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MC 617

Morgan, Robin, 1941- . Papers of Robin Morgan, 1929-1991 (inclusive), 1968-1986 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

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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.: MC 617
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Robin Morgan, 1941-
Title: Papers of Robin Morgan, 1929-1991 (inclusive), 1968-1986 (bulk)
Date(s): 1929-1991
Date(s): 1968-1986
Quantity: 11.47 linear feet (27 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ folders, 1 supersized folder, 6 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 43 audiotapes, and electronic records)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of Robin Morgan, author (poet, novelist, playwright, political theorist, anthologist), radical feminist, and activist, consisting largely of files concerning the production of Sisterhood is Global, subject files, drafts, etc.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 88-M107, 90-M214, 95-M88, 95-M147, 96-M23, 96-M56, 96-M58, 2001-M169
These papers of Robin Morgan were given to the Schlesinger Library by Robin Morgan between 1988 and 2001.

Processing Information:

Processed: December 2009
By: Mark Vassar

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Robin Morgan retains copyright in the papers created by her during her lifetime. Upon her death, copyright is transferred to Blake Morgan Pitchford, and to his heirs, in accordance with the donor's will. In the event that Blake Morgan Pitchford leaves no heirs and/or dies before copyright in these papers expires, copyright will be transferred to other assignees as specified in the donor's will. 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:

Robin Morgan Papers, 1929-1991; item description, dates. MC 617, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

BIOGRAPHY

Robin Morgan was born January 29, 1941, in Lake Worth, Florida, the daughter of Faith Berkeley Morgan. She was a precocious child and so was put to work as a child model and actor, but despite her work in radio and television, she vowed to become a poet and took classes at Columbia University, although she did not matriculate. In the early 1960s she worked as a freelance editor and literary agent. In 1962 she married poet Kenneth Pitchford. The couple had one child, Blake Morgan Pitchford. They later divorced.
Throughout the 1960s Morgan published poetry and contributed articles to such literary journals as The Sewanee Review and to such leftist publications as Rat, Win, and Liberation. By the late 1960s, after involvement in civil rights and peace activism, she committed herself to feminism, first becoming involved with the New York Radical Women, and later identifying as a radical feminist. During her time in New York Radical Women, she organized public actions with the group WITCH (Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell). These actions included placing a "hex" on Wall Street, demonstrating before the Miss America Pageant in 1968, and protesting the New York Bridal Fair in 1969. During this time Morgan continued to write poetry and feminist works, publishing both Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement (named one of the 100 Most Influential Books of the 20th Century by the American Librarians' Association) in 1970, and her germinal first collection of poems, Monster in 1972.
By 1974 Morgan had become involved with Ms. magazine, serving as a columnist, and eventually contributing editor, editor-in-chief, and international contributing editor. Her affiliation with Ms. was on-going as of 2009. Morgan has published more than 20 books, including six prize-winning collections of poetry, such as Upstairs in the Garden: New and Selected Poems (1990) and A Hot January (1999) ; five books of fiction, including The Burning Time (2006); and numerous nonfiction works, including Saturday's Child: A Memoir (2001) plus such works on feminism as The Anatomy of Freedom: Feminism, Physics, and Global Politics (1982), the best-selling The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism (1989, revised ed. 2001) and her now classic anthologies Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology (1984) and Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium (2003). She has given numerous lectures to universities and feminist groups, both national and international, contributed many articles to literary, feminist, and mainstream publications; founded the Sisterhood Is Global Institute (www.SIGI.org) and co-founded and has served on the board of many organizations, including The Women's Media Center, Feminist Women's Health Network, and the National Battered Women's Refuge Network. She continued to publish and remain actively involved in global feminism at the time this collection was processed (December 2009).

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in three series:

