Kathy Davis oral history interviews, 1998-2005
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 54 audiotapes)
The bulk of the interviews in this collection are with the Collective's original founders, a group of mostly young white college-educated middle class women who first met at a Bread and Roses conference in Boston in 1969 or at the follow-up course, "Women and Their Bodies," at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The women who continued their involvement shared a common interest in women's health and sexuality and formed a core group which became the Boston Women's Health Book Collective. In addition to interviews with this group of early founders, Davis interviewed Elizabeth MacMahon-Herrera, Pamela Morgan, and Sally Whelan, who came to the Collective around ten years after the initial gatherings and are also considered founders by the Collective. Interviewees discuss personal histories and experiences in the Collective; interpersonal relationships, including conflicts and resolutions, among the members of the Collective; personal and political reasons women joined and stayed with the Collective; international interests of members; different roles of the Collective's membership; the Collective's place in the feminist movement; the process of creating Our Bodies, Ourselves, as well as other publications, including Changing Bodies, Changing Lives and Ourselves and Our Children; early responses to Our Bodies, Ourselves; how the book and the Collective have changed over time; the histories of expansions, updates, revisions, international editions, and foreign translations of Our Bodies, Ourselves; personal experiences with childbirth and the healthcare system that helped motivate participation in the Collective; field work and teaching about women's health in other countries; related projects, including community outreach and education; the Collective's evolution and development to include office staff and a board in the 1980s and 1990s; and issues related to diversity, racism, unionization of staff, and funding challenges.
Other interviewees include contributor and staff member Jamie Penney (T-330.17), who came to the Collective in 1990 as the staff librarian, discussing the organizational structure and environment throughout the 1990s; contributor Jennifer Yanco (T-330.38), who first joined the Collective in fall 1993 and talks about her involvement in the global initiatives and her work with foreign editions; and Irina Todorova (T-330.30-T-330.31), who was the co-founder of the Women's Health Initiative and the Our Bodies, Ourselves project coordinator in Bulgaria, discussing her work related to these projects.
In addition, the collection contains audiocassettes documenting group discussions with members of the Collective; focus groups of women in Germany and the Netherlands responding to Our Bodies, Ourselves; and audio from the conference Crossing Cultural Borders. Crossing Cultural Borders (T-330.46-T-330.54) was a gathering of members of Our Bodies, Ourselves Global Network in the Netherlands in 2001. Kathy Davis and Marlies Bosch helped organize and facilitate the conference, which consisted of twenty-one women participants from Japan, Armenia, Poland, Tibet, Senegal, Mexico, Bulgaria, Serbia, the Netherlands, and the United States. For three days, participants shared their experiences working on the book and discussed the challenges they faced creating adaptations of Our Bodies, Ourselves.
In the inventory, the archivist identified those individuals who are founders. The collection contains a total of 54 audiocassettes and transcripts of sixteen of the one-on-one interviews. Collection is arranged alphabetically by interviewee followed by group discussions, focus group sessions, and the Crossing Cultural Borders conference.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Kathy Davis oral history interviews were given to the Schlesinger Library by Kathy Davis between July 2006 and June 2007.
By: Laura Peimer
- Communication in organizations
- Cross-cultural comparison
- Feminism--International cooperation
- Group decision making
- Health education--Africa
- Health education--Asia
- Health education--Europe
- Health education--Great Britain
- Health education--Latin America
- Health education--North America
- Health education--United States
- Hispanic Americans
- Oral histories
- Patient education
- Reproductive health
- Social change--Cross-cultural studies
- Women health reformers--United States
- Women's health services
- Women--Health and hygiene
- Women--Health and hygiene--Cross-cultural studies
- Women--Latin America
- Women--Social networks
- Davis, Kathy, 1949- , interviewer. Kathy Davis oral history interviews, 1998-2005: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund and the Class of 1956 fund.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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