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Guide to the Alix Kates Shulman Papers, 1892-2000 (bulk 1968-2000)

Miss America Protests, 1968 and 1969 - Duke Digital Collections Digitized Content
Selected items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Miss America Protests, 1968 and 1969 - Duke Digital Collections.

Abstract

Prominent feminist, author, and political activist in the 1960s and 70s. Author of MEMOIRS OF AN EX-PROM QUEEN (1972), ON THE STROLL (1980), and DRINKING THE RAIN (1995).

The materials in the Alix Kates Shulman Papers span the dates 1892 to 2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968 to 2000. These materials include: manuscripts, notes, clippings, published books, correspondence, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, address and date books, family and business records. The primary focus of the collection is Shulman's writing and literary career. The secondary focus is the women's liberation and feminist movements, in which Shulman was and continues to be very active (from 1968 to 2000). However, feminism and feminist activism are inextricably intertwined with Shulman's writing career, and her 1972 novel MEMOIRS OF AN EX-PROM QUEEN is regarded by many as the first novel to "come out of" the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Alix Kates Shulman papers 1892-2000 (bulk 1968-2000)
Creator
Shulman, Alix Kates
Extent
24.5 Linear Feet, 12,700 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Collection Overview

The materials in the Alix Kates Shulman Papers span the dates 1892 to 2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1968 to 2000. These materials include: manuscripts, notes, clippings, published books, correspondence, photographs, audio and videotapes, microfilm, address and date books, family and business records. The primary focus of the collection is Shulman's writing and literary career. The secondary focus is the women's liberation and feminist movements, in which Shulman was and continues to be very active (from 1968 to the present). However, feminism and feminist activism are inextricably intertwined with Shulman's writing career, and her 1972 novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen is regarded by many as the first novel to "come out of" the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Other topics covered by the collection include: her teaching and other academic work; her public speaking and conference activities; and her involvement in political activities besides feminism. This collection sheds valuable light on the concerns and tensions within the women's liberation and second-wave feminist movements. In particular, the materials document debates and disagreements among those active in the movement with regard to sexuality, marriage and domestic relations, women's financial situation and careers, health care, civil rights and cultural expression. Many of these issues are raised in Shulman's own work, including her novels, essays, short fiction, personal letters and her teaching materials.

The collection is divided into seven series. The Personal Papers Series contains Shulman's family history papers, photographs, biographical papers, and her personal correspondence (with writers, academics, political activists and family members). Notable correspondents include Ros Baxandall, Jay Bolotin, Kay Boyle, Rita Mae Brown, Phyllis Chesler, Judy Chicago, Andrea Dworkin, Candace Falk, Marilyn French, Lori Ginzberg, Hannah Green, Erica Jong, Kate Millett, Honor Moore, Robin Morgan, Tillie Olson, Lillian Rubin, Sue Standing, and Meredith Tax. The Political Work Series contains material relating to Shulman's involvement with feminist and other liberal political groups, including Redstockings, New York Radical Women, the PEN Women's Committee, No More Nice Girls, the Women's Action Coalition, and Women Against Government Surveillance

The Literary Work Series contains a variety of materials relating to Shulman's literary career, including financial and other dealings with publishing houses, notes and research, photocopies of publications, reviews of her work, articles and notes she collected regarding the literary scene, and original manuscripts. This series contains information about her early children's books; several books she edited of Emma Goldman's writings; her essays and short fiction; her novels Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), Burning Questions (1975), On the Stroll (1977), In Every Woman's Life . . .(1980); and her memoirs Drinking the Rain (1995) and A Good Enough Daughter (1999). A small amount of correspondence regarding book reviews of other authors' work is also included.

The Academic Work Series contains materials relating to Shulman's graduate work at NYU; her teaching at Yale, the University of Colorado at Boulder, NYU, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa; as well as her relationships with her students. The Public Speaking Series contains materials relating to Shulman's participation in literary and political conferences and gatherings, personal interviews, lectures and book talks.

Portions of the Restricted Materials Series either may not be photocopied without prior permission of Ms. Shulman or the relevant author, or may not be accessed until a future date. The same organizational categories have been applied to the restricted materials as were used in the unrestricted materials to help researchers easily access overlapping and related materials that have been boxed separately due to the restrictions. The Oversize Materials Series contains miscellaneous oversize materials of a biographical and literary nature.

Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

The Personal Papers Series, 1892-2000, is comprised of three subseries. The Family History Subseries contains correspondence, financial papers, articles, and other documents concerning Shulmans parents' families--the Kates and the Davis families. Some of this material concerns her Jewish ancestry, her parent's professional and political activities (her father was a lawyer and her mother a writer), financial papers, photos, diaries and other materials relating to her family's extensive travels. Materials in the Biographical Subseries relate to Shulman's own personal history, including journals and datebooks, newspaper clippings, notes and correspondence with family, friends, and professional acquaintances. The Correspondence Subseries contains letters on a wide variety of topics, including Shulman's friends and family relations, her writing career, her political work, and other social and cultural activities. Material in the Family History Subseries and the Biographical Subseries is arranged alphabetically by the folder titles assigned by Shulman with miscellaneous material appearing at the end of the subseries. Material in the Correspondence Subseries is arranged chronologically.

Art and antiques
Box PP1
Davis documents
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates archives agreement
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates early work
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates datebooks
(2 folders)
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates political and club work
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates radio scripts
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates travel papers
(2 folders)
Box PP1
Dorothy Kates writings
Box PP1
Genealogical materials
Box PP1
Insurance appraisals
Box PP1
Kates family travel papers
(3 folders)
Box PP1
Louis Katz letters
Box PP1
Photographs
Box PP1
Samuel and Dorothy Kates documents
Box PP1
Samuel Kates biographical papers
Box PP1
Samuel Kates personal papers
(2 folders)
Box PP2
Samuel Kates legal decisions
(2 folders)
Box PP2
Awards and diploma, 1953; 1992; 1996
Box PP2
Biographical documents
Box PP2
Budapest video

[use copy must be made]

Box PP2
Datebooks, 1967-1976
Box PP2
Passports, 1956-1986
Box PP2
Photographs
(2 folders)
Box PP2
Resumes and career histories
Box PP2
1940s-1960s
Box PP2
1970s
(4 folders)
Box PP2
Postcards, 1970s-1990s
(folder 1 of 2)
Box PP2
Postcards, 1970s-1990s
(folder 2 of 2)
Box PP3
1980-1997
(12 folders)
Box PP3

The Political Work Series, 1967-2000, contains information about the activities of a variety of political groups with which Shulman was active throughout her career. These groups included anti-war groups, women's liberation and feminist groups (including Redstockings), the PEN Women's Committee, No More Nice Girls, the Women's Action Coalition, Women Against Government Surveillance, and other miscellaneous groups. There are also materials relating to a trip she took to China for the purpose of political and academic research, and a copy of her FBI file and correspondence relating to her retrieval of that file during the late 1970s under the Freedom of Information Act. One of the more interesting and valuable parts of this series is the set of original documents from the women's liberation and feminist movement, which include fliers, manifestos, articles and journals, such as a flier from the 1968 Miss America demonstration and the Redstockings' list of legislative reforms presented to the New York state legislature. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Anti-war, 1967 -1992
Box PW1/LW1
China trip, 1975 -1981
(2 folders)
Box PW1/LW1
FBI file, 1969-1980
Box PW1/LW1
Feminist documents, undated (2 folders)
Box PW1/LW1
Feminist periodicals, 1971-1983 (2 folders)
Box PW1/LW1
Miscellany, 1974-1996
Box PW1/LW1
No More Nice Girls, Saudi protest, 1990
Box PW1/LW1
Original documents from women's liberation/feminist groups, 1968-1998
Box PW1/LW1
PEN Women's Committee, 1974-1997
(3 folders)
Box PW1/LW1
Political journals and newspapers, 1970-1983
Box PW1/LW1
Women's Action Coalition, 1992
Box PW1/LW1
Women Against Pornography, 1977-1985
(2 folders)
Box PW1/LW1
Women's liberation/feminism, 1968-2000
(3 folders)
Box PW1/LW1

The Literary Work Series, 1951-2000, contains a wide variety of materials relating to Shulman's published and unpublished writings. The Business Subseries contains materials pertaining to her early work as a research and editorial assistant for a variety of academics and writers; papers regarding Shulman's relations with various publishing houses; and brief published quotes by and about Shulman and letters she wrote to editors. Included are a bound copy of reviews of her novels and Shulman's comments on the work of other authors ("book blurbs," and correspondence with a variety of authors, intellectuals and political activists, e.g., Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Andrea Dworkin, and Stephen Jay Gould). The Special Projects Subseries comprises a collection of articles about feminist and "women's" literature and other notes on the literary scene; and notes and correspondence relating to a variety of special projects. The Essays Subseries, the Poetry Subseries, the Short Fiction Subseries, and the Books Subseries include notes, correspondence, research and manuscripts of her published and unpublished work. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title within each subseries with miscellany appearing at the end of the subseries.

