Rich, Cynthia. Audiotape collection of Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald, 1973-1990:
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
Call No.: T-338
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Cynthia Rich
Title: Audiotape collection of Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald, 1973-1990
Quantity: 14 audiotapes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Audiotapes of Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald, writers, and activists in anti-ageism
and lesbian feminist politics.
Accession number: 2002-M31
These audiotapes were included with the papers of Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald
that were given to the Schlesinger Library by Cynthia Rich in February and May 2002.
Processed: August 2009
By: Melissa Dollman
Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Copyright. Copyright in audiotapes created by Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald is
held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.
Copyright in other materials in the collection may be held by their authors, or the
authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Audiotapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Cynthia Rich and Barbara Macdonald Audiotape collection, 1973-1990; item description,
dates. T-338, reel #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University,
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Cynthia Rich and Barbara
Macdonald papers, MC 505
, Cynthia Rich papers, 83-M240
, Papers of Adrienne Rich, 1927-1999 (84-M141--99-M136
), and Helen Jones Rich Papers, ca.1888-2000 (MC 803
Cynthia Rich (1933- ) and Barbara Macdonald (1913-2000) were writers, activists in
lesbian feminist politics, and partners for 26 years. A graduate of Radcliffe College
(A.B. 1956, A.M. 1958), Rich was married to Roy Glauber, a member of the physics department
at Harvard; they had two children. Rich taught writing at Harvard for ten years beginning
in the late 1960s, her courses focusing on sexism, homophobia, and racism. She was
active in the peace and social justice movements as president of Voice of Women--New
England, and wrote regularly for feminist publications such as Ms., Equal Times, and Sojourner.
Separated from her husband in 1971, Rich met Barbara Macdonald, a retired social worker,
at the Goddard Cambridge Graduate School. They co-authored Look Me in the Eye: Old
Women, Aging and Ageism in 1983, a groundbreaking examination of ageism from a feminist
perspective, which later appeared in two expanded editions (1991, 2001). Moving west
in the 1980s, Rich and Macdonald helped organize protests of the Miss California pageants,
and worked to end apartheid in South Africa, and in support of the United Farm Workers'
1989 grape boycott. In 1987 they served on the planning committee of the First West
Coast Conference of Old Lesbians and were active in the subsequent Old Lesbians Organizing
for Change, a Houston-based organization. An internationally recognized speaker, Macdonald
lectured widely on ageism and feminism, including at the U.N. Fourth World Conference
on Women. She died June 15, 2000, of Alzheimer's disease. Rich was a member of Desert
Waves, an affinity group protesting weapons testing in Nevada; the Women's Alliance,
a group dedicated to giving a woman's perspective to the debate surrounding the Gulf
war; and the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers, among others.
The collection consists of primarily interviews with or speaking engagements by Cynthia
Rich, Barbara Macdonald, separately and together. Exceptions include reels #1 and
2 which feature commercially produced readings of Rich's writings; and reel #14 which
contains relevant references to an interview with Rich, although she does not appear.
- 1-2. Dialogues and Monologues. Commercially produced recordings of Rich's works. 1973.
Scope and Contents: 2 tapes. Reel 1: "My Sister's Marriage." Reel 2: "A Class in Greek Poise," "a spider
and a fly," "Brass Spittoons," "When in Rome," and "John Brown's Speech." 112 minutes.
- 7-9. Look Me in the Eye interviews, KPFA, Berkeley, California. May 12, 1984.
Scope and Contents: 3 tapes. Reel 7: Macdonald and Rich discuss their book, Look Me in the Eye, ageism, the women's movement, and separatist feminism. 1983. Reel 8: Barbara Macdonald
reads from Look Me in the Eye. Macdonald and Rich discuss ageism, young women and the heterosexual ideal of married
life, the relationship between older and younger women, and other topics. 1984. Reel
9: Macdonald and Rich each read from the book, and discuss the role of young women
and the heterosexual ideal of married life and the economy, aging, hierarchy of women
by age, and other topics. 310 minutes.
- 10. National Association of Social Workers National Conference on Women's Issues, Atlanta.
May 28-31, 1986.
Scope and Contents: Barbara Macdonald discusses the relationship between the women's movement and social
work, ageism and classism within the field, affirmative action in favor of older or
disabled women, Freud's influence on social work, and other topics. Questions follow.
- 11. Women and Power Conference, Maine. 1986.
Scope and Contents: Topics include anti-ageism publications, ageism and the women's movement, the industrial
revolution and redefinition of motherhood, disempowering the 1960s counterculture,
and youth culture. 58 minutes.
- 13. Desert Years, on KPFA, Berkeley, California. April 28, 1990.
Scope and Contents: Cynthia Rich discusses leaving New England to live in the desert, aging versus ageism,
her activism, and reads from the book, Desert Years. 38 minutes.
Jewish women--United States
Lesbian authors--United States
Women political activists--United States
Macdonald, Barbara, 1913-2000
Macdonald, Barbara, 1913-2000. Look me in the eye
Meigs, Mary, 1917-2002
National Association of Social Workers
Rich, Cynthia. Desert years
Toder, Nancy, 1948-