Archives and Special Collections
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Creator: Sister Courage.
Title:Sister Courage records
Call Number:M123
Location:63/2, 64/2
Volume:0.6 cubic ft (2 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:This collection documents the work of Sister Courage, one of the longest running women's newspapers in Boston. Research topics include feminist theory and politics, and collective business practices. This collection contains incorporation papers and other legal documents; correspondence; newsletters; notes for a slide show presentation; meeting minutes; mailing lists; sale and distribution information; and copies of the Sister Courage publication (1975-1978). This set of Sister Courage is not complete; issues missing are March 1975, March and May 1976, and January and February 1978.
Historical Abstract: Sister Courage was an all female, volunteer collective newspaper dedicated to providing a forum where women could contribute their experiences and ideas while developing feminist theory. This non-profit feminist newspaper was founded in 1974 by 40 women to address issues such as health, day care, housing, union organization, and employment. The goals of the newspaper were to improve communication among Boston area women's groups, develop feminist theory and strategy, and analyze the way capitalism and sexism reinforced each other. The group worked diligently for almost a year writing grant proposals, soliciting advertising, and preparing articles before finally publishing the first issue of Sister Courage in October 1975. Sister Courage relied solely on women volunteers who worked collectively on the day-to-day operations of putting out a monthly newspaper. In December 1977, the newspaper ceased publication for two months to reorganize the collective work system it had been operating under. Prior to this shutdown, Sister Courage had been the longest running women's publication in the Boston area. When the newspaper began publishing again in March 1978, the small group of remaining volunteers realized that they could not put out a weekly newspaper and work to develop a consistent political ideology for Sister Courage. In June 1978, the newspaper was forced to stop publication permanently due to lack of financial resources and support from the all-volunteer staff and the feminist community. The newspaper was in debt when it closed its doors and had to hold a fundraiser to reimburse its subscribers. Despite the end of Sister Courage, members remained optimistic about the future of the Women's Movement: "We hope that we and others will learn from our mistakes and that we will all go on to other political work where we can use this knowledge meaningfully" (Letter to Friends of Sister Courage, 1978. Box 1).
Arrangement: Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Sister Courage, Inc.

  • Feminist theory and politics

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Dominique Tremblay, November 2006