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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 984; T-556

Papers of Heather Smith, 1958-2003

Overview

Cross-dressing photographs and mailings of Heather Smith.

Dates

  • 1958-2003

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Heather Smith as well as 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.

Extent

.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 22 photograph folders, 1 audiotape)

The papers of Heather Smith consist of photographs of Smith wearing feminine attire; and material Smith received in the mail, primarily relating to cross-dressing. Mailings include flyers for cruises and conferences for cross-dressers, and well as catalogs selling clothing and shapewear. Photographs show Smith dressed in lingerie, skirts, dresses, and high heels; some show Smith wearing a prosthetic pregnant belly. A taped interview with Smith's daughter is also included.

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

BIOGRAPHY

Heather Smith is the female name of a person who lived as a man but dressed in female clothing in private. Smith was born in 1920, served in the United States Army during World War II, and was married to a Women's Army Corps veteran after the war. The couple settled in Oakland, California, where Smith worked at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. They had two daughters, and divorced in 1979. Heather Smith cross-dressed on occasion when his children were young but was able to dress in female clothes more often after the divorce, largely remaining inside the home while doing so. Heather Smith became ill in 1998, and required around the clock nursing care; Smith was able to wear female clothes around a regular care-giver, but had to revert to male clothing on the weekend when other care-givers were employed. Smith's daughter says Smith always used masculine pronouns and suggests Smith would have thought of himself as "he in drag." Heather Smith died in 2000.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M25

The papers of Heather Smith were acquired from the Center for Sex and Culture in February 2019.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors: Center for Sex and Culture

Accession number: 2019-M25

Processed by: Jenny Gotwals

The following items have been removed from the collection and cataloged separately:

  1. Femme Mirror, 2000-2001

Processing Information

Processed: March 2019

By: Jenny Gotwals.

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.

Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
und
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeanette Ward Fund.
EAD ID
sch01655

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.

Contact:
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