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MC 540

Dworkin, Andrea. Papers of Andrea Dworkin, 1914-2007 (inclusive), 1973-2000 (bulk): 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

Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts in Andrea Dworkin's memory.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 540
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Andrea Dworkin
Title: Papers of Andrea Dworkin, 1914-2007 (inclusive), 1973-2000 (bulk)
Date(s): 1914-2007
Date(s): 1973-2000
Quantity: 53.71 linear feet (125 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 folio folder, 54 photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of radical feminist writer, speaker, and activist Andrea Dworkin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 2001-M196, 2002-M54, 2002-M101, 2005-M36
The papers of Andrea Dworkin were purchased from Dworkin by the Schlesinger Library in November 2001. Additional materials were received in April and July 2002. Obituaries and remembrances by Dworkin's friends and fans were collected by library staff members following Dworkin's death and added to the collection in April 2005.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 2007
By: Johanna Carll

Access Restrictions:

Access. Access to the bulk of the collection (#1.1-106.8, 127F+B.1-#127F+B.3, and FD.1) requires the written permission of John Stoltenberg until his death. #1.5-1.6 are closed until January 1, 2040. # 79.13 is closed until January 1, 2064. Access to #107.1-126.6 is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Andrea Dworkin is held by John Stoltenberg. Upon his death, copyright will be transferred to 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. Researchers must have the written permission of John Stoltenberg to access the bulk of the collection (#1.1-106.8, 127F+B.1-#127F+B.3, and FD.1). Once permission has been obtained, materials may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Materials in boxes #107.1-126.6 are unrestricted and may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Andrea Dworkin Papers, 1914-2007; item description, dates. MC 540, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Audiotape collection of Andrea Dworkin,1975-1997 (T-323), and Videotape collection of Andrea Dworkin (Vt-136).


Donor: Andrea Dworkin
Accession Numbers: 2001-M196, 2002-M54, 2002-M101, 2005-M36
Processed by: Johanna Carll
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection (pending review by curator):
The following items have been transferred to the Women's Newsletter and Periodical Collection (Pr-4):
The following items have been transferred to the Feminist Ephemera Collection:
The following items have been transferred to Widener Library:


Author, critic, and radical feminist Andrea Dworkin was born on September 26, 1946, in Camden, New Jersey. She was the daughter of Sylvia (Spiegel), a secretary, and Harry Dworkin, a guidance counselor. In 1965, while attending Bennington College, Dworkin was arrested in New York City for protesting against the Vietnam War, and spent four days in the Women's House of Detention. She later made headlines, publicizing her brutal treatment at the hands of staff, which led to a grand jury investigation of the prison. In 1965, she traveled to Crete, then returned to the United States to complete her coursework at Bennington College, before moving to Amsterdam, where she completed work for her B.A., which she received in 1968. On March 11, 1969, Dworkin married Cornelius (Iwan) Dirk de Bruin, a Dutch political activist. De Bruin abused Dworkin throughout the marriage, which ended in divorce in 1972. Dworkin moved to New York City in 1972 and in 1974, she met John Stoltenberg, a writer and editor. Dworkin, who identified herself as a lesbian, and Stoltenberg, who identified himself as homosexual, became close friends and lived together for many years before marrying in 1998.
Dworkin was the author of several books including Woman Hating (1974), Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics (1976), Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981), Right-Wing Women (1983), Intercourse (1987), Letters from a War Zone: Writings, 1976-1989 (1989), Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation (2000), and Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant (2002). She was also the author of short stories and novels including Ice and Fire (1987) and Mercy (1991). In addition, Dworkin lectured widely and contributed to numerous periodicals and anthologies.
In 1983, with lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, Dworkin drafted a controversial civil rights ordinance defining pornography as sex discrimination. An activist working on behalf of many causes including abortion rights, she advised women and groups on issues of rape, battery, pornography, and incest in the United States and abroad.
Andrea Dworkin died April 9, 2005, in Washington, D.C.


