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COLLECTION Identifier: Vt-146: MP-48: DVD-9: T-349: Phon-41

Audiovisual collection of Ariel Dougherty, 1952-1992


Audiovisual collection of Ariel Dougherty, filmmaker, arts administrator, and co-founder of Women Make Movies.


  • Creation: 1952-1992


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material. Access is unrestricted, with the following exceptions: Reels MP-48.30, MP-48.36, and MP-48.37 are closed until January 1, 2021.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the audiovisual material created by Ariel Dougherty is held by Dougherty during her lifetime, and will revert to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library upon her death. 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.


39 motion picture reels
37 videotapes
1 DVDs
4 audiotapes
1 phonograph records

The audiovisual collection of Ariel Dougherty contains completed films, works in-progress, home movies, and audio materials, etc.

Series I, FILM AND VIDEO 1952-1992 (MP-48.1-MP-48.5, Vt-146.1-Vt-146.5, DVD-9.1), includes films made by Dougherty, either singly or in collaboration with others.

Subseries A, Completed Works, 1971-1992 (MP-48.1-MP-48.5, Vt-146.1-Vt-146.5, DVD-9.1), consists of films and videos that were either published and distributed, such as Surviva which is still in distribution, or made with a specific audience in mind.

Subseries B, Outtakes and Work Prints, 1967-1992 (MP-48.6-MP-48.27, Vt-146.6-Vt-146.35), includes material either used by Dougherty in completed works, or representing the only version of unfinished pieces such as student films.

Subseries C, Home Movies, 1952-1976 (MP-48.28-MP-48.39, Vt-146.36), contains home movies of Dougherty and her siblings, as well as films she shot of friends as an adult.

Subseries D, Related Material, 1977 (Vt-146.37), consists of an International Videoletter Dougherty received (see reels Vt-146.8-9 for outtakes relating to Dougherty's videoletter).

Series II, AUDIO MATERIALS, 1969-ca.1980 (T-349.1-T-349.4, Phon-4.1), features pieces Dougherty co-produced (including a radio drama created by teenagers), recorded, or performed on.

Formats vary, but the bulk of materials are either on small-gauge film or various video formats. Audio formats include audiocassette, reel-to-reel, and phonograph record. Reels are organized chronologically, within series.


Feminist filmmaker Ariel Maria Dougherty was born May 21, 1947, in Danbury, Connecticut, to Frazer and Page Huidekoper Dougherty. She attended public schools in Washington, DC, where she was active in advocating for better funding for education, and spent her senior year of high school living in Indonesia. A 1969 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Ariel Dougherty was the co-founder, with Sheila Page, of Women Make Movies, Inc., an organization that sought to give women the training and equipment necessary to make movies. One of Women Make Movies' early productions was Healthcaring from Our End of the Speculum, produced by Dougherty in 1976. In 1980 Dougherty created, with Carol Clement, a film entitled Surviva. She worked for several artists' organizations, including Women's Studio Workshop and the National Association of Artists' Organizations, and was an advocate for funding the work of women artists. Ariel Dougherty continues to work on films about and made by women, mainly as a producer, and to advocate for gender equity in the media at large.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I. Film and video, 1952-1992 (MP-48.1-MP-48.39, Vt-146.1-Vt-146.37)
  2. Series II. Audio materials, 1969-ca.1980 (T-349.1-T-349.4, Phon-4.1)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2005-M15

The audiovisual material of Ariel Dougherty was given by Ariel Dougherty to the Schlesinger Library in 2005.

Related Material:

For additional biographical information on Ariel Dougherty, and historical information about Women Make Movies, her films, and other projects in which she was involved, see the Papers of Ariel Dougherty (MC 589).

Processing Information

Processed: September 2011

By: Melissa Dollman



Dougherty, Ariel. Audiovisual collection of Ariel Dougherty, 1952-1992: 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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