Author photos, 1972-1997
Box LW1
Bound copies of reviews, 1970-1979
Box LW1
Comments on other authors, 1972-1982
Box LW1
Editorial work, 1958-1965
Box LW2
Mentions, 1974-1980
Box LW2
Publishing business, 1968-1999
(3 folders)
Box LW2
Articles on feminist literature, 1970-1993
Box LW2
Feminist Press 25th Anniversary, 1994
Box LW2
Hobos, 1973-1993
Box LW2
Life Magazine, Feb. 19, 1971

[See also Oversize Box 1]

Box LW2
Lillith, 1970
Box LW2
MacDowell Colony, 1976-1979
Box LW2
Pre-feminist publications, 1951- 1967
Box LW2
Miscellaneous notes, 1967-1970
Box LW2
Beat Women, 1972-1993
(2 folders)
Box LW2
Book review, Millett's Flyingc. 1975
Box LW2
Book review, Truitt's Prospect, 1996
Box LW2
A Failed Divorce, 1994-1996
Box LW2
The Happiness Question, 1983
Box LW2
Journal copies of essays, 1974-1999
(3 folders)
Box LW2
The Life Swap, 1973-1974
Box LW2
Living Her Life, 1983
Box LW2
A Marriage Agreement, 1970-1988
(folders 1-2 of 3)
Box LW2
A Marriage Agreement, 1970-1988
(folder 3 of 3)
Box LW3
Organs and Orgasms, 1970-1978
Box LW3
The Other Half, 1990-1991
Box LW3
Paradox of Memory, 1998
Box LW3
The Taint, 1991
Box LW3
The War in the Back Seat, 1972
Box LW3
Miscellaneous anthologies, 1984-1996
Box LW3
Miscellaneous essays: photocopies, 1970-2000
(2 folders)
Box LW3
Miscellaneous manuscripts, undated
Box LW3
Aging Ann Changes her Mind, Manuscript, c. 1974
Box LW3
Baby on the Beach, 1987-1989
Box LW3
The Boarder, 1978-1981
Box LW3
Champagne, 1983
Box LW3
Dead Bird (A Real Occasion), 1967
Box LW3
Journal copies of miscellaneous short fiction, 1979-1993
(2 folders)
Box LW3
Ministorage / Market Conditions, 1991- 1992
Box LW3
Sluts Against Rape, 1992
Box LW3
The Surrogate, 1991-1994
Box LW3
Miscellaneous short fiction, photocopies, 1970-1995
Box LW3
Burning Questions, 1975-1990
(folders 1-3 of 7)
Box LW3
Burning Questions, 1975-1990
(folders 4-7 of 7)
Box LW4
Children's books, 1968-1971
(2 folders)
Box LW4
Drinking the Rain, 1995-1998
(3 folders)
Box LW4
Emma Goldman books, 1969-1984
(3 folders)
Box LW4
Emma Goldman research files, undated
(3 folders)
Box LW4
A Good Enough Daughter, 1999-2000
(6 folders)
Box LW5
In Every Woman's Life, 1986-1991
(4 folders)
Box LW5
In Every Woman's Life, page proofs
(4 folders)
Box LW5
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, 1972-1998
(folder 1 of 9)
Box LW5
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, 1972-1998
(folders 2-9 of 9)
Box LW6
On the Stroll, 1977-1984
(folders 1-8 of 11)
Box LW6
On the Stroll, 1977-1984
(folders 9-11 of 11)
Box LW7
Shopping Bag Ladies (Preface), 1980 -1982
(2 folders)
Box LW7

The Academic Work Series, 1979-1998, contains a variety of materials relating to Shulman's teaching and other activities in an academic context. This includes her master's thesis in creative writing at NYU from 1979. Entitled "Tricks," this manuscript was a first draft of part of what would later become her novel On the Stroll. There are papers relating to her teaching positions at NYU, Yale, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Hawaii at Manoa, including applications, fliers and articles about her activities at these institutions, notes and papers relating to the classes she taught, and correspondence with and relating to her students. Material is arranged alphabetically by the folder titles used by Shulman with Miscellaneous Teaching Material appearing at the end of the series.

