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Selected Primary Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection

Personal Papers and Organization Records

Asetoyer, Charon (1951- )
Papers, 1985-2008 (ongoing)
3.75 linear ft. (8 boxes)
Abortion rights advocate, Women's health activist, Indigenous rights activist.
Papers include materials related to a proposed fetal alcohol syndrome study in East and South Africa. Also files on the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994
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Brush, Dorothy Hamilton (1894-1968)
Papers, 1840-1968
5 linear ft. (12 boxes)
Birth control advocate, Women's rights advocate, Author.
Includes materials from a 1956-57 trip to Africa with Margaret Sanger, as well as International Planned Parenthood Federation "Member countries" files, 1959.
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Calkins, Gladys Gilkey (1897-1988)
Papers, 1895-1988
.75 linear ft. (2 boxes)
YWCA executive.
Includes diary from 1953 Africa trip
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Committee of Correspondence (1952-69)
Records, 1952-89
36 linear ft. (61 boxes)
International women's organization that sponsored leadership training programs and seminars designed to prepare women to assume leadership roles in their emerging nations. Correspondents and Field Work files contain materials about seminars, programs, and proposals. There are also travel reports by Dorothy Height, extensive field reports from East Africa by Sarale Owens, and correspondence from leaders in various countries.
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Dunham Family
Papers, 1814-1951 (ongoing)
21.5 linear ft. (58 boxes)
The collection represents four generations of the Dunham, Parker, Kellogg, and Dows families, from the 1850s to the 1950s.
Includes Edward Kellogg and Mary (Dows) Dunham's travel correspondence, diaries, and photographs of Egypt from the 1890s and a journey down the Nile River on a houseboat for three weeks in 1906.
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Frederick, Pauline (1908-90)
Papers, 1917-90
33.5 linear ft. (60 boxes)
Journalist, War correspondent.
Includes materials related to Frederick's coverage of war in Congo, 1960-62; and a trip to Ethiopia in 1963
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Global Campaign for Microbicides (1998-2010)
Records, 1990-2011
24 linear ft. (24 boxes)
Women's health advocacy organization, Reproductive rights advocacy group, International organization to encourage the development of HIV/AIDS prevention methods that women could use autonomously, with no active partner participation.
[Note: This collection is unprocessed and may be difficult to use.]

