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Judy Norsigian Collection

1953-2002 (Bulk: 1967-1976)
1 box (0.25 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1071

Judy Norsigian is a prominent advocate for women's reproductive health and was a co-founder of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, better known by its later and the title of its best-known book, Our Bodies, Ourselves. Editor of each of the nine editions of the book and executive director of the collective from 2001 to 2015, Norsigian is an important public intellectual on women's health issues and has served on numerous boards and advisory groups relating to reproductive health, contraception, and medical research.

Consisting primarily of the sort of ephemeral political literature that abounded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Norsigian collection offers insight into the feminist movement and the early milieu of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Many of the publications are devoted to issues in contemporary feminism or pertain to women's conferences, however several (especially those published by the New England Free Press) take on other political and social movements.

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Background on Judy Norsigian


An image of: SDS pamphlet, 1969

SDS pamphlet, 1969

Judy Norsigian is a prominent advocate for women's reproductive health and was a co-founder of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, better known by its later and the title of its best-known book, Our Bodies, Ourselves. A landmark work on sexuality and reproductive health a key work in second wave feminism, Our Bodies Ourselves arose out of a women's liberation conference in May 1969 at which a dozen young women in a workshop on "Women and their bodies" were galvanized by the experience of sharing information and personal stories. Hoping to continue exploring and sharing the issues raised in the workshop, these women formed "The Doctors' Group" to serve as a place for continuing exchange about women's health and bodies.

To share their discoveries with a broader audience, Norsigian and her colleagues published a booklet through the radical New England Free Press which became a runaway best seller on the underground market. The Doctor's Group incorporated in 1972 as the Boston Women's Health Book Collective and struck a deal with Simon and Schuster to published the first edition of Our Bodies Ourselves. Norsigian served as editor of each of the nine editions of the book and became executive director of the collective from 2001 to 2015. In high demand for her insights into women's health issues, she has served on the boards of the National Women's Health Network and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Contraceptive Research and Development Program, and on several committees at the Institute of Medicine related to contraceptive research.

Scope of collection

Consisting primarily of the sort of ephemeral political literature that abounded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Norsigian collection offers insight into the feminist movement and the early milieu of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Many of the publications are devoted to issues in contemporary feminism or pertain to women's conferences, however several (especially those published by the New England Free Press) take on other political and social movements. Many are stamped as property of the Boston Women's Health Collective.

Inventory

American female: Special Supplement to Harpers Magazine
1962
Folder 1
Daily Breakthrough: Where Women are News
1977 Nov. 18-19
2 issues
Folder 2
Feminist publications
2002 May
Folder 3
Alpert, Jane: Mother right: a new feminist theory
1974
Reprint
Clio 54
2002 May
Famous unknown women -- series
1970
Komisar, Lucy: Where feminism will lead
1974
Reprint
Patty Hearst and the women's movement, Sojourner
1976 Apr.
Stannard, Una: Male maternal instinct
1974
Reprint
Steinem, Gloria: Overview of the women's movement
udated
typescript
Steinem, Gloria: Politics of supporting lesbianism
1978
Reprint
Women and the economy, Review of Radical Political Economics 8, 1
1976 Spring
Frederick, Cynthia: Under the bombs: North Vietnam responds to the pressures of war
1972
Pamphlet
Folder 4
Green Revolution 36, 3
1979 Apr.
Folder 5
Hacker, Helen Mayer: Marx, Weber, and Pareto on changing status of women, American Journal of Economics and Sociology 12, 2
1953 Jan.
Offprint
Folder 6
Hemispheric Conference for Women '76
1976
Brochure
Folder 7
International Women's Year Conference (Houston, Tex.): ephemera and articles
1977
Folder 8
Miscellaneous photocopies and clippings
Folder 9
New England Free Press pamphlets
1962-1977
Folder 10
Alavi, Hamza and Amir Khusro: Pakistan: the burden of U.S. aid. New England Free Press
1962
Pamphlet
Bodenheimer, Tom: Food for profit: American aid in Guatemala. New England Free Press
1971
Reprint
de Rivera, Alice: Jumping the track. New England Free Press
1970
Reprint
Dubois, Ellen: Struggling into existence: the feminism of Sarah and Angelina Grimke. New England Free Press
1970
Reprint
Ehrenreich, Barbara: Toward a political morality. New England Free Press
1977
Reprint
Gerassi, Marysa: Uruguay's urban guerrillas. New England Free Press
1970
Pamphlet
Mann, Eric: Newark Community School. New England Free Press
1967
Reprint
Scott, Peter Dale: Air America: Flying the U.S. into Laos. New England Free Press
1970
Reprint
Students for a Democratic Society: Fight racism! New England Free Press
1969
Pamphlet
Ourselves and our children: A book by and for parents [promotional brochure]
1978
Folder 11

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Judy Norsigian, Aug. 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Mar. 2019.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Judy Norsigian Collection (MS 1071). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Feminism--Massachusetts
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves

Contributors

  • Norsigian, Judy [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Brochures
  • Ephemera (General object genre)
  • Newspapers
  • Pamphlets

Link to similar SCUA collections