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83-M100--83-M173; T-155

Salzman, Freda Friedman, 1927-1981. Papers of Freda Friedman Salzman, 1927-1981: 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.: 83-M100--83-M173; T-155
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Freda Friedman Salzman, 1927-1981
Title: Papers of Freda Friedman Salzman, 1927-1981
Date(s): 1927-1981
Quantity: 4.83 linear feet (4 cartons, 2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 9 audiotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, notebooks, etc., of Freda Friedman Salzman, physicist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 83-M100--83-M173
This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by George Salzman in May and August 1983.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: March 1984
By: Eva Moseley, Sheila Simmons

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 Freda Friedman Salzman 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:

Freda Friedman Salzman Papers, 1927-1981; item description, dates. 83-M100--83-M173, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Freda Friedman was born on May 12, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children of Ann and Jacob Friedman. She was graduated from Brooklyn College in 1949, and earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in 1953 with a thesis on "Photo-Meson Production from a Single Nucleon." She subsequently held research positions at the Universities of Wisconsin, Rochester, and Colorado.
She married George Salzman, also a physicist, in 1948; they had two daughters, Amy (born October 19, 1954) and Erica (born July 7, 1958). The Salzmans collaborated on some of their research and in 1965 were both appointed to the physics department of the newly-established Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts. In 1967 they learned that Salzman's appointment would soon be terminated; the University informed them of this officially on August 31, 1968. After a five-year confrontation with the University, allegedly centering on the issue of nepotism, Salzman was reinstated in May 1972. In 1975, after a briefer struggle, she was given tenure. During these years, the Salzmans became increasingly concerned with the political and social aspects of science; both were active in the Boston chapter of Science for the People and Salzman particularly with its Sociobiology Study Group and Women's Issues Project Group. Salzman was also active in organizations of women scientists. She died of cancer on April 1, 1981.


This collection consists mainly of a record (including correspondence, memoranda, Trustee minutes, publicity and other papers) of the struggle with the University of Massachusetts, in which both Freda Friedman Salzman and George Salzman were actively involved, and of various papers (minutes, correspondence, published and unpublished articles, etc.) of Science for the People and especially of the Sociobiology Study Group. The remainder consists of Freda Friedman Salzman's physics notebooks, writings, and lectures; papers on University of Massachustetts physics department business; Salzman family correspondence; and papers concerning her illness and treatment.
The Science for the People and Sociobiology Study Group papers included a large quantity of printed materials, most of which have been discarded; items specifically on women have been added to the Schlesinger Library's vertical files. Of photocopies of entire books available at Boston area libraries, only the title page and the page with the call number were kept. Articles, reviews, and letters to the editor on sociobiology, anthropology, evolution, intelligence quotient, educational inequality, and other subjects of interest to Science for the People, the Sociobiology Study Group, and to Salzman were in most cases discarded. They dated from the 1970s and 1980 and were published most notably in The Boston Globe, Psychology Today, Science, Sex Roles, or The New York Times, with smaller quantities from the following periodicals (not an exhaustive list): Child Development, Contemporary Sociology, Human Behavior, Human Nature, Mother Jones, Nation, Nature, New Scientist, New York Review of Books, Pediatrics, Radical Science Journal, Science News, and Scientific American.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Birth control
Physics--Study and teaching
Science--Social aspects
Scientists--United States
Sex differences
Sex discrimination against women
Sex role
Women in science--United States
Women scientists
Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
Salzman, George, 1925-
Science for the People (Organization)
University of Massachusetts at Boston