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Collection Overview
Creator:Women's School (Cambridge, Mass.)
Title:Women's School (Cambridge, Mass.) records
Call Number:M23
Location: 71/1-2, RS11/52
Volume:6.25 cubic ft. (8 boxes, 1 tube)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records of the Women's school document its development from the early planning stages through closure. Series 1. Administration documents concerning the school's formation, day-to-day operations and governance. Records include annual fiscal reports, information about funding sources, correspondence, articles about the School, press releases on classes and workshops and registration materials. In addition, minutes from the collective, general and teacher's meetings provide information on the operation of the school and its educational programs. Series 2. Term Files contain extensive material on each academic term, including bibliographies, class descriptions, course outlines, instructor's notes, class lists, reading lists, registration for child card and classes, schedules of classes, syllabi, and worksheets. Series 3. Related materials offers a glimpse into the intellectual and political thinking of feminists during the 1970s and early 1980s. Included are articles, brochures, newspapers and speeches relating to the intellectual and political thinking of feminists during the 1970s and early 1980s. Included are articles, brochures, newsletters and speeches relating to African-American women, alternative education programs, the Boston Women's Union, feminist humor, population control in Latin America, socialist feminism, tenant rights, women in China and the Women's Educational Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also included are early published and unpublished works by Angela Davis, Barbara Ehrenreich and Linda Gordon.
Historical Abstract:The Women's School was established in 1971 by 20 women who were involved with the Women's Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school was founded as an alternative source of feminist education, and its ideologies were based on socialist feminism. The school was operated by a collective and classes were taught by volunteers. All collective members, students and teachers were women. Registration fees were kept low so that all women would be able to participate. In 1973, the collective developed a formal administrative structure. Committees were created to select courses, develop special projects and handle office work and finances. Classes were offered on anti-racism, auto mechanics, growing up female, international women's struggles, lesbianism, Marxism, older women and many other topics. The Women's School closed in 1992. It was the longest running women's school of its type in the United States.
Arrangement:Organized into 3 series: 1. Administration; 2. Term Files; and 3. Related Material.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Davis, Angela Yvonne, 1944-
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara.
  • Gordon, Linda.

  • Women's Educational Center.
  • Women's School (Cambridge, Mass.).

  • Feminism and education -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge.
  • Women -- Education -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge.
  • Women's studies -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge.

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Related Materials: A microfilmed version of the Women's School (Cambridge, Mass.) records is located in the Archives Faculty Publications Collection filed under Grassroots Feminist Organizations.
Processor: Finding aid prepared by Deborah Richards, July 1998; updated by Anna J. Cook, July 2010.