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COLLECTION Identifier: 82-M189--86-M213: T-78

Additional records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.), 1972-1985


Addenda to the records (79-M116--81-M121) of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.).


  • Creation: 1972-1985

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Researchers must sign a special permission form to use the collection. Most of the collection is open for research. Some folders (primarily personnel records or those containing personal information) have been closed until January 1, 2057.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by 9 to 5 is held by 9 to 5. 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.


21.88 linear feet ((19 cartons, 3 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 card file box) plus 3 folio folders, 3 folio+ folders, 2 oversize folders, l supersize folder, 1 folio photograph folder, 2 folio+ photograph folder, 31 audiocassettes, electronic records)

The records include by-laws, minutes, correspondence, memos, budgets, press releases, surveys, flyers, newsletters, published reports, charts, photographs, and audiotapes. Photographs in this collection were re-processed in May 2016 (folders #1345-1446f+). All other files remain in the same order.

Series I, Administrative, begins with the records of the Boston 9 to 5 Executive Board: by-laws, agendas and minutes, memos, staff reports. These are followed by records of the chapter staff (on personnel hiring, organizer training, meeting notes, and files on staff and interns) and of the Clarendon Street and Temple Place offices, including phone logs. 9 to 5's web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2010.

Series I also includes records of the national organization, as Working Women and, after 1982, 9 to 5: National Association of Working Women. These records include memos, project proposals, and publications. They are followed by correspondence, flyers, newsletters, and other papers from 9 to 5's chapters around the country, and from District 925, the affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Series II, Financial, contains the records of the Finance Committee; yearly budget reports; and notes, publicity, and other papers from a variety of fundraising events, arranged alphabetically. These are followed by budgets, meeting notes, correspondence, etc., from long-term fundraising projects: direct mail campaigns, the canvass, and foundation fundraising.

Series III, Membership/Outreach, contains general inquiries and records of membership drives, general meetings, and repeated events aimed primarily at increasing membership: the annual convention, summer school, and National Secretaries' Day/Week. "Outreach" materials comprise general leaflets, newsletters, speeches, films, and some publications.

Series IV, Industry-based Committees. Records of the committees on banking, insurance, publishing, temporary secretaries, and universities include committee overviews, memos, meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, press releases, and other publicity.

Series V, Issue-based Committees and Campaigns. Campaign and Special Events Committees are groups focusing ad hoc on the most pertinent issue of the moment. The Minority Outreach Task Force and Women of Color Network, for instance, addressed both workplace issues for minority women office workers and recruitment of minority women to 9 to 5. Records from three general groupings of activities follow: equal employment opportunity campaigns; career development and educational activities; and campaigns on health and safety, including automation. There are also records of efforts related to legislative and electoral arenas, childcare and maternity, and other areas, some campaigns initiated by specific committees, and some, apparently, simply issue-directed campaigns. The series ends with records of projects sponsored primarily by other organizations, for which 9 to 5 played a supporting role, and with otherwise unidentified surveys and address lists.

Series VI, Clippings, Photographs, Slides. Photographs in this series were re-processed and assigned descriptive folder titles in May 2016 (folders #1345-1446f+). Clippings and photographs are arranged by year, with unidentified items at the back. Clippings for Boston, national, and chapter affiliates are interfiled. Photographs are identified by subject and/or photographer; negatives are noted when present. The slides, taken from oversized charts and posters, relate to a number of chapter campaigns and committees.

Copies of 9 to 5 periodicals are available in the Schlesinger Library periodical division. For master copies of 9 to 5 publications, consult a manuscript staff member.

Original folder headings appear in quotation marks. Other information has been added by the processor.


9 to 5: Organization for Women Office Workers was founded in Boston in 1972 by Ellen Cassedy (EC) and Karen Nussbaum (KN), then secretaries at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ellen Cassedy and Karen Nussbaum issued a newsletter, The 9 to 5 News, and met with a small group of interested women. In 1973 the organization acquired an office, at the headquarters of the Boston YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association] (140 Clarendon Street), and published a "Bill of Rights" for women office workers. In early 1974, the first monthly meeting was held; nearly 300 women attended.

In its early years, 9 to 5 organized its activities by industry. Its original five committees waged specific campaigns for women in banking, insurance, publishing, temporary secretarial jobs, and universities. Major victories included a $1.5 million back-pay suit won against three Boston-area publishers.

Some industry-based campaigns, targeted against specific employers such as Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, continued into the mid 1980s.

As the organization grew in the 1970s, a second, issue-based strategy developed. A committee might focus on equal employment opportunity issues or on grant-funded career development and education projects. Each issue-based committee might pursue projects involving several different industries simultaneously, while in turn an employer-targeted campaign might receive aid from several different committees. The campaign against the John Hancock Insurance Company, for example, involved the Campaign, Health and Safety, and National Secretaries' Day-as well as Insurance-committees.

