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Guide to the Caroline Bird Papers, 1915-1995

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Bird, Caroline, 1915-
Title: Caroline Bird Papers
Dates: 1915-1995
Quantity: 84 cubic ft. (85 boxes)
Abstract: Papers include manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, speeches, chronological files, and subject files relating to her publications. There are also subject files on women's issues such as affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment, business opportunities, marriage, minority women, women in education, employment, women in the Army, and health.
Forms of Materials: Manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, speeches, chronological files, and subject files.

Biographical Note

Caroline Bird was born in New York City April 15, 1915. Her lawyer father, who had been a crusading newspaper editor, greatly affected her lifework by his example and by encouraging her to write. At sixteen she became the youngest member of the Vassar Class of 1935 but left after her junior year to marry Edward A. Menuez, a teacher. While rearing a daughter, Carol, she earned a B.A. at the University of Toledo and an M.A. in comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin.

During the war she held several research and editing jobs. When her marriage ended in 1945, she continued working as a writer and researcher. She married Tom Mahoney, also a writer, in 1957 and at forty-six had a son John twenty-six years after the birth of her daughter.

Her book on the Depression, The Invisible Scar, was published in 1966 and was hailed by the American Library Association as one of the 100 most significant books of the year. It established her reputation as a careful and convincing writer. Bird's second book, Born Female (1968), became a reference book for the new women's movement.

These were followed by The Crowding Syndrome (1972); Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Get Paid What She's Worth (1973); The Case Against College (1975); Enterprising Women (1976), a Bicentennial project of the Business and Professional Women's Foundation; and The Two-Paycheck Marriage (1979).

Popular as a lecturer and television commentator, Bird has played a leading role in the women's movement. She was a consultant to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year in 1977 and was the chief writer of its report, The Spirit of Houston (1978).

Caroline Bird died January 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Scope and Content Note

Papers include manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, speeches, chronological files, and subject files relating to her publications: The Invisible Scar (1966), Born Female: The High Cost of Keeping Women Down (1968), Everything a Women Needs to Know to Get Paid What She's Worth (1973), Case Against College (1975), The Crowding Syndrome: Learning to Live With Too Much and Too Many (1976), Enterprising Women (1976), What Women Want (1979), and The Two-Paycheck Marriage (1979), Second Careers (1992), Lives of Our Own (1995). There are also subject files on women's issues such as affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment, business opportunities, marriage, minority women, women in education, employment, women in the Army, and health.

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Access and Use

Access

Because the collection has not been fully processed, access is restricted. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections staff for further information.

Restrictions on Use

The bulk of this collection is stored off-site and advance notification is required for use. Please contact Library Staff for more information.

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

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Related Material

  • There is additional biographical information in the VC Alumnae Authors files.

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Subject Headings

Subjects:

  • Affirmative action programs.
  • Depressions - 1929 - United States
  • Equal rights amendments.
  • Feminism.
  • Feminists.
  • International Women's Year, 1975.
  • Marriage.
  • Women - Employment - United States
  • Women - United States
  • Women - United States - History
  • Women and the military.
  • Women authors, American.
  • Women in business.
  • Women's Rights - United States
  • Women's rights.
  • Women--Education.
  • Women--Employment.
  • Women--Health and hygiene.
  • Women--Social conditions--1960-1980.

Places:

  • United States--Armed Forces--Women.
  • United States--Social conditions--1960-1980.
  • United States. Army.
  • United States. National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, July 2007.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Caroline Bird Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown. Last updated July 2011.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Caroline Bird. Boxes 1-14 are from the first accession. Boxes 15-85 are from the second accession. An additional scrapbook was added in 2011 (M2011-020).

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Container List

Box 1 File of materials on women. Includes bibliographies, affirmative action, Era, business opportunities for women, image of women, marriage, minority women, nurses, secretaries, women in education, employment, women in the army, and women's health.
Boxes 2-3 Manuscript and documentation for The Invisible Scar (New York: David McKay, 1966).
Boxes 4-6 Galleys and subject files for The Invisible Scar.
Boxes 7-12 Manuscripts, galleys, correspondence, a file of key studies, subject files, and a file on footnotes for Born Female: The High Cost of Keeping Women Down (New York: David McKay, 1968), and the manuscript for Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Get Paid What She's Worth (New York: David McKay, 1973).
Box 13 Manuscript and galleys for The Crowding Syndrome: Learning to Live With Too Much and Too Many. Manuscript, galleys, and "dead matter" for Enterprising Women (New York: Norton, 1976). Manuscript for What Women Want (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979). [Based on the Official Report to the President, the Congress, and the People of the United States. Compiled by Caroline Bird and the members and staff of the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. Includes personal statements from Gloria Steinem, et al., at The National Women's Conference, Houston, Texas, November 1977.]
Box 14 Manuscript and galley for The Two-Paycheck Marriage: How Women at Work Are Changing Life in America: An In-depth Report on the Great Revolution of Our Times (New York: Rawson, Wade, 1979).
Boxes 15-26 Second Careers
Box 27 Career Database
Boxes 28-30 AARP Coupon Project (Before book)
Box 31 The Good Years
Box 32 The Good Years - Audiotapes
Box 32 Family diplomas (2 items)
Box 33 What Women Want and The Two-Paycheck Marriage
Box 34 The Invisible Scar and The Case Against College
Box 35 The Case Against College and Enterprising Women
Box 36 Enterprising Women ?
Box 37 Singer Research
Box 38 Born Female
Boxes 39-45 Lives of Our Own
Boxes 46-49 Stat Book
Box 50 Speeches and Clippings
Box 51 International Harvester, Presidents, MacCracken (miscellaneous Tom Mahoney Files?)
Boxes 52-53 Genealogy
Boxes 54-55 Scrapbooks, 1973-1977
Box 56 Taxes and other financial, 1953-1991
Box 57 Taxes and other financial, 1992-1994
Box 58 Audiotapes, 1987-
Box 59 Miscellaneous Tom Mahoney Files
Box 60 Index Cards
Box 61 Year Files, 1943-1956
Box 62 Year Files, 1957-1966
Box 63 Year Files, 1966-1970
Box 64 Year Files, 1970-1971
Box 65 Year Files, 1971-1972
Box 66 Year Files, 1972-1973
Box 67 Year Files, 1973-1974
Box 68 Year Files, 1974-1976
Box 69 Year Files, 1976-1977
Box 70 Year Files, 1977
Box 71 Year Files, 1977-1978
Box 72 Year Files, 1979
Box 73 Year Files, 1980-1981
Box 74 Year Files, 1981-1983
Box 75 Year Files, 1983
Box 76 Year Files, 1984-1985
Box 77 Year Files, 1985
Box 78 Year Files, 1986
Box 79 Year Files, 1987-1988
Box 80 Year Files, 1988
Box 81 Year Files, 1989-1990
Box 82 Year Files, 1990-1992 (Jumbled)
Box 83 Year Files, 1992
Box 84 Year Files, 1993
Box 85 Miscellaneous Subject Files
Box 85 Childhood scrapbook, ca. 1924-1927

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