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MC 891; T-252; Vt-70

Laubenstein, Linda J. Papers of Linda J. Laubenstein, 1947-2014: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 891; T-252; Vt-70
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Laubenstein, Linda J.
Title: Papers of Linda J. Laubenstein, 1947-2014
Date(s): 1947-2014
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (6 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 5 videotapes, 5 audiotapes, 2 photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder)
Quantity: 34.9 Megabytes (1 file)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, date books, audiotapes, videotapes, etc., of Linda J. Laubenstein, physician and HIV/AIDS researcher.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 93-M98. Accession numbers 94-M11, 94-M122, 94-M166, 94-M176, 98-M208, 2001-M222, 2005-M142, 2008-M134 in February 2017.
The papers of Linda J. Laubenstein were given to the Schlesinger Library by her parents, George Laubenstein and Priscilla Laubenstein, between June 1993 and August 2008.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1993
By: Anne Engelhart
Updated and additional materials added: February 2017
By: Mark Vassar, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. George Laubenstein and Priscilla Laubenstein retain copyright in the papers for their lifetimes, after which copyright will transfer to their son, Peter Laubenstein, for his lifetime or until it expires.
Copying. Copies may be made for individual researchers; copies may not be made for deposit in other libraries.

Preferred Citation:

Linda J. Laubenstein Papers, 1947-2014; item description, dates. MC 891, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Linda Laubenstein was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1947 to Priscilla (Martin) Laubenstein and George Laubenstein. She contracted polio as a young child and subsequent surgeries left her partially paralyzed at the age of five. She attended schools in Barrington, Rhode Island, remotely through the use of an intercom system in her home and regularly received high honors. She graduated from Barnard College and New York University Medical School. Her specialties were hematology and oncology, and she was a clinical professor at the New York University Medical Center. Laubenstein was one of the first in the United States to recognize the appearance of the AIDS epidemic, and was the author (with Dr. Alvin Friedman-Kien) of the first published article on the alarming appearance of Kaposi's sarcoma, Laubenstein was outspoken about what she saw as the neglect of the epidemic by government and society. Her practice grew to consist predominately of AIDS cases; in 1983 she helped organize the Kaposi's Sarcoma Research Fund and the first full-scale medical conference on AIDS, held at New York University. She was one of the founders of MTS, Multitasking Systems, a non-profit office-service business begun in 1989 that provided employment for people with AIDS. Laubenstein suffered from severe asthma and the effects of childhood polio, which left her confined to a wheelchair. Her role in the battle against AIDS inspired the character of Dr. Emma Brookner in Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart. Laubenstein died of a heart attack in 1992 at the age of 45.


This collection includes photographs, autobiographical essays, a diary, and other biographical material; letters to Laubenstein's parents after her death; and bylaws, correspondence, and other records of Multitasking Systems of New York. The bulk of the collection is biographical in nature and documents Laubenstein's childhood and time in college. While letters from patients are included (mainly letters of condolence to Laubenstein's parents), there is little in the collection documenting her work with AIDS and AIDS-related diseases. Records of Multitasking Systems of New York, a non-profit business service business that employed individuals with AIDS, operating under the theory that active AIDS patients survived for longer periods of time, documents the founding and operation of the business. Materials received between 1994 and 2008 (accession numbers: 94-M11, 94-M122, 94-M166, 94-M176, 98-M208, 2001-M222, 2005-M142, 2008-M134) were added to the collection in February 2006 and is housed in #62-69m and E.1. All other folders remain in the same order.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

AIDS (Disease)--United States
People with disabilities--United States
Physicians--United States
Poliomyelitis--Patients--United States
Women in science--United States
Women physicians--United States
Kramer, Larry