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Voice of Women--New England. Records of Voice of Women--New England, 1961-1998: 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

Call No.: 89-M166--98-M8
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Voice of Women--New England
Title: Records of Voice of Women--New England, 1961-1998
Date(s): 1961-1998
Quantity: 1.21 linear feet (1 carton, 1/2 file box) plus 2 oversize folders, 1 supersize folder, 1 videotape)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Reports, minutes, newsletters, etc., of Voice of Women--New England, a peace organization.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 89-M166, 89-M177, 92-M204, 93-M13, 93-M60, 97-M122, 98-M8
The records of Voice of Women--New England were given to the Schlesinger Library by members of Voice of Women--New England between August 1989 and January 1998.

Processing Information:

Processed: July 1998
By: Rachel Keegan

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Voice of Women--New England 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.

Preferred Citation:

Voice of Women--New England Records, 1961-1998; item description, dates. 89-M166--98-M8, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Voice of Women--New England was a peace organization formed in November 1962 when thirty women convened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the goal of working against nuclear proliferation. The women chose the name because of the disarmament work of Voice of Women--Canada. They also considered themselves the New England branch of Women Strike for Peace, however, and periodically debated renaming the group.
Voice of Women--New England's initial efforts opposed nuclear testing and supported international disarmament. As news of United States involvement in Vietnam increased, the group shifted its focus to protesting the Vietnam war. Some of Voice of Women--New England's methods of protest included organizing and attending anti-war demonstrations both locally and nationally, writing letters to public officials, and publishing petitions in newspapers. The group also campaigned for peace candidates, including H. Stuart Hughes and Eugene McCarthy, sent delegates to anti-war and women's rights conferences, and hosted foreign visitors dedicated to disarmament. Voice of Women--New England published a monthly newsletter, which documented the anti-war movement and provided an analysis of news about the war in Vietnam and nuclear proliferation.
In all their endeavors, Voice of Women--New England members sought to voice their outrage about war and to convince others to join them in protesting nuclear proliferation and United States involvement in Vietnam. The group was active until 1973 and gradually disbanded after the United States withdrew from Vietnam. In 1981, some of the members attempted to start a Voice of Women II, but the effort was unsuccessful. As is reflected in questionnaires completed in 1992 by former members at their 30th reunion, many of the women continued their political activism, remaining involved in the peace and other social movements.


This collection consists of reports, minutes, and other records documenting Voice of Women--New England's anti-nuclear and anti-war efforts. The records arrived at the library without a filing system. The processor therefore arranged them in three series:
Series I, Administrative records (#1-18), includes minutes from Steering Committee and general membership meetings; mailing and membership lists; and financial records, including fundraising flyers and posters, invoices, receipts, and donation records.
Series II, Activities (#19-54), the largest portion of the collection, consists of Voice of Women--New England newsletters; correspondence with public officials, journalists, and other peace organizations; planning and publicity material for anti-war demonstrations; and clippings, photographs, and posters. Also included are transcripts of messages read at Voice of Women--New England's 30th reunion as well as questionnaires detailing many members' histories as activists. There is a video of the 30th reunion, although some of the dialog is inaudible.
Series III, Individual members (#55-69). Many of the members were involved with other peace initiatives and donated these documents along with their Voice of Women--New England records. Elizabeth Boardman ran for state representative in 1962; records from her campaign include brochures, a bumper sticker, and photographs. Documents from the Center for Atomic Radiation Studies reflect the roles of Boardman and her husband as co-founders as well as Rohna Shoul's. Other correspondence and planning material from Rohna Shoul demonstrate her commitment to educating children about peace. In addition, Shoul attended the International Women's Year conference of 1975 and brought back conference publications as well as her own notes on the proceedings. Also in this series is the transcript of a 1986 interview with Shoul about her work as an activist by a doctoral candidate.


Donor: Voice of Women--New England
Accession numbers: 89-M166, 89-M177, 92-M204, 93-M13, 93-M60, 97-M122, 98-M8
Processed by: Rachel Keegan
The following items have been removed from the collection:

Container List

Additional Index Terms

International Women's Year, 1975
Nuclear nonproliferation
Peace--Societies, etc.
Peace--Study and teaching--United States
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Women and peace
Women--Societies and clubs
Boardman, Elizabeth
Shoul, Rohna A.
Voice of Women--Canada
Women Strike for Peace