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Cookie Teer papers, 1971-2000, bulk 1983-1997 31.2 Linear Feet — 23,400 Items

Dorothy "Cookie" Foster Teer was born on August 15, 1941 to Dorothy and Nello Teer, Jr. of Durham, N.C. After a stint in New York, she returned to Durham in the 1970s. After taking some courses at Duke Divinity School, she joined the committee that founded Triangle Hospice. In the early 1980s, Teer became an overnight radical feminist, activist, and speaker, giving over 400 slide shows around the United States on pornography, sex role stereotyping, and child pornography. A 1987 conversation led to her co-founding of Southern Sisters Bookstore, a Durham, N.C. bookstore "by, for, and about women." By the late 1980s and 1990s, Teer was heavily involved in advocacy efforts around child custody, divorce, and domestic abuse, and frequently had "mothers on the run" living in her home. With a group of other women activists and radicals, Teer founded a writing collective called Women Against Sex. Married and divorced twice, Teer had three children. After Southern Sisters Bookstore closed, Teer took a step back from activism and began working as a real estate agent. The collection dates primarily between 1983-1997, providing thorough documentation of the social, cultural, and political debates over pornography in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, with materials from both proponents and opponents of anti-pornography legislation, as well as detailed documentation of the pornography industry, and transcripts from hearings organized by the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. The collection contains some materials related to particular feminist activists and theorists, including Nikki Craft, Catherine MacKinnon, and Andrea Dworkin. Teer's extensive subject files also contain clippings, correspondence, and printed materials pertaining to women's rights, feminists, feminist organizations and events, and social issues related to women and children such as rape, pornography, incest, prostitution, domestic violence, child custody, and child abuse. Other materials relate to her ownership of the Southern Sisters bookstore (Durham, N.C.), such as promotional materials, newsletters, events fliers, and calendars.

The materials in the Dorothy "Cookie" Teer Papers date from 1971 to 2000, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1983 and 1997. These materials include: newspaper clippings, magazines, correspondence, photographs, meeting minutes, manuscripts, notes, published books, audio and videotapes, organizational records, and court transcripts. The collection documents Teer's activism during this period, the feminist issues with which she was concerned, feminist and anti-pornography activism in and around Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., and the activities of the organizations of which Teer was a member, including the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) and Pornography Awareness.

This collection provides thorough documentation of the social, cultural, and political debates over pornography in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, with materials from both proponents and opponents of anti-pornography legislation, as well as detailed documentation of the pornography industry, with a focus on publications such as Playboy and Hustler. Transcripts from hearings organized by the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography supplement these materials, with testimony from all sides of the pornography debate. The collection contains some materials related to particular feminist activists and theorists, including Nikki Craft, Catherine MacKinnon, and Andrea Dworkin. Teer's extensive subject files also contain newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, and printed items pertaining to women's rights, feminists, feminist organizations and events, and social issues related to women and children such as rape, pornography, incest, prostitution, domestic violence, child custody, and child abuse. Other materials relate to her ownership of the Southern Sisters bookstore (Durham, N.C.), such as promotional materials, newsletters, events fliers, several rolodex files, rubber stamps, and calendars.

The collection is organized into four series: Subject Files, Orange County Human Relations Commission, Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, and Southern Sisters Bookstore.

The Subject Files series contains clippings and academic articles related to violence against women and children. Other materials include extensive documentation of the anti-pornography movement, the work of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), and various feminist or anti-pornography symposia. Includes files on feminist artist and activist Nikki Craft and feminist scholar and lawyer Catherine MacKinnon. Several files relate to the women's/feminist Southern Sisters Bookstore in Durham, N.C., of which Teer was a proprietor.

The Orange County Human Relations Commission series contains materials related to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and the Committee for Justice for Women of Orange County. Some materials consist of pamphlets or news clippings related to the HRC's focus areas, especially the status of women and children within the county and the state; series also contains planning for and documentation of the public hearings on the status of women and children in Orange County, N.C., organized by the Human Relations Commission and held in 1989.

The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography series contains materials related to the commission's 1985-1986 investigation into pornography. Consisting almost entirely of transcripts from public hearings on pornography, some with annotations, this series details many aspects of the U.S. pornography industry. This series also contains some materials from the 1983 Minneapolis hearings on pornography.

The Southern Sisters Bookstore series contains materials related to the feminist/women's Southern Sisters Bookstore, of which Teer was co-owner, President, and CEO. Materials include financial records, flyers, mailing lists, mission statement, bibliographies of materials related to feminist issues, as well as materials such as cards from the bookstore's Rolodex, signs, and rubber stamps. Contains some correspondence from patrons, donors, and supporters of the store.