Suzette Haden Elgin papers , 1954-1999 1976-1990

Overview of the Collection

Elgin, Suzette Haden
Suzette Haden Elgin papers
1954-1999 1976-1990 (inclusive)
1976-1990 (bulk)
6 linear feet, (11 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 307
Suzette Haden Elgin (November 19, 1936-January 27, 2015) was known for her extensive scholarly work in linguistics, the development of a feminist language called Láadan, and numerous publications in science fiction and other genres. The collection includes original Láadan materials, correspondence, publications, academic work, biographical information, music, plays, poems, original artwork, and audiovisual recordings all pertaining to her life as a scholar and an artist in many mediums.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Suzette Haden Elgin (Patricia Anne Wilkins) was born on November 19, 1936 in Louisiana, Missouri, and died January 27, 2015. Elgin was the daughter of Gaylord Lloyd, a lawyer, and Hazel Wilkins, a teacher. At the age of eighteen, Elgin attended the University of Chicago from 1954-1956. During this time she married Peter Haden (he later passed away) in 1955 and had three children, Michael, Rebecca, and Patricia. After transferring to Chico State College, now known as California State University, Chico, Elgin remarried a sales manager named George Elgin in 1964 and had a son named Benjamin. Elgin received her B.A. in 1967 and upon graduating she began to teach at the Conservatory of Music in Chico, California from 1967-1968. Soon after, she taught adult French, guitar, and music theory. In 1970, Elgin enrolled at the University of California, San Diego where she began to write science fiction to supplement her income. She received her M.A. in Linguistics in 1970 and three years later her Ph. D. in linguistics, in 1973. Elgin invented a feminist language called Láadan for her Native Tongue science fiction series.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Suzette Haden Elgin Papers comprise materials related to Elgin's work in the feminist communication field. The collection covers the development of the Láadan language and includes Elgin's correspondence, literary works, academic work, and artistic work, as well as audiovisual recordings.

The Láadan series sheds light on the construction of the feminist language of Láadan. Dictionaries and grammar texts in various drafts, along with articles, newsletters, and promotional material are available. The correspondence series focuses on outgoing letters by Elgin to colleagues including Cheris Kramarae, a professor at the University of Oregon. The Literary Works series contains various drafts of novels and short stories, essays, poems, and speeches. In addition, various newsletters discussing gender and language are included. The Academic Work series consists of drafts of paper written by Elgin in various forms. The Artistic Work series includes hand drawn sketches, a music score, and photographs relating to the tapestries Elgin created.

The 2009 Accession and 2010 Accession series represents donated materials after initial processing of the collection. This material overlaps with other series.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Communication criticism
  • Feminist theory
  • Feminists--United States
  • Linguistics--Periodicals
  • Linguistics--United States
  • Science fiction--Periodicals
  • Science fiction--Women authors
  • Women and literature--United States
  • Women authors, American--United States
  • Women linguists--United States

Personal Names

  • Kramarae, Cheris