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The bulk of Robin Morgan's papers (including videos and audiotapes) regarding her childhood, her literary life, her work in civil rights, peace movements, and feminism, and her personal life are held by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at the Special Collections Library, Duke University. These papers mainly document a portion of her writing career and research efforts.
Series I, PERSONAL, 1969-1982 (#1.1-1.4, PD.1-PD.2, E.1), includes a small number of personal items consisting of an address book, an appointment book, and several photographs and negatives of various WITCH demonstrations in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Morgan's web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2010.
Series II, SISTERHOOD IS GLOBAL, 1929-1986 (#1.5-14.12, FD+.2, PD.3-PD.6f, T-363.1 - T-363.24), consists of subject files, drafts, production materials, financial materials, etc., related to the writing and publication of the book Sisterhood Is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology, compiled, edited, and with an introduction by Morgan. It is arranged in three subseries.
Subseries A, Production materials and drafts, 1971-1986 (#1.5-3.5, PD.3), includes draft material for various sections of the book, correspondence with contributors, author contacts, proposals, and notes and comments on style. Since the majority of this book consists of articles contributed by women around the world, drafts in this subseries are generally those created by Morgan (e.g., index, glossary, introduction, preface, methodology, and special sections). Other material, (listed above), and proposals were maintained by Morgan in her role as editor. Original folder titles were retained. The series is arranged alphabetically. Additional material received on floppy disks will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in this subseries.
Subseries B, Research files, 1929-1986 (#3.6-14.4, PD.4-PD.6f, T-363.1 - T-363.24), includes clippings, conference materials, notes, articles, pamphlets, position papers, etc., for research completed on various facets of international feminism for the book. Material is filed alphabetically by country name with the exception of conference material collected in Nairobi, Kenya, at the 1985 World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women. Original folder titles were retained. Also included are audiotapes of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as various conference workshops on peace, sexuality, lesbianism, feminist theory, etc.
Subseries C, Financial records, 1982-1986 (#14.5-14.12, FD+.2), includes bank statements, budget materials, check registers, cancelled checks, ledger sheets, Western Union telegrams, etc., for the book's production, and for participants' arrangements to attend the 1985 United Nations conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Western Union telegrams originally preserved for accounting reasons have been retained because they also contain messages to and from contributors to the book. Original folder titles were maintained. The series is arranged alphabetically.
Series III, OTHER WRITING AND RESEARCH, 1939-1991 (#15.1-28.5, PD.7, T-363.25 - T-363.43), consists of subject files, drafts, production materials, correspondence, etc., related to the writing and publication of several of Morgan's books of poetry, fiction, and feminist theory. It is arranged in three subseries.
Subseries A, Drafts, 1968-1990 (#15.1-20.2, T-363.25 - T-363.41), consists of draft typescripts and a small amount of correspondence and production material for a number of Morgan's books, including The Anatomy of Freedom: Feminism, Physics, and Global Politics; The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism; Depth Perception: New Poems and a Masque; Dry Your Smile: A Novel; Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist; Lady of the Beasts: Poems; Monster: Poems; and Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement. Also included is a folder of published articles and poems by Morgan from various sources, as well as published articles and audiotapes for interviews Morgan conducted with Chai Ling, one of the leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989; Margaret Taylor, ambassador to the United States for Papua New Guinea (1988-ca.1999); Dorothy Dinnerstein, psychologist; Russian feminists Tatyana Goricheva, Yuliya Voznesenskaya, Natalya Malakovskaya, and Tayana Mamonova; and Bella Abzug, for Ms. Magazine. The subseries is arranged alphabetically. Folder titles were created by the processor. See Subseries B for working files for Anatomy of Freedom.
Subseries B, Working files for Anatomy of Freedom, 1939-1990 (scattered) (#20.3-21.10, T-363.42), consists of clippings, articles, notes, drafts, production and research notes, correspondence, etc. Also included is one audiotape of an interview of Morgan by Ginny Berson at radio station KPFK in San Francisco in 1982 promoting the book. It appears that earlier chapter titles may have been used as folder titles, although these titles do not correspond to those in the final version of the book. Original folder titles were maintained. The subseries is arranged alphabetically. See Subseries A. for a draft typescript of this book.
Subseries C, Feminist subject files, 1951-1991 (#21.11-28.5, PD.7, T-363.43), includes notes, clippings, articles, correspondence, pamphlets, flyers, position papers, etc., regarding a number of subjects and their relation to feminism, including rape, lesbianism, class structure, group structure, self-defense, pornography, history, health, etc. Also included are several folders of minutes, memos, correspondence, messages, notes, etc., of the National Organization for Women's Commission on Responsive Democracy (1990-1991) of which Morgan was a member. One audiotape containing a recording of Morgan speaking at a 1978 event identified as "Forum on the Future" is also included. Original folder titles were maintained. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
All of the photographs in this collection will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Audiotapes
Authors and publishers--United States
Authors, American--20th century
Electronic records
Feminism--International cooperation
Feminists--United States
International Women's Decade, 1976-1985
Interviews
Manuscripts for publication
Pornography--United States
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Anatomy of freedom
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Demon lover
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Depth perception
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Dry your smile
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Going too far
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Lady of the beasts
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Sisterhood is global
Morgan, Robin, 1941- Sisterhood is powerful
Web sites
Women political activists--United States
Women's rights--United States
Sisterhood is Global Institute
World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women (1985 : Nairobi, Kenya)

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