About Laura X Institute

The Laura X – Laura Rand Orthwein, Jr. World Institute is the teaching arm of Laura’s Social Movements Archives, which feature documents and other materials collected by Laura X aka Laura Rand Orthwein, Jr., over the last fifty years. The collection pertains to the Women’s Movement and a wide array of precursors and overlapping social movements from the second half of the 20th century, including materials from Laura X’s successful state-by-state campaign to abolish the legal privilege for marital and date rape. She began collecting materials in 1964 and has been committed to this effort ever since.

The Institute’s Archives make historical research and presentation possible. Archive staff is currently engaged in cataloging the 580+ boxes of materials, in order to keep them vibrant, accessible, and available for researchers and other interested parties. Once finished, this archive will be a resource for students, professors, historians, film documentarians, museums, exhibitions, high school teachers, and the general public.

The Institute will serve as the home of both the physical archive, the virtual museum, and the interpretation center for archival materials extant at UC Berkeley, Harvard, University of Illinois and other institutions, which total over 400,000 individual items of history; including guides to the Women’s History Research Center (WHRC). Laura X serves as the Institute’s activist-in-residence and together with others offers interpretation and teaching to enrich communities in St Louis via in-person events and around the world through online virtual exhibitions.

About Laura X - Laura Rand Orthwein, Jr

About Laura Rand Orthwein, Jr. aka Laura X: A native of St Louis, MO, Laura was educated at Vassar, Washington University, Bank Street College of Education, the Universities of Vera Cruz and Puerto Rico (to become a pilot Headstart teacher). She took the name “Laura X “ in 1969, to symbolize her rejection of men’s legal ownership of women and the anonymity of women’s history, which was stolen from women and girls. She is a veteran of the anti-nuke, peace, civil rights, Free Speech, educational reform, anti-war, women’s, anti-antiSemitism and anti-homophobia movements. She advocates for farm workers, Native Americans, ecology, disabilityrights,environmental health, and healthy home movements. She began collecting materials in 1964 and has been committed to this effort since then. Women and women’s health and legal issues are the primary focus of her work.