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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 482

Papers of NOW officer Elizabeth Coxe Spalding, 1970-1977


Papers of National Organization for Women officer Elizabeth Coxe Spalding, coordinator of the Task Force on Marriage, Family Relations, and Divorce.


  • 1970-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Unrestricted except that folder #7.7 is closed until January 1, 2050.

As of December 2015, written permission of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is no longer required for access to folders #2.1-6.33.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Elizabeth Coxe Spalding while an officer of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is held by NOW. 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.


2.71 linear feet (6+1/2 file boxes)

This collection contains writings and speeches by ES, correspondence, and printed material; there is no biographical or personal information. It is divided into three series:

Series I, Writings by Spalding (#1.1-1.22), contains transcripts of speeches, reports, and articles concerning the status of women, particularly in relation to marriage and divorce laws and child support. They are arranged chronologically.

Series II, NOW Task Force on Marriage, Family Relations, and Divorce (#2.1-6.33), is divided into four sub-series.

Subseries A, Correspondence, contains letters to and from Spalding concerning her work as coordinator of the task force. There are also several requests for information on and assistance in obtaining divorces and child support.

Subseries B, Materials Created by the Task Force and National NOW, includes printed materials, reports, resolutions, by-laws, mailing lists, and meeting kits. The meeting kits contain task force material contained within NOW meeting kits.

Subseries C, Annotated Research Materials, is arranged by topic: child support (including IV-D, the section of the social security law that allows children to collect parents' social security), marriage and divorce, and the status of women. Papers include articles, correspondence, and printed materials.

Subseries D, Clippings, contains clippings that mention the task force's activities.

Series III, Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (#7.1-7.14), contains printed material and correspondence, mostly relating to divorce and child support cases in Connecticut.

Folder headings are those of Spalding unless otherwise noted; archivist's headings and notes are in square brackets. All printed material by or about Spalding, as well as all printed material with annotations, has been kept in the collection. Other NOW publications and reports, except those created by Spalding, were transferred to the NOW records in the Schlesinger Library. Non-NOW printed material produced by mainstream organizations and publications was discarded; leaflets and other ephemera of small, transient organizations were retained.


Elizabeth Coxe Spalding, head of the National Organization for Women's Task Force on Marriage, Family Relations, and Divorce (1973-1976), was born ca. 1921. She was a member of Connecticut's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, chairing their Committee on Question #1, the equal protection amendment to the state constitution in 1974. She served several terms as Representative from the 11th district of the Representative Town Meeting, where she was chairperson of the Health Committee, and also served on the Homemaker's Committee of the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. She was president of the NOW chapter in Hartford, Connecticut. She was married to (and later divorced from) Charles Spalding; they had six children. Spalding died in October 2001.


The collection is arranged in number series:

  1. Series I. Writings by Spalding (#1.1-1.22)
  2. Series II. NOW Task Force on Marriage, Family Relations, and Divorce (#2.1-6.33)
  3. ___Subseries A. Correspondence
  4. ___Subseries B. Materials Created by the Task Force and National NOW
  5. ___Subseries C. Annotated Research Materials
  6. ___Subseries D. Clippings
  7. Series III. Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (#7.1-7.14)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 79-M239

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Elizabeth Coxe Spalding in October 1979.

Processing Information

Processed: October 2002

By: Johanna Carll

Spalding, Elizabeth Coxe. Papers of NOW officer Elizabeth Coxe Spalding, 1970-1977: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
These papers were processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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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