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Dorothy Sucher collection

 Collection 0250-MDHC
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.

Dates

  • 1970-1981
  • Majority of material found within 1977-1979

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

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.

Extent

4.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

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.

Biography

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.

Arrangement

The Dorothy Sucher collection is arranged in three series:
Series 1
Publications
Series 2
Subject Files
Series 3
Memorabilia

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

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.

Related Material

Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries holds a number of collections relating to women in suburban Washington, D.C. A select listing follows:
  1. Archives of the American Association of University Women, Maryland Division
  2. Archives of the American Association of University Women, College Park Branch
  3. Papers of Georgia K. Benjamin
  4. Papers of Mary Boergers
  5. Papers of Esther P. Gelman
  6. Papers of Ann R. Hull
  7. Archives of the League of Women Voters of Maryland
  8. Archives of the League of Women Voters of Prince George's County
  9. Archives of the Maryland Extension Homemakers Council
  10. Archives of the Maryland Federation of Business and Professional Women, Inc.
  11. Archives of the Maryland Home Economics Association
  12. Papers of Pauline Menes
  13. Papers of Constance A. Morella
  14. Archives of the National Organization for Women, Maryland Chapter
  15. Archives of the National Women's Studies Association
  16. Papers of Jo-Ann Orlinsky
  17. Archives of the Women's Action Coalition of Prince George's County
  18. Women's Studies Pamphlet Collection
In addition, the University of Maryland maintains a Women's Studies Database, which may be located at https://mith.umd.edu/research/womens-studies-database/(August 2018). The University of Maryland Libraries also holds Majority Report: The Women's Newspaper on microfilm (location UMCP McKeldin Library Periodicals Rm - Microfilm AN3.A1 U53 roll 302) and Off Our Backs (location UMCP McKeldin Library Periodicals Rm - Microfilm AN3.A1 U53 reels 64, 84, 110, 139, 166).

Processing Information

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.
Title
Guide to the Dorothy Sucher Collection
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Jennie A. Levine, May 2004. Addendum Processed by Lauren Benè, March 2005.
Date
2004-05-01
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2007-04-15: EAD markup checked and verified using JEdit software by Jennie A. Levine.
  • 2017-08-14: EAD markup checked and verified following ArchivesSpace migration by Emily Flint.
  • 2018-08-10: Finding aid reviewed and minor updates made by Adam Gray.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212