Robin Morgan papers, 1940s-2014 and undated, bulk 1970-2000 76.5 Linear Feet
The papers of Robin Morgan date from the 1940s to 2014, with the bulk of the material dating between 1970 and 2000. The collection documents the personal, political, and professional aspects of the life of an important feminist writer of the twentieth century. It is organized into the following series: Correspondence, Writings, Speeches and Interviews, Subject Files, Personal Files, Teaching Materials, Audio-Visual Materials, Photographic and Visual Materials, and Oversize Material. The largest group of materials consists of documentation on all of Morgan's significant written works: Demon Lover; Depth Perception; Dry Your Smile; Going Too Far; A Hot January; Lady of the Beasts; Saturday's Child; her well-known feminist anthologies, Sisterhood is Powerful and Sisterhood is Global; and other materials on her poems, articles, and other writings. In addition, Morgan's papers hold many items of correspondence with a wide range of individuals, including prominent activists and feminists as well as family members and close friends. There is also a significant amount of correspondence and other material that documents Morgan's role as founder of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, and records related to her role as editor and writer for Ms. magazine.
Seen in a broader context, the collection provides ample documentation for the study of modern feminism. Morgan's subject files (the second largest in the series) are rich in materials related to the feminist movement in the United States and around the world; and materials concerning sexual health, witchcraft, lesbian feminism, and the social, economic, and political position of women in the world (especially in the Middle East, Russia, and South Africa). There are materials on individual figures such as Bella Abzug, Jane Alpert (imprisoned revolutionary), Patty Hearst, Gloria Steinem, and Marilyn Waring. Other series hold additional materials related to Morgan's career as a writer; several of her speeches and interviews; materials from Morgan's courses she gave on feminism; and photographs and audio-visual materials.
The Correspondence Series spans much of Morgan's adult life. It is divided into two subseries: Correspondence by Name and Correspondence by Decade. The Correspondence by Name Subseries chiefly consists of Morgan's correspondence with family members, friends, fellow feminist activists and contemporary authors and critics. The bulk of the items in the Correspondence by Decade Subseries dates from the 1990s and relates to the production of Ms. magazine. The Correspondence Series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.
The Writings Series documents Morgan's career as a poet, novelist, essayist and journalist. Of Morgan's eighteen books, ten are represented in individual subseries. Particularly noteworthy is the material related to Sisterhood is Global, which provides an inside view into the production of the anthology. The series also contains some of Morgan's earliest unpublished writings as well as files containing her comments on other writers' work, and single issues of periodicals in which she published her poetry. The Writings Series is also restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form before using the materials.
The Speeches and Interviews Series primarily contains peripheral documentation such as contracts, correspondence, and schedules. However, there are drafts of a number of her speeches and interviews.
Materials which Morgan collected over the years concerning American and international feminism are located in the Subject Files Series. The materials cover a number of topics, including women's economic, political, and social status, and feminist action - especially in South Africa, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East; rape, abortion, terrorism, female genital mutilation, and pornography; and the first feminist demonstration against the Miss America Pageant. Significant figures represented in the subject files include Marilyn Waring, Patricia Hearst, and Gloria Steinem. Two subseries contain administrative information about Ms. magazine and the Sisterhood is Global Institute. The Subjects Series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.
The smaller Personal Files Series offers materials related to Robin Morgan's education, early critical writing, and her many trips overseas. The series also includes material that Morgan requested under the Freedom of Information Act from the FBI and CIA about her own activities.
The documents in the Teaching Materials Series are primarily related to Morgan's academic positions at New College (Sarasota, Fla.) and the University of Denver, and the courses she taught on feminism and writing. The files include both administrative documentation as well as actual course material, but there are also clippings related to feminist protests on campus.
The Audio-Visual Materials Series contains numerous interviews on cassette tapes that Morgan conducted in the Middle East, a recording of her reading of selected poems from A Hot January, and a videotape about the production of Saturday's Child. Permission is not granted to publish interviews conducted in the Middle East; the researcher is responsible for obtaining permission to publish. Original copies of audiovisual materials are not open to use; however, use copies are available to researchers.
The Photographic and Visual Materials Series provides a small visual supplement to the other documents in the collection and includes portrait photographs of Morgan taken by the press and by her close friends, as well as snapshots of social gatherings. This series also includes two painted portraits of Morgan. The series is restricted: patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Rights and Responsibilities form before using the materials.
Later additions (Accessions 2009-0069, 2010-0176, 2015-0060) have not been fully processed, but boxlists are available in the Detailed Description portion of this finding aid. Some portions are restricted or closed.
For collections related to the Robin Morgan Papers, see the Phyllis Chesler, Merle Hoffman, and Kate Millett Papers, all located in the Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition to Robin Morgan's own papers, the Library also holds the records of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, founded by Morgan in 1984.