Hale Family
Papers, 1787-1988
61.75 linear ft. (144 boxes)
Six generations of Hales are represented in the papers, including Charles Hale (1831-82) who served as U.S. consul-general in Cairo, Egypt, from 1864-70. In addition to Charles' correspondence and photographs from Egypt, correspondence and writings by his sisters Susan and Lucretia document their extended visit to him in 1866-67.
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Hamilton, Nancy (1908-85)
Papers, 1862-1992
27 linear ft. (14 boxes)
Playwright, Lyricist, Actor, Filmmaker. The papers chiefly relate to filming, production and distribution of the Academy Award-winning documentary film entitled "Helen Keller in Her Story" (1955).
Included are materials related to Helen Keller's tour in Africa in the 1950s.
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Harmon, Dudley (1912-66)
Papers, 1920-67
1 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Journalist, War correspondent.
In 1941 Harmon worked for the Free French in Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa, where she also served as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.
Papers include a journal from this time.
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Hill, Ruth Lois (1906-2005)
Papers, 1952-79
1 linear ft. (2 boxes)
YWCA overseas secretary, YWCA executive.
The major portion of the material focuses on her service with the YWCA in Liberia from 1952 to 1959.
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International Council of Women (1888- )
Records, 1888-1959
1.5 linear ft. (4 boxes)
International organization founded to bring together women's organizations from all parts of the world for consultation on action to be taken to promote the welfare of humankind, of the family and of the individual and to work for the removal of all disabilities of women.
Includes files on National Councils in a handful of African countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda
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International Women's Tribune Centre (1975- )
Records, 1970-2000 (ongoing)
145 linear ft. (122 boxes)
International women's organization established as a "women's development support resource," to both maintain the momentum generated during the International Women's Year in 1975, and to encourage and assist women and women's projects, particularly in developing countries. The IWTC provides resource information and liaison services, as well as technical assistance women's groups in developing countries.
[Note: This collection is unprocessed and may be difficult to use.]
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Johns, Ruth Elizabeth (1911-71)
Papers, 1932-72
2.25 linear ft. (5 boxes)
YWCA worker, Social worker, Social reform advocate.
Included are materials from Johns' 1966 sabbatical trip to Asia and Africa while she worked for the United Church of Christ.
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Kirkpatrick, Helen Paull (1909-97)
Papers, 1930-98
5 linear ft. (13 boxes)
Correspondence reveals Kirkpatrick's views on Allied Headquarters in North Africa, 1943
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Lucke, Elmina Rose (1889- 1987)
Collection dates: 1897-1987
4.5 linear ft. (5 boxes)
Professor, social work, Professor, social studies, Founder and director, Delhi School of Social Work, Consultant, social work education, YWCA official
In 1950-51 Lucke was awarded Fulbright Scholarship to Cairo, where she served as consultant in social work training to the Cairo School of Social Work and as advisor to the U.S. Point IV program. The papers include many letters to her from former students and associates in Egypt.
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Marsh, Dorothy (1899-1979)
Papers, 1911-73
1.5 linear ft. (4 boxes)
Travel specialist; Red Cross official, World War II; Business executive; Entrepreneur.
As the regional director of Red Cross Service Clubs (1943-45) with the Overseas Task Force, Marsh was stationed in North Africa. Her papers include reports from Casablanca
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Meares, Carrie Eliza (1899-1982)
Papers, 1932-82
.5 linear ft. (1 box)
YWCA worker.
Meares joined the staff of the World YWCA in 1950, going to South Africa. She also carried out exploratory service in Uganda and Kenya. Her papers contain correspondence, reports, and reference files from this work.
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National Women's Health Network (1975- )
Records, 1963-2011 (ongoing)
103.25 linear ft. (239 boxes)
Women's health advocacy organization. Materials include articles and correspondence on Depo-Provera in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
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Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA II) (1921- )
Records, 1928-2009 (ongoing)
510.25 linear ft. (527 boxes)
Birth control advocacy organization.
Includes files on regional conferences, correspondence with international planned parenthood staff in various countries, reports, etc. Countries include: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia
[Note: This collection is unprocessed and may be difficult to use.]
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Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (1916- )
Records, 1859-2002 (ongoing)
49.5 linear ft. (122 boxes)
Birth control advocacy organization
Includes resource files on contraceptive methods in Algeria, Egypt, Liberia, Mauritius, Tunisia
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Plaut, Sally Hayes (1920-94)
Papers, 1943-94
1.5 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Women's Army Corps, World War II; Cryptographer.
Plaut served as a cryptographer for the U.S. Ambassador in London, France, and North Africa, 1943-45
[Note: This collection is unprocessed and may be difficult to use.]
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Ross, Loretta J. (1953- )
Papers, 1956-2005 (ongoing)
31.5 linear ft. (33 boxes)
Reproductive rights advocate, civil rights activist, feminist, women's health activist. National Program Research Director for the Center for Democratic Renewal (formerly the National Anti-Klan Network), where she directed projects on right-wing organizations in South Africa. Founding member of the International Council of African Women. Materials include files on the International Women's Health Meeting in 1993 in Uganda and subject files on Angola, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Eritrea, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Zimbabwe
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Sabin, Florence Rena (1871-1953)
Papers, 1872-1985
12.25 linear ft. (33 boxes)
Physician, Professor, Public health specialist
Contains letters from colleague Dr. Kenneth Smithburn from Central Africa, 1938-40.
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Sanger, Margaret (1879-1966)
Papers, 1761-1995
115.25 linear ft. (232 boxes)
Birth control advocate.
Materials related to Africa include correspondence from Sanger's ground-breaking 1922 world tour in which she travelled through Asia, northern Africa, and Europe; World Population Emergency Committee (WPEC) files include several key reports, including a "Preliminary Survey of the Population Problems and Family Planning Programs in Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere"; and some files on individual countries in Series V. Countries and Regions.
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Saunders, Mildred Louise Boie (1907- 97)
Collection dates: 1914-1990
2.25 linear ft. (5 boxes)
Poet; Editor; Professor, English; Red Cross worker, World War II
Saunders served with the American Red Cross in France, Italy, and Egypt, 1943-46. Included are reports to the Red Cross from Italy and Egypt during World War II and articles Saunders wrote about her experiences there.
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SisterLove (1989- )
Records, 1986-2007 (ongoing)
11 linear ft. (11 boxes)
Women's health advocacy organization, AIDS prevention education with a satellite office in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
[Note: This collection is unprocessed and may be difficult to use.]