Paid staff grew along with committees. The Executive Board, composed of members who chaired committees, hired the staff director, who in turn hired other staff. Staff directors included Ellen Cassedy to1979; Joan Quinlan, 1979-1982; and Pat Reeve, 1982-1984. As of 1977 there were four "permanent staff"; as of 1979, there were six, including staff director, fundraiser, organizers, and office manager. The chapter also sponsored a canvass, in the mid 1980's staffed by a canvass director, canvass office manager, and part- and full-time canvassers, whose numbers fluctuated according to season. Interns, paid and unpaid, came from a variety of sources.

The organization grew significantly on a national level in its first decade. In the mid 1970s, "sister" clerical worker organizations emerged in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and other cities. In 1977, several affiliated groups, including Boston 9 to 5, sponsored the formation of a national group, Working Women, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1978, Karen Nussbaum became its director. In 1983, the national organization changed its name to 9 to 5: National Association of Women Office Workers. In 1975, a union affiliate, District 925, had been formed in Boston; in 1981, this local became part of the Service Employees International Union.

Links between national and local groups of the organization were very strong. The national coordinated certain campaigns, such as Project Health and Safety; in turn, a certain percentage of fundraising proceeds was sent from local to national offices. The Boston office housed both the local chapter and the East Coast headquarters; staff, however, were entirely separate. The Boston staff also worked directly with other chapters, such as Chicago's Women Employed.

Funds for Boston 9 to 5 have come from membership dues, fundraising events, the canvass, and foundations. In the early 1980s, due to the loss of much of its grant income and other financial crises, the chapter could no longer afford paid staff. In 1982, the lease at 140 Clarendon Street was not renewed, and 9 to 5 moved its office to Temple Place. In 1985 this office had to be closed for financial reasons. As of the summer of 1987 the chapter, staffed by volunteers only, shared offices with District 925.

For further background on 9 to 5, see #293 and 734.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Series I. Administrative #1-295, E.1
  2. Series II. Financial #296-591f
  3. Series III. Membership/Outreach #592-739
  4. Series IV. Industry-based Committees #740-994
  5. Series V. Issue-based Committees and Campaigns #995-1329
  6. Series VI. Clippings, Photographs, Slides #1330-1447sl

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 82-M189, 83-M260, 85-M170, 85-M180, 85-M246, 86-M213

The records of 9 to 5 were given to the Schlesinger Library in September 1982, December 1983, August and November 1985, and October 1986 by 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.).

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.) Records, 1972-1980, 79-M16--81-M121, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.) Additional records, 1972-1986, 88-M96--89-M104, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.) Videotapes, 1978-1980, Vt-10, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.). Milwaukee Chapter Records, 1973-2005, MC 655, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.), Milwaukee Chapter Videotape collection, 1982-2001, Vt-186, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.), Milwaukee Chapter Audiotapes, 1974-2000, T-380, and the Karen Nussbaum Papers, 1972-2017 (MC 1234).


  1. Carton 1: 1-55
  2. Carton 2: 56-83, 85-86, 90-91, 93-99
  3. Carton 3: 100-106, 110-117, 120, 122, 126-128, 130, 133, 136, 140, 142, 144-145, 147, 151, 154, 157, 160-161, 163-169
  4. Carton 4: 171-172, 174-175, 179, 181, 183-197, 199-231
  5. Carton 5: 232-285, 287-294, 296-332
  6. Carton 6: 333-341, 343-390
  7. Carton 7: 391-417, 419-469
  8. Carton 8: 470-523
  9. Carton 9: 524-527, 530-546, 548-552, 554-589, 592-611
  10. Card file box 10
  11. Carton 11: 612-700
  12. Carton 12: 701-775
  13. Carton 13: 777, 780-797, 799-858
  14. Carton 14: 859-929
  15. Carton 15: 931-933, 935-994
  16. Carton 16: 995-1018, 1020-1041, 1043-1051, 1053-1068
  17. Carton 17: 1069-1076, 1079-1143
  18. Carton 18: 1144-1166, 1194-1267
  19. Carton 19: 1268-1288, 1290-1344
  20. Box 20: 1345-1393
  21. Carton 21: CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2057: 84, 87-89, 92, 107-109, 118-119, 121, 123-125, 129v, 131-132, 134-135, 137-139, 141, 143, 146, 148-150, 152-153, 155-156, 158-159, 162, 170, 173, 176-178, 180, 182, 342
  22. Box 22: CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2057: 528-529, 553, 778-779, 798, 930, 934, 1019, 1042, 1052, 1077, 1078, 1289
  23. Box 23: 1394-1430
  24. Box 24: 1431-1444

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: July 1987

By: Susan von Salis, Elizabeth Young

Updated: May 2016

By: Lillianne Keaney

9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.). Additional records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1972-1985: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Records were processed with a grant from Clara Goldberg Schiffer.

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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