Papers of Catharine A. MacKinnon, 1946-2008 (inclusive), 1975-2005 (bulk)
- Majority of material found within 1975-2005
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Reproduction of files that have been designated "Written Permission Required" is prohibited. This restriction is lifted upon the death of Catharine MacKinnon. Papers without the restriction may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
101.34 linear feet ((243 file boxes) plus 2 folio folders, 3 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 4 photograph folders, 183 audiotapes, 75 videotapes, 1 CD)
Audiovisual material was cataloged and added to the finding aid in May 2014.
Additional material received between 2013 and 2017 (accession numbers 2013-M52, 2017-M82, 2017-M200) was added to the collection in March 2019. These materials are housed in #239.1-243.12. Electronic material received with these accessions will be reformatted at a later date.
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1946-2007 (#1.1-7.7, FD.1, F+D.1, PD.1), includes childhood and teen art projects; MacKinnon's baby book; clippings re: early life, tenure, and personal profiles; photocopies of datebooks (originals were kept by MacKinnon, to be donated upon her death); legal files for cases where she was personally involved; and resumes and biographical sheets. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by topic and chronologically within.
Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1951-2005 (#7.8-10.3), contains mostly in-coming correspondence with family, friends, and associates. The series is arranged with MacKinnon's family members first, followed by individual listings of friends, associates, and subject headings in alphabetical order, and ending with chronological correspondence files which include extended family, friends, and associates.
Series III, EDUCATION, 1954-1986 (#10.4-17.1, F+D.2, PD.2 - PD.4), includes notes, notebooks, papers, presentations, and reports from throughout MacKinnon's time in elementary school and Orono High School in Minnesota, Smith College, Yale Law School and Yale University. This series also contains awards, a yearbook, student conference material, and extracurricular interests including women student's status at Yale. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series IV, WRITING, 1951, 1969-2008 (#17.2-88.28, F+D.3), includes work and research files related to speeches, presentations, articles, books, thesis, etc., written by MacKinnon. This series is arranged in five subseries.
Subseries A, Talks and lectures, 1974-2007 (#17.2-27.4, F+D.3), includes speech drafts, research, conference logistics, correspondence, notes, etc., related to talks or papers presented by MacKinnon. Text for these speeches and papers were often later published by the conference organizers in journals. Files related solely to publication of the conference papers for a journal are in Subseries B. If the presented paper or speech at a conference is included in the folder, its title is listed. Folders are arranged in chronological order according to talk or lecture date.
Subseries B, Articles and papers, 1981-2008 (#27.5-34.9), include journal reprints, edited drafts, research or subject files, correspondence, notes, etc., related to articles or papers by MacKinnon. Folders have been arranged chronologically by publication date, which is found after the title in parentheses, although dates of items within folders may vary by several months or years.
Subseries C, Books, 1979-2006 (#34.10-77.2), include edited drafts, research or subject files, correspondence, notes, etc., for books written by MacKinnon. Folders have been arranged chronologically by publication date of volume, found after the title in parentheses, although dates of items within folders may vary by several months or years.
Subseries D, Book chapters or contributions, ca.1973-2005 (#77.3-80.6), includes drafts, correspondence, etc., for chapters or contributions by MacKinnon to various books and publications by others, but related to MacKinnon's interests and expertise. Folders have been arranged chronologically by publication date, which is found after the title in parentheses, although dates of items within folders may vary by several months or years.
Subseries E, Yale University thesis, 1951, 1969-1987 (#80.7-88.28), includes a bound final copy, outlines, drafts, notes, and research files related to MacKinnon's thesis Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State for completion of her PhD in political science from Yale University. Unless otherwise noted, the majority of the research files are copies of articles and publications, some annotated by MacKinnon. Folders are arranged with thesis drafts and outlines first, followed by research files arranged alphabetically.
Series V, TEACHING, 1974-2007 (#88.29-166.18), contains files related to MacKinnon's preparation for teaching her law school classes. A majority of this material is related to her class casebooks and reading recommendations. A casebook is a type of textbook used primarily by students in law schools, containing excerpts from cases relevant to a particular class. Casebooks will often contain excerpts from law review articles and legal treatises, historical notes, editorial commentary, and other related materials to provide background for the cases. This series includes printed casebooks, drafts, cite checks, correspondence, syllabi, notes, reading lists, bibliographies, lecture transcripts, etc. In many instances, folders related to the compilation of the casebooks include earlier casebooks which MacKinnon was constantly updating and revising for future classes. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by class title and chronologically within. Files on general teaching material follows the class folders.
Series VI, LEGAL PRACTICE, 1979-2005 (#167.1-192.11), includes correspondence, research, drafts, submitted briefs, court opinions, evidence, and other material from legal cases for which MacKinnon either wrote briefs, advised other attorneys, or served in some other legal capacity. The majority of the documents in the series are court papers: briefs, appendices, opinions, correspondence with the court, etc. In most cases, titles of included court papers are listed. Except for a few cases (Harvey v. California Coastal Commission, Oncale v. Sundowner, and Thoreson v. Penthouse), there is little correspondence with other lawyers or drafts of briefs included here. The series also includes client files relating to two individuals with whom MacKinnon maintained an attorney-client relationship; MacKinnon's client files on Linda "Lovelace" Boreman can be found in Series VII.
While this series does not fully document MacKinnon's involvement in each case listed, the wide range of her interests is well represented. Thoreson v. Penthouse, filed in New York State Court, charges Robert Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse with sexual harassment of a former magazine model or "pet." Oncale v. Sundowner made the claim that same-sex sexual harassment should be eligible as workplace harassment under Title VII protection. Kadic v. Karadzic is a landmark international human rights case in which MacKinnon, working with NOW LDEF as local counsel, argued that a class of Bosnian women could bring a suit alleging sexual torture against the Serbian general Radovan Karadzic in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The case was filed in 1993 and was eventually decided against Karadzic in 2000. The Kadic v. Karadzic material is MacKinnon's briefs accompanied by binders of cases and statutes cited within the briefs. Harvey v. California Coastal Commission is a land-use dispute near MacKinnon's home. MacKinnon acted as both lawyer and representative for a group of neighbors unhappy with a building permit granted for a large house near to their properties. The dispute began at the level of the county planning commission and was appealed several times up to the level of the State of California Court of Appeals.
Many of MacKinnon's legal approaches to limiting pornography gained greater traction in Canada under its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For several years she advised and wrote briefs with Canadian attorneys from Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). R. v. Butler, R. v. Keegstra, and Taylor v. Canadian Human Rights Commission are some of the LEAF cases that address various aspects of obscenity laws. LEAF and MacKinnon also argued in R. v. Canadian Newspapers Co., that publishing the names of sexual assault victims violated their equal rights protected by the Charter. In Tomen v. Ontario Teachers Federation, MacKinnon was a consultant and expert witness for the Federation of Women Teachers Associations of Ontario, arguing that all-female public teachers associations promote sex equality. MacKinnon also worked on Canadian cases, including R. v. Sullivan and Lemay and Borowski v. Attorney-General of Canada, which focused on women's right to reproductive control as an equality right under the Charter.
Client files include correspondence, research, notes, etc., that MacKinnon generated for individuals whom she represented individually: film director Peter Bogdanovitch and Jeffrey Masson. The Bogdanovitch client file mainly contains documents relating to a dispute with Universal Pictures regarding the editing of and music included in his 1985 film Mask. It also contains some correspondence re: Hugh Hefner and his claims about Bogdanovitch's book about former Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten. The files on Jeffrey Masson both deal with questions of libel. Masson filed a lawsuit accusing journalist Janet Malcolm and The New Yorker of misquoting him; while MacKinnon did not entirely represent Masson in the lengthy lawsuit, she assisted in brief writing and took notes at the resulting jury trial. Masson himself was accused of libel by his former psychoanalyst related to statements Masson made in his autobiographical account of psychoanalysis, Final Analysis.
MacKinnon's original folder titles are in quotations. Cases are arranged alphabetically by title, followed by client files.
Series VII, LINDA "LOVELACE" BOREMAN, 1959-2002 (#193.1-201.6, FD.2, OD.1), includes correspondence, financial material, contracts, legal papers, notes, etc., comprising Linda Boreman's own papers, as well as MacKinnon's client files on Boreman. Boreman was the star of the 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat; in 1980 she wrote an autobiography, Ordeal, in which she accused her then-husband, Chuck Traynor, of physically abusing her and pressuring her into pornographic film roles. MacKinnon and other feminists including Andrea Dworkin and Gloria Steinem tried to help Boreman gain some legal recourse for the abuse, as well as for other, primarily financial, exploitation she claimed to have suffered at the hands of Traynor and a number of business managers and lawyers. The series is arranged in two subseries. ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE SERIES REQUIRES WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM CATHARINE MACKINNON. REPRODUCTION OF MATERIAL IS PROHIBITED.
