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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 557: T-81: Vt-9

Records of the Project on the Status and Education of Women, 1969-1991 (inclusive), 1971-1985 (bulk)


Records (including correspondence, publications, meeting notes, government testimonies, and research files) of the Project on the Status and Education of Women, a project of the Association of American Colleges focusing on improving access to and achieving equity in higher education for women.


  • Creation: 1969-1991
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1971-1985

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Folder #5.13 is closed until 2030, #30.18 is closed until the deaths of Bert Hartry and Bernice Sandler, #31.2 is closed until 2031, #31.31 is closed until 2024, #36.2 is closed until 2025. Appointment required for access to audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the unpublished papers created by the Project on the Status and Education of Women is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.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.


57.76 linear feet ((138 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ folders, 4 oversize folders, 2 supersize folders, 5 audiotapes, 12 videotapes, 2 photograph folders, 3 objects, and electronic records)

Records of the Project on the Status and Education of Women, a project of the Association of American Colleges, include correspondence; publications; meeting agendas, notes and minutes; government testimonies; speeches and workshop material; grant applications and financial documents; project publicity; research files including pamphlets, newsletters, clippings, flyers, and informational material; and audiovisual material.

Most of the collection arrived at the Library in folders with titles, which appear below in the inventory; titles provided by the archivist are in square brackets. Material after 1985 is mainly subject files. Material from the 1970s tends to be better organized; an office filing system (#4.2, 4.3) was set up by Margaret Dunkle. Most clippings from the New York Times and Washington Post were discarded, as were many published papers, briefs, and articles without extensive annotations by PSEW staff. Most printed material was transferred to the Schlesinger Library's book division.

Files on boards on which Bernice Sandler served can be found in her personal papers (MC 558). Some files on PSEW activities (including files that seem to have once been part of the PSEW filing system) can be found in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530). Correspondence with individuals reporting on gender inequities at an institution, or asking for advice before filing a lawsuit, has been redacted where possible.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, 1971-1991 (#1.1-5.16, E.1), contains memos, minutes, annual reports, notes, etc., of AAC and PSEW. Many files relate to discussions between 1985 and 1987 about better integrating PSEW into the activities of AAC. These discussions resulted, in 1989, in an AAC decision to re-focus PSEW, with both a new name and a new director. Much of the 1989-1990 material in both subseries relates to this decision and the subsequent staff changes. The series is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, American Association of Colleges, 1971-1990 (#1.1-2.13), contains meeting agendas, minutes and notes, memos and correspondence between PSEW staff and AAC staff. Most of Sandler's files on AAC board meetings can be found in Series IV. The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Subseries B, Project on the Status and Education of Women, 1971-1991 (#2.14-5.16, E.1), contains some material on PSEW's budget; minutes, notes, and agendas of PSEW advisory board meetings; annual reports; memos; files on intern projects; and a mailing list from the early 1970s. Master file lists from 1975 and 1977 (#4.2, 4.3) detail the files in the PSEW office at that time; this listing also forms the basis for the organization of the files in Series VII. However, many of the files listed are not present in Series VII. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title. PSEW'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 II, FUNDING, 1972-1991 (#5.17-9.11), contains notes, memos, correspondence, proposals, etc., about non-AAC funding of both specific projects and general PSEW work. It also contains reports submitted to the Ford and Carnegie Foundations. The series is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, General funding, 1972-1991 (#5.17-7.11), contains notes on funding sources, and much correspondence with and reports submitted to the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation, the two primary funders of PSEW's activities. Notes from the 1980s detail the lower level of funding available for (or awarded to) PSEW projects. Correspondence with Ford Foundation employees includes Mariam Chamberlain and Alison Bernstein. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Subseries B, Project funding, 1978-1990 (#8.1-9.11), contains notes, ideas, and proposals for the funding of specific projects, an approach PSEW turned to in the 1980s. General "funding ideas" folders (#8.10-8.12) include ideas for proposals of specific papers, projects, etc. Project titles are listed when known. Series V contains some records of projects that received funding. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Series III, CORRESPONDENCE AND OFFICE FILES, 1971-1991 (#9.12-53.2), contains both outgoing and incoming correspondence as well as some staff files or notes on meetings, testimonies, etc. PSEW kept outgoing correspondence arranged by PSEW staff members, and arranged incoming mail alphabetically by sender or chronologically. The series is comprised of six subseries; three exist for staff members who had a substantial amount of separately-filed correspondence. In addition to correspondence, some of these personal subseries contain other files, notebooks, etc. Another subseries includes correspondence from PSEW staff members with five or fewer folders of correspondence. The general correspondence is the largest subseries, containing the majority of incoming correspondence, often attached to outgoing responses.

Subseries A, Margaret Dunkle, 1972-1977 (#9.12-11.1), includes NCWGE (National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education) outgoing correspondence sent by Dunkle during her term as chair of that group (1975-1977). More of Dunkle's files can be found in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530). The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Subseries B, Grace L. Mastalli, 1977-1980 (#11.2-12.17), includes correspondence files, meeting and conference files, and several folders of congressional testimonies. The subseries is arranged alphabetically, and chronologically thereunder.

Subseries C, Bernice Sandler, 1971-1991 (#12.18-20.10), contains carbon copies of Sandler's outgoing correspondence, filed chronologically. Correspondents include PSEW advisory board members, college administrators and faculty, government officials, grant officers, etc. Sheila Tobias and Laura X were frequent correspondents. Expense statements and other AAC correspondence can also be found here. Much of the routine correspondence is in response to women writing to ask for help on their resumes, or to find leads or recommendations for jobs. Some of Sandler's responses to these requests includes PSEW reports or Sandler's speeches. This subseries also includes several disbound notebooks with notes taken at PSEW and AAC meetings. The subseries is arranged with correspondence listed chronologically, and other files following.

Subseries D, Other PSEW staff, 1973-1985 (#21.1-24.13), contains outgoing correspondence from other staff members. The subseries is arranged alphabetically by surname, with a few general files at the end.

Subseries E, General, 1971-1987 (#24.14-51.7), primarily contains incoming correspondence, arranged in chronological groupings that cover periods of time ranging from six months to several years. Within these chronological runs, letters are arranged alphabetically by surname of sender or organization name. Frequent or notable correspondents were given their own folders during the early years of PSEW; after 1974 this practice was generally dropped. Even those correspondents with their own folders , however, may have letters in the general alphabetical files as well. Other incoming correspondence, found loose by the archivist, is filed at the end of the alphabetical runs. Often a carbon of the outgoing response is clipped or stapled to the incoming letter. Some of the outgoing letters from Sandler include recommendations for women nominated for academic deanships; others are general complaint letters to media (Playboy, Washington Post) and businesses, mainly about advertisements that failed to show women in professional or academic positions, or articles about education that she felt to be incorrect. Two sets of correspondence dating from 1971 to June 1973 and from July to December 1973 had the same color file tabs, and were sent to the Schlesinger Library together, so they have been filed together in the arrangement below. Correspondents include academics (either offering publications or asking for them); college affirmative action officers and other administrators; grant officers; women seeeking work, advice about or funding for their education (many recent college graduates enclosed resumes); government officials; lawyers involved in Title IX or other relevant cases; and other requests for information. General topics discussed in the correspondence from 1971 to 1973 include TIAA's pension policies; child care policies; maternity leave policies; HEW and implementation of laws/policies; recruitment of women (letters are both from administrators asking for relevant names, or from women asking where to send resumes). Much of the outgoing correspondence in these years from Francelia Gleaves is to African-American organizations; some of it discusses black women and their relationship to feminism. Topics discussed in 1974 correspondence include: part-time employment laws; maternity leave laws and policies; and HEW and its implementation of laws/policies. Much of the 1976 correspondence concerns Title IX and its implications for institutions. Correspondence from the mid-1980s contains letters about sexual harassment and rape from women experiencing it, studying it, or from campuses looking to learn about the issues. There are no alphabetical general correspondence files from 1977, 1979, or from any year after 1981; unfoldered correspondence from those and other years has been alphabetized by sender.

Subseries F, "Golden letters," 1972-1991 (#51.8-53.2), contains letters separated by PSEW from the above subseries due to their potential use for fundraising or justification of PSEW staff's work. These letters tend to praise PSEW and/or its materials; some have underlined parts which were sometimes reprinted in annual reports. The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Series IV, CONFERENCES, MEETINGS, AND SPEECHES, 1971-1991 (#53.3-74.3), contains material about events attended by PSEW staff, primarily Bernice Sandler. Titles are those of PSEW; additional information has been added in square brackets. The titles of conferences are included here if they appeared on the PSEW folder title, or if they are necessary to provide additional information. Speech titles are given when a titled copy of the speech appears in the folder. Several of Sandler's speeches have the same title, but were usually changed for each event. The date listed is of the occasion; dates of items in folder may vary by several months. Events were attended by Sandler unless otherwise noted. Some are campus visits at which Sandler gave a workshop, lectured, and/or met with administrators; some are annual meetings of organizations where Sandler spoke or led workshops; some are conferences on gender and/or affirmative action, etc. Most folders include transcriptions of speeches, correspondence about the event, material distributed at conferences, etc. Some folders, especially from conferences of organizations, or campus visits, have brochures and printed material relating to the organization or the campus (including women's studies course listings, women's center flyers, etc.). Some folders from campus visits have copies of affirmative action plans, or other internal administrative documents that describe policies pertaining to women students, faculty, and staff. Most of Sandler's lectures from the early 1970s are more general "state of the field" lectures regarding women in academe. Lectures from later in the 1970s often are about affirmative action, women's studies, Title IX, etc. Lectures from the mid-1980s to 1991 tend to address sexual harassment, classroom climate for women students, and the general academic climate for women faculty and staff. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series V. PROJECTS, 1971-1988 (#74.4-83.1), contains material related to PSEW projects. Files relating to Women's Centers - Where Are They?, a booklet published by PSEW in 1974, can be found in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530). The series is arranged in five subseries.

Subseries A, Women in Fellowship and Training Programs, 1972-1973 (#74.4-76.13), contains material related to the PSEW Conference on Women in Fellowship and Training Programs, held November 27-28, 1972. A report on the topic and the resulting conference was one of the first undertakings by PSEW. Staff compiled data on women's participation in various foundations and fellowship programs, wrote a report, and held a conference for fellowship officers and other interested parties to discuss findings and how to raise the number of women awarded fellowships. Folders are arranged alphabetically. A copy of the complete report can be found in #83.3.

Subseries B, Women's Re-entry Project, 1971-1988 (#76.14-80.29), contains material related to a Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) project undertaken by PSEW staff primarily from 1979 to 1981 to study and assess efforts of colleges, universities, and other institutions to address the specific needs of women re-entering education and the work force after years of primarily serving as wives and/or mothers. A request for information was sent to members of AAC; files on colleges contain information received in response to this solicitation. Material relating to these colleges dated later into the 1980s, which may or may not be about re-entry programs, has also been filed here. Some folders have memos from PSEW staff after visits to, or phone calls with, college administrators; others have information about conferences, etc., held at various colleges and related to women's education. Several reports on re-entry women were subsequently published, they can be found in #82.16. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries C, Classroom climate, 1979-1988 (#81.1-82.3), contains files, many kept by Roberta Hall, on the concept of the classroom learning climate and its effect on women. PSEW was a leader in studying this topic, and wrote several reports about various aspects of the problem. The earliest files relate to the development of a 22-page paper, The Classroom Climate: A Chilly One for Women? written by Roberta Hall and Bernice Sandler in 1982. The paper was funded by a FIPSE grant and was overseen by an advisory board. Some of the files contain papers sent to Hall from various members of the advisory board; annotations on these are Hall's. Research materials and papers not heavily annotated have been discarded. PSEW then held a conference in November 1982, "The Chilly Classroom Climate: Sharing Strategies for Change," to publicize and discuss its findings. A copy of the final paper, over 40,000 copies of which had sold between 1982 and 1990, can be found in #83.13. In 1984, Hall and Sandler wrote another paper, Out of the Classroom: a Chilly Campus Climate for Women? Files for this project were marked "OCC" by Hall. Hall then worked on a paper about the campus climate for faculty and administrative women. the resulting paper, The Campus Climate Revisted: Chilly for Women Faculty, Administrators, and Graduate Students, was published in 1986. Several later files show PSEW and Sandler's continuing focus on the topic, and include critiques of the findings of the earlier papers. The subseries is arranged chronologically by paper topic, and chronologically thereunder.

Subseries D, Gang rape, 1983-1985 (#82.4-82.12), contains files about the concept of gang rape, and in preparation for writing the 1985 paper, Campus Gang Rape: Party Games? (Julie K. Ehrhart and Bernice Sandler). A copy of the final paper can be found in #83.16. Folders contain notes, drafts, correspondence, clippings, etc. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries E, General, 1974-1988 (#82.13-83.1), contains material, arranged chronologically, on other projects undertaken by PSEW. PSEW undertook many other projects and publications, but procedural files about those do not exist. The Project for Academic Affirmative Action Training was a joint project with the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, spondored by the Ford Foundation, that resulted in an educational packet for universities. Folders are arranged chronologically.

