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Sandra Butler papers

Identifier: 11-MWalB02732

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of Sandra Butler, Jewish feminist author and activist from the San Francisco Bay Area. It is comprised of photographs, correspondence, journals, workshop, posters and audiovisual materials illustrating Butler's work on issues relating to violence against women, breast cancer, and the Israeli–Palestinian peace movement. Of note are the items documenting the Bay Area Women in Black (BAWIB), a chapter of the international peace organization, Women in Black, whose focus is to promote peace among Israelis and Palestinians. Butler was a co-founder of Bay Area chapter and these materials include clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, photographs and buttons. There are also journals from her trips to Yugoslavia (1998) and Israel (2004) and correspondence, itineraries, and subject files from various speaking engagements in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, the collection contains a significant amount of audio and video recordings of Butler's talks, interviews, and workshops, mainly about cancer and sexual abuse, from around 1985 to 1995. These recordings are a mix of cassette tapes (approximately 45) and VHS tapes (approximately 20). The collection is unprocessed.


  • Creation: circa 1980 - 2006, undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department.

Biographical Note

Sandra Butler was born April 19, 1938 in Massachusetts. In 1976 she received an B.A from Goddard College in San Francisco, California and an M.A. in 1978. She is the author of the following three works: "Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest" (1978), "Feminist Groupwork," with Claire Wintram (1991), and "Cancer in Two Voices" (1996). The last work was co-written with her partner, Barbara Rosenblum, after Rosenblum was diagnosed with breast cancer and was published in 1988, the year of Rosenblum's death. During the 1980s and 1990s, Butler worked on issues relating to women, violence against women, and cancer. This work included writing essays, articles and reviews, giving talks, and holding workshops. Butler was co-founder of the Bay Area Women in Black, a chapter of the international peace network, Women in Black, which formed in Israel 1988 in response to the first Palestinian intifadah. In 2005, she was the keynote speaker at the Women in Black's International Conference in Jerusalem and made subsequent trips to Israel in the 2006. In 2010, her essay "The Heart of the Matter" was published in the work "Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation." In 2017, Butler completed her fourth work, "It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters," with Nan Gefen.

Sources: Sandra (Ada) Butler in Contemporary Authors Online, 2001, retrieved July 2017; "About Sandra Butler" in, retrieved July 2017.


3.5 Linear Feet (2 record center boxes, 2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize manuscript box)

Language of Materials



The collection is not organized according to any arrangement or scheme. Materials are primarily in the folders and order in which they were received.

Acquisitions Note

The collection was donated by Sandra Butler, June 2017.

Processing Information

The collection is unprocessed. Please contact the department for more information.


Sandra Butler papers
August 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections