The materials in the Alix Kates Shulman Papers span the dates 1892 to 2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968 to 2000. These materials include: manuscripts, notes, clippings, published books, correspondence, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, address and date books, family and business records. The primary focus of the collection is Shulman's writing and literary career. The secondary focus is the women's liberation and feminist movements, in which Shulman was and continues to be very active (from 1968 to the present). However, feminism and feminist activism are inextricably intertwined with Shulman's writing career, and her 1972 novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen is regarded by many as the first novel to "come out of" the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Other topics covered by the collection include: her teaching and other academic work; her public speaking and conference activities; and her involvement in political activities besides feminism. This collection sheds valuable light on the concerns and tensions within the women's liberation and second-wave feminist movements. In particular, the materials document debates and disagreements among those active in the movement with regard to sexuality, marriage and domestic relations, women's financial situation and careers, health care, civil rights and cultural expression. Many of these issues are raised in Shulman's own work, including her novels, essays, short fiction, personal letters and her teaching materials.
The collection is divided into seven series. The Personal Papers Series contains Shulman's family history papers, photographs, biographical papers, and her personal correspondence (with writers, academics, political activists and family members). Notable correspondents include Ros Baxandall, Jay Bolotin, Kay Boyle, Rita Mae Brown, Phyllis Chesler, Judy Chicago, Andrea Dworkin, Candace Falk, Marilyn French, Lori Ginzberg, Hannah Green, Erica Jong, Kate Millett, Honor Moore, Robin Morgan, Tillie Olson, Lillian Rubin, Sue Standing, and Meredith Tax. The Political Work Series contains material relating to Shulman's involvement with feminist and other liberal political groups, including Redstockings, New York Radical Women, the PEN Women's Committee, No More Nice Girls, the Women's Action Coalition, and Women Against Government Surveillance
The Literary Work Series contains a variety of materials relating to Shulman's literary career, including financial and other dealings with publishing houses, notes and research, photocopies of publications, reviews of her work, articles and notes she collected regarding the literary scene, and original manuscripts. This series contains information about her early children's books; several books she edited of Emma Goldman's writings; her essays and short fiction; her novels Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), Burning Questions (1975), On the Stroll (1977), In Every Woman's Life . . . (1980); and her memoirs Drinking the Rain (1995) and A Good Enough Daughter (1999). A small amount of correspondence regarding book reviews of other authors' work is also included.
The Academic Work Series contains materials relating to Shulman's graduate work at NYU; her teaching at Yale, the University of Colorado at Boulder, NYU, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa; as well as her relationships with her students. The Public Speaking Series contains materials relating to Shulman's participation in literary and political conferences and gatherings, personal interviews, lectures and book talks.
Portions of the Restricted Materials Series either may not be photocopied without prior permission of Ms. Shulman or the relevant author, or may not be accessed until a future date. The same organizational categories have been applied to the restricted materials as were used in the unrestricted materials to help researchers easily access overlapping and related materials that have been boxed separately due to the restrictions. The Oversize Materials Series contains miscellaneous oversize materials of a biographical and literary nature.
Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.
The Irene Peslikis Papers span the years 1957-2002 and document Peslikis's life as a feminist artist, activist, and educator. The collection is organized into nine series: Feminist Activism, Correspondence, Writings, Personal Files, Subject Files, Education, Art, Printed Material, and Audiovisual Material.
The Feminist Activism Series is composed of materials from three key venues for Peslikis's feminist activist work: the New York Feminist Art Institute, the journal Women & Art, and the group Redstockings. This series includes organizational records, related correspondence and articles, exhibition announcements, and grant proposals.
The Correspondence Series contains letters, postcards, and cards received by Peslikis from family and friends. Frequent and/or notable correspondents include her immediate family: her mother, father, and brother, Michael; and friends Ursula Karau, Alix Kates Shulman, Rosalyn Baxandall, Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Lucinda (Cindy) Cisler, Lucia Vernarelli, Pat Mainardi, Judy Chicago, and Shulamith (Shulie) Firestone. A smaller amount of outgoing letters is also included. Correspondence depicts Peslikis's work as an activist and as an artist, as well as her financial and medical difficulties.
