The staff of the Archives are pleased to announce that the papers of Karen Durbin, a journalist, film critic, and former Editor-in-Chief of the Village Voice, are now available for research. 

Press passes for Karen Durbin for various publications (the Village Voice, Sundance film festival, and others) displayed on a table

The collection documents Durbin's writing career, personal life, and political organizing through correspondence, journals and calendars, photographs, writing, and administrative work materials. Durbin is an American journalist, news editor, and film critic based in New York. Her career spans more than 50 years, with her work from 1970-2000 best represented in this collection. Durbin’s writing reflects her position as a radical feminist in the second and third wave movements. She is best known for her work with The Village Voice, where she served as staff writer, senior editor, arts editor, and editor-in-chief. Durbin's 1976 cover story, "On Being a Woman Alone,” remains one of the publication's most notable personal essays.

The collection also contains her contributions to the anti-war publication Win Magazine and her work as the first film critic at Elle, including interview recordings with film personalities such as Sofia Coppola and Todd Haynes. 

Durbin’s community is wide-reaching. This can be seen through her varied correspondence, which includes letters from several writers and artists (such as Jamaica Kincaid and Linda Ronstadt). Durbin’s papers are ripe for research and analysis for users interested in New York City’s alternative journalism scene, with a particularly strong focus on leftist and feminist publications and film criticism. 

This collection was processed by Archives Graduate Fellows Olivija Liepa and Adia Augustin. A guide to the collection is available on the Archives website: Please contact to set up an appointment to use the Karen Durbin papers or request materials remotely.