Work and family : low income and minority women talk about their lives, ca.1930-1990
Audiocassettes, transcripts, field notes, etc., generated by Fran Leeper Buss as part of her oral history project, Work and Family: Low Income and Minority Women Talk about Their Lives.
- Buss, Fran Leeper, 1942- (Person)
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Readers must sign a special form agreeing to preserve the privacy of the interviewees. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent4.17 linear feet ((9 file boxes, 2 half file boxes) plus 323 audiotapes)
The collection consists of audiocassettes and transcripts of 56 oral histories conducted by Fran Leeper Buss with low-income and minority women of all ages from various geographic areas and racial/ethnic groups.
The interviews focus on the experience of being poor and female, on employment, and on family life, with particular attention paid to the issue of domestic violence. Also included are field notes, photographs, and other supplementary material. Transcripts and supplementary material are photocopies. At the end of each transcript, there is an index of topics discussed in the interviews. The racial categorizations of the interviewees are copied from Buss' descriptions in her field notes.
As part of a collaborative project of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women and the Schlesinger Library, this collection of interviews by Buss was transcribed, indexed, duplicated, and processed with funds from the Ford Foundation. Copies of the interview transcripts only were deposited at the New Mexico State University Library, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the University of Arizona Library, the General Library at the University of California, Davis, the Walter Royal Davis Library at the University of North Carolina, and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.
A minister with United Campus Christian Ministry and a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Arizona, Fran Leeper Buss has been a community organizer since the late 1960s, when she herself was struggling to survive as an ill, divorced mother of three, dependent on welfare for support. Buss founded and directed the Women's Crisis and Information Center in Fort Collins, Col. (1971-1973), worked in community outreach in Denver and Las Vegas, and taught at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and the University of Arizona.
She is the author of four books. La Partera: Story of a Midwife (1980) and Dignity: Lower Income Women Tell of Their Lives and Struggles (1985) draw on these interviews Buss conducted over a number of years; she has also published Journey of the Sparrows (1991) and Forged under the Sun: The Life of Maria Elena Lucas (1993). Her photograph exhibit, "Stepping from the Shadows: Portraits of Poor and Working-Class Women," was shown in various locations, 1985-1989.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession number: 92-M3
The oral history collection, Work and Family: Low Income and Minority Women Talk about Their Lives, was given to the Schlesinger Library by Fran Leeper Buss and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women with the assistance of the Ford Foundation.
Processed: May 1993
By: Anne Engelhart
Updated: December 2018
By Ayoola White
- Adoption--United States
- African American women
- Appalachian Region--Social conditions
- Asian American women
- Child abuse--United States
- Child labor--United States
- Child rearing--United States
- Childbirth--United States
- Divorce--United States
- Domestic relations--United States
- Family violence--United States
- Friendship--United States
- Grandparent and child--United States
- Hispanic American women
- Hmong American women
- Home economics--United States
- Immigrants--United States
- Indians of North America
- Japanese Americans
- Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
- Marriage--United States
- Mexican American women
- Middle West--Social conditions
- Midwives--United States
- Minority women--United States
- Motherhood--United States
- Oral histories
- Parent and child--United States
- Poor women--United States
- Pregnancy--United States
- Race discrimination--United States
- Race relations
- Southern States--Social conditions
- Substance abuse--United States
- Welfare recipients--United States
- West (U.S.)--Social conditions
- Women and religion--United States
- Women in agriculture--United States
- Women labor union members--United States
- Women prisoners--United States
- Women refugees--United States
- Women's health services--United States
- Women--Economic conditions
- Women--Education--United States
- Women--Employment--United States
- Women--Family relationships
- Women--Health and hygiene--United States
- Women--Housing--United States
- Women--Mental health--United States
- Women--United States--Nutrition
- Buss, Fran Leeper, 1942- . Work and family: low income and minority women talk about their lives, ca.1930-1990: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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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