China teaching application, 1980-1998
Box AW/PS1
Letters of recommendation by AKS, 1979-1984
Box AW/PS1
NYU master's thesis, 1979
Box AW/PS1
NYU teaching, 1983-1984
Box AW/PS1
Student letters, 1979-1994
(2 folders)
Box AW/PS1
University of Colorado teaching, 1984-1988
Box AW/PS1
University of Hawaii teaching, 1990-1994
Box AW/PS1
Yale teaching, 1979-1996
Box AW/PS1
Miscellaneous teaching material, 1982-1997
Box AW/PS1

The Public Speaking Series, 1972-2000, is divided into the Interviews and Speeches subseries. The Interview subseries includes transcripts of interviews, interviews published in magazines and audiotaped interviews. The Speeches subseries contains correspondence, fliers, manuscripts, and other materials relating to Shulman's public speaking engagements. These include book signings, academic and literary conferences, feminist conferences and lectures, and audiotapes of Shulman speaking at conferences and seminars. Materials are arranged alphabetically within each subseries with miscellany appearing at the end of the series.

Best transcript, 1981
Box AW/PS1
Effe interview (Italian), 1982
Box AW/PS1
MSU teaching project, 1981
Box AW/PS1
NJ television show, 1998
Box AW/PS1
Radio shows, 1995-1999
Box AW/PS1
Rolling Stock interview, 1985
Box AW/PS1
Sun interview, 1998
Box AW/PS1
Tomboy transcript, 1977
Box AW/PS1
Viva symposium on masochism, 1975
Box AW/PS1
Miscellaneous interviews, 1972-1997
Box AW/PS1
20 Years of Women's Fiction, UC-Santa Barbara, 1990
Box AW/PS1
Audiotape recordings, 1975-2000
Box AW/PS1
Bag Ladies speech, 1981
Box AW/PS1
Beats conference, 1994
Box AW/PS1
Bellagio reading, c. 1998
Box AW/PS1
Between the Sexes, Case Western Reserve, 1983
Box AW/PS1
NYU 20th Century seminar, 1998
Box AW/PS1
Sexual Politics 20 Years Later, Berkshire conference, 1990
Box AW/PS1
Simone de Beauvoir Conference, NYU, 1979
Box AW/PS1
Talk on AGED,1999
Box AW/PS1
Miscellaneous speeches, 1972 -2000
(4 folders)
Box AW/PS1

The Restricted Series contains three categories of restricted materials:

1. Materials which cannot be photocopied nor electronically scanned without the permission of Alix Kates Shulman or the author of the material.

2. Materials which cannot be read without the permission of Alix Kates Shulman.

3. Materials which cannot be opened until 2023, the death of Alix Kates Shulman, or the death of the author, whichever comes last.

Each of these restrictions comprises its own subseries. Additionally, the attempt has been made to recreate as closely as possible the same organization within these restricted subseries as was used in the unrestricted materials, so to facilitate researchers' use of overlapping and related materials--especially those under Restriction 1. Thus, each series contains sub-subseries such as "Personal Papers,""Political Work,""Literary Work,""Academic Work," and "Public Speaking." Folders are arranged alphabetically by the title Shulman assigned within each subseries.

Restriction 1: Material in boxes RM1-RM7 cannot be photocopied nor electronically scanned without the permission of Alix Kates Shulman or the author of the material.

Personal Papers Series
Box RM1
Bendix, Sonja
Box RM1
Flannagan, Pat
Box RM1
Koltov, Barbara
Box RM1
Koppelman, Susan
(5 folders)
Box RM1
Metcalf, Linda
Box RM1
Snitow, Ann
Box RM1
Children's literature project, 1967-1972
(2 folders)
Box RM1
SAGARIS Institute, 1969-1975
Box RM1
Literary Work Series
Box RM1
Emma Goldman- feminist theorists, 1982-1983
Box RM1
On Wearing a Feminist Button, [ca. 1971]
Box RM1
Playing Doctor, 1973-1975
Box RM1
Pre-feminist college themes, 1950
Box RM1
Resurrecting Voltairine de Cleyre, 1970
Box RM1
Taking Liberties, 1991
Box RM1
Miscellaneous essays, undated
Box RM1
Hair, undated
Box RM1
Afterbirth (The Colony), undated

[use copy and original manuscript]