The collection is arranged in nine series:


The collection contains correspondence, drafts, notes, speeches, interviews, course materials, legal documents, photographs, etc., documenting Andrea Dworkin's work as an author, as a crusader against pornography, and as an advocate on behalf of rape and abuse victims. Mold was found on many documents in the collection; while they were treated, mold spores, staining, and a musty odor may remain. Folder titles were created by Dworkin; additional information in square brackets was provided by the archivist, who created the arrangement.
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1946-2005 (#1.1-8.6, 127F+B.1-127F+B.3, FD.1), includes resumes, obituaries, medical records, calendars, tax returns, legal documents, correspondence, clippings, etc. Calendars record Dworkin's speaking engagements, medical and veterinary appointments, travel plans, etc. Medical records document her routine illnesses, her relationship with her insurance providers, and her efforts to lose weight. Clippings contain articles about Dworkin and include details of her personal life and her activist activities. Also included in this series are files relating to Dworkin's libel suit against Hustler magazine for publishing cartoons, descriptions, and pictures of women falsely identified as Dworkin engaged in sexual acts, which Dworkin claimed were designed to impede her right to speak against pornography and pornographers. Priscilla Moree and Judith Fouts joined the suit as representatives of the Jackson and Wyoming chapters of the National Organization for Women, claiming that attacks on Dworkin intimidated them in their fight against pornography. The case was dismissed. Folders are arranged with resumes and obituaries first, followed by an alphabetical arrangement of files.
Series II, DWORKIN FAMILY, 1914, 1933-1999 (#8.7-11.3), includes birth, marriage, and death certificates; certificates documenting Harry Dworkin's war service; correspondence; clippings; etc., belonging to Morris, Harry, Sylvia, and Mark Dworkin, Andrea Dworkin's grandfather, father, mother, and brother. Letters include those written to Harry and Sylvia Dworkin by Andrea Dworkin between 1964 and 1973 in which she writes of her experiences in Greece and Amsterdam, including her marriage to Cornelius "Iwan" Dirk de Bruin. Most of the letters depict an idyllic marriage in which the couple is poor, but happy. It is not until the marriage ended in 1971 that the letters reveal the years of abuse Dworkin had suffered at the hands of her husband. Folders were created and arranged by the archivist with Harry and Sylvia Dworkin's papers first, followed by those of Mark and Morris Dworkin. Within these three groupings, files are arranged chronologically.
Series III, CORRESPONDENCE, 1965-2001 (#11.4-51.4), contains correspondence between Dworkin and her family, friends, colleagues, fans, publishers, groups who hired Dworkin as a speaker, etc. Correspondents found throughout include Marjorie Abrams, Jane Alpert, Rhea Becker, Twiss Butler, Gena Corea, Hal Davis, Elsa Dorfman, Mark Dworkin, Harry Dworkin, Sylvia Dworkin, Melissa Farley, Leah Fritz, Rhea Gaisner, Chris Grussendorf, Shere Hite, Susan Hunter, Catherine Itzin, Karla Jay, Betty Johanna, Eleanor Johnson, Florence King, Harriet Koskoff, Jacqueline (Jax) Lapidus, Laura Lederer, Kathy Lewis, Elaine Markson, Annie McCombs, Julie Melrose, Linda Moorcock, Michael Moorcock, Robyn Newhouse, Kathleen Norris, Sally Owen, Diana Russell, Mark E. Smith, Marcia (Marty) Spiegel, Dorothy (Cookie) Teer, Melinda Vadas, Alice Vachss, Kady Van Deurs, Betsy Warrior, Susan Yankowitz, and Allen Young.
Files are arranged in three subseries; Dworkin created the groupings of general and business correspondence as well as the chronology within those groupings. The archivist created the category of alphabetical correspondence.
Subseries A, General, 1973-2001 (#11.4-30.11), includes correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, fans, publishers, etc. Correspondence with friends includes accounts of their daily lives and activities and of their families. Friends often also wrote of their professional activities, especially those concerning efforts against pornography. While Dworkin chose not to join organizations because she wished to maintain her independence, correspondence shows that she was influential in the founding of Women Against Pornography and worked closely with them and other anti-pornography groups. Fans wrote expressing their admiration of Dworkin's work and seeking advice on getting writings published. A small number of letters from admirers, closed until the likely death of the correspondent, include details of rape, incest, and abuse they suffered. Professional correspondence includes discussions with publishers and editors concerning Dworkin's articles, interviews, and books. There are also several exchanges surrounding Dworkin's speaking engagements, including proposed engagements that never occurred. Additional correspondence relating to Dworkin's writings and speaking engagements can be found in Series IV and Series V. Most letters to Dworkin are accompanied by carbon copies of her replies. Folders are arranged chronologically in groupings that were created by Dworkin.
