Robin Morgan papers, 1940s-2019 and undated, bulk 1970-2019
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- Morgan, Robin, 1941-
- The collection documents the personal, political, and professional aspects of the life of an important feminist writer of the twentieth century. 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, SISTERHOOD IS GLOBAL and SISTERHOOD IS FOREVER; 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.
- 84.0 Linear Feet
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- Scope and content:
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.
- Biographical / historical:
Chronology Date Event 1941, Jan. 29 Born in Lake Worth, Fla. 1956 Graduated with Honors from the Wetter School 1956-1959 Student with private tutors at Columbia University, ages 15-18 1961-1969 Free-lance book editor 1962 Married Kenneth Pitchford 1968 Organized first feminist demonstration against Miss America Pageant 1969 Birth of son, Blake 1969-1970 Editor for Grove Press 1970 Author, compiler, and editor of Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement 1970 Founder and president of The Sisterhood is Powerful Foundation 1972 Monster: Poems published 1973 Visiting chair and guest professor of Women's Studies at New College, Sarasota, Fla. 1974-1987 Editor and columnist of Ms. magazine 1978 Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist published 1979-1980 Received National Endowment for the Arts grant 1982 Depth Perception: New Poems and a Masque published 1982-1984 Received Ford Foundation grant 1984 Founder of Sisterhood is Global Institute 1984 Author, compiler, and editor of Sisterhood is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology 1987 Distinguished visiting scholar and lecturer at Rutgers University, N. J. 1989 The Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism published 1989-1993 Editor in chief of Ms. magazine 1990 Divorced from Kenneth Pitchford 1992 Received Honorary Doctorate from the University of Connecticut 1993 Consulting editor of Ms. magazine 1996-1997 Visiting professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of International Affairs 2000 Saturday's Child: A Memoir published 2003 Author, compiler, and editor of Sisterhood is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium 2003 Columnist for Ms. magazine
Robin Morgan is a feminist activist, award-winning poet, novelist, journalist, and essayist. She was a child model, had her own radio show at the age of four, and was a child star on television. Since the late 1960s, when she organized the first demonstration against the Miss America Pageant, Morgan has been active in the feminist movement. In 1984, she founded the Sisterhood is Global Institute, an international, non-governmental, and non-profit organization concerned with women's rights which is currently based in Montreal, Canada.
As a recipient of numerous writing grants, Morgan has published eighteen books, including six poetry collections, two books of fiction, the now-classic anthology Sisterhood is Powerful (named by the American Library Association one of the "The 100 Most Influential Books of the 20th Century"), and an anthology of international feminism, Sisterhood is Global. She has also consistently contributed to Ms. magazine. She currently lives in New York.
- Acquisition information:
- The Robin Morgan Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as purchases from 2001-2003, and as a gift in 2009, 2010, 2015-2016, and 2019.
- Processing information:
Processed by Ruth E. Bryan, Katy Wischow, Ann Langford, Joshua A. Kaiser, Pavla Vesela, Paula Jeannet
Completed March 5, 2004
Encoded by Pavla Vesela, Paula Jeannet
Accessions 2001-0166, 2001-0184, 2002-0208, 2003-0022, 2003-0022 and 2003-0093 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Accessions 2009-0069 and 2010-0176 were added to this finding aid by Meghan Lyon, February 2009 and October 2010.
Accession 2015-0060, 2016-0246, and 2019-0145 were added to this finding aid by Megan Lewis, 2015-2020.
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Feminism -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States
Feminists -- United States
Periodical editors -- United States
Feminism -- United States
Periodicals -- Publishing -- United States
Women's rights -- Middle East
Feminism -- Middle East
Feminism -- South Africa
Feminists -- United States -- Correspondence
Feminists -- Soviet Union
Women's rights -- South Africa
- Black-and-white photographs
Sisterhood is Global Institute
Morgan, Robin, 1941-
Abzug, Bella S., 1920-1998
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[Identification of item], Robin Morgan Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University