Publications, newsletters, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, course syllabi, and reports collected by Dorothy Sucher, an active member of local women's organizations, documenting the women's movement of the mid-to-late 1970s in Maryland. Local organizations represented include the Washington Area Women's Center, the Women's Equity Action League, the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press, Marylanders for the Right to Choose, and the National Abortion Rights League (NARAL). Topics covered include feminist press, feminist theater, women in business, women in sports, abortion, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
This collection is open for research.
Part of this collection is unprocessed. This means that materials are in the same state we received them and have not been reviewed for content or condition. The collection may need to be screened prior to use. Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view this collection. A preliminary inventory is available under the Inventories/Additional Information section.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
7.50 Linear Feet
The Dorothy Sucher collection consists of publications, newsletters, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, course syllabi, and reports collected by Dorothy Sucher, an active member of local women's organizations, documenting the women's movement of the mid to late 1970s in Maryland. The collection spans the years 1970 through 1980, with the bulk of the material dating between 1977 through 1980. Local organizations represented include the Washington Area Women's Center, the Women's Equity Action League, the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press, Marylanders for the Right to Choose, and the National Abortion Rights League (NARAL). Topics covered include feminist press, feminist theater, women in business, women in sports, abortion, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
Dorothy Sucher was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Brooklyn College, receiving a B. A. in English in 1954, and continued her studies at Columbia University from 1955 through 1956. She received an M. M. H. (Master of Mental Health) from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1975. Sucher worked as a psychotherapist from 1975 through 1985 and was very active in the women's movement in Maryland in the 1970s. She established and led the Consciousness Raising Program of the Northern Prince George's County Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) from 1977 to 1980. In 1978 she became NOW's Maryland Consciousness Raising Coordinator and expanded the program to other counties in the state. She led consciousness raising (CR) groups, trained CR leaders, and developed a packet of readings for CR leaders that was used throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of NOW. She and her husband, Joseph Sucher, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, whom she married in 1952, served jointly as delegates to the NOW State Council for several years.
A mystery writer, Sucher served four years in the late 1980s as treasurer of Sisters in Crime, an international organization formed to gain recognition for women mystery writers. She also founded the group's Mid-Atlantic chapter. Sucher taught creative writing at Georgetown University, Duke University, and the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Her published works include the mystery novels Dead Men Don't Give Seminars and Dead Men Don't Marry and a book of personal essays entitled The Invisible Garden.
From 1957 to 2001, Sucher lived in Greenbelt, Maryland, where she raised four children and was active in many community organizations. She was the "founding mother" of the Greenbelt Writers Group and spearheaded the formation of the Greenbelt Museum. She also served as editor, reporter, and columnist for the Greenbelt News Review for 50 years.
In 1984, she and her husband began spending six months each year in Cabot, Vermont, where she renovated an old farmhouse and created the garden described in her book, The Invisible Garden. At the age of seventy, she returned to an early love, art, which she had studied in her youth, becoming an accomplished watercolorist who exhibited and sold her landscapes and flower paintings. Dorothy Sucher continues to spend the remaining half of the year in College Park, Maryland.
The Dorothy Sucher collection is arranged in three series:
Dorothy Sucher donated her collection of women's movement materials to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1996 and 1999. Sucher donated memorabilia and additional documents in 2005 and 2020.
Newsletters and other publications were grouped together and placed in chronological order. The subject files had previously been separated from the publication materials. Newsprint clippings were photocopied, and oversized publications were unfolded and placed in an oversized box. Other materials were placed in acid-free folders in acid-free boxes.