Subseries A, Linda "Lovelace" Boreman papers, 1959-2002 (#193.1-195.11, OD.1), includes correspondence, bills and other financial documents, notes, contracts, and other material documenting primarily the last ten years of Boreman's life. The majority of these papers contain financial documentation and bills; Boreman seemed to often be in dire financial straits. After a liver transplant in 1987, her health was often poor, and she received public social services from the state of Colorado (#195.8). Several folders contain Boreman's contracts with production companies interested in making movies about her life; her side career as an anti-pornography speaker at college campuses is also documented here (#195.9). Boreman may be referred to in documents as Linda Lovelace, Linda Traynor, Linda Boreman, or Linda Marchiano. Most of the material arrived unorganized; Boreman's own folders and folder titles have been kept where evident; her original titles are in quotation marks. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Subseries B, MacKinnon's client files, 1971-1989, 2000 (#195.12-201.6, FD.2) includes correspondence, research, legal documents, notes, etc., that MacKinnon gathered and generated, primarily during the time period from 1980 to 1982 when she was representing Boreman. In order to assess the legal landscape and possible remedies for Boreman's claimed abuse, MacKinnon gathered earlier documents (correspondence, legal papers, contracts, etc.) from Boreman's earlier lawyers. These can all be found in this subseries, along with MacKinnon's own notes, time sheets, correspondence with Boreman, other feminists and lawyers, etc., Boreman may be referred to in the documents as Linda Lovelace, Linda Traynor, Linda Boreman, and/or Linda Marchiano.
MacKinnon's original folder titles are in quotation marks. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Series VIII, RESEARCH FILES, 1952-2008 (#201.7-234.7), contains files accumulated on subjects related to MacKinnon's work including CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women); International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda; obscenity laws; pornography; prostitution; United States Department of Justice Attorney General's Commission on Pornography hearings from various cities; and information on anti-pornography ordinance work going on nationally and internationally.
Folders may contain transcripts, case information, clippings, notes, research papers, etc. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within.
Series IX, GENERAL PROFESSIONAL, 1977-2007 (#234.8-238.13), includes material on colleague Andrea Dworkin; fellowship and grant files; libel issues re: MacKinnon and her work; and permission forms for publication of excerpts of MacKinnon's writings. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within.
Series X, AUDIOVISUAL, 1981-2007 (#T-452.1 - T-452.179, Vt-185.1 - Vt-185.75, CD-74.1) includes audio and video recordings of class lectures; presentations where MacKinnon served as a sole speaker or on a panel with others; and interviews and group discussions on television or radio shows. Material is primarily related to MacKinnon and her work on sexual harassment, anti-pornography, and human rights.
Subseries A, Audio, 1981-2007 (#T-452.1 - T-452.179, CD-74.1) includes lectures for "Sexuality and Legality," "Sex Equality," and "Sex Discrimination" classes; two public debates with Phyllis Schlafly; testimonies for the Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance during the 1983 Minneapolis city council public hearings and 1985 Los Angeles Women's Commission hearings; symposium on sexual harassment at Yale Law School, organized in honor of the 20th anniversary of MacKinnon's book Sexual Harassment of Working Women; and other presentations, panels, lectures, and interviews. Recordings are arranged in chronological order and, unless otherwise specified in the description, MacKinnon is presenting, participating, etc., in the event.
Subseries B, Videotapes, 1983-2005 (#Vt-185.1 - Vt-185.75) includes television show interviews and discussions; class lectures from MacKinnon's 1991 and 1993 mini course on sex equality; and a symposium on sexual harassment at Yale Law School, organized in honor of the 20th anniversary of MacKinnon's book Sexual Harassment of Working Women. The videotapes are arranged in chronological order, and unless otherwise specified in the description, MacKinnon is presenting, participating, etc., in the event.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
MacKinnon's many scholarly books include Sex Equality (2001/2007), Feminism Unmodified (1987), Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Only Words (1993), Women's Lives, Men's Laws (2005), and Are Women Human? (2006). She practices law and consults nationally and internationally on issues of women's human rights. She has represented many women including Linda "Lovelace" Boreman and Bosnian women survivors of Serbian sexual atrocities, whose case, Kadic v. Karadzic, she won in United States courts, first establishing that rape was an act of genocide under law. MacKinnon works with Equality Now, a non-governmental organization working for international sex equality rights for women, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW).
