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Margaret Meehan Papers, 1961-1987

By Rachel Lilley

Collection Overview

Title: Margaret Meehan Papers, 1961-1987

ID: MSS Meehan

Primary Creator: Meehan, Margaret Elizabeth (1921-2014)

Extent: 1.2 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged according to material type.

Date Acquired: 00/00/0000

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Margaret Meehan Papers consist of materials collected and generated by Honors Program Director and History Department Instructor Margaret Meehan, a staff member at OSU from 1970 to 1986. The collection chiefly consists of materials relating to women in American history and culture, as well as items documenting the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Scope and Content Notes

Primarily comprised of published writings relating to women in American history and culture that Meehan used in her teaching and research, this collection includes newspaper clippings, photocopied articles and book chapters, newsletters, and poems. In addition to profiles of prominent women in history, subjects covered in these materials include: women in science, changing gender roles, salary disparity between the sexes, the feminist movement, and women in higher education. Meehan's own writings are reflected in research notes and handouts prepared for her classes on women in U.S. history.

A small portion of the collection is made up of newspaper accounts of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, and the memorial observances held for them (Box 4). The Kennedy related material also includes an honorary invitation to the presidential inauguration ceremony for John F. Kennedy and literature for Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in Oregon (Box 2, folder 6).

Likewise included are two poster board displays containing mounted photographs of Margaret and her husband Thomas Meehan, as well as a newspaper clipping about Thomas.

Of special note are brochures and newsletters about abortion (Box 1, folder 15); news clippings about salary disparities at Oregon State (Box 3, folder 1); newsletters of the National Organization of Women from the mid-1980s (Box 2, folders 3 and 4); and an issue of the Corvallis Gazette-Times relating the capture of James Earl Ray, assassinator of Martin Luther King Jr. (Box 4, folder 1).

Biographical / Historical Notes

Margaret E. Meehan was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 28, 1921 to Mary and Felix Garbarini. She was raised in New Jersey, and studied American history and government at Rutgers University, where she received both a Bachelor's degree (1948) and Master's degree (1950) and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. With husband and fellow graduate student Thomas Meehan (whom she married in 1950) Margaret went on to work at the libraries of Princeton University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Pittsburgh while Thomas completed his dissertation work in history. When the Meehans came to OSU in 1962, Thomas began a teaching career in the History Department; Margaret started work with the university Library a year later.

In 1970, Margaret was appointed as a part-time instructor in the History Department, a post she would hold until retiring from OSU in 1986. During these years as an instructor, Margaret helped to establish the University Honors Program, serving as its director from 1974 to 1986. Margaret specialized in the research of women's studies and taught a course in "Women in U.S. History" for several years. She was also involved with the OSU Women's Center. Together, the Meehan’s sponsored the Margaret E. and Thomas R. Meehan University Honors College Professorship, the Thomas and Margaret Meehan History Scholarship, and the Thomas Meehan Excellence in Teaching Award. Margaret died in 2014.

Author: Rachel Lilley

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 5 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The collection was donated to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center by Margaret Meehan in 2014.

Related Materials:

Other SCARC collections focusing on women's issues include the OSU Women's Center Records (RG 243) and the Associated Women Students Scrapbook (MSS AWS).

Photographs of Margaret Meehan can be found in the Media Services Photographs Collection (P 119), and the News and Communication Services Photograph Collection (P 057).

The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers (MSS Pauling) include correspondence with John F. Kennedy as well as materials related to the Kennedy assasination.

Preferred Citation: Margaret Meehan Papers (MSS Meehan), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Meehan, Margaret Elizabeth (1921-2014)

People, Places, and Topics

Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
Meehan, Margaret Elizabeth, 1921-2014
University History
Women--Education (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
Women--Political activity.
Women--Social conditions.
Women librarians--Oregon--Corvallis.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.