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Susan Oberman papers

Identifier: MSS 16349

Scope and Contents Note

Susan Oberman papers (1960's-2017, 7 cubic feet) documenting her negotiation practice (Common Ground Negotiation Services, her activism in women's issues in Nassau County, New York (1972-1989) and her support for women, social justice, and race relations in Charlottesville, Virginia (1990-2013). Of interest is information about the history of African American life in Charlottesville including questions about the racial background of Queen Charlotte.

There are also three audiocassette tapes related to the Focus Women's Resource Center program, Black Women/White Women/All Women's Day of Dialogue, a folk music album, posters, and ephemera including political buttons, suffragette armbands, and a hand-made textile banner from the Nassau County Women's Liberation Center for a protest at the United States Congress.

The papers are grouped into six series: Common Ground Negotiation Services, women's organizations, peace organizations, diversity organizations, publications, and ephemera and audiovisual materials.


  • Creation: 1960's-2017


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographocal Note

Susan Oberman graduated from Goucher College in 1968 with a B.A. degree. She has worked as an activist in movements for social change since the mid-1960’s and founded the Nassau County Women's Liberation Center in New York in 1972. She moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1988 and became the Program Director of the FOCUS Women's Resource Center. After working at FOCUS for ten years she founded Common Ground Negotiation Services.

Oberman was a founder and planner of the annual Days of Dialogue on Race Relations events held annually in Charlottesville from 1997 to 2002, and was a founding member of the Black Women/White Women/all Women dialogue group.

She has authored several articles including "Confidentiality in Mediation: An Application of The Right To Privacy" and "Mediation Theory vs. Practice: What Are We Really Doing? Re-Solving A Professional Conundrum."


"Susan Oberman." LinkedIn, 21 Nov. 2017,

"Susan Oberman is by temperament and profession, a Mediator." Common Ground Negotiations, 21 Nov. 2017,


7 Cubic Feet (14 document boxes) : 6 audiocassettes, one music album, a textile banner, suffragette armbands, political buttons, posters, and oversize items.

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into six series: Series 1. Common Ground Negotiation Services, Series 2. Women's organizations, Series 3. Peace organizations, Series 4. Diversity organizations, Series 5. Publications, and Series 6. Ephemera and audio visual materials


Donated by Susan Oberman, 2016 and 2018)

Susan Oberman papers
Ellen Welch
28 October 2017, 29 January 2019, and June 2019
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States