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History of Our Bodies Ourselves and the Boston Women's Health Book Collective

Our Bodies, Ourselves: 1973 cover 1998 cover of Our Bodies Ourselves Cover of Our Bodies, Ourselves

In 1969, as the women's movement was gaining momentum and influence in the Boston area and elsewhere around the country, twelve women met during a women’s liberation conference.  In a workshop on "women and their bodies,"  they talked about their own experiences with doctors and shared their knowledge about their bodies.  Eventually they decided to form the Doctor’s Group, the forerunner to the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, to research and discuss what they were learning about themselves, their bodies, health, and women.

The fruit of their discussions and research was a course booklet entitled Women and Their Bodies, a stapled newsprint edition published in 1970. The booklet, which put women’s health in a radically new political and social context, become an underground success. In 1973 Simon & Schuster published an expanded edition, renamed Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Below are links to materials we've gathered on the history of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, and the women's health movement:






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