Table of Contents
Welcome! This guide is an introduction to the library's manuscript/archival collections relating to Betty Friedan. It is meant to help you begin your research but it is not a complete list of relevant collections. Please Ask A Schlesinger Librarian if you have any questions or want further suggestions.
Betty Friedan first gave material to the Schlesinger Library in 1971. As more material was given, lists of the collection were made. Today, her papers are described in three, roughly chronological, groups of materials. Audio and video materials are described separately.
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Manuscript / Archival Materials
Many of our collections are stored offsite and/or have access restrictions, including most A/V material. Please Ask a Schlesinger Librarian in advance of your visit to check on the availability of materials.
Exhibit: "It Changed My Life:" The Feminine Mystique at 50
In 1963, journalist Betty Friedan described a malaise among American housewives who felt trapped by the expectation that they be fulfilled by the role of wife and mother. Friedan's assertion that women needed meaningful work to be self-fulfilled propelled her book to the best-seller list and began a national conversation about gender equality. The Schlesinger Library's exhibit, drawn from Friedan's voluminous papers, traces The Feminine Mystique from Friedan's initial research and drafts through its marketing and publication, and on to responses from readers, parodies, academic studies, and anniversary editions.
Click here to view the exhibit online.