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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 822: T-414: Vt-214: MP-62: CD-89

Papers of Glenda F. Hydler, 1941-2015 (inclusive), 1970-2005 (bulk)


Artist books, notebooks, diaries, appointment books, writings, poetry, correspondence, schoolwork, and photographs of artist and photographer Glenda F. Hydler.


  • Creation: 1941-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-2005


Language of Materials

Materials in English and Czech.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The collection is open for research, except that #2.4, 2.8, 3.1, 9.3, and 9.6 are closed until the death of Glenda F. Hydler. The written permission of Glenda F. Hydler is required for access to #MP-62.3 - MP-62.9 and #Vt-214.1 - Vt-214.2. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Glenda F. Hydler 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. During Hydler's lifetime, publication of quotations requires her written permission.

Copying. Hydler's written permission is required for copying. If electronic copies of the artist books are requested for use on the internet, the format of the books must remain the same as in the originals, which is writing on the left side with an image opposite.


41.1 linear feet ((30 file boxes, 2 half file boxes, 20 cartons, 2 folio boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 6 photograph folders, 1 reel-to-reel audiotape, 1 audiocassette, 3 videotapes, 5 CDs, 9 film reels, 2 archived web sites)

The collection documents Hydler's personal and professional life. The bulk of the collection consists of the artist books she created between 1968 and 1990. Other material includes appointment books; report cards and school papers and other coursework; writings by Hydler; flyers and other promotional materials featuring photographs taken by Hydler; notebooks; photographs; audio and videotapes; and motion pictures. Diaries and writings by her romantic partner, Susan Stockman, are also included, as well as a videotape of a film by Stockman. The bulk of the folder titles are Hydler's; those created by the archivist appear in square brackets. Hydler's web site, which includes photographs and other artwork, will be captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library’s Web Archive Collection Service (WAX).

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1951-2014 (#1.1-23.6, FD.1), includes appointment books and diaries; correspondence (including Hydler's letters to her parents, birthday cards, and letters from friends to her and to her dog); and charm bracelets Hydler was given by her parents. The series also contains report cards, school papers, and other coursework, including notebooks for Hydler's classes at the City College of New York and her first artist book, which she made in fifth grade. Also included are clippings regarding Hydler's friend and collaborator Suzanne Harris and Hydler's correspondence with Harris. The series also includes diaries and writings by Susan Stockman (Hydler's partner in the early 1970s), as well as a memorial service program for Stockman, who died in 1972. The bulk of the series consists of notebooks in which Hydler recorded her thoughts, dreams, and daily activities, often accompanying them with drawings. The notebooks also include descriptions of trips to Budapest, Vienna, and Vietnam, etc. Some notebooks contain only drawings. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series II, ARTIST BOOKS, 1972-1990 (#24.1v-47.6), contains completed artist books and draft text for them. Between 1973 and 1981, and from 1988 to 1989, Hydler created a book each month, with the bulk of them including images of her accompanied by text expressing her feelings about sexuality, relationships, and social issues. She also created books as gifts or to commemorate family, friends, lovers, and her cat. The book titled Fae (#42.1v) celebrates Hydler's relationship with her maternal grandmother and includes images of Fae Slatin and other family members. In addition, she created books from performance pieces developed with Terence M. Costello and Susan Stockman. The capitalization and punctuation of the book titles in the inventory is taken from the books' title pages. The series is arranged chronologically with completed artist books appearing first, followed by background material.

