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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1188

Papers of Ellen Bilofsky, 1977-1979


The papers of Ellen Bilofsky include agendas and minutes, mission statements, mailings, and other materials relating to Women Office Workers (WOW) and Office Workers Network (OWN).


  • Creation: 1977-1979


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Ellen Bilofsky is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.21 linear feet (1 half file box)

The papers of Ellen Bilofsky include agendas and minutes, mission statements, mailings, and other materials relating to Women Office Workers (WOW) and Office Workers Network (OWN). Much of the material focuses on a dispute in WOW in which a group of members accused the leadership of excluding members from decisions relating to changes to the by-laws and general elections. The dispute ultimately lead to members leaving WOW to form OWN, with the goal of creating a more democratic organization that addressed the needs of a broader group of working women.


Editor and health care reform advocate Ellen Bilofsky studied at Syracuse University and New York University before receiving a BA in Psychology from Lehman College in 1975. She was an editor (1993-2013) and later Executive Director (2013-2016) of the AFB Press of the American Foundation for the Blind. An advocate for women office workers, Bilofsky was an active member of Women Office Workers (WOW), which worked on issues relating to health and safety and organizing, and the WOW offshoot Office Workers Network (OWN), an organization with a "feminist perspective committed to working with other women's groups and open to a wide range of women office workers." She was also an advocate for national single payer universal health care and the passage of the New York State Health Act and was a co-founder of South Central Brooklyn United for Progress. Bilofsky died of brain cancer on August 19, 2021.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2022-M14

The papers of Ellen Bilofsky were given to the Schlesinger Library by David Newman in January 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2022

By: Johanna Carll

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeannette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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