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Lesbian Pulp Fiction: Collections at Smith

Book Studies Capstone Project created by Bena Williams, Spring 2022
Materials related to lesbian pulp fiction and Sally Taft Duplaix are found throughout Smith College Special Collections, which comprises the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, the Smith College Archives, and the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History.
Read the “Scope and Contents” and the "Biographical/Historical" notes in the finding aids for more information on each individual collection.

Sally Taft Duplaix

  • Sally Taft Duplaix was born in New Jersey in 1936
  • Duplaix started attending Smith College in 1955, but left in her sophomore year
  • Duplaix is considered a member of the Smith College class of 1958 even though she ended up receiving her undergraduate degree from UMass Boston
  • Received her master’s degree in library science from Simmons College and had a career in librarianship
  • She was a great lover of the arts, especially reading, hence her large collection of books
  • Duplaix passed away in 2012 and in 2013 her collection was donated to Smith College Special Collections 
  • To learn more about Duplaix's life, see her Oral History within the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History

For more information, visit "Sophia Sisters" by Kaymarion Raymond or read Lillian Faderman's The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle 

Williams, Bena. Photograph of Sally Taft's Highschool Photo found in the Smith College class of 1958 Who's Who Publication. 31 Mar 2022. Author's personal collection. 

Pulp Books

Mortimer Rare Book Collection:

Sally Taft Duplaix Collection 

Click here to look and search through the holdings in the Duplaix collection, from lesbian pulp fiction, to non-lesbian pulp, to nonfiction lesbiana, to small press books and journals. 

This link is only available to those logged in with a Smith College account. 

Related Archival Sources

College Archives:


Classes of 1951-1960 

The Classes of 1951-1960 records consist of individual class notes, examinations, papers and class letters, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, songbooks as well as reunion materials of the same nature, all related to or dating from the time periods during which these classes were students at Smith College.

Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History:

Dee Mosbacher papers and Woman Vision records

The Dee Mosbacher papers and Woman Vision records document Dee Mosbacher's personal and professional life, both within and beyond her film production company, Woman Vision. 

Dorothy Allison interviewed by Kelly Anderson, November 18-19, 2007

Voices of Feminism Oral History Project
The Voices of Feminism Oral History Project documents the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. Narrators include labor, peace, and anti-racism activists; artists and writers; lesbian rights advocates; grassroots anti-violence and anti-poverty organizers; and women of color reproductive justice leaders. Interviews average 5-6 hours and cover childhood, personal life, and political work.

Dyke TV Records 

The Dyke TV records contain show master tapes, raw footage, and DVD dubs for Dyke TV programs. The materials cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to lesbians in sports, artists, gay pride, childhood and coming-of-age stories, political issues, gay and lesbian civil rights, sexuality, incarcerated women, lesbian parenting, HIV/AIDS and other health issues, incest survivors, lesbian domestic violence, and women's rights.

Homosexuality/LGBT Collection 

This collection consists of printed materials that document the evolution of attitudes and approaches to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and organizations from 1932-1995 (mostly the 1970s), and documents the political struggles of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to oppose homophobic discrimination in U.S. society. Also of interest are numerous newsletters, periodicals and leaflets that document lesbian organizing in Western Massachusetts.

Isabel Miller Papers

The Isabel Miller papers include diaries (beginning when she was in her early teens), correspondence offering rich documentation of her personal life, from her years as a member of WAVES during World War II and as wife and mother of four daughters in a heterosexual marriage, to her coming out as a lesbian and her life thereafter. According to her partner Julie Weber, Routsong deliberately made sure that her handwriting was difficult to read so that her diaries wouldn't be accessible to others; she later created typed, transcribed copies. Research and manuscript materials document the evolution of her profession as an author of lesbian fiction, the best known of which is Patience and Sarah. 

Joan E. Biren Papers 

The Joan E. Biren Papers document JEB's professional and personal life. They include correspondence, notes, hundreds of photographs, slides and contact sheets, as well as press releases, reports, fliers and publicity materials, journal and newspaper articles, newsletters, audiovisual materials, transcripts of interviews, and memorabilia. 

Old Lesbians Organizing for Change Records 

The Old Lesbians Organizing for Change records contain extensive documentation of all OLOC events and gatherings since 1987, including photographs of events and videotapes of panel discussions and keynote speeches. Administrative files, newsletters and other publications, and educational and public relations materials are also included, as is a history of the organization.

Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project Records

The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project includes interview transcripts and audio recordings (cassette tapes and digital files); plus related correspondence, releases, and photographs (primarily color photocopies). Some interviewee files contain additional biographical material, writings, speeches, and memorabilia. Some administrative records of the project are also included.

Smith College Special Collections

Smith College Special Collections is a unit within Smith College Libraries. As a special collections library, it is home to materials outside the general library collection, including rare books, archives (historic records), manuscripts, maps, oral history interviews, and audiovisual material. These materials do not circulate outside of the library and are used onsite in the Reading Room. The Reading Room is open to all researchers working on a variety of projects including fiction books, art pieces, documentaries, family history, academic publications, and coursework. 

For more information about Smith College Special Collections, please visit our website.