[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch01052View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
MC 548

Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project. Records of the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project, 1961-2001 (inclusive), 1990-1993 (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 from Radcliffe College Class of 1956.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 548
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project
Title: Records of the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project, 1961-2001 (inclusive), 1990-1993 (bulk)
Date(s): 1961-2001
Date(s): 1990-1993
Quantity: 5.21 linear feet (12 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 2 photograph folders, 127 audiocassettes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: A collection of interviews conducted by and with past officers and members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) regarding the formation of NOW and their roles in the organization. All participants in the project were active in NOW during the late 1960s and 1970s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 2001-M81, 2001-M125, 2001-M165, 2001-M180
The records of the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project became part of the Schlesinger Library's holdings following completion of the project in 2001.

Processing Information:

Processed: October 2007
By: Cat Lea Holbrook

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except that the interviews in Series I, Subseries B (#7.16-12.1), are restricted as specified; some interviews in Series II (#12.2-12.8) are restricted until January 1, 2030. For interviews requiring written permission of interviewee for use, separate permission must be granted for use of the audiotapes. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library, with the exception of interviews with Lucy Komisar and Kate Millett, who retained copyright. 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:

Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project Records, 1961-2001; item description, dates. MC 548, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Donors: Tully, Mary Jean
Accession number: 2001-M81, 2001-M125, 2001-M165, 2001-M180
Processed by: Cat Lea Holbrook
The following items duplicated holdings in the Library and have been removed from the collection:


The Tully-Crenshaw Feminist Oral History Project was initiated and funded in 1990 by Mary Jean Tully in honor of her mother, Maude Gresham Crenshaw, in conjunction with the Schlesinger Library. Its goal was to document the founding and development of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, as well as the role of Betty Friedan in NOW, and Friedan's legacy in the women's movement. Each interview highlights the issues, policies, decisions, events, and participants in NOW's history from its founding in 1966 to the International Women's Year Conference in Houston, Texas, in 1977, and beyond to NOW's role in the lives of future generations of women.
In her own interview, when asked her reasons for creating this project, Tully responded: "It starts with the fact that I was always bothered, when we were doing the women's movement, by the fact that almost nothing was being written down...Most of the really important stuff was going on on the telephone...Three or four years ago, I was reading a biography of Mary Shelley, and I was so dazzled by the fact that the author could say, 'On Saturday, March 14th, Mary spent the morning at home, because the weather was very nice. In the afternoon, she was invited to a party...this is what she wore, and this is what they served, and so on.' I found it absolutely dazzling, and I thought to myself, once more, 'Nobody has this kind of information about Betty Friedan.'" (#6.12, page 168).


The collection is arranged in four series:


The collection includes audiotapes and transcripts of interviews with forty-four activists in the National Organization for Women, biographical information, and photographs. Also included are transcripts of a September 12, 1991, roundtable discussion among five early members of NOW concerning a major split in the organization in 1975; transcript of a workshop (NOW national meeting, January 10, 1992) on the origins of NOW; transcript of discussion on the founding of NOW LDEF (Armonk, New York, July 19, 1992); and transcripts of toasts from Betty Friedan's 75th birthday party in 1996.
An advisory committee for the project was formed in late 1989 to suggest topics to pursue, set priorities as to whom would be interviewed, and help identify possible interviewers. The pool of potential interviewees was those women and men who were actively involved with either Betty Friedan or NOW during the designated years; selection was based on the significance of their contributions, the duration of their involvement, and the uniqueness of their roles. The potential interviewees were sent project surveys asking if they would like to participate in the project; what office in NOW or NOW LDEF they had held; what NOW issues, policies, and events they would like to cover; and who they would like to interview them. The interviewers were given a list of suggested topics, grouped in three areas: personal information, motivation, and contribution to the women's movement; the history of NOW, concentrating on 1966-1977; and the role of Betty Friedan in the women's movement. The interviews were held at people's homes, and occasionally, at restaurants. Most of the women and men were interviewed individually, but in a few cases, with their partners.
The audiotapes were transcribed by Schlesinger Library staff, and the transcripts were sent to both the interviewee and interviewer for editing. From the beginning of the project through 1994 the transcripts were sent back to the interviewee for a second round of edits. When these edited copies were returned to the Library, "archive copies" (e.g., clean, camera-ready copies) with an index were produced. Some edited copies were not returned to the library; these transcripts, with the original edits, are available except when the interviewee has refused to sign the legal agreement. Most transcripts are governed by a legal agreement; some are restricted as to use or publication. Two interviews, with Karen DeCrow and Wilma Scott Heide, were conducted in 1980 and 1981, and were included with this project at the request of Mary Jean Tully.
Series I, AUDIOTAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS, 1980-2000 (#1.1-12.1), contains audiotapes and restricted and unrestricted transcripts.
Subseries A, Unrestricted access, 1980-1997 (#1.1-7.15), contains the audiotapes and transcripts that are open to research use. Some require written permission of the interviewee for publication. They are arranged alphabetically.
Subseries B, Restricted access, 1991-1993, 2000 (#7.16-12.1), contains the audiotapes and transcripts that require the written permission of the interviewee for use or are closed pending further notice, arranged alphabetically.
Series II, AUDIOTAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS OF INDEPENDENT INTERVIEWS, 1991-2000 (#12.2-12.8), contains independent interviews conducted by Jacqueline Michot Ceballos during the project. Some interviews in this series are closed until January 1, 2030. They are arranged alphabetically.
Series III, ADMINISTRATION AND GENERAL, 1961-2001 (#12.9-13.7), contains biographical data sheets sent to the participants of the project; articles about NOW and its members; resumes; obituaries; and a few project surveys that asked what topics the participants would like to cover. It is arranged alphabetically.
Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1960-1993 (#PD.1-PD.2), contains photographs of some of the interviewees.
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

Feminism--United States
Feminists--United States
Oral histories
Women's rights--United States
Aaronson, Shepard
Abbott, Sidney
Aleskovsky, Emma
Alexander, Dolores
Altman, Julie
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Baxandall, Rosalyn Fraad, 1939-2015
Benton, Suzanne
Berry, Betty Blaisdell
Boyer, Gene
Burnett, Patricia Hill, 1920-
Carabillo, Toni
Ceballos, Jacqueline Michot, 1925-
Collins, Mary Jean
Connell, Noreen
De Crow, Karen
Dolan, Merrillee
Eastwood, Mary O., 1930-
Everhart, Jane
Farians, Elizabeth
Faust, Jean
Fox, Muriel
Friedan, Betty
Fuchs-Epstein, Cynthia
Graham, Richard
Heide, Wilma Scott, 1921-1985
Heilbrun, Carolyn G., 1926-2003
Horton, Sue
Howard, Bonnie Bellamy, 1928-
Indritz, Phineas
Kahn, Emily
Kennedy, Florynce, 1916-2000
Kolb, Frances Arick
Komisar, Lucy, 1942-
Lamb, Myrna, 1942-
Leone, Vivien
Lightfoot, Judith, 1937-2006
Love, Barbara
Lyon, Phyllis
Martin, Del
Meuli, Judith
Millett, Kate
National Organization for Women
NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund
NOW Majority Caucus
Orovan, Mary
Patel, Marilyn
Rickett, Lois
Roberts, Sylvia
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
Sanders, Marlene
Saville, Anita
Seaman, Barbara
Smeal, Eleanor
Steinem, Gloria
Trainor, Patricia
Tully, Mary Jean
West, Celeste
White, Jennifer
Williams, Dell
Yard, Molly