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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 488

Papers of NOW officer Lucy Komisar, 1969-1982


Papers of National Organization for Women officer Lucy Komisar, NOW's Vice President of Public Relations.


  • 1969-1982

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Unrestricted.

As of November 2015, written permission of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is no longer required for access to folders #3.1-4.8.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Lucy Komisar 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.


1.67 linear feet ((4 file boxes), 1 archived web site)

This collection contains mostly drafts of writings and notes by Komisar. There is also correspondence, newspaper articles, and printed material. The collection is arranged in four series.

Series I, Writings and Related Papers by LK (#1.1-2.9, E.1), contains writings by Komisar, including drafts and notes from various articles as well as her book, The New Feminism. Komisar's web site is being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program.

Series II, Correspondence (#3.1-3.7), contains correspondence on subjects (including NOW activities and responses to Komisar's writings) arranged chronologically.

Series III, National Organization for Women (NOW) (#3.8-4.8) contains NOW records, including correspondence, printed material, and clippings documenting NOW's efforts to have women included in the affirmative action clauses of the Federal Communication Commission's regulations.

Series IV, Other Organizations (#4.9-4.10), contains one folder concerning the New Democratic Coalition Women's Rights Committee's endorsement of New York City candidates, and one folder concerning the 1977 National Women's Conference that includes transcripts of press conferences with Phyllis Schlafly and Joan Gubbins.

Folder headings are those of Komisar unless otherwise noted; archivist's headings and notes are in square brackets. All printed material by or about Komisar, as well as all printed material with annotations, has been kept in the collection. Other NOW publications and reports, except those created by Komisar, 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.


Lucy Komisar, freelance writer, was born in New York City in 1942. She is the daughter of David and Frances (Munshin) Komisar. She received her B.A. from City University of New York in 1964.

Komisar was editor of the Mississippi Free Press (1962-1963), a human resources administrator (1967-1968), press secretary for the political campaigns of Allard Lowenstein (for United States Representative from New York, 1968) and Elinor Guggenheimer (for President of City Council of New York, 1969), and associate producer of WNET-TV (1968-1969). She has been a freelance writer since 1969. She served as Vice President of Public Relations for the National Organization for Women (NOW), resigning in 1971. Komisar is the author of several books, including The New Feminism (1972), Down and Out in the USA: A History of Social Welfare (1973),and Corazon Aquino: The Story of a Revolutionary (1987).


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Writings and Related Papers by Komisar (#1.1-2.9, E.1)
  2. Series II. Correspondence (#3.1-3.7)
  3. Series III. National Organization for Women (NOW) (#3.8-4.8)
  4. Series IV. Other Organizations (#4.9-4.10)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 79-M298, 79-M302, 79-M303, 89-M72

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Lucy Komisar between December 1979 and April 1989.

Processing Information

Processed: October 2002

By: Johanna Carll

Komisar, Lucy, 1942- . Papers of NOW officer Lucy Komisar, 1969-1982: 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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