Papers of NOW officer Dolores Alexander, 1960-1973
Language of Materials
As of November 2015, written permission of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is no longer required for access to folders #1.6-7.10, 8.5-10.17, OD.1-OD.2, PD.1-PD.9.
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
4.17 linear feet ((10 file boxes) plus 2 folio plus folders, 2 oversize folders, 9 photograph folders, 6 audiotapes)
Series I, Biographical and personal (1.1-1.5, F+D.1-F+D.2), contains biographical material, correspondence, notes, and clippings related to Alexander's speaking engagements after leaving her position as executive director of NOW.
Series II, National Organization for Women (1.6-10.17, OD.1-OD.2, PD.1-PD.9), contains correspondence, memos, minutes, committee reports, clippings, board reports, fundraising material, and press releases related to NOW's board, national meetings, general membership, chapters, task forces, committees, and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. There are 12 folders of material specific to New York NOW. Correspondence with NOW members, political activists, public officials and other individuals, as well as research files cover a range of topics including abortion, campaign literature, sex discrimination in education, the Valerie Solanas case, breastfeeding, Native American women, rape, equal rights for women, and poverty, in the form of pamphlets, fliers, brochures, correspondence, clippings, reports, and newsletters. Also included are audiotapes from a NOW conference, Priorities for Action, held in New York, December 7-8 (year unknown), and an appearance by Betty Friedan on CBS radio, 1970. There is no material related to the resignation of Alexander from NOW. Photographs of Dolores Alexander, NOW actions, and NOW board members are also included in the collection.
Alexander became active in NOW in 1966 after coming across a press release announcing the creation of a new women's rights organization. With her background in media, she chaired the Monitor Subcommittee of the National Task Force on Image of Women in Mass Media. In 1969, Alexander became the first executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW). As executive director, she established a national office for NOW in New York City, expanded NOW's membership base nationally, and edited NOW Acts, NOW's national newsletter. Resigning in May 1970, Alexander continued to lecture on women's rights, and worked with the New Feminist Talent Collective, a speaker agency formed by Jacqui Michot Ceballos in response to the demand for speakers on the women's movement. In addition, she opened and ran Mother Courage, a feminist restaurant in Greenwich Village. She was one of the founders and organizers of Women Against Pornography and worked with New York Radical Feminists. Alexander was also a board member of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL); member of the advisory board of New York chapter of NOW; and member of New York Newspaper Women's Club.
She continued to be active in women's causes, including the North Fork Women for Women Fund, a nonprofit group that raised money for women facing health-care emergencies, and the Herstory Writer's Workshop, a community writing project for women interested in writing memoirs.
- Series I. Biographical and personal (1.1-1.5, F+D.1-F+D.2)
- Series II. National Organization for Women (1.6-10.17, OD.1-OD.2, PD.1-PD.9)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dolores Alexander in 1982.
Accession number: 82-M88
Processed by: Deborah A. Richards
The following items have been removed from the collection:
- NOW minutes, NOW conference programs, NOW correspondence, NOW reports, NOW membership lists, NOW new member applications, NOW chapter newsletters. Transferred to the National Organization for Women Records (MC 496), July 2004.
- Newspapers: NYRL Newspaper, It's Ain't Me Babe, Manhattan Tribune: New York Tribune, Womankind, Off Our Backs. Transferred to Book Department, Schlesinger Library, July 2004.
- The Communist Attack on U.S. Police by W. Cleon Skousen. Ensign Publishing Company, 1966. Transferred to Widener Library, Harvard University, July 2004.
- Road to Revolution: Communist Guerrilla Warfare in the U.S.A. by Phillip Abbott Lucy. Viewpoint Books, 1967. Transferred to Widener Library, Harvard University, July 2004.
By: Deborah A. Richards
- Boycotts--United States
- Civil rights--United States
- Demonstrations--United States
- Equal pay for equal work--United States
- Equal rights amendments--United States
- Feminism--United States
- Feminists--United States
- Journalists--United States
- Pay equity--United States
- Pro-choice movement--United States
- Sex discrimination against women--United States
- Sex discrimination in employment--United States
- Sex discrimination in higher education--United States
- Women journalists--United States
- Women's rights--United States
- Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
- Dolores Alexander. Papers of NOW officer Dolores Alexander, 1960-1973: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
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