Subseries B, Business, 1980-2000 (#30.12-38.1), includes correspondence with publishers, editors, agents, colleagues, friends, etc. Correspondence with Dworkin's publishers contains discussions of publication dates, book cover designs, and publicity. Correspondence with publishers and editors reveals her opposition to suggestions of alternate wording or omissions due to length constraints. One of the major correspondents in this subseries is Elaine Markson, Dworkin's literary agent. In addition to securing publishing deals and publicity for Dworkin, Markson and her agency handled all of Dworkin's mail, screening letters before sending them to Dworkin. Additional correspondence relating to Dworkin's writings and speaking engagements can be found in Series IV and Series V. Files are arranged chronologically in groupings that were created by Dworkin.
Subseries C, Alphabetical, 1965-2000 (#38.2-51.4), includes correspondence with friends, colleagues, organizations, etc. Files are identified by correspondents, topics, and occasionally by geographic region. Correspondents and topics overlap with those found in both the general and business correspondence files. This subseries was created by the archivist from loose correspondence and folders of correspondence created by Dworkin, but not identified as "general" or "business"; folders are arranged alphabetically.
Series IV, WRITINGS, 1961, 1970-2007 (#51.5-81.9), includes drafts, published articles, correspondence, clippings, etc., relating to Dworkin's books, articles, book reviews, and other writings. Many articles were published multiple times, sometimes with different titles. Several writings were never published or had only excerpts published. Most notable among the excerpted works is Ruins, an epistolary autobiographical novel. "Best Girlfriend," published as "Letter to M," was written to Maureen (last name unknown); "Dissolute" was written to Beth (last name unknown); "Chum" was written to Gretchen Langheld, a friend from Bennington College; "Parting" was written to Ricki Abrams; "Teacher" was written to Mr. Ainspac; "First Love" was written to Manoli; "I Wish I Didn't Know Your Name" was written to Cornelius "Iwan" de Bruin, Dworkin's ex-husband; the letter to "J" was written to Joe Chaikin, the Open Theatre director; and "My Friend" was written to John Stoltenberg. Additional correspondence relating to Dworkin's writings can be found in Series III. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Series V, SPEECHES, TESTIMONIES, AND INTERVIEWS, 1974-1998 (#81.10-92.5), includes transcripts, notes for speeches, correspondence, clippings, etc. Files concerning interviews often contain drafts of interview transcripts and correspondence with interviewers concerning changes to the transcripts. There are several files containing transcripts, correspondence, letters from viewers, clippings, etc., relating to the BBC Omnibus television documentary called Against Pornography: The Feminism of Andrea Dworkin, which included excerpts from Dworkin's public speaking and conversations between Dworkin and women who had been used in prostitution and pornography. Dworkin's agreement with the BBC gave her possession and control over access to all video recorded in the making of the documentary. The videotapes have been removed from the collection and cataloged as Vt-136; access may be restricted. Additional correspondence relating to Dworkin's speaking engagements, interviews, and testimonies can be found in Series III. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Series VI, TEACHING, 1983 (#92.6-93.13), includes correspondence, notes, course materials, etc., relating to an interdepartmental course on pornography Dworkin co-taught with Catharine MacKinnon at the University of Minnesota in 1983. Files are arranged alphabetically.
