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Nevada's Women's Archives
Collection Guide

Collection No: 95-30
Collection Name: National Organization for Women

Historical Overview

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed in June, 1966. Its origination was a result of frustration experienced by women while attending the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women in Washington, D.C. It had been three years since the Commission reported findings of women being discriminated against in virtually every aspect of life. However, the 1966 Conference delegates were prohibited by the administration's rules for the conference from even passing resolutions recommending that the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforce its legal mandate to end sex discrimination.

Betty Friedan, a Conference guest and author of The Feminine Mystique, invited a group of women to her hotel room one night to discuss alternative strategies. It was decided that the only solution was to form a separate civil rights organization dedicated to achieving full equality for women; it was Friedan who christened it "NOW". Kathryn Clarenbach, head of the Wisconsin Commission on the Status of Women, was named temporary coordinator, and the women drafted a statement of purpose:

"To take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American Society NOW, assuming all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in fully equal partnership with men."

In addition to Clarenbach and Friedan, NOW's 28 founding members were: Ada Allness, Mary Benbow, Gene Boyer, Analoyce Clapp, Catherine Conroy, Caroline Davis, Mary Eastwoop, Edith Finlayson, Dorothy Haener, Anna Roosevelt Halstead, Lorene Harrington, Mary Lou Hill, Esther Johnson, Nancy Knaak, Min L. Matheson, Helen Moreland, Pauline Parish, Eve P. Purvis, Edna Schwartz, Gretchen Squires, Mary Jane Snyder, Betty Talkington, and Caroline Ware.

NOW was incorporated officially in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 1967, after finalization of its National Constitution and By-Laws by an appointed committee. Task Forces were set up to deal with problems of women in employment, education, religion, poverty, law, politics, and image in the media among others. Committees were organized to handle finance, membership, public relations, legislation, and legal activities.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) continues to exist today, actively pursuing full equality for women.

Scope and Content

The earliest record contained in the National Organization for Women Collection is the NOW Statement of Purpose dated October 29, 1966. Generally, the collection concentrates on the early to mid-seventies, with the majority of the information gathered during 1973 and 1974. There is no dated material covering the years 1974 to the present. The collection is divided into four series: the Administrative Series, the Task Forces Series, the Issues & Interests Series, and the Newsletters Series.

The Administrative Series includes Board of Directors minutes and reports, by-laws, budget & financial information, correspondence, policies & resolutions, state structure, etc. The Task Force Series contains organizational information of the Task Forces as well as correspondence of the various Task Forces. The Issues & Interests Series contains any information relating to subject matter of the Task Forces, but not specifically originating from their offices. It also contains a variety of information on numerous topics thought pertinent by NOW members. The Newsletter Series contains local chapter newsletters as well as state and national newsletters.

The records in this collection were received in a single accession from Lynn Cleary in 1995. Lynn was using the papers for research, after receiving them from Amy Medell, state president of NOW. They were originally collected and stored for many years by Renee Diamond.

Physical Description: The National Organization for Women Collection consists of 8 boxes ( 3 ½ linear feet)

Restrictions: None

Location of Collection: Lied Library Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

Processed by: Caryll Batt Dziedziak

Date Completed: December 5, 1995

Inventory and Container List
National Organization for Women


11Board of Directors - Executive Committee Officers, 1973
 2Board of Directors - Minutes of Meetings
 3Board of Directors - Reports
 4Budget, 1973
 5By-Laws - proposed for Metro Denver Chapter
 6By-Laws - Proposed National Changes
 7By-Laws - Western Region, 1972
 8Commemoration: 53rd Anniversary of 19th Amendment, August 26, 1973
 9Conference: 6th National - February 16-19, 1973
 10Conference: 7th National - May 1974 "The Position Paper of California"
 11Conference: Western Regional - September 28-30, 1973
 12Congressional Records
 13Correspondence, [undated]
 14Correspondence, 1973
 15Correspondence, 1974
 16Federal Revenue Sharing
 18Goals of NOW
 19Guidelines: Chapters, Coalitions, Committees
 20Laws: Las Vegas and Clark County
21Las Vegas Chapter NOW
 2League Units
 3Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDEF)
 5Lobbying Reports and Action
 6Los Angeles Chapter NOW
 7Membership - interested persons
 8National Public Information Office
 9News Releases
 10Policies and Resolutions
 11Political Action Research (PAR)
 12Press Releases
 13Public Relations
 14State Structure
 15Statement of Purpose, 1966
 16University Chapter NOW
31Broadcast Media (FCC) Task Force
 2Compliance and Enforcement Task Force
 3Coordinators of Task Forces
 4Education Task Force
 5Fund-Raising Task Force
 6Health Task Force
 7Higher Education Task Force
 8Image of Women Task Force
 9Labor Unions Task Force
 10Legislative Task Force
 11Marriage, Divorce & Family Relations Task Force
 12Masculine Mystique Task Force
 13Minority Women & Women's Rights Task Force
 14Politics Task Force
 15Rape Task Force
 16Reproduction and Population Task Force
 17Summaries of Task Forces Booklet
 18Women and Poverty Task Force
 19Women and Religion Task Force
 20Women and Sports Task Force
 21Women and Volunteerism Task Force
 5Child Development
 6Consciousness Raising
 7Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
 8ERA Testimony
 9Family Planning
 10Family Planning: News Articles
 11Family Planning Population Reporter
 12Feminist Enterprises
51Gay rights / Issues
 2Health, Women's
 3Image of Women
 4"Legal Abortion in the United States: Facts and Highlights"
 5Minority Women & Women's Rights
 6Miscellaneous Information
 7Miscellaneous Las Vegas News Articles, 1973-1974
 8Pandora: The Seattle Women's Newspaper, Sept.-Dec. 1973
 9Poetry and Songs
 11Political; Nevada
 12Political; News Articles, 1973
 13Political; News Articles, 1974
 2Prostitution; News Articles, 1973
 4Rape Information; Nevada
 5Rape; News Articles, 1973
 6Second Wave Magazine, vol.2 no.2, 1972
 8Sexism in Schools
 9Women and Marriage
 10Women and Poverty
 11Women and Religion
 12Women and Work
 13Women Artists' Movement
 14Women's History Library
 15"Women's Work and Women's Studies", 1971
71Newsletters: Boulder City
 2Newsletters: Chicago Chapter
 3Newsletters: Denver, Colorado
 4Newsletters: Florida NOW
 5Newsletters: Highline Chapter - Seattle, WA
 6Newsletters: Las Vegas Chapter
 7Newsletters: National NOW
 8Newsletters: Nevada
 9Newsletters: Northern Nevada Chapter
 10Newsletters: Portland, Maine Chapter
 11Newsletters: Sacramento Chapter
 12Newsletters: Salt Lake City Chapter
 13Newsletters: Thurston County Chapter
 14Newsletters: University Chapter
 15Newsletters: Virginia Beach
 16Newsletters: Washington State
81Wonder Woman Comic Book
 2Cocktail Reception Invitation
Poster: "Feminist Bureau of Investigation's
10 Most Wanted Men"
NOW Peace Sign Sketch
 3Audio cassette: UUA President, Robert Nelson West ERA Buttons (3)
 4Bumper Stickers: "Maya Miller - U.S. Senate"
"Support The Equal Rights Amendment"
"ERA All The Way"