Barnard Center for Research on Women records
Collection Scope and Content Summary
This collection consists of materials from the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), formerly known as the Barnard Women's Center. It includes bylaws and charters; director's reports; financial reports and budgets; correspondence with other Barnard offices, administration and faculty at Columbia, and other organizations; minutes of the Excutive Committee and other committees; planning and publicity materials for the Scholar and the Feminist Conference, the Reid lectures, and other talks and events; recordings of the Scholar and the Feminist Conference; planning materials for career workshops and other non-credit courses; administrative materials related to women's studies curriculum at Barnard and elsewhere; correspondence and administrative materials concerning the Women's Center Resource Collection, the Women's Counseling Project, the Women's Work and Women's Studies bibliography, working groups, and various other projects and publications of the Center; and copies of publications and ephemera produced by the Center. Included in the collection are papers of Jane S. Gould, founding director, which relate to her work with the Center, and the papers of Janet Jakobsen from her years as director of the Center (2000-2015).
Highlights of the collection include planning and publicity materials for the Scholar and the Feminist Conference, as well as audio recordings of sessions from the conference in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Among the scholars, activists, artists, writers, politicians, and others featured in the conference materials are bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Barbara Ehrenreich, Silvia Federici, Kate Millett, Barbara Kruger, Cherrie Moraga, Sharon Olds, Donna Haraway, and Bella Abzug. Other highlights include planning and publicity materials for the myriad events produced by the Center, and publications and ephemera from throughout the Center's history.
- Barnard Center for Research on Women. (Organization)
Portions of Subseries 1.5, Personnel and Office Documents, and Subseries 1.6, Executive Committee, are restricted as they contain confidential personnel records. Personnel records are restricted for 75 years past the date of creation.
Some items in Subseries 2.1, The Scholar and the Feminist, which relate to aspects of the 1982 conference may not be reproduced or quoted, due to confidentiality restrictions, until 75 years after the date of creation.
Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
The Barnard Women's Center was founded in 1971 and described in a 1972 brochure as "a new program for an old need: the dignity, autonomy, and equality of women. More than a place, more than a project, it symbolizes the way in which a college may gather its energies on behalf of women." Renamed the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) in 1987, the Center has throughout its existence supported programming, resources, and publications related to feminist scholarship and activism.
In the early 1970s, the Center supported various projects and resources, often acting as a central space for sharing information. The Center was instrumental in the formation of a Women's Studies program at Barnard in 1977 and also offered non-credit courses, many of which focused on vocational or financial training for women. The Center also housed the Women's Counseling Project, which provided information and referrals to women about legal, medical, vocational, therapy, and familial issues. A resource collection, founded in 1973 with the research materials of Myra Josephs (Barnard '28), grew to include both scholarly literature and ephemeral materials relating to the women's movement and was open to all.
The Scholar and the Feminist conference, first held in 1974, is a central part of the programming of the Center, which also includes the Reid lectureship (inaugurated in 1975 with Alice Walker and June Jordan as inaugural speakers) as well as other conferences, symposia, panels, lectures, exhibits, and events. Recent BCRW programs have featured such scholars and activists as Janet Mock, Angela Davis, Anita Hill, and more.
Early publications of the Center included a bibliography of scholarly research on women,Women's Work and Women's Studies (published 1971-1974), a booklet on vocational, family, medical, and legal resources titledHelp (published in 1971 and 1973), and volumes of collected scholarly papers,The Barnard Occasional Papers on Women's Issues. In 1991, the Center started publishing a newsletter, and since 2003 has produced the online journalThe Scholar & Feminist Online in addition to other print and online publications, videos, and a podcast.
