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The Creative Woman  

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About this Guide

This guide uses primary resource materials in Digital CollectionsOPUS, and the University Archives. All source materials are noted for those who wish to do further research.



In the fall of 2012, GSU Library submitted a digitization proposal for The Creative Woman to CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois). The proposal was accepted in October 2012 and archive copies of every issue published at GSU were sent out for digitization in November. Once digitization was completed in December 2012, the journal became accessible online to researchers through the University Library's Digital Collections and the Internet Archive.


The Creative Woman

The Creative Woman was a quarterly feminist journal produced at Governors State University from 1977-1992. The content featured the work of GSU faculty, staff, and others on a wide variety of topics of interest to women. Issues were comprised of articles, poetry, verse, biographical sketches, essays, non-fiction, fiction, book reviews, photography, and original graphics. Issue themes included women's involvement in science, religion, business, energy, politics, and psychology; and the lives of Russian women, Chinese women, American Indian women, lesbians, and women coping with disabilities.

The Creative Woman was a unique Illinois contribution to herstory and the feminist movement in America and abroad. The intent of the journal's creators can be summarized in this quote from the first issue: "We are creative individuals and that creativity has been ignored. With this thought in mind, we decided to create a vehicle for women everywhere to express their own forms of creativity."

The publication was a success, transforming over fifteen years from an initial typewritten newsletter of ten pages to a professionally printed journal of fifty-six pages.

Paper copies of The Creative Woman are available in the GSU Library's periodical collection as well as the University Archives.

In 2012, The Creative Woman was digitized with permission of the Governors State University Library by the Internet Archive with funding from CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. To view the journal online, visit The Creative Woman Digital Collection.


How The Creative Woman Came To Be - part one

Editor Helen Hughes explained how the publication began in an editorial column from The Creative Woman Spring/Summer 1987 issue p. 46.

"When people ask me, how The Creative Woman came to be, I tell them it was a series of events, with one thing leading to another. First, an old friend from University of Chicago days, Judy Torney, called to ask if I would address the AAUW (American Association of University Women) at their Midwest Regional Conference. My assigned topic was "Women as Idea Inventors," and I had several months to prepare. After my presentation, the editor of the AAUW Journal asked for my script for publication in the Journal, where it appeared as "Women's Creativity" in 1976. Quite to my suprise, I received over a hundred letters from women who were stimulated by the article and wanted to share their own experiences and frustrations as they struggled toward self-expression in music, dance, poetry, teaching. What to do with all this mail? It deserved serious attention. I decided to send out a newsletter to all of them, telling them about each other, and setting up a kind of network for the exchange of ideas. Thus it was in the summer of '77 that a small group of us went to lunch, hosted by Ted Andrews, who was Acting Provost at that time, and launched The Creative Woman."

1975 photo of Helen Hughes, courtesy of the University Archives Photo Collection


The Speech That Sparked The Creative Woman

Helen Hughes has graciously made available this script of her speech on Women's Creativity presented to the American Association of University Women in Chicago, IL on April 30, 1976.


How the Creative Woman Came to Be- part two

Ted Andrews recalled the journal's beginning in History of GSU 1969-1979, a document he wrote for the university's 10th anniversary.

"In the winter of 1977, Helen Hughes of the College of Human Learning and Development and other persons associated with the Women's Resource Center of the University sought fiscal support from the University to begin a publication about the contributions of professional women in our society. Acting Vice President Andrews made funds available in 1977 to launch the publication that was to be named The Creative Woman, which has evolved into a quarterly magazine with a substantial distribution. Helen Hughes has served as editor from the beginning. When this history was written, twelve issues had been published under the auspices of the Office of the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Copies were placed in the University Library and University Archives."


GSU's Announcement of the First Issue

August 5, 1977 

"The first issue of a new quarterly newsletter "The Creative Women" has been published at GSU under the auspices of the Office of the VP of Academic Affairs. Planned as a general interest publication and a vehicle for women everywhere to express their own forms of creativity, each issue will be devoted to a special topic, such as women in science, religion, or art, with an expert from the chosen field to serve as guest editor....

Editor Helen Hughes initiated the newsletter following the enthusiastic response of readers to her article "Creativity in Women" published in the American Association of University Women Journal.

The 1977 summer issue is free...copies have been distributed in all four colleges. Subsequent issues will be sold by subscription."

Text Source: Faze 1 August 5, 1977 p. 2

Faze 1 was the GSU employee newsletter published from 1971-1981. The title was derived from Phase I, the name given to the permanent campus by William Engbretson, the first GSU president.

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