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Norfolk Women's Oral History Project

 Collection
Collection ID: RG 17-28B2

Scope and Contents

This collection contains oral history transcripts, interview questions, and other material from the Norfolk Women's Oral HIstory Project, a project conducted by the Women's Studies Program from 1971 to 1974. The project was initiated to explore women's sexual attitudes in the 1930s. The transcripts of the oral histories have been digitized and are available in the Old Dominion University Libraries' Digital Collections.

Dates

  • circa 1971-1974

Creator

Extent

0.40 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Norfolk Women’s Oral History Project was conducted between 1971 and 1974 as a project of the newly formed ODU Women’s Studies program.  Organizers included Tania Modleski, a well-known professor of feminist theory at the University of Southern California and Nadia Coiner. Numerous faculty members, mainly instructors, team-taught a course in Women’s Studies.  The Course provided material for the development of additional courses in women’s literature, history, and other topics. The project was headed by Jean E. Friedman, instructor in the History Department at ODU.  The project was initiated to explore women’s sexual attitudes in the 1930s.  The period was chosen because the subject was especially taboo during the Great Depression.  Students who took the Women’s Studies course, and also women associated with the feminist movement on campus, volunteered to interview women on the subject.  Volunteers were asked to read background material and use the questions on the questionnaires provided.  Students went with Friedman to learn interviewing techniques; other volunteers such as Irene Roughton were adults. Two groups of women were interviewed to compare their attitudes regarding marriage and career, birth control, and dating habits. The two groups of women were elite women identified in newspapers of the 1930s for their charity efforts on behalf of a Norfolk hospital and working-class women associated with a local factory.  The questions asked of both groups somewhat parallel the Kinsey and Hamilton questionnaires of the 1930s.

Note written by Mel Frizzell

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Norfolk Women’s Oral History Project was conducted between 1971 and 1974 as a project of the newly formed ODU Women’s Studies program.  The project was headed by Jean E. Friedman, instructor in the History Department at ODU.  The project was initiated to explore women’s sexual attitudes in the 1930s.

Source of Acquisition

Unknown

Method of Acquisition

Transfer.

Related Materials

The transcripts of the oral histories have been digitized and are available in the root>

Processing Information

The collection was processed and finding aid created by Mel Frizzell, Special Collections Assistant, in 2015.
Title
A Guide to the Norfolk Women's Oral History Project
Author
Mel Frizzell
Date
00/00/2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

Contact:
3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US
757-683-5350