Thanks to the work of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University library holds an extensive and unique collection of materials on women's studies, including some that is of direct interests to scholars and students of Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe. The following overview of four archival collections from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library is meant to give only a brief introduction to Duke's holdings on this topic. For more information about holdings and access, contact the Librarian for Women's Studies; or the Librarian for Slavic and Eastern European Studies at Duke University.
Robin Morgan Papers, 1940s-2002
The personal collection of this American feminist activist and editor of Ms. magazine provides ample documentation for the study of modern feminism more broadly. 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, including Russian and the Soviet Union. 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), which also has materials on Soviet women, particularly in Central Asia.
Subject Files Series, Ms. Subseries, Box S7: Issue on Russian women
Background and clips, 1980s
Correspondence with Russian women, 1980s
Film project, 1980s
Lazarova et al. protests, 1980s
Magazine and book rights, 1980
Mammonova US trip, 1980s (3 folders)
Ms. copy, 1980
Russian language materials, 1980 and undated
Samizdat, 1980s (2 folders)
Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) Records
This collection provides a record of the work and the organizational structure of SIGI, the oldest feminist international non-governmental organization in the world, from its inception in the early 1980s to the present. The documents in the collection illustrate SIGI's efforts to discuss, debate, and act on a variety of women's issues around the world, including voting rights and political representation; reproductive rights; violence against women; education for women; and the socio-economic status of women. Subject files created by SIGI researchers provide additional materials on prostitution, rape, the status of women in developing countries and rural areas, the legal status of women, and the concept of human rights. In the 1990s particular emphasis was paid to women's issues in Muslim societies, including the newly-independent Central Asian and Caucasian successor states of the former Soviet Union, such as Azerbaijan (Box PF10, Country Projects, Azerbaijan: Firangiz Nassirova, Background, 1999; Contracts and finances, 1999-2000; Correspondence, 1999-2000; Reports, 1999); Tajikistan (Box PF5, Tajikistan NGOs, 1998-1999 and undated), Turkmenistan (Box PF5, Turkmenistan Information Folder, 1999), and Uzbekistan (Box PF5, Uzbekistan Contacts, 1999 and undated; Contracts, 2000; Flora Pirznarova, 1998; Initial stages for setup, 1990s; Reports, 1997 [2 folders]; and Box PF6, Uzbekistan Reports, 1998, 2000 [3 folders], Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva Correspondence, 1997-1999 [4 folders], Finances, 1997-1998, Reports, 1999 and undated; as well as Box PF13, Country Projects, Uzbekistan: Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva, Background, 1999; Contracts and finances, 1999; Correspondence, 1999; Reports, 1999).
Since much of the Institute's role is educational, the collection includes many folders of manuals, newsletters, news alerts, workshops, and conferences on women's issues, including materials on two U.N. World Conferences on Women. The collection contains many documents relating to SIGI publications, including the book Sisterhood is Global (1984), by Robin Morgan, one of the founding members of SIGI; and editions in various languages (including Arabic, Azeri, Russian, Persian, Pashtu, and Uzbek) of the Women's Credo, In Our Own Words, Safe and Secure, and Claiming Our Rights (see Publications Series, 1981-2003 and undated, bulk 1993-2001, Box PUB8-PUB12, PUB15-PUB16, etc.). In addition to documenting SIGI's activism on behalf of women from around the world, the collection also contains correspondence and writings of individual women from SIGI's international constituency, including, among others, Tatyana Mamonova (Box M4: Russia, 1985-2001 and undated [2 folders]), Marina Pisklakova (Box PF4: Russia, 1998), Flora Pirznarova (Box PF5), Marfua Tokhtakhodjaeva (Boxes PF6 and PF13), Olga Filipova, Firangiz Nassirova, and other contacts in the former Soviet Union.
The 13 boxes of the Geographical Files Series (1963-2001 and undated) contain materials relating to women’s rights and socio-economic conditions in numerous countries and regions around the world, including the successor states of the former Soviet Union in Central Asia (Box GEO5: Central Asia, 1997) and the newly-independent, post-Communist states of Eastern Europe (Box GEO5: Eastern Europe/Central Asia, 1997-2001). Materials in the Geographical Files Series include articles from newspapers and magazines, published statements, pamphlets, magazines, symposia reports, and government-published reports on women and women’s rights within particular countries, such as Albania (Box GEO2: Albania stands against winds of change, undated); Azerbaijan (Box GEO3: Appeal for solidarity and support for women demonstrators, 2000); Finland and the Baltic states (Box GEO5: Finland, 1975; Box GEO3: Baltic UN-NGO consultation on women, 1995 Dec. 8-10); the successor states of the former Yugoslavia (Box GEO3: Bosnia/Croatia, 1993-2001; Box GEO12: Serbia, 2000-2001; Box GEO13: Yugoslavia, 1985-1999) and Czechoslovakia (Box GEO5: Social certainties in Czechoslovakia, 1982; Czechoslovakia, yesterday and today, 1985); Hungary (Box GEO5: Undated); Poland (Box GEO11: 1981-1992), Russia (Box GEO11: 1984-1990 and undated), and Uzbekistan (Box GEO13, 1999-2001). There are a large number of newsletters in this series, many self-published by local women’s groups, as well as some e-mails and other correspondence. Topics concern women’s rights, abortion rights, reproductive health, rape and violence against women and girls, notable women in politics, prostitution and sex tourism, women and the family, and women in the workforce. The folders are organized alphabetically by country, continent, or region; materials within are in original order, which is sometimes chronological. In some instances there are folders for both regions and countries (for example, there are folders Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as for some of the individual countries in each of these regions). The majority of the materials in the series is in English, with some exceptions written in the language of the country.
