Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Norfolk Women's Oral History Project, 1971-1974 | Special Collections and University Archives

By Mel Frizzell

Collection Overview

Title: Norfolk Women's Oral History Project, 1971-1974

ID: 17/RG 17-28B2

Primary Creator: Old Dominion University. Department of Women's Studies (1977-)

Extent: 0.4 Linear Feet

Subjects: Old Dominion University--Women's Studies

Languages: 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.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These papers date from 1971 to 1974 and include materials pertaining to the project including an overview of the project, typed and handwritten interview questions and notes, and phone inquiries from potential interviewees.  Of particular interest are the transcripts of the interviews themselves which are located in two notebooks within the collection.

The transcripts of the oral histories have been digitized and are available in the Old Dominion University Libraries' Digital Collections.

Collection Historical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

Old Dominion University--Women's Studies

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: 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.

Acquisition Source: Unknown provenance

Acquisition Method: Transfer.

Related Materials: Norfolk Women's Oral History Project. 17 interviews digitized and available in "Oral Histories in the Perry Library" digital collection. For more information please see http://dc.lib.odu.edu/cdm/search/collection/oralhistory/searchterm/Norfolk%20Women's%20Oral%20History%20Project/field/catego/mode/all/conn/and/order/nosort.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[All]

Box 1
Folder 1: Project Overview
Folder 2: List of Interviewees and Interviewers
Folder 3: Typed Interview Questions
Folder 4: Handwritten Interview Questions and Notes
Folder 5: Phone Inquiries
Item 1: Transcribed interviews focusing on sex roles of the 1930s, as influenced by the Depression
Item 2: Transcribed interviews focusing on sex roles of the 1930s, as influenced by the Depression

Page Generated in: 0.146 seconds (using 282 queries).
Using 6.53MB of memory. (Peak of 7.24MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign