Secretaries in the 1940s oral history collection
This oral history collection contains interviews with ten women, between 1992-1994, who worked as secretaries in the 1940s. Their places of work included the Social Security Administration, law firms, the National Art Gallery, high schools, and hospitals, among others. The narrators discuss work and life during World War II, as well as what it was like to be a woman working in male-dominated professions.
- 1992 September 8- 1994 March 2
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.
Biographical / Historical
Leading up to and during World War II, numerous new jobs were created to support the war effort. People from all over flocked to Baltimore to take advantage of these opportunities after the end of the Depression. As more and more men were being sent off to war, women stepped in to fill these necessary jobs. In particular, secretaries held a vital role, helping to keep businesses going behind the scenes, despite discrimination against their gender, and for some, their race as African Americans. Despite the hardships of World War II, during this time women became more self-confident in their place outside the home. When the war ended, women were expected to return to the traditional roles they had held before the war, which many women no longer wanted.
10 Items (There are 10 oral history interviews in this collection.)
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
This collection includes 10 oral history interviews. The interviews were conducted by Andrea Lewis, Dale Jones, John Direll and one other unnamed individual.
The individuals interviewed were all secretaries for a variety of different organizations during the 1940s, including but not limited to the Social Security Administration, law firms, the National Art Gallery, high schools, and hospitals to name a few locations. The interviews focus on work and life during World War II, as well as what it was like to be a woman working in male-dominate professions.
- Guide to the Secretaries in the 1940s oral history collection
- Under Revision
- Cathryn Kinde
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description