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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 932

Papers of Dolores Bargowski, 1943-2008


Papers of lesbian feminist activist Dolores Bargowski include photographs, letters, writings, and minutes, position papers, statements, etc., of organizations with which she was affiliated.


  • 1943-2008

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The bulk of the collection is open for research. Letters from Rita Mae Brown (#1.11) and notes and writings by Bargowski (#2.1, 2.15) are closed until January 1, 2023. A draft of an essay by Bargowski (#2.5) is closed until January 1, 2028.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dolores Bargowski 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.

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


.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 2 photograph folders)

The papers of Dolores Bargowski include photographs of Bargowski and family; reading list, etc., for Society in Woman course, class papers by Bargowski, student newsletters, etc., from Monteith College; minutes, statements, etc., from The Feminists, Redstockings, and Radicalesbians; National Organization for Women conference material; articles, writings by other feminists; minutes and correspondence of Quest; letters from Rita Mae Brown, Charlotte Bunch and others; unpublished drafts and notes; etc.

Folder titles in quotations are those of the Dolores Bargowski. The collection is arranged largely in chronological order.

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


Feminist and lesbian activist Dolores Bargowski grew up in Detroit, Michigan, in a working class family with five children. The first member of her family to go to college, she attended Monteith College (part of Wayne State University), beginning in 1964, and studied philosophy and the arts. By 1967 she was president of the Monteith student government, and became involved in the civil rights movement. In response to the sexism exhibited by groups such as Students for a Democratic Society, she and Barbara Burris organized one of the first seminars on women's issues in the country. Offered in the fall of 1967 at Monteith College, it was called "Society in Woman" and it led to the organization of the first college chapter of the National Organization for Women. Other actions included filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the hiring of women, organizing teach-ins, attending the 1967 conference of the National Organization for Women, and participating in the 1968 protest of the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1969 Bargowski moved to New York City where she became involved with Women Make Movies, The Feminists, Class Workshop, and Radicalesbians. She participated in the National Organization for Women's Second Congress to Unite Women (spring 1970), pointing to the need to consider class and sexual orientation issues in order to make the women's movement more inclusive. In 1971 she moved to Washington, D.C., where she wrote and distributed a pamphlet entitled "Notes toward a Women's Analysis of Class" and contributed to Dykes for an American Revolution (1971). She was a member of the Furies, a collective that published a newspaper nationally, and a founder of Quest: A Feminist Journal (1973).

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2008-M43, 2008-M188

These papers of Dolores Bargowski were acquired from Dolores Bargowski by the Schlesinger Library in March and October 2008.


Donor: Dolores Bargowski

Accession number: 2008-M43

Processed by: Anne Engelhart

The following items have been removed from the collection: 1 carton of feminist periodicals were transferred to the book division of the Schlesinger Library.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2018

By: Anne Engelhart

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

General processing procedures in place at the Library include the following:  books (when not heavily annotated) by and about the collection’s creator and on subjects which fall within the Library’s collecting area are removed and cataloged separately with information about their provenance; other books and serials are not retained.  Other material not normally retained include:  clippings that are not by or about the collection’s creator; research files; financial documents such as checkbooks, cancelled checks, bank statements, etc. (when there is financial documentation at a higher level); invoices, receipts, orders, airline tickets, etc.; and envelopes (when they do not contain additional information).

When samples of weeded documents are retained, it is indicated in the finding aid.

Bargowski, Dolores. Papers of Dolores Bargowski, 1943-2008: 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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