Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1023: T-562

Additional records of the Women's History Research Center, 1971-1999


Administrative files of the Women's History Research Center, a non-profit devoted to the dissemination of information about women's history.


  • 1971-1999

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 the Women's History Research Center 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.


74.29 linear feet

The additional records of the Women's History Research Center contain correspondence, staff logs and to do lists, mailing lists, memos, clippings, minutes, brochures, flyers, and grant proposals. Much of the material documents the work of the Women's History Library and Women's History Research Center in the early 1970s, but other material, especially staff notebooks and grant files, bring work done under the direction of Laura X up to the 1990s. The collection contains some material from the National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape; this is primarily in the form of grant applications.

This collection is minimally processed. Material was organized in series by Women's History Research Center staff before it arrived at the Schlesinger Library. This arrangement has been maintained. Some material is in original folders, and some in folders prepared by Women's History Research Center staff in preparation for shipping; these folders are largely titled with a series title only. Much of the material was received unfoldered; these documents were placed into archival folders by Schlesinger staff, and are marked "found loose." No arrangement exists within series.

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


The Women's History Research Center was started in 1968 in Berkeley, California, by Laura X, in response to a lack of academic interest in women's history. The Women's History Research Center documented the women's movement of the late-1960s and 1970s, collecting periodicals, clippings from newspapers and magazines, pamphlets, songs, leaflets, graphics, research papers, theses, and poems. This collection of material, the Women's History Library, was used to answer research inquiries from across the United States and, to a lesser extent, from abroad. In addition, the Women's History Research Center published directories of sources for women's films, tape recordings, art, women's studies courses, and bibliographies. In an effort to disseminate the materials, and to raise money for the Center, they published three microfilm collections: Herstory (1971, updated in 1973 and 1974) containing women's periodicals published in the United States between 1968 and 1974; Women and Health/Mental Health (1974) and Women and Law (1974) containing clippings, articles, pamphlets, and essays from the Women's History Research Center's topical files.

Due to financial problems, the Center did not survive as a physical location, and its collections were dispersed. Most of the Women's History Library material was acquired by the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. Laura X continued to use the Women's History Research Center name and organization as an umbrella group for her various projects. In 1978, the Women's History Research Center launched a new project, the National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape. Laura X conducted much of her work under the umbrella identity of the Women's History Research Center for the next few decades, but it is unclear exactly when the Center as such ceased to exist.


The collection is arranged in eight series:

  1. Series I. Original Women's History Library and Women's History Research Center
  2. Series II. Staff materials
  3. Series III. Staff notebooks
  4. Series IV. Contact lists
  5. Series V. Queries
  6. Series VI. Grant materials
  7. Series VII. Contract and acquisition materials
  8. Series VIII. Photographs and audiovisual

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M146

These records of the Women's History Research Center were given to the Schlesinger Library by Laura X in September 2019.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Women's History Research Center records, 1968-1980 (MC 556).

Processing Information

Container list created: October 2019

By: Jenny Gotwals

This collection is minimally processed.

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.

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

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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA