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ARCH 3901: Histories of Architecture and Feminism

This guide provides resources to support Histories of Architecture and Feminism.

New York Area Archives and Special Collections

This is a very short list of archival repositories that are close to Barnard's campus. For more help locating archival collections, navigating finding aids and scheduling research appointments with other archivists, or for an introduction to archival research, schedule a consultation with the Barnard Archivists. You can also use the ArchiveGrid to search across finding aids in over 1,000 archival repositories.

  • Barnard Archives and - We collect the history of Barnard College and special collections relating to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as well as Dance. Our Digital Collections feature a small fraction of our collections, including the yearbook, the Barnard Bulletin, student publications, and some photographs, with more added daily. See below for some selected collections from the Barnard Archives that we think might be rich sites for research in this course.
  • Archives at the Columbia libraries - Search in CLIO over the finding aids of six different archival repositories. The Archives at the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library "contains approximately 1,500,000 drawings, photographs, letters, and manuscripts relating to architecture and architects. The focus of the collection is American architecture, with a strong emphasis on New York City and its architectural history...Included in this collection are several important archives: Richard Upjohn, Alexander Jackson Davis, Greene & Greene, Warren & Wetmore, Harold van Buren Magonigle, Stanford White, Wallace K. Harrison, Gordon Bunshaft, Philip Johnson and the archives of the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company."
  • Brooklyn Historical Society - BHS’s Othmer Library and Archives houses the most comprehensive collection of materials related to Brooklyn’s history and culture in the world.
  • Interference Archive - An Archives in Brooklyn that explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements.
  • Lesbian Herstory Archives - An Archives in Brooklyn that is home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities.
  • New York Historical Society - A library, museum, and archives dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today.
  • NYPL Archives & Manuscripts - Search over the NYPL's many different repositories, including the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the general Manuscripts and Archives Division.
  • NYU Archival Collections + Brooklyn Historical Society + New-York Historical Society  - Search across the finding aids of the various archival repositories at NYU (including the Fales Library and its Downtown Collection and the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives) as well as archival holdings at Brooklyn Historical and New-York Historical.
  • The National Archives at New York City - Holds records of federal courts and agencies in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Municipal Archives holds the historical records of the New York City government and agencies.


Selected Collections from the Barnard Archives

Ntozake Shange Papers (Alum) [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 35.587 Linear feet. The contents of the Ntozake Shange Papers include literary manuscripts in typescript, computer printout, and handwritten forms; diaries and agendas; correspondence; teaching documents; personal and professional photographs; flyers, clippings, and posters; highlights from her library; personal objects including collectables and artwork; and digital materials.

  • Inclusive of dance notation, scripts, and other creative materials that imply space; fliers and programs contain geographic references to performance spaces in the city and elsewhere.

Sabra Moore NYC Women's Art Movement Collection [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 16.8 Linear feet. This collection consists of the artwork, photographs, posters, clippings, correspondence, flyers, newspapers, newsletters, publications, t-shirts, ribbons, and cards that document the work and life of artist and activist Sabra Moore in New York City from 1969-1996. Letters about decisions regarding exhibitions, demonstrations, and magazine/newsletter content related to art and feminist organizations compose the bulk of Moore's correspondence.

  • Architecture is not a focus, but Sabra’s artistic work is concerned with domestic space and her work as a curator and activist means that a lot of New York spaces are represented in the collection (mockups for gallery shows, meetings held in various spaces, protests at major museums, etc.)

Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (B.O.S.S.) [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 3.29 Linear feet. This collection consists of materials from the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (B.O.S.S.). The collection includes letters, notes, membership rosters, meeting minutes, speeches, reports, photographs, booklets, pamphlets, brochures, fliers, memorabilia, and newspaper clippings.

  • The demands of the collective included references to physical space on campus. While not explicit, the dorm rooms and other spaces where the group met are embedded in the narrative of the collection. In the related collection of alum and BOSS co-founder Sherry Suttles there are many more references (in letters, flyers, ephemera, photographs) to both on-campus and off-campus locations (e.g. Harlem, Côte d’Ivoire)--this is a collection that would lend itself to geographic inquiry.

  • Related collection: Sherry Suttles (Alum) [Finding Aid]

Buildings and Grounds [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 24.14 Linear Feet. This collection consists of correspondence, accounts, reports, floor plans, blueprints, photographs, court papers, and memoranda relating to the construction and furnishing of campus buildings and landscaped areas.

  • This is a large collection that encompasses many of the built environments on Barnard’s campus. There are a lot of possible projects--for example, an inquiry into the history of the greenhouse, Emily Gregory (Barnard’s first woman faculty member), and the gendered and racialized history of botany at Barnard (with the Botany collection and other related materials). Or a discussion of the design of the dormitory buildings on Barnard’s campus alongside materials from the Linda LeClair collection (which chronicles the controversy over a student who moved out of the dorms to live with her boyfriend in the 1960s and sparked a debate about Barnard’s in loco parentis policies).

  • Related collections:

Dance [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 7.8 Linear feet. This collection consists of records from the Barnard College Dance Department. Materials documenting the Dance Department include minutes of faculty meetings, budgets and annual reports, course outlines, plans, policies, performance programs, and moving images of performances. Materials related to the founding, development, and performances of Dance Uptown include - but are not limited to - programs, flyers, posters, creative statements, budget materials, grant materials, correspondence, and meeting minutes.

  • Related collections:

    • Gloria Fokine Dance Collection [Finding Aid]

    • American Ballet Theater and NYC Ballet Programs, Newsletters, and Repertory Notes [Finding Aid]

Class of 1971 Oral History Collection [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 0.5 Linear feet ; 619 GB Born digital materials (329 files). The Class of 1971 Oral History Collection contains 39 oral histories of individuals who were part of Barnard College's class of 1971. Included in the collection are transcripts, audio recordings, and video recording of interviews. The oral histories discuss the experiences of students at Barnard contextualized within the social and cultural history of the time period. Narrators also discuss their individual life histories, including their paths leading to Barnard and their lives after college. Themes common across interviews include female friendship, feminism, political involvement during and after their time at Barnard College, issues of race and class among students at Barnard, and romance.

Barnard Center for Research on Women [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: 42.36 Linear feet. 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 institutional records of the BCRW. This is a very large collection with a focus on the early history of BCRW.

BCRW Ephemera collection [Finding Aid]

  • Extent and contents: This collection includes the materials from the original Women’s Center resource collection, founded in 1973 with the research materials of Myra Josephs (Barnard '28), which grew to include both scholarly literature and ephemeral materials relating to the women's movement and was open to all researchers (it still is). It is cataloged individually in an Omeka site.

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