Starr, Ellen Gates (1859-1940)
Papers, 1659-1975
9.75 linear ft. (25 boxes)
Labor organizer; Religious writer; Settlement house worker; Founder, Hull House, Chicago; Bookbinder. Papers document four generations of Starr family members.
Materials include Mary Houghton Starr Blaisdell's travel notes about her trip to Egypt which may have been used for public presentations.
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Ticknor, Frances (1913-2007)
Collection dates: 1938-1990.
.25 linear ft. (1 box)
YWCA overseas official
Papers include letters Ticknor wrote home to her family from YWCA work in Egypt, 1947-1948.
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Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (1969- )
Records, 1969-2009 (ongoing)
27 linear ft. (55 boxes)
International organization to further the development of educational theory and practice, foster the development of human resources, and advance the cause of mutual understanding and cooperation among university women throughout the world.
Records contain files on projects in Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
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Watters, Hyla S. (1893-1987)
Papers, 1892-1991
1.5 linear ft. (3 boxes)
Medical missionary; Physician in Ganta, Liberia, 1950-61
Includes correspondence to her family from Liberia
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Women's Africa Committee (of the African-American Institute) (1959- ?)
Records, 1959-1978
.5 linear ft. (1 box)
Intercultural exchange organization, International organization seeking to foster cultural and educational exchange between the U.S. and Africa.
Materials include publications and program files.
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Woodsmall, Ruth Frances (1883-1963)
Papers, 1863-1963
39.25 linear ft. (84 boxes)
Teacher, YWCA overseas official
Materials include research and notes on the role and status of Muslim women from 1920s-1950s. There are interview notes, conference materials, reports, and notes on discussion group meetings
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YWCA of the U.S.A. (1906- )
Records, 1860-2002 (ongoing)
570.5 linear ft. (1133 boxes)
Social service organization, Women's advocacy organization, Civic improvement organization, Community service organization, Educational and intercultural exchange organization. The aim of the US YWCA's international work was to assist in founding "self-supporting, self-directing and self-propagating national movements."
Materials on the YWCA's international work include files on YWCAs in Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
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Subject Collections

Countries Collection

Files with miscellaneous clippings, pamphlets, etc., on women in Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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Education Collection

Small amount of misc material on women's education in Africa, 1927-61
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Women's Rights Collection

Miscellaneous materials on conferences, women's rights, legal status
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Miscellaneous Manuscripts

Peace Corps correspondence of Jean Westerberg (aka Lila Ansell) from Ghana, 1964-1966

Miscellaneous Organizations Files

Files on The Black Sash, 1956-62 & National Council of Women of South Africa, 1948-63

Periodicals Collection

Africa's Modern Woman (Africa's Leading Illustrated Women's Magazine), 1963-1966
African Women (continuing as Women Today), 1954-63
Women Today (formerly African Women), 1954-81
The Black Sash, 1956-1972, 1982

Major Women's Conferences in Africa

U.N. World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985
Materials available in multiple collections, including: Saralee Hamilton, International Women's Tribune Centre, Loretta Ross, Charon Asetoyer, National Congress of Neighborhood Women.

International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt, in 1994
Materials available in multiple collections, including: Charon Asetoyer, Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center, Loretta Ross, Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project.

Additional Resources

For secondary sources, see the Browsing and Reference collections in the Special Collections Reading Room.