The Center is governed by an Advisory Board (previously the Executive Committee) and a Director. Barnard English professor Catherine Stimpson was a part of the task force that advocated for the creation of the Center and assumed the role of acting director from its inception through 1972. Jane S. Gould (Barnard '40), who had previously worked in Alumnae Affairs and the Office of Careers and Placement at Barnard, assumed the directorship after Stimpson and served until 1983. Temma Kaplan served as director from 1983-1991 and was followed by Leslie J. Calman (Barnard '74), who served from 1991-2000. Janet R. Jakobsen was named director in 2000 and served until 2015, when Barnard Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and now chair of the Africana Studies Department, Tina Campt took over the position. In 2018, Elizabeth Castelli assumed the role of director. The Center has also collaborated with a constellation of activists, artists and scholars as fellows including Reina Gossett, Amber Hollibaugh, Ntozake Shange, Mariame Kaba, and Katherine Acey.
50.5 Linear Feet (99 document boxes, 4 half-document boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 3 flat files)
43.11 Gigabytes (11 A/V files)
This collection consists of records from the Barnard Center for Research on Women, formerly known as the Barnard Women's Center. It includes bylaws; director's and financial reports; correspondence; Executive Committee minutes; planning and publicity materials for and recordings of the Scholar and the Feminist Conference, career workshops and other events; and administrative materials related to women's studies courses, the Women's Center Resource Collection, the Women's Counseling Project, and other projects and publications.
The records are arranged into four series, three of which have been further arranged in subseries and then in chronological order. The series and subseries arrangement are as follows:
Series 1, Administrative Materials, 1970-2015
Subseries 1.1, Founding and Governing Documents, 1970-1993
Subseries 1.2, Reports, Budgets, Fundraising, and Grants, 1971-2011
Subseries 1.3, General Correspondence and Memoranda, 1970-2011
Subseries 1.4, Committees, Task Forces, and Other Organizations, 1970-2011
Subseries 1.5, Personnel and Office Documents, 1971-2015
Subseries 1.6, Executive Committee, 1971-2009
Series 2, Lectures, Conferences, Exhibits, and Events, 1972-2015
Subseries 2.1, The Scholar and the Feminist, 1972-2015
Subseries 2.2, Reid Lectureship, 1975-2000
Subseries 2.3, Other Lectures, Conferences, Exhibits, and Events, 1972-2015
Subseries 2.4, Digital Media
Series 3, Courses and Resources, 1965-2012
Subseries 3.1, Career and Financial Workshops, 1965-1979
Subseries 3.2, Other Non-Credit Courses, 1973-1975
Subseries 3.3, Women's Studies, 1971-2012
Subseries 3.4, Resource Collection, 1971-2001
Subseries 3.5, Women's Counseling Project, 1972-1982
Subseries 3.6, Other Resources and Projects, 1971-2013
Series 4. Publications, Publicity, and Ephemera, 1962-2012
The physical order of the materials has not been changed from the original order as received except for minor shifts. The majority of the collection is physically arranged in loose chronological order.
A complete inventory for the audio recordings of the Scholar and the Feminist conferences is attached to this finding aid.
This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transferred from the Barnard Center for Research on Women and other campus offices throughout the 1970s and 1990s-present day.
Additions are expected.
Alternative Forms of Material
Digital surrogates of portions of Subseries 2.1, The Scholar and the Feminist, including digitized audio recordings of selected conferences 1975-1996, are available online at: http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/bcrw.
This collection was processed and the finding aid written by Martha Tenney in August 2015 and January 2016, with contributions from Che Gossett and Carly Crane ‘15 and legacy description created by Stephanie Manheim in 2011. Updated by Aziza Rahman in June 2019.
Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.
Finding aid written in English.
- Barnard College
- Barnard College -- Alumni and alumnae
- Scholar and the Feminist Conference.
- Second-wave feminism
- Third-wave feminism
- Universities and colleges -- Departments
- Vocational education
- Women -- Employment
- Women -- Services for
- Women college students
- Women's colleges -- New York (State) -- New York
- Women's studies
- Guide to Barnard Center for Research on Women Records
- Martha Tenney
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note