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MC 806; T-408; Vt-230

Echo, Susan B., 1955- . Papers of Susan B. Echo, ca.1870-2010 (inclusive), 1970-2000 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute


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 806; T-408; Vt-230
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Title: Papers of Susan B. Echo, ca.1870-2010 (inclusive), 1970-2000 (bulk)
Date(s): 1870-2010
Date(s): 1970-2000
Quantity: 13.8 linear feet (28 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 carton, 1 folio box) plus 9 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 8 oversize folders, 1 supersize folder, 25 photograph folders, 3 folio photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 1 oversize photograph folder, 1 supersize photograph folder, 76 slides, 17 audiotapes, 2 videotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, artwork, photographs, course work, and collected feminist and lesbian ephemera and memorabilia of feminist Susan B. Echo.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 2006-M81, 2006-M102, 2009-M45, 2009-M129, 2010-M241, 2011-M148
The papers of Susan B. Echo were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Susan B. Echo between May 2006 and August 2011.

Processing Information:

Processed: April 2015
By: Mark Vassar with the assistance of Dan Bullman.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Researchers are required to sign a special permission form for access to folders #24.1-31FB.4m, FD.1-FD.9, F+D.1, OD.1-OD.8, SD.1, PD.13-PD.32sl, and audiotapes #T-408.9 - T-408.15. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Series I (folders #1.1-23.5, PD.1-PD.12, audiotapes #T-408.1 - T-408.8, and videotapes #Vt-230.1 - Vt-230.2) is closed until the death of Susan B. Echo.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Susan B. Echo is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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:

Susan B. Echo Papers, ca.1870-2010; item description, dates. MC 806, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Donors: Susan B. Echo
Accession numbers: 2006-M81, 2006-M102, 2009-M45, 2009-M129, 2010-M241, 2011-M148
Processed by: Mark Vassar
The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Printed Materials Division:
The following item has been removed from the collection and transferred to the National Organization for Women chapter newsletter collection (Pr-1):
The following phonograph albums, 45 rpm phonograph disks, and cassette tapes were removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Printed Materials Division.


Susan B. Echo was born in 1955 in the rural Midwest. She had two brothers and one sister. In her youth she attended a number of Christian summer camps, most notably Camp Aurora in Missouri. From 1974 until 1981 she attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, supplementing her course work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and completing her degree at Webster College in 1982. During her college years she became interested in the culture and politics of feminism, attending women's community events such as music festivals, concerts, plays, workshops, symposia, etc. She took the name Susan B. Echo presumably as part of her identity as a feminist artist; Susan B. in homage to Susan B. Anthony and Echo as a more poetic version of her surname. She was an avid photographer and artist, publishing several photographs in feminist journals and having at least one photograph show in Missouri. She also entered a number of assemblages in shows in Colorado. She also wrote poetry, having several pieces published in feminist journals and newsletters. She volunteered at the Women's Eye, a local feminist book store (1977-1983), served on the Washington University's Women Studies Steering Committee (1977-1978), and was elected as a member of the Coalition Council of the United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian/Gay Concerns (1986-1991). In the early 1990s she worked for the Colorado AIDS Project.


The collection is arranged in three series:


Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, ca.1900-2010 (#1.1-23.5, FD.1, PD.1-PD.12, T-408.1 - T-408.8, Vt-230.1 - Vt-230.2), includes correspondence, diaries, address books, appointment books, course work, poetry, therapy notes, sketch books, biographical material, photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, etc. Folder titles were created by the processor. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title followed by photographs, audiotapes, and videotapes. This series is closed until the death of Susan B. Echo.
Series II, COLLECTED EPHEMERA AND MEMORABILIA, 1909-2005 (#24.1-31FB.4m, FD.2-FD.8, OD.1-OD.7, SD.1), includes flyers, brochures, posters, catalogs, invitations, minutes, and other items of an ephemeral nature collected by Susan B. Echo. This material documents feminist and lesbian-related activities and organizations, the bulk of which took place in Missouri or Colorado, although several topics are national in scope. Topics documented include feminism, women and the arts; women's health, women's music; women and religion; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender organizations and events, etc. Folders with very specific titles such as the names of organizations or events, originally containing only one or two documents were reorganized under larger topic areas such as "women's music" to bring similar material together. Other material consists of buttons; stickers and bumper stickers; patches and ribbons; jewelry; etc., documenting the same or similar topics to those documented by collected ephemera. The bulk of the buttons in this series were created by Ferne Sales and Manufacturing Company of West Orange, New Jersey, which appears to be no longer in operation; Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources based in Chicago, Illinois which has been in continuous operation since 1975; and White Mare, a much smaller company founded by Liza Cowan (who was also a co-founder of Dyke: A Quarterly) who created the buttons to sell at women's music festivals. Also included in this series are two assemblage pieces created by Susan Echo. Newsletters and commercially produced music phonograph discs and cassettes were removed and transferred to the Schlesinger Library's Printed Materials Division. See Series III for photographs collected by Echo. The series is arranged with ephemera appearing before memorabilia and alphabetically therein. Most folder titles were created by the processor. Those appearing in quotes were created by Echo.
Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIOTAPES, AND OVERSIZED, ca.1870-1999 (#FD.1-FD.9, F+D.1, OD.1-OD.8, SD.1 PD.13-PD.32sl, T-408.9 - T-408.15) includes photographs, negatives, slides, audiotapes, and videotapes. Photographs document Susan Echo's time at various Christian summer camps and a Girl Scout camp. Also included are photographs and slides taken by Susan Echo at poetry readings, protests, women's music events, feminist gatherings, etc., and include Margie Adam, Jill Johnston, Barbara Corr, Barbara Hammer, Alive!, Adrienne Rich, Linda (Tui) Tillery, Bernice Johnson Reagon, a United Farm Workers protest, a Take Back the Night march, and a Revive America Crusade tent revival (several of which were published), as well as photographs and slides of her assemblages. Echo also collected vintage photographs of cross-dressing men and women, women in intimate poses, and famous female musicians, actors, feminists, women in sports, etc., and those photographs are included in the series. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. Audio material in this series consists of recordings of women's music festivals and other musical performances by women; several women's studies classes (one taught by Joyce Trebilcot); lectures on homosexuality and religion; a workshop entitled "Women and Dignity" held at Washington University. Oversized folders include oversized material such as a newsletter, sketches, posters, etc., removed from folders in previous series and oversized folders already described in previous series. Their inclusion here serves as a shelf list. Folder and audiovisual titles were created by the processor. The series is arranged by format, with photographs appearing first, followed by audiovisual material, and finally oversized material.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Appointment books
Baby books
Bumper stickers
Christian women--Missouri
Depression in women--United States
Equal rights amendments--United States
Feminism and art--United States
Feminists--Missouri--Saint Louis
Lesbians--Missouri--Saint Louis
Mothers and daughters--United States
Psychotherapy--United States
Religious camps--Missouri
Reproductive rights--United States
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Sexism--United States
Women--Violence against--United States
Women and peace--United States
Women's music
Camp Aurora (Windyville, Mo.)
Trebilcot, Joyce
United Church Coalition for Lesbian/Gay Concerns