Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: T-309, Vt-154, Phon-45, CD-4

Audiovisual collection of Naomi Weisstein, 1970-2005


Collection consists of music, memoir and other readings, conversations, etc. captured in audiovisual formats by pioneer in cognitive neuroscience, feminist, and author Naomi Weisstein.


  • Creation: 1970-2005

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The Naomi Weisstein Audiovisual collection is open with the exception of tapes containing conversations with John Burke (T-309, reels #29-93) which are closed until January 1, 2060. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. During her lifetime, Naomi Weisstein retains copyright in her published and unpublished materials. Upon her death, the copyright will be transferred to Jesse Lemisch, and, upon his death to Charles S. Harris, after whose death copyright will be transferred to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other materials in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

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


110 audiotapes
6 videotapes
1 phonograph records
2 CDs

Series I, Music and performances,1970-2005 (#T-309.1-T-309.23), includes music and live performances, etc.

Subseries A, Live performances, interviews, and rehearsals, 1970-1972 (#T-309.1-T-309.20), includes audio recordings of rehearsals and live shows, as well as spoken work/comedy performances by and an interview with Naomi Weisstein. Track listings, when available, are included in the collection. The Schlesinger Library, Rounder Records, and Weisstein collaborated on the reissue of Mountain Moving Day. Working with Northeastern Digital, the original live performances were transferred to CD. Weisstein, working with Rounder Records, selected tracks to be remastered and included in the reissue.

Subseries B, Commercially released music, 1972-2005 (#T-309.21-T-309.23), contains an original album released by the Chicago and New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Bands, 1972, a reissued CD, 1999, and a compilation CD, 2005.

Series II, Correspondence, 1988-1996 (#T-309.24-T-309.100), contains recorded personal "letters" and professional correspondence regarding Weisstein's scientific research and memoir. John Burke letters are closed until January 1, 2060.

Series III, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, 1997 (#T-309.101-T-309.111), contains various recorded telephone conversations between Naomi Weisstein, her nurse Anne St. George, and her husband Jesse Lemisch with experts, doctors, and a journalist. about treatment options for Chronic Fatigue and other topics. Many of the tapes also include material unrelated to the topic.

Series IV, Videotapes, ca.1973-1999 (#Vt-154.1-Vt-154.6), contains a brief film about the Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band by Weisstein, footage of the band performing live, and the funeral service for Weisstein's mother Mary, etc.


Naomi Weisstein was born in New York City on October 16, 1939, to Mary (Menk) Weisstein, a psychoanalyst, and Samuel Weisstein, a lawyer. After graduating from Bronx High School of Science in 1957, Weisstein went on to receive her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1961. At Harvard University, she won a Departmental Distinctions award and gained her Ph.D. in Social Psychology (1964) after two and a half years. From 1964 to 1965 she was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow with the Committee on Mathematical Biology at the University of Chicago, and in 1966 began teaching psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. In 1973 Weisstein became professor of cognitive psychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, teaching courses and running her own data research lab. Over the next several years, she was awarded grants from major research foundations.

Weisstein was also an important figure in the feminist movement. In 1969 Weisstein became a founding member of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and in 1970 she founded the Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band (CWLRB). Weisstein was physically active as both a scientist and a feminist until the early 1980s when she became bedridden from Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). Although still bedridden in 2010, she continues to work and write.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Music and performances, 1970-2005 (#T-309.1-T-309.23)
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1988-1996 (#T-309.24-T-309.100)
  3. Series III. Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, 1997 (#T-309.101-T-309.111)
  4. Series IV. Videotapes, ca.1973-1999 (#Vt-154.1-Vt-154.6)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2000-M43; 2017-M134

The audiovisual collection of Naomi Weisstein was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Naomi Weisstein and John V. Burke in 2000. One videotape (Vt-154.6) was transferred from the Papers of Ti-Grace Atkinson (MC 785) in July 2017.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Naomi Weisstein, 1967-2007 (MC 616).

Processing Information

Processed: August 2010

By: Melissa Dollman

Updated: July 2017

By: Johanna Carll

Weisstein, Naomi. Audiovisual collection of Naomi Weisstein, 1970-2005: 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA