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Cussler, Margaret. Papers of Margaret Cussler, 1957-1977: 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.: 79-M252
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Margaret Cussler
Title: Papers of Margaret Cussler, 1957-1977
Date(s): 1957-1977
Quantity: 10 linear feet (10 cartons)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Legal documents, research papers, course material, correspondence, etc., of Margaret Thekla Cussler, sociologist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 79-M252
This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Margaret Cussler in October 1979.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: April, 1980
By: Susanne Tongue LLB, Barrister, and Jane S. Knowles

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 Margaret Cussler 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:

Margaret Cussler. Papers, 1957-1977; item description, dates. 79-M252, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Margaret Thekla Cussler, sociologist, Radcliffe AM 1941, Ph.D 1943, joined the University of Maryland as an Instructor in 1947 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1962. In 1972, Cussler filed suit against the University of Maryland for alleged sex discrimination on the grounds of inequitable treatment as to salary, promotion, teaching assignments and support for outside research. Although suit was filed in April, 1972, the trial was not ordered until November 1976. Numerous motions filed by the defendants, 1972-1976, delayed the case. Terms offered in November 1976 were not accepted by the plaintiff and the trial was ordered and jury empanelled in November 1976 and concluded in February 1977. After appeal, this seven-year unsuccessful sex discrimination case (the first to go to jury trial), was concluded in 1979.
Following a seven month field study of the Hopi, Cussler produced the documentary, Hopi Horizons. She was the author of four books: Not By a Long Shot: Adventures of a Documentary Film Producer (1951), 'Twixt the Cup and the Lip: Psychological and Socio-cultural Factors Affecting Food Habits (1952), The Woman Executive (1958), and Dentists, Patients, and Auxiliaries (1968).
Cussler died of cancer in 1987.


The collection consists principally of documents relating to the sex discrimination case of Cussler v. University of Maryland; included are plaintiff's and defendant's documents; court forms (motions, interrogatories); settlement negotiations; correspondence between attorneys, attorneys and court, and attorney and plaintiff; review committee material, witnesses' depositions and supplementary materials. Additionally, the collection contains Cussler's files of research papers, correspondence with the University of Maryland and the Department of Sociology, publishers and professional organizations. There is also some material on sex discrimination from Women's Equity Action League, American Sociological Association and the American Association of University Professors.
Duplicate sets of plaintiff's documents, depositions by witnesses, their résumés and articles have been removed; also duplicates of court forms.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

College teachers
Dental assistants
Education, Higher
Universities and colleges--Faculty
Physicians' assistants
Sex discrimination against women
Women college teachers--Legal status, laws, etc.
American Association of University Professors
American Sociological Association
Association for Women in Science
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Roberts, Sylvia
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
Rossi, Peter H. (Peter Henry), 1921-2006
Sandler, Bernice Resnick
Sociologists for Women in Society (U.S.)
University of Maryland
Women's Equity Action League