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MC 780; T-496; Vt-267

O'Reilly, Jane. Papers of Jane O'Reilly, 1965-1993: 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 780; T-496; Vt-267
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Jane O'Reilly
Title: Papers of Jane O'Reilly, 1965-1993
Date(s): 1965-1993
Quantity: 9.59 linear feet (23 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 2 oversize folders, 1 supersize folder, 1 photograph folder, 34 audiotapes, 4 videotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of Jane O'Reilly consist of writings, correspondence, clippings, printed materials, audiotapes, and videotapes related to her work as a journalist, writer, and social critic.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: A/O66, 93-M133, 94-M104, 2012-M192
The papers of Jane O'Reilly were given to the Schlesinger Library by Jane O'Reilly between 1982 and 2012.

Processing Information:

Processed: April 2014
By: Laura Peimer, with assistance of Emily Underwood.

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Jane O'Reilly is held by Jane O'Reilly during her lifetime. Upon her death, copyright transfers and is assigned to the President and Fellows of Harvard College along with all right, title, and interest, including copyright and all extensions and renewals thereof, in and to the work. 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. However, material may not be made available for use on the World Wide Web during Jane O'Reilly's lifetime.

Preferred Citation:

Jane O'Reilly Papers, 1965-1993; item description, dates. MC 780, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donor: Jane O'Reilly
Accession numbers: 93-M133, 94-M104, 2012-M192
Processed by: Laura Peimer
The following periodicals have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:
The following periodicals have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library's Pro-life newsletter and periodical collection, 1977-2009 (Pr-16):

BIOGRAPHY

Jane O'Reilly was born on April 5, 1936, in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls Catholic school. In 1954, she left Missouri to attend Radcliffe College, graduating with a BA in History in 1958. That same year, she hid an unplanned pregnancy, and gave birth to a daughter soon after her final exams. Although she gave the child up for adoption, they reunited 32 years later. One son, Jan Fischer, was born in 1964.
Jane O'Reilly published her first article in 1960 in The New Republic. Since then she has written on a wide range of subjects, including family issues, the women's movement, media, money, and politics for national magazines. Many of her writings focus on conservative and liberal issues as they relate to culture, society, and politics.
In 1972, following a second divorce, O'Reilly moved to New York to work as a freelance writer. That year she met Gloria Steinem and they, along with others, co-founded Ms. magazine. O'Reilly's essay "Click! The Housewife's Moment of Truth", was the cover story for the first issue. O'Reilly went on to write articles for Ms. and for other magazines and newspapers, including Time magazine, The New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, McCall's, Atlantic Monthly, and Vogue. O'Reilly was a contributing editor to New York magazine and reviewed books for The New York Times Book Review and Viva magazine. In 1975, she moved to Washington, DC, to write about women in Washington for a United Features syndicated column in The Washington Star.
In 1971, O'Reilly received the J.C. Penney-Missouri Magazine Award for "The Paralyzed Generation," an article about suburban teenagers.
In addition to her articles, Jane O'Reilly wrote two books. In 1980 she published a mostly autobiographical work, The Girl I Left Behind: The Housewife's Moment of Truth and Other Feminist Ravings. This collection of writings looks back at her experiences in the feminist movement in the 1970s and explores the social, economic, and political boundaries facing American women. In 1990, she co-wrote No Turning Back: Two Nuns Battle with the Vatican over Women's Right to Choose with Sister Barbara Ferraro and Sister Patricia Hussey. Ferraro's and Hussey's story explores their personal struggles with the Roman Catholic Church, women's role in religion, and the place of the church in modern life.
In 1992, Jane O'Reilly and several other women created the newspaper, Getting It Gazette, which was distributed at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The publication provided information about female candidates and women's issues. The authors insisted that politicians should not consider women a special interest group or afterthought.
After decades of activism in New York, O'Reilly left a career in writing to run for public office. She moved to Vermont in 1994 and served on local governmental committees, such as the library board and the planning commission. She eventually settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in four series:

