton, Robert J. Mrazek and Robert Abrams in the Democratic primary. Abrams won the primary. Holtzman lost her bid for re-election as Comptroller in 1993; her term ended in 1994.

Holtzman has co-authored three books with Cynthia Cooper, Who Said It Would Be Easy: One Woman's Life in the Political Arena (1996), The Impeachment of George W. Bush: a Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens (2006), and Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney Attacked the Rule of Law, Plotted to Avoid Prosecution, and What We Can Do about It (2012). Holtzman has blogged periodically for The Huffington Post since 2006; topics include politics, women's rights, and the civil rights movement. Holtzman has practiced law at Herrick Feinstein, LLP, in New York City since 1994.


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Public appearances, 1973-1992 (#T-184.1 - T-184.65)
  2. ___Subseries A. Campaign speeches and talks, etc. 1987-1992 (#T-184.1 - T-184.5)
  3. ___Subseries B. Other speeches and talks, 1973-1991 (#T-184.6 - T-184.65)
  4. Series II. Radio appearances and political campaign advertisements, 1973-2006, n.d. (#T-184.66 - T-184.91, Phon-13.1)
  5. ___Subseries A. Radio appearances, 1973-1980 (#T-184.66 - T-184.80, Phon-13.1)
  6. ___Subseries B. Political campaign advertisements and miscellaneous, ca.1980-1993, n.d. (#T-184.81 - T-184.91)
  7. Series III. Constituents, 1973 (#T-184.92)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 81-M300, 94-M161, 2012-M125

The audiotapes and phonograph record of Elizabeth Holtzman were given to the Schlesinger Library by Elizabeth Holtzman in 1981, 1994, and 2012.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Elizabeth Holtzman papers, 1945-1981 (MC 793); Elizabeth Holtzman moving image collection, 1974-1993 (Vt-11; MP-23); and Elizabeth Holtzman additional papers, 1977-1994 (MC 709)

Processing Information

Processed: October 2012

By: Melissa Dollman

Updated: October 2015

By: Laura Peimer

Holtzman, Elizabeth. Audio collection of Elizabeth Holtzman, 1973-2006: 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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