Merle Hoffman Papers
The Choices Women's Medical Center, a New York-based feminist women's health clinic and a major abortion provider, was founded by Merle Hoffman in 1971 and was among the first outpatient abortion facilities in the United States. The Choices Series, which documents the day-to-day operations of Choices Women’s Medical Center and its treatment philosophy, also includes substantial material on the Choices East Project, Hoffman's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to establish a women's health clinic in Moscow in the early 1990s. The Choices records demonstrate how the universalizing ideals of feminist health care and patient empowerment were transformed into medical practice, which the organizers of the Choices East Project then attempted to export to the former Soviet Union. The records primarily provide the perspective of health providers rather than patients.
The Subject Files Subseries (1977-2000 and undated) contains a significant amount of material on the "Choices East" project (Moscow, 1989-1997). A small portion of the "Choices East" files are in Russian.
American Medical Exchange's Russia Project, 1994
Birth control in Russia - clippings, 1992-1994
Grants and foundations, 1994 (2 folders)
Lomunova, Margarita, article, 1992-1993
Lowey, Congresswoman Nita, 1994
(Photograph removed to Photographic Material Series)
Meetings with Marie Stopes International and PROFIT, 1994
Perlo, Dr. Mark, 1994
Planned Parenthood's Russia project, 1992-1993
Proposal (1989), 1989-1992
Publicity consultants, 1993-1994
Resumes and job application letters, 1992-1995
Visit to Moscow (1992 Oct.)
Complete press report, 1992-1993
Presentation on clinic procedures, 1992
(Slides removed to Photographic Material series)
Press conference, 1992
Visit to Moscow (1992 Oct.)
Supplies and sponsors, 1989-1994
Visit to Moscow (1994 Jan./Feb.)
Media contacts, 1994
Supplies and sponsors, 1994
Visit to Moscow (1994 Jun.)
Moscow press, 1994
Bernie Rome and Maya Ermalova, 1994
Supplies and sponsors, 1994
Wildfeir, Nancy (marketing), 1993-1994
Zhenshchina: Zemlya/ Women and Earth and related paperwork, 1993
Wyeth-Ayers (birth control supplies), 1992-1993
Russian language educational materials, 1992-1994 and undated
Russian language forms, 1990 and undated
Translation services, 1998
Electronic Format Subseries, 1985-1999
Choices flyer, in Russian, 1998. Disk 071: "Queens Russ. 2," in envelope "Russian Second Version," from American International Translators (1 file)
"The Global Mandate for Choice" (Russia), 1992-1993
The Photographic Materials Series (1946-1999 and undated) also includes a significant number of visual materials on Choices East and on Hoffman's two visits to Moscow in 1992 and 1994.
Conferences and speeches, Moscow, 1992 and undated
Presentation on clinic procedures, 1992 and undated (2 folders)
Presentation on clinic procedures - complete slide set, 1992 (6 folders)
Russian operating rooms, 1992
"The Russia Team Scrapbook," photographs and correspondence, 1992 and undated
Signing letter of intent at Hospital no. 53, 1994
Visit to Moscow, 1992 Oct. (2 folders)
Visit to Moscow - negatives, 1992 Oct.
Futcher, Kate. Letters and cabinet photographs, 1880-1887
This collection is composed of fifteen letters addressed to cousin in England from Futcher, English governess to children of wealthy Russian families connected to the Russian Imperial court. One entry describes the assembly of Russian troops to swear allegiance to Alexander III (r. 1881-1894) after the assassination of Alexander II (r. 1855-1881). Futcher writes most often of her travels in Russia and of social activities, giving an intimate view of aristocratic family life in late Imperial Russia. The collection also includes two cabinet card photographs of Futcher, one depicting her with her charges Princesses Elizabeth and Katherine, daughters of Prince Heraclius.