Box RM1
The Opening, 1984
Box RM1
Opportunity, undated
Box RM1
Traces, 1970
Box RM1
Miscellaneous
(2 folders)
Box RM1
Awake or Asleep, (original manuscript) [ca. 1969]
Box RM2
Awake or Asleep, (use copy of manuscript) [ca. 1969]
Box RM2
Bosley on the Number Line, [ca. 1970]
(6 folders)
Box RM2
Burning Questions, manuscript
(4 folders)
Box RM2
Burning Questions, speeches/promotions
Box RM2
Cleveland Book
(3 folders)
Box RM2
Drinking the Rain, manuscript and notes
(folders 1-18 of 23)
Box RM3
Drinking the Rain, manuscript and notes
(folders 19-23 of 23)
Box RM4
Emma Goldman, [ca. 1970]
(folders 1-11 of 13)
Box RM4
Emma Goldman, [ca. 1970]
(folders 12-13 of 13)
Box RM5
Finders Keepers, [ca. 1970]
Box RM5
In Every Woman's Life, manuscript and notes
(folders 1-13 of 14)
Box RM5
In Every Woman's Life, manuscript
(folder 14 of 14)
Box RM6
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, manuscript, notes, research, and screenplay
(folders 1-16 of 18)
Box RM6
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, manuscript, notes, research, and screenplay
(folders 17-18 of 18)
Box RM7
On the Stroll, manuscript
(4 folders)
Box RM7
Grant application materials, 1974-1985
Box RM7
Emma Goldman speech, 1981
Box RM7

Restriction 2: The Address Book and the Royalty Statements and Bank Contracts in box RM8 cannot be read without the permission of Alix Kates Shulman.

Address book
Box RM8
Royalty statements and bank contracts
(2 folders)
Box RM8

Restriction 3: The Correspondence in Box RM9 cannot be read until Alix Kates Shulman's death.

Closed correspondence
Box RM9

The Oversize Materials Series, 1949-1995 and undated, contains miscellaneous materials, including a photograph of Shulman and others in her sorority at Cleveland Heights High School and large magazines featuring Shulman. Materials within each series are arranged alphabetically.

China Pictorial magazine, 1975
Oversize Box 1
China Reconstructs magazine, June 1977
Calendars, 1985, 1988
Oversize Box 1
Finders Keepers, undated
Sorority photograph 1949

[See paper inventory for sorority's Greek letters.]

Life magazine, April 28, 1972
Oversize Box 1
The New York Times, The Living Section, May 31, 1995
The New York Times Magazine, April 15, 1990
Voice Literary Supplement, October, 1993

Historical Note

Alix Kates Shulman (given name Alix Audrey Kates) was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932 to Dorothy Davis Kates and Samuel Kates. Raised in suburban Cleveland Heights, she graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1953 with a degree in English and History. She moved to New York City after college and began graduate studies at Columbia University where she met and married fellow graduate student Marcus Klein in 1954. After marriage she began a series of research, editorial and writing jobs. She and Klein were divorced in 1958, and she then married Martin Shulman in 1959. She gave birth to her son Ted in 1961 and to her daughter Polly in 1963.

Shulman became involved in the early women's liberation movement groups in New York City in the late 1960s. She participated in the famed Miss America Pageant Protest in Atlantic City in 1968, was an early member of the groups "Redstockings" and "WITCH" in 1969, and joined the "New York Radical Women" in 1970. At approximately the same time she became active in the women's liberation movement, Shulman began her literary career, publishing articles in both feminist and mainstream periodicals, and publishing a number of children's books and non-fiction books about Emma Goldman. She and Martin Shulman drafted a "Marriage Agreement" which was published in the feminist journal Up From Under in 1970. The "Agreement" was re-printed with accompanying articles in Redbook (in 1971) and then in Life (1972). Due to these re-printings, the "Agreement" received much press and raised much controversy. It was attacked by, among others, Norman Mailer and Russell Baker. Also in 1972, Shulman published her first major (and semi-autobiographical) novel, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen.Memoirs became a national best seller, raised much debate about the growing feminist movement and the situation of women in U.S. society, and launched Shulman's writing career on a national level.

Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Shulman continued to work as a feminist activist, to write essays and short stories for a wide variety of journals and newspapers, to teach and present speeches and conference papers, and to publish novels and memoirs. She divorced Martin Shulman in 1985 and married former Cleveland Heights High School classmate Scott York in 1989. Her two most recently published books are Drinking the Rain (1995), an account of her solitary, non-technological life on a Maine island, and A Good Enough Daughter (1999), a memoir focusing on her relationships with her late parents. She received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Case Western Reserve University in 2001.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alix Kates Shulman Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Alix Kates Shulman Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase and gift in 1998 and 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Fenn

Completed 2000

Encoded by Joshua Kaiser; Ruth E. Bryan

Revised by Lindsay Matson, 2009 May

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.