The collection is organized into four series: Printed Materials, Correspondence, Photographs, and Miscellaneous.
The Printed Materials series comprises periodicals, newspaper clippings, newsletters, board minutes, reports major topics, statistical data, and national NOW task forces for coordinating strategies regarding certain issues. These are located in Boxes 1 and 2.
The Correspondence series includes letters from NOW organizers at national, state, and local levels. General correspondence is located in folders with designations such as “General A,” “General B,” “General C,” etc. Incoming and outgoing correspondence for an individual or organization that has more than 2 letters are contained in one folder; these are listed directly after “General” alphabetical files. These are located in Box 3.
The Photographs series contains images from Vermillion chapter events and they are located in Box 2.
The Miscellaneous series includes gifts and products sold to advance women’s rights, NOW logos, advertisements, flyers, and handwritten notes. These items are located in Box 2.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research without restrictions. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.
Biographical / Historical
Founded in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a feminist group that combats sexual discrimination in economic, social, and political spheres in the United States. During the 1970s, feminist action called for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), enforcement of Title VII, maternity leave, child-care centers, equal education, job-training opportunities, labor legislation, and reproductive rights. By 1973 NOW had grown to 15,000 members in 365 chapters, making strides with Title VII, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and domestic violence. However, during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, NOW began to lose members due to their stance on lesbian rights, the ERA, and escalating tensions among top executives within the organization.
The Vermillion chapter of NOW was formed circa 1971 and was originally known as the Women’s Equity League during its early years. Catherine Dunlap was the president, and the chapter was active in achieving national NOW’s stated objectives in South Dakota. The chapter organized events during the 1970s and early 1980s such as Days of Suffrage Celebration, Women’s Week (conference sessions held at The University of South Dakota) and Women’s Awareness Week. The chapter also worked in conjunction with many local organizations promoting women’s rights which included the American Association of University Women and the Sioux Falls chapter of NOW.
2.0 Linear Feet (1 record carton and 2 document boxes)
Language of Materials