Series III, WRITINGS AND PROJECTS 1967-2004 (#47.6-52.8, 53FB.1-53FB.2, 55FB.1, 54F+B.1, F+D.1, E.1), contains contracts, interviews, chronologies of events, and statements regarding the making of the film Regrouping and the conflict between filmmaker Lizzie Borden and the subjects of the film, as well as material related to other films and performance pieces Hydler created alone or with others. The series also includes poetry and other writings by Hydler; flyers and booklets featuring photographs by her; books of drawings; and publicity and reviews of her work. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS AND AUDIOVISUAL, ca.1950-2004 (#PD.1-PD.6, T-414.1 - T-414.2, Vt-214.1 - Vt-214.3, CD-89.1 - CD-89.5, MP-62.1 - MP-62.9), includes photographs of Hydler as a child and as an adult, as well as images of her parents, grandparents, friends, and dog. Also included are outtakes from the film Regrouping on videotape and 16mm and 8mm film; The Bird Movie and outtakes from it; a film made by Hydler's partner Susan Stockman; and a tape of Hydler and Susan Fisher's performance piece, Outside Oneself. The series also contains recordings of conversations Hydler had with Suzanne Harris about interpersonal relationships and other issues, and a recording of a session Harris had with a psychic analyst. The series is arranged by format and thereunder chronologically.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Artist and photographer Glenda Hydler was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1951, the daughter of Samuel and Pearl (Slatin) Hydler. Samuel was an electrical contractor and boxer, while Pearl had a psychotherapy practice in New York City. Hydler's interest in art began in her childhood, with her parents enrolling her in classes at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City (B.F.A.) and California State University at Northridge (B.A., 1998); she received an MFA from City University of New York in 2009. In 1972, she began creating a series of looseleaf books containing pages alternating between text and photographs (taken by herself or by other photographers) which sought to capture the rhythm of her emotional, political, and experiential life. The books are autobiographical, mirroring her developing feminism, and address social politics, her identity as a lesbian, sexuality, relationships, and other issues. Shelly Rice, in a review appearing in the May 1980 issue of Art Forum, notes that "The autobiographical texts, which are generally typed in fragmented segments without punctuation, maintain stream-of-consciousness intensity and explore the internal states of the artist during the period of time encompassed by each book. The photographs, on the other hand, are repeated variations of images that describe one particular aspect of the visual world which the artist chose to focus on during the same time span." Some books were created for special occasions or given as gifts. One of her books, The Human Dilemma, Part I, was published in 1976 by the Rochester Institute of Technology.

In 1974, filmmaker Lizzie Borden began making a film, titled Regrouping, about Hydler and fellow artists Ariel Bock, Marion Cajori, and Kathleen Mooney. This began as a collaborative process but Borden became dissatisfied with the project; as a result, she began filming the others without their knowledge and also filmed scenes with other women performing a prepared script. The nature of the film thus changed from the originally agreed-upon concept, and Hydler and her associates demanded that their names be removed from the finished film.

Hydler had one-woman shows at venues including Franklin Furnace and the Clocktower Gallery in New York City and has also participated in group shows. She has published articles in Heresies magazine and other publications. She has also worked as a photographer, taking pictures to accompany articles by others, and to promote theatrical events, frequently providing promotional photographs for works choreographed by Mary Jane Eisenberg. Hydler also participated in several collaborative projects, including the improvisational film The Bird Movie which she created with Suzanne Harris in 1972; Outside Oneself, a musical piece developed with Susan Fisher; and performance pieces developed with Terence M. Costello and Hydler's romantic partner, Susan Stockman. The pieces developed with Costello and Stockman were later transformed into artist books. As of 2016, Hydler was living in Brooklyn, New York.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1951-2014 (#1.1-23.6, FD.1)
  2. Series II. Artist books, 1972-1990 (#24.1v-47.6)
  3. Series III. Writings and projects, 1967-2004 (#47.6-52.8, 53FB.1-53FB.2, 55FB.1, 54F+B.1, F+D.1, E.1)
  4. Series IV. Photographs and audiovisual, ca.1950-2004 (#PD.1-PD.6, T-414.1 - T-414.2, Vt-214.1 - Vt-214.3, MP-62.1 - MP-62.9, CD-89.1 - CD-89.5)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2005-M80, 2005-M133, 2005-M165, 2012-M86, 2014-M128

The Papers of Glenda F. Hydler were given to the Schlesinger Library by Glenda F. Hydler between July 2005 and August 2014.

Addenda Note:

There is additional Glenda F. Hydler material at the Schlesinger Library. It is currently unprocessed and unavailable for research.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Pearl Alice Hydler, 1919-2008 (2009-M52).


Donor: Glenda F. Hydler

Accession number: 2005-M133

Processed by: Susan Earle

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Pearl Hydler papers:

  1. Photographs of Pearl and Sam Hydler

The following periodicals have been removed from the collection: and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Printed Materials Division:

  1. Lesbian News (Vol. 20 No. 8 and Vol. 22 No.9), March 1995 and April 1996

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection (pending review by curator):

  1. GLAAD/LA Reports (Vol. 5 No. 7 and Vol. 6 No. 5), July 1993 and May 1994
  2. GLAAD Reports (Vol. 7 Nos. 2-3), February-March 1995

Processing Information

Processed: July 2015

By: Susan Earle with assistance from Dan Bullman.

Hydler, Glenda F., 1951- . Papers of Glenda F. Hydler, 1941-2015 (inclusive), 1970-2005 (bulk): 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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