Women's History Research Center

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The Women's History Research Center was started in 1968 in Berkeley, California, by Laura X, in response to a lack of academic interest in women's history. The WHRC documented the women's movement of the late-1960s and 1970s, collecting periodicals, clippings from newspapers and magazines, pamphlets, songs, leaflets, graphics, research papers, theses, and poems, which they used to answer research inquiries from across the United States and, to a lesser extent, from abroad. In addition, they published directories of sources for women's films, tape recordings, art, women's studies courses, and bibliographies. In an effort to disseminate the materials, and to raise money for the Center, they published three microfilm collections: Herstory (1971, updated in 1973 and 1974) containing women's periodicals published in the United States between 1968 and 1974; Women and Health/Mental Health (1974) and Women and Law (1974) containing clippings, articles, pamphlets, and essays from WHRC's topical files. Due to financial problems, the Center did not survive and its collections were dispersed.

From the description of Records, 1968-1980 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232006977

Laura Murra founded the Women's History Research Center in 1969 in Berkeley, California. The organization collected materials to document current and historical issues relating to women. It also collected magazines, newsletters and newspapers that were published by or were about women. The Center closed in 1974 due to financial difficulties, but Murra (also known as Laura X) continued to collect resource materials.

From the description of Records, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978). (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 46837373

From the guide to the Women's History Research Center, Series II. Periodicals and Pamphlets, 1896-1992 (bulk 1959-1978), (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

From the guide to the Women's History Research Center, Series III. Posters and Artwork, 1964-1971, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

From the guide to the Women's History Research Center, Series I. Subject Files, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978), (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

From the guide to the Women's History Research Center resource files, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978), (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

The Women's History Research Center was founded in 1968 in Berkeley, California, by Laura Murra, who used the name Laura X to symbolize women's struggle against anonymity. Murra began collecting materials in the late 1960s after a professor expressed disbelief that there was enough material to justify a women's studies course; she later used an inheritance from relatives to establish the WHRC. The WHRC documented the women's movement of the late-1960s and 1970s, collecting periodicals, clippings from newspapers and magazines, pamphlets, songs, leaflets, graphics, research papers, theses, and poems, which they used to answer research inquiries from across the United States and, to a lesser extent, from abroad. In addition, they published directories of sources for women's films, tape recordings, art, women's studies courses, and bibliographies. In an effort to disseminate the materials, and to raise money for the Center, they published three microfilm collections: Herstory (1971, updated in 1973 and 1974) containing women's periodicals published in the United States between 1968 and 1974; Women and Health/Mental Health (1974) and Women and Law (1974) containing clippings, articles, pamphlets, and essays from WHRC's topical files. Reels 6-8 of Women and Health/Mental Health can be found in the library's microfilm holdings (M-94).

By 1973, the Center had developed serious financial difficulties. They began to charge small amounts for their research services, but eventually could not meet their operating costs. They managed to remain open for several more years by relying on work-study students, interns, and volunteers in place of full-time paid staff members. They received grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) for its internship program; the Luke B. Hancock Foundation and Alameda Revenue Sharing for microfilming; the Zellerbach Family Fund for the reference librarian's salary; and the Equitable Life Assurance Company of America for operating expenses. Additonal funds came from the sale of the topical research files to the Archive of Contemporary History at the University of Wyoming, Laramie (now the American Heritage Center).

It is unclear when the WHRC ceased to exist, although it appears that Laura X continued to collect and distribute information under the name until as late as 1989. The collections of the Center were widely dispersed in the 1970s; in addition to the topical research files found at the American Heritage Center, the WHRC serials collection was sent to the Special Collections Library at Northwestern University, the film reference collection was sent to the University of California's Art Museum in Berkeley, and the pamphlet collection was purchased by Princeton University and added to the Princeton University Peace and Social Change Collection.

From the guide to the Records, 1968-1980, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Women's History Research Center, Series III. Posters and Artwork, 1964-1971 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
referencedIn Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (ALFA) Archives, ca. 1972-1994 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Kate Millett papers, 1912-2002 and undated, bulk 1951-2001 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Women's History Research Center, Series II. Periodicals and Pamphlets, 1896-1992 (bulk 1959-1978) University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Women's History Research Center. Records, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978). University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Women's History Research Center resource files, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978) University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Women's History Research Center, Series I. Subject Files, 1845-1992 (bulk 1959-1978) University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Women's History Research Center. Records, 1968-1980 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Records, 1968-1980 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers of Bernice Resnick Sandler, 1963-2008 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
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associatedWith X., Laura. person
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Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Subject
Women--United States
Women pioneers--United States
Peace movements--United States
Organizational change
Women--United States--Social conditions
Women--History
Feminism--United States
Women--History--20th century
Internship programs
Women's periodicals, American
Women pioneers
Volunteers
Peace movements
Feminist literature--United States
Women--Information services
Women's studies
Women--Social conditions
Women
Feminists
Feminist literature
Women--Periodicals--United States
Women--United States--History
Women--Periodicals
Feminism
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1968

Active 1980

Information

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