SCOPE AND CONTENT

This collection contains papers relating to Jane O'Reilly's professional work as a journalist and writer. The collection contains extensive research materials, such as clippings, reports, and printed materials from both conservative and liberal organizations, as well as copies of her column for The Washington Star, and drafts of other writings. The papers were in some order when received and have been further arranged by the archivist. Original folder titles have been maintained and any titles created by the archivist appear in brackets.
Series I, RESEARCH AND WRITINGS, 1965-1993 (#1.1-17.6), contains O'Reilly's working files related to her occupation as a journalist and writer. She researched and wrote about the political, social and cultural issues which occupied both conservative and liberal agendas. Most of her writings covered timely matters affecting women's lives, including the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), reproductive rights, as well as topics such as women's participation in the 1984 Olympics (#16.16). Included in the files are a range of research and supporting materials, such as press releases, direct mail letters and other correspondence from organizations, printed materials from both conservative and liberal groups, clippings, and reports. Some files include drafts of articles, many of which were written for Time magazine. This series also contains files relating to O'Reilly's attendance as a journalist at the United Nations Decade for Women conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where she reported for Time and other magazines (#2.4.-5.13); interview transcripts with Barbara Ferraro and Patricia Hussey for their book No Turning Back: Two Nuns Battle with the Vatican over Women's Right to Choose; and transcripts or notes for speeches given at a variety of meetings and conferences, including a Planned Parenthood spring workshop (1981) (#13.15) and the Association for Women Geoscientists annual meeting (1982) (#14.2). One file containing a letter from theater director Anselma Dell'Olio regarding the New Feminist Repertory; as well as photocopies of articles regarding Dell'Olio and her work was originally processed as collection #A/O66 and has now been added to file #5.14. The series is arranged alphabetically; certain groups of records, such as conferences and speeches, are arranged chronologically within.
Series II, THE WASHINGTON STAR COLUMN, 1972-1980 (#17.7-23.20, PD.1), contains research files for O'Reilly's syndicated opinion column in The Washington Star, which also appeared in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune, among other papers. The column provided O'Reilly with a forum for her progressive social commentary on public policy, legislation, and public figures, and as with her other writings, she tackled a range of topics which affected women's lives, including the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), abortion, child care, and the feminist movement in general. Files contain drafts of articles, final versions, printed materials, clippings, and correspondence. In general, folder titles were created by O'Reilly and often consist of an abbreviated or modified version of the published title. The series is arranged chronologically by the column's date of publication.
Series III, AUDIOVISUAL, 1980-1982, n.d. (#T-496.1 - T-496.34, Vt-267.1 - Vt-267.4), includes audio cassette tapes and videotapes which document the conservative political movement in the 1980s. Included are political proceedings; conference panels and presentations, including the American Family Forum conference in the early 1980s; and speeches by and interviews with conservative figures, including Phyllis Schlafly, Paul Weyrich, and other strategists and activists. Of note is O'Reilly's interview with Phyllis Schlafly for her Time magazine cover article on women (#T-496.30). The series is arranged by format, then alphabetically.
Series IV, MEMORABILIA AND OVERSIZE, 1975-1983, n.d. (#23.21m-23.23m, F+D.1, OD.1-OD.2, SD.1), includes conservative memorabilia collected by O'Reilly, including pro-life and anti-ERA bumper stickers, an anti-ERA button, and a placard possibly used for a pro-life demonstration (#23.23m). Also included are oversize materials removed from Series I and II. The series is arranged by format, then alphabetically.
One photograph in this collection is or will be digitized and available online.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Abortion--United States
Audiotapes
Democratic National Convention
Equal rights amendments--United States
Feminists--United States
International Women's Year, 1975--United States
Journalists--United States
Manuscripts for publication
Pro-choice movement--United States
Pro-life movement--United States
Reproductive rights--United States
Republican National Convention
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Speeches
United States--Politics and government--20th century
Videotapes
Women authors, American--20th century
Women conservatives
Women in the Catholic Church--United States
Women journalists--United States
Women--Political activity--United States
Women--Social conditions--United States
Women's rights--United States
Women's writings
World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women (1985 : Nairobi, Kenya)
ERA Georgia, Inc.
O'Reilly, Jane. Girl I left behind
O'Reilly, Jane. No turning back
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Time
Schlafly, Phyllis
Weyrich, Paul M.

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