Documenting the Midwestern Origins of the Twentieth-Century Women's Movement, 1987-1992

Summary Information
Title: Documenting the Midwestern Origins of the Twentieth-Century Women's Movement
Inclusive Dates: 1987-1992

Call Number: Mss 823; Tape 1231A

Quantity: 0.6 c.f. (2 archives boxes) and 172 tape recordings

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Tape-recorded interviews with summary abstracts and one transcript generated by an oral history project undertaken by graduate students in the University of Wisconsin Women's History Program under the direction of faculty member Gerda Lerner. The interviews document 22 of the outstanding midwestern leaders in the twentieth-century feminist movement and explore the connections between the women's movements of the 1920s and the 1960s. Listed below, these women have been leaders in labor, education, politics, religion, and business at local, state, national, and international levels for as many as fifty years. The women interviewed are in many ways representative: seven are trade unionists and workers; eight are business women and professionals; six were full-time homemakers for more than a decade of their lives; four had political careers; two are Catholic women nuns. Three are African-Americans; many others are of immigrant families. What characterizes all of them is the broad range and long duration of their organizational commitment and activities.

Language: English

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The biographical notes below are from a program for the conference “Bridges That Carry Us Over” held November 20-21, 1992, which was related to the oral history project.

Contents List
Mss 823
Box   1
Note: The abstract for Kathryn Clarenbach covers only tapes 56 and 57; the transcript listed below covers the other tapes. No abstract is yet on file for the group interview with Clarenbach, East, and Eastwood (tapes 166-167).
Box   2
Transcript to the 1987-89 interviews with Kathryn Clarenbach (tapes 58-73)
Note: No abstract for these reels.
Tape 1231A
No.   1-8
Boyer, Gene
Biography/History: Advocate for women in business, NOW founder, President of Natioanl Women's Conference Center, founder of Wisconsin Women's Network
Note: Also see tapes 45-46.
No.   9-15
Wood, Nancy F.
Biography/History: Suffragist, advocate for women in business, initiator of Illinois Commission on the Status of Women, former NOW officer
No.   16-21
Jeffrey, Mildred
Biography/History: First Director of UAW Women's Department, founder and past President of NWPC, Democratic Party activist
No.   22-30
Haener, Dorothy
Biography/History: Former Education Director of UAW Women's Department, Chair of Michigan Human Rights Commission, founder of NOW, NWPC and CLUW
No.   31-44
Hensler, Helen
Biography/History: Past President of Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 9, founder and first chair of the Women's Committee of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, member of Wisconsin Governor's Commission on the Status of Women
No.   45-46
Boyer, Gene
Biography/History: See note with tapes 1-8.
No.   47-48
Doherty, Sister Austin
Biography/History: Organizer of first conference on women and theology, co-designer of abilities-based education for women, Academic Dean of Alverno College
Note: Also see tapes 118-123.
No.   49-52
Read, Sister Joel
Biography/History: Founder of NOW, leader in transforming curriculum for women, President of Alverno College
No.   53-55
Thom, Doris
Biography/History: First female member of Executive Board of UAW Local 95, member of Wisconsin Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, charter member of NOW
No.   56-73
Clarenbach, Kathryn
Biography/History: UW-Madison Professor of Political Science, Emerita , organizer and chair of Wisconsin Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, founder and first chair of NOW, Director of Houston Women's Conference
Note: Abstract covers tapes 56-57 only. Transcript covers tapes 58-73. Also see tapes 166-167 below.
No.   74-80
Wilson, Nellie
Biography/History: Defender of women's access to industriao jobs, first female officer in the A.O. Smith Steelworker's Union, founder of Civil Rights and Women's Committees in Wisconsin AFL-CIO, founder of only minority chapter of Wisconsin AARP
No.   81-87
Miller, Marjorie
Biography/History: Peace activist, founder of New Democratic Coalition, former member of Wisconsin State Assembly, former Member of Wisconsin Public Service Commission
No.   88-100
Fraser, Arvonne
Biography/History: Former Vice-Chair of Minnesota Democratic Farm-Labor Party, organizer of feminist network on Capitol Hill, past President of Women's Equity Action League, Director of International Women's Rights Action Watch
No.   101-102
Hart, Virginia
Biography/History: Educator of women labor leaders at UW-Madison School for Workers, first woman Cabinet member in Wisconsin
Note: Also see tapes 147-148.
No.   103-104
Day, Clara
Biography/History: Advocate for domestic workers as member of Illinois Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, founder and former Vice President of CLUW, delegate to Houston Women's Conference, Business Representative, Trustee and Director of Community Services for International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 743
Note: Also see tape 159.
No.   105-110
Clusen, Ruth Chickering
Biography/History: Member of Wisconsin Governor's Commission the Status of Women, past President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., Assistant U.S. Secretary for Environment, delegate to UN disarmament conferences
No.   111-117
Harder, Sarah
Biography/History: Past President of AAUW, Co-Chair of National Women's Conference Committee, Director of the Wisconsin Women's Network, President of Women for Meaningful Summits
No.   118-123
Doherty, Sister Austin
Biography/History: See note with tapes 47-48.
No.   124-129
Collins, Mary Jean
Biography/History: NOW leader, director of Illinois ERA campaign, Deputy Director of Catholics for a Free Choice
No.   130-146
Munts, Mary Lou
Biography/History: Author of divorce and marital property reform bills as member of Wisconsin State Assembly, former Member of Wisconsin Public Service Commission
No.   147-148
Hart, Virginia
Biography/History: See note with tapes 101-102.
No.   149-156
Eastwood, Mary O.
Biography/History: U.S. Justice Department attorney, NOW founder, initiator of sex discrimination cases, past President of National Woman's Party
No.   157-158
Wyatt, Addie
Biography/History: Labor representative to President's Commission on the Status of Women, first female International Vice President of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen, founder of NOW and CLUW, former Vice President of the National Council of Negro Women, child care advocate, Co-Pastor in the Church of God
No.   159
Day, Clara
Biography/History: See note with tapes 103-104.
No.   160-165
Goldsmith, Judith
Biography/History: Past President of NOW, Special Consultant to the Chancellor for Equity and Affirmative Action at UW-Stevens Point
No.   166-167
Clarenbach, Kathryn; East, Catherine; Eastwood, Mary
Note: No abstract exists.
No.   168-172
Griffiths, Martha W.
Biography/History: Former U.S. Congresswoman from Michigan, sponsor of Equal Rights Amendment, promoter of adding sex as category of discrimination to the 1964 Civil Rights Act