- Series I. Biographical and personal, 1946-2007 (#1.1-7.7, 239.1-239.3, FD.1, F+D.1, PD.1)
- Series II. Correspondence, 1948-2005 (#7.8-10.3, 239.4-239.7)
- Series III. Education, 1954-1986 (#10.4-17.1, F+D.2, PD.2 - PD.4)
- Series IV. Writing, 1951, 1969-2008 (#17.2-88.28, 239.8-240.1, F+D.3)
- Series V. Teaching, 1974-2007 (#88.29-166.18)
- Series VI. Legal practice, 1976-2005 (#167.1-192.11, 240.2-243.10)
- Series VII. Linda "Lovelace" Boreman, 1959-2002 (#193.1-201.6, 243.11-243.12, FD.2, OD.1)
- Series VIII. Research files, 1952-2008 (#201.7-234.7)
- Series IX. General professional, 1977-2007 (#234.8-238.13)
- Series X. Audiovisual, 1981-2007 (#T-452.1 - T-452.179, Vt-185.1 - Vt-185.75, CD-74.1)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Catharine A. MacKinnon were acquired from Catharine MacKinnon between 2009 and 2017.
Processed by: Stacey Flatt
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books division pending review by the curator:
- 1 carton of newsletters.
- Andrea Dworkin, KPIX show "People Are Talking" interview, June 2, 1987, VHS.
- "What Is Found There" radio show interview with Adrienne Rich, poet, 1993. Audiocassette.
- Class readings (1 booklet): Law, Gender, Equality class (Osgoode Hall Law School, winter 1987) with Mary Jane Mossman and Diana Majury.
- Class readings (1 booklet): Sexuality and the Law class (Osgoode Hall Law School, September 1988) with Bruce Ryder.
- Class readings (2 bound booklets): Transnational Law class (University of Michigan Law School, winter term 2001) with Professors J. Hathaway and M. Reimann.
- Class readings (4 bound booklets): seminar 857 - Genocide, Tribunals and Truth Commissions class (winter 2002) with Professor Daniel Rothenberg.
- Class readings (9 packets): #838 - Terrorism and Internation Law class (winter term 2002) with Professor Karima Bennoune.
- Class readings (1 bound booklet): L9254 - International Law Workshop: Human Rights Scholarship and Pedagogy (fall 2002).
- Class readings (5 bound booklets): 756 - Comparative Human Rights Law class (University of Michigan Law School, fall semester 2003) with Professor Christopher McCrudden.
By: Stacey Flatt and Jenny Gotwals with assistance from Suzanna Calev.
Updated: March 2019
By: Jenny Gotwals
- Abused women--United States
- Actions and defenses--Cases
- Appointment books
- Authors, American
- Baby books
- Case files
- College students' writings, American
- College teachers--United States
- Compact discs
- Crimes against humanity
- Fathers and daughters--United States
- Feminism--United States
- Feminists--United States
- Human rights
- International law
- Knowledge, Theory of
- Law--Studying and teaching--United States
- Lawyers--United States
- Lecture notes
- Legal documents
- Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
- Libel and slander
- Meech Lake Accord (1987)
- Obscenity (Law)
- Pornography--Law and legislation--Indiana--Indianapolis
- Pornography--Law and legislation--Minnesota--Minneapolis
- Pornography--Law and legislation--United States
- Pornography--Social aspects
- Sex crimes (International law)
- Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--Canada
- Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--United States
- Sex discrimination in employment
- Sex role
- Sex role in the work environment--United States
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual harassment of women--United States
- Trials (Obscenity)--United States
- Universities and colleges--Faculty
- War crime trials
- War crime trials--Rwanda
- War crimes--Former Yugoslav republics
- Women (International law)
- Women law students--United States
- Women lawyers--United States
- Women teachers--United States
- Women's rights
- Women's studies--United States
- Women--Crimes against
- Women--Education (Higher)--United States
- Women--Employment--United States
- Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--Canada
- Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
- Women--United States--Social conditions
- Women--Violence against--United States
- MacKinnon, Catharine A. Papers of Catharine A. MacKinnon, 1946-2008 (inclusive), 1975-2005 (bulk): 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 Radcliffe College Class of 1945.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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