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McKinnon, Edna Rankin, 1893-1978. Audiotape collection of Edna Rankin McKinnon, ca.1970: 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

Call No.: T-83
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Edna Rankin McKinnon, 1893-1978
Title: Audiotape collection of Edna Rankin McKinnon, ca.1970
Date(s): 1970
Quantity: 22 audiocassettes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Interviews conducted by Wilma Stokely Dykeman with Edna Rankin McKinnon, birth control advocate. Includes discussion about the her childhood, travels, and family planning outreach efforts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 76-143
The audiotapes of Edna Rankin McKinnon were given to the Schlesinger Library by Wilma Stokely Dykeman on May 6, 1976.

Processing Information:

Processed: July 2011
By: Melissa Dollman

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the audiotapes of Edna Rankin McKinnon is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.

Preferred Citation:

Edna Rankin McKinnon Audiotape collection, ca.1970; item description, dates. T-83, reel #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Edna Rankin McKinnon Papers (MC 325).


Edna Rankin McKinnon worked with the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (1936-1947) establishing birth control clinics around the country, was Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association, Chicago area (1947-1957), and a field worker for the Pathfinder Fund, a private organization for international family planning (1958-1966). In this last position she traveled throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East to help establish family planning organizations and clinics.


Collection consists of interviews with Edna Rankin McKinnon by Wilma Dykeman as research for her biography of McKinnon entitled, Too Many People, Too Little Love. Subjects mainly include anecdotes about her travels, significant people she met along the way, Pathfinder Fund founder Dr. Clarence Gamble, her friends Mr. and Mrs. Charles Zukoski, outreach in the United States and abroad, and her recollections of birth control advocates included in Lawrence Lader's book, Breeding Ourselves to Death. Some topics span over several tapes, but with little repetition, except where noted. Tapes are grouped by region when possible. Although her career stretched over many decades, much of the time period covered in interview is the early to mid-1960s. Exact recording dates are unknown.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Africa--Description and travel
Asia--Description and travel
Birth control
Birth control clinics--Developing countries
Birth control clinics--United States
Christian Scientists--United States
Family planning
India--Description and travel
Lader, Lawrence. Breeding ourselves to death
Middle East--Description and travel
Southeast Asia--Description and travel
Dykeman, Wilma, interviewer
Gamble, Clarence James, 1894-1966
International Planned Parenthood Federation
McKinnon, Edna Rankin, 1893-1978, interviewee
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Rankin, Jeannette, 1880-1973
Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966
Zukoski, Charles