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Cynthia Harrison feminist documents collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS1005-UA

Scope and Content

This collection consists of articles, newsletters, children’s books, lecture notes, personal notes, and personal correspondence, as well as photocopies of primary sources such as newspaper articles, press releases, reports and memoranda related to GWU Professor Cynthia Ellen Harrison’s research and personal involvement in the women’s rights movement. Items date from the early 1920’s to the mid 1990’s, with the bulk of the material dating to between 1960 and 1980.

This collection was largely produced and/or used by Professor Harrison as part of her research for her 1988 book On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Issues, 1945-1968. Harrison created copies of original documents from various archives, presidential libraries, and government records recording the political history of the women’s movement from the mid 1940’s to the 1960’s. Many of the documents accessed through the records of federal agencies may no longer be easily available to researchers, making Harrison’s copies a potentially vital resource for historians. Harrison’s notes and drafts synthesize and comment upon these primary sources, providing insight into the processes of drafting and publishing her book. Other materials highlight Harrison’s personal commitment to the second-wave feminist movement, including letters of complaint to companies with sexist advertisements and business policies, and a collection of feminist publications that Harrison subscribed to.

Harrison’s collection includes materials documenting the history of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Equal Pay Act, as well as the activities of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and the US Women’s Bureau. Of particular interest are oral histories by PCSW members Esther Peterson (later director of the Women’s Bureau) and Marguerite Rawalt. Other topics covered include the activities of local, grassroots feminist movements, women’s reproductive rights and health education, sexism in American culture, and children’s education and exposure to stereotyped gender roles.

Dates

  • 1921-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1960 - 1980

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

Cynthia Ellen Harrison is a retired Associate Professor of History, Women's Studies, and Public Policy at The George Washington University. Since 1994 Professor Harrison served the University as a teacher and an active researcher in US women's political history. Harrison previously served as the Chief of the Federal Judicial History Office from 1988 to 1994, at the American Historical Association/American Political Science Association from 1982 to 1988, and as a research fellow at The Brookings Institute from 1979 to 1982. Harrison received her PhD in American History from Columbia University in 1982. From 1968 to 1972 Harrison worked as a librarian at first the Brooklyn Public Library, and later the McMaster University Library in Ontario, Canada.

Professor Harrison's publications include a large number of articles on the history of the US women's rights movement, two reference works on primary sources available to researchers in women's history, and a 1988 book, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Issues, 1945 to 1968.

Extent

20.5 Linear Feet

Language

English

Abstract

This collection consists of articles, newsletters, children’s books, lecture notes, personal notes, and personal correspondence, as well as photocopies of primary sources such as newspaper articles, press releases, reports and memoranda related to GWU Professor Cynthia Ellen Harrison’s research and personal involvement in the women’s rights movement. Items date from the early 1920’s to the mid 1990’s, with the bulk of the material dating to between 1960 and 1980.

Cynthia Ellen Harrison is a retired Associate Professor of History, Women's Studies, and Public Policy at The George Washington University. Since 1994 Professor Harrison served the University as a teacher and an active researcher in US women's political history.

Collection Organization

Organized into 12 series: Activism; Archival citations; Children's books; Equal pay; Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); Harrison's desk; Mailings, magazines, newsletters; Manuscript research; Oral history; Political involvement; Oversized boxes; and Women's issues resources

Collection Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Professor Cynthia Ellen Harrison, 2014, (2014.022)
Title
Guide to the Cynthia Harrison feminist document collection, 1921-2008
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America