Series VII, ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORDINANCES, 1981-1994 (#94.1-103.7), includes correspondence, legal documents, meeting transcripts, clippings, etc., relating to attempts to pass ordinances defining pornography as a violation of women's civil rights and allowing women to sue pornography producers and distributors for damages in civil court. Dworkin and MacKinnon drafted and lobbied for the ordinance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minneapolis ordinance was passed by the city council twice but was vetoed by Mayor Don Fraser. A version of the ordinance was passed in Indianapolis, Indiana, but was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of American Booksellers v. Hudnut. Dworkin supported efforts to pass versions of the ordinance in cities including Los Angeles (California), Cambridge (Massachusetts), and Bellingham (Washington). Files document Dworkin's involvement with attempts to pass ordinances in various cities. There is also material documenting the Canadian Supreme Court ruling, R. v. Butler (the "Butler Decision"), which Dworkin and MacKinnon did not support because they did not advocate criminal obscenity approaches to pornography. Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Series VIII, REFERENCE FILES, 1962-1998 (#103.8-126.6, 127F+B.4), includes pornographic magazines, erotic novels, notes, clippings, etc. It is arranged in three subseries.
Subseries A, General, 1969-1997 (#103.8-106.8), includes notes, clippings, mailings, newsletters, etc., collected by Dworkin for research purposes. Materials concern topics addressed by Dworkin, but do not contain direct references to her work. Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Subseries B, Magazines, 1962-1998 (#107.1-117.2, 127F+B.4), contains pornographic magazines collected by Dworkin for research purposes. The majority of the magazines are mainstream publications such as Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, but there are also many specialized magazines focusing on interests such as bondage, black women, Asian women, lesbians, and pregnant women. Files are arranged alphabetically by magazine title.
Subseries C, Books, 1968-1986 (#117.3-126.6), contains pornographic novels collected by Dworkin. Books depict sexual situations including girls losing their virginity, lesbian and homosexual encounters, incestuous relationships, pedophilia, orgies, bestiality, and bondage. Several books include personal advertisements and advertisements for sex toys. Order information relating to many of the books in this series can be found in #68.1-68.7. Books are arranged alphabetically by title.
Series IX, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1919, 1927, 1938-1994 (#PD.1-PD.53sl), includes photographs of Andrea Dworkin as a young child and a small number of images of her as an adult. There are also photographs of Dworkin's friends; parents, Harry and Sylvia; her brother, Mark Dworkin; and other family members. Images were grouped by the archivist and are arranged alphabetically with photographs of family first.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Abused women
Authors, American
Authors and publishers
Brothers and sisters--United States
Erotic literature, French
Family violence
Fathers and daughters--United States
Feminism--United States
Feminists--United States
Fetishism (Sexual behavior)
Jewish women--United States
Lesbians--United States
Manuscripts for publication
Mothers and daughters--United States
Pornography--Law and legislation
Pornography--Law and Legislation--Indiana--Indianapolis
Pornography--Law and Legislation--Minnesota--Minneapolis
Pornography--Social aspects
Publishers and publishing
Sex crimes
Sex discrimination against women
Sex role
Wife abuse
Women--Crimes against
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Women political activists
Women--United States--Social conditions
Women's rights
Abrams, Marjorie
Alpert, Jane
Becker, Rhea
Butler, Twiss
Chesler, Phyllis
Corea, Gena
Craft, Nikki
Davis, Hal
Deming, Barbara, 1917-1984
Dorfman, Elsa
Dworkin, Andrea. Heartbreak: the political memoir of a feminist militant
Dworkin, Andrea. Ice and fire
Dworkin, Andrea. In harm's way: the pornography civil rights hearings
Dworkin, Andrea. Intercourse
Dworkin, Andrea. Letters from a war zone: writings, 1976-1989
Dworkin, Andrea. Life and death
Dworkin, Andrea. Mercy
Dworkin, Andrea. The new womans broken heart
Dworkin, Andrea. Our blood: prophesies and discourses on sexual politics
Dworkin, Andrea. Pornography: men possessing women
Dworkin, Andrea. Scapegoat: the Jews, Israel, and women's liberation
Dworkin, Mark, 1950-
Dworkin, Harry
Dworkin, Sylvia
Farley, Melissa
Fritz, Leah, 1931-
Gaisner, Rhea
Grussendorf, Chris
Hite, Shere
Hunter, Susan, 1948-
Itzin, Catherine, 1944-2010
Jay, Karla
Johanna, Betty
Johnson, Eleanor
Jong, Erica
Kady, 1927-2003
King, Florence
Koskoff, Harriet
Lapidus, Jacqueline
Lederer, Laura
Lewis, Kathy
Lovelace, Linda
MacKinnon, Catharine A.
Markson, Elaine
McCombs, Annie
Melrose, Julie
Millett, Kate
Moorcock, Linda
Moorcock, Michael, 1939-
Morgan, Robin, 1941-
Newhouse, Robyn
Norris, Kathleen, 1947-
Owen, Sally
Rich, Adrienne, 1929-2012
Russell, Diana E. H.
Smith, Mark Ethan, 1940-
Spiegel, Marcia Cohn
Steinem, Gloria
Stoltenberg, John
Teer, Dorothy
Vadas, Melinda
Vachss, Alice A.
Warrior, Betsy
Women Against Pornography
Yankowitz, Susan
Young, Allen, 1941-