Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1018: T-524: Vt-294

Papers of Jean V. Hardisty, 1954-2015 (inclusive), 1976-2008 (bulk): A Finding Aid


Professional correspondence, writings, photographs, and reports of political scientist and social activist Jean V. Hardisty.


  • Creation: 1954-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1976-2008

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 Jean V. Hardisty is held by Margaret Barrett during her lifetime. Upon Barrett's death, copyright in Hardisty's papers will be transferred to 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.


20.79 linear feet ((19 cartons, 1 file box, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 photograph folder, 35 audiotapes, 13 audio mini disks, 2 videotapes, 1 archived web site, and electronic records.)

Collection includes articles and other writings, correspondence, reports, photographs, lecture notes and syllabi, Political Research Associates study group agendas and readings, research files, 35 audiotapes, 13 audio mini disks, two videotapes, three CDs, and one 3.5" disk. Subjects include welfare, poverty, and right-wing political trends. These documents also include files from other organizations in which that Hardisty was involved including the Democracy Funding Circle, a fund at the Ms. Foundation for Women. Jean V. Hardisty's web site is being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program. Electronic records were received on one 3.5" disk and three CDs. This material will be imaged at a later date.

Material arrived at the Schlesinger Library mainly in folders. The archivist arranged the collection into series, but not beyond that. Most folders were not refoldered, but folders were created for loose material. Hardisty's original folder headings were maintained; titles in brackets were created by the archivist.

Series I, Biographical and personal, 1957-2011, n.d., includes curricula vitae, papers, report cards, photographs, and a scrapbook. This series includes Hardisty's dissertation, "A Social and Political Explanation Of Social Trends: the Case Of Political Development Research." Also found in this series is a scrapbook related to Hardisty's social life during the 1950s and 1960s.

Series II, Political Research Associates, 1964-2015, n.d., includes memoranda, correspondence, reports, financial records, publications and printed material, articles and other writings, evaluations, and a scrapbook related to Political Research Associates. This series includes the investigative reports, articles, resource kits produced by Political Research Associates, mainly on right wing and anti-democratic trends. These documents were often used by Political Research Associates's study groups, which met a few times a year with Hardisty to discuss the material. Most study group members were Political Research Associates donors. Its quarterly magazine, The Public Eye can also be found here.

Series III, Other professional, 1954-2013, n.d., includes memoranda, correspondence, reports, printed material, and articles. This series includes material related to Hardisty's other professional work, such as the Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative. Documents related to Hardisty's teaching include lecture notes and syllabi from Northwestern University and Lake Forest College. This series also contains material related to her book, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers.

Series IV, Audiovisual, 2001-2004, n.d. (T-524.1-T-524.48, Vt-294.1-Vt-294.2), includes 35 audiotapes, 13 minidiscs, and two videotapes related to Jean Hardisty and Political Research Associates.


Political scientist and social activist, Jean Virginia Hardisty (1945-2015) grew up in an upper middle class Southern family. Profoundly influenced by the Vietnam War and the civil rights and women's movements, she attended Northwestern University (B.A. 1967) (Ph.D 1976), and University of Southern California, Los Angeles (M.A. 1971), and taught at Colgate and Northwestern universities, and Lake Forest College.

In 1981, Jean Hardisty founded Midwest Research in Chicago, Illinois, as a non-profit research center focusing on analyzing activities of politically right-wing organizations and individuals for the mainstream public. In 1987, Hardisty and some of her staff moved the organization to Boston, Massachusetts, and subsequently changed its name to Political Research Associates. Political Research Associates advised policy makers and social justice activists on issues such as reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, racial/immigrant justice, civil liberties, and economic justice.

Hardisty's landmark book, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers, was published in 1999. Hardisty was a founding member of the Women's Community Cancer Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and served on the boards of the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC, the Highlander Research and Education Center (New Market, Tennessee), and the Global Policy Forum (New York). In 2005, Hardisty became a senior scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Research on Women. Jean Hardisty died on March 16, 2015.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1957-2011, n.d.
  2. Series II. Political Research Associates, 1964-2015, n.d.
  3. Series III. Other professional, 1954-2013, n.d.
  4. Series IV. Audiovisual, 2001-2004, n.d.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2016-M12, 2016-M221, 2017-M12

The papers of Jean V. Hardisty were given to the Schlesinger Library by her spouse Margaret Barrett between February 2016 and February 2017.

Processing Information

Processing Information: November 2019

By: Cat Lea Holbrook, with assistance from Sarah DeRupo and Kelly Ng.

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.

This finding aid provides a basic inventory and description of the Hardisty papers. More extensive processing work may be undertaken in the future. This collection is minimally processed.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Jane Rainie Opel '50 Fund and the Zetlin Sisters 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