Materials in the Writings Series include manuscripts, notes, notebooks, and journals kept by Peslikis. The Manuscripts subseries includes writings by people other than Peslikis which directly impacted her work, as well as drafts and outlines of Peslikis's publications. Notes, notebooks, and journals were all penned by Peslikis. Notebooks are primarily personal journals kept by Peslikis from her teenage years through the early 1980s and again from the early 1990s until the end of her life.
The Personal Files Series depicts the numerous financial, legal, and medical issues confronted by Peslikis over three decades. Peslikis received assistance in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, and subsidized housing for artists (at Westbeth Artist Housing), each of which required meticulous documentation in order to retain. A portion of this series is closed until 2099.
The Subject Files Series consists primarily of clippings and notes retained by Peslikis on a number of women- and feminism-related subjects, as well as on art, astrology, United States foreign policy, and Greek politics.
The Education Series is composed of files documenting Peslikis as a student, an instructor, and an instructor in search of employment.
Items in the Art Series include artwork by Peslikis, duplications of her artwork, sketchbooks, and files related to her exhibits, including flyers, reviews, and catalogs.
The Printed Material Series comprises periodicals, pamphlets, and printed essays. Subjects represented include feminism, Marxism, and art.
The Audiovisual Material Series consists of audiocassettes and super 8 film documenting discussions, meetings, and other events. Items are labeled with original descriptions provided by Peslikis. Also included is a VHS tape of a memorial service for Peslikis.
The papers of Kate Millett provide rich documentation of Millett's activities as a feminist activist, artist, and author of numerous works, including Sexual Politics, whose publication established her as one of the founding 20th century feminists. Other works for which supporting materials exist are The Loony-bin Trip, Flying, and The Basement.
Seen in a broader context, Millett's papers provide important documentation of the history of the feminist movement and feminist theory in the United States, including the history of the National Organization for Women. Materials in the collection also cover feminism and the social conditions for women around the globe, especially in France, Italy, and the Middle East - most notably Iran, where Millett traveled in 1979-1980.
The earliest dates in the collection, 1912 and 1928, refer respectively to an early family photograph, and historical resources used when writing the book A.D.. The bulk of the materials span her adult life from the 1950s through the early 2000s.
The collection content reflects the intensely personal nature of much of Millett's work and the frequent fusion of her personal, political, and professional interests, strongly evident in the many files of personal and literary correspondence, including significant exchanges with Ti-Grace Atkinson, Rita Mae Brown, Phyllis Chesler, Andrea Dworkin, Cynthia McAdams, Yoko Ono, Alix Kates Shulman, Gloria Steinem, and many other activists, writers, artists, friends, partners, and family.
Additional series include writings by other authors; papers documenting Millett's work as an artist and instructor; files relating to her New York State farm and artists' colony; materials from Millett's student years, including her thesis which led to the book, Sexual Politics; and scripts and other papers relating to Millett's little-known documentary film, Three Lives (a copy of the film also exists in the collection). Other materials document her relationship with her mother during the last years of her mother's life, also the topic of her book, Mother Millett. Subject files relate to Millett's involvement with the gay and lesbian communities, her research on prisons and torture, and her diagnosis with bipolar disorder and subsequent involvement in anti-psychiatry activism. There are also extensive printed materials such as serial issues, articles, clippings, posters, fliers, mainstream and grassroots newsletters, event programs, and manifestos.
Audiovisual materials, many available through digital access copies, include audio and video recordings of Millett's lectures, speeches, and many conversations with activists, friends, and family. There are also many photographs, slides, and negatives documenting Millett's activities and the people in her life.
Rounding out the visual components of the collection are over 250 pieces of Millett's artwork created by Millett, who was also involved in the Fluxus art movement. Predominant formats include ink drawings, calligraphy, and graphic prints. There are also sculptures and other three-dimensional works, some of which formed part of an installation representing events that surrounded the murder of Sylvia Likens, also the subject of Millett's book, The Basement. A full inventory of the artwork is available in this collection guide.
Electronic formats include some correspondence, book drafts, and other writings. These files are included in the inventory under the appropriate series. The electronic files have been migrated to a library server; please contact the Rubenstein Library for access.