Series VI. PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLICITY, 1971-1989 (#83.2-85.6, 139.1-139.4), contains PSEW publications, and clippings about PSEW and its staff members. It is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, Publications, 1971-1989 (#83.2-83.23, 139.1-139.4), contains reports, pamphlets, and information sheets prepared by PSEW. Some publications are reprints of articles or government charts on PSEW letterhead. Several of PSEW's publications are held separately by the Schlesinger Library, and therefore do not appear in this subseries. These are: Women and Film: A Resource Handbook, Women's Centers - Where Are They?, Out of the Classroom: A Chilly Campus Climate for Women?, and Financial Aid: a partial list of resources for women. These publications may be located by searching in the HOLLIS catalog. A master set of On Campus with Women is closed to research (#139.1); reference copies are part of the library's periodical holdings and are open to researchers. Publications have been foldered by year, when known.

Subseries B, Publicity, 1971-1989 (#83.24-85.6), contains clippings that mention or highlight the work of PSEW, as well as more formal publicity packets assembled by staff for several years. Publicity is organized by year, and includes newspaper and magazine clippings, references within books and articles, and mentions of PSEW publications and other activities. The subseries also includes several articles by Bernice Sandler.

Series VII. RESEARCH AND RESOURCE FILES, 1969-1991 (#85.7-131.19), includes files with material collected and organized by PSEW on topics of interest. The subseries titles are taken from a 1977 PSEW filing system binder (#4.3). Not all files are from 1977 or earlier; later files with folder headings or notations on documents using the same abbreviations as the 1977 listing are also included here. (e.g., "A&O" for Associations and Organizations, etc). Research files that did not have these folder titles or filing directives, as well as files of miscellaneous material created by the archivist, can be found in Subseries K. Some topics go beyond the specific educational focus of PSEW to include broader women's, employment, and affirmative action issues. Folders include clippings, printed material, notes, some correspondence, etc. The sereies is arranged in eleven subseries. Subseries are arranged alphabetically by title; topics may be duplicated in multiple subseries.

Subseries A, Associations and organizations, 1970-1986 (#85.7-88.26), contains files on associations and organizations (abbreviated "A&O") that PSEW was interested in monitoring or working with. Folders contain clippings, correspondence, publicity, notes from meetings, etc. Some folders with NCWGE material were marked "A&O;" however these folders have been kept with other NCWGE material, and can be found in Series VIII.

Subseries B, Cases and complaints, 1969-1982 (#88.27-89.25), includes files related to legal cases. Cases and Complaints (abbreviated "CC") were originally organized by PSEW into three sections: Educational Employment (EE), Student Issues (SI), and Other (O). "EE" files were for specific lawsuits filed against universities on grounds of unequal employment policies. Only a few files each of the "SI" and "EE" sections appear here. The rest of the files are in the "Other" category. Folders include press releases, clippings, and correspondence related to issues or specific cases. Copies of briefs by others were kept only if heavily annotated.

Subseries C, Disciplines and professions, 1970-1983 (#89.26-90.8), includes information and data about the status of women in the various disciplines and professions (abbreviated "DP"). Similarly titled files in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530) may have originally been a part of this subseries. Folders contain clippings, correspondence, and printed material. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries D, Education issues, 1972-1991 (#90.9-90.19), contains files on issues specifically relating to education. Folders are abbreviated "ed. issues." The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries E, Employment issues, 1971-1991 (#91.1-92.9), contains files related to employment matters (abbreviated "emp"), both general and university-specific. Folders contain correspondence (especially the folders on affirmative action), clippings, printed material, etc. Several folders (#91.7-91.8) contain material related to Sandler's rebuttal, printed in Teacher's College Record, to Richard A. Lester's book Antibias Regulations of Universities: Faculty Problems and their Solutions. These folders include corrected galleys, notes, and correspondence; other notes on Lester's book can be found in the Carnegie Report folder (#91.4). Similarly titled files in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530) may have originally been a part of this subseries.

Subseries F, Federal agencies, 1972-1982 (#92.10-93.25), contains files (abbreviated "FA"), with information about U.S. government agencies and programs. Most of the folders here are related to the executive branch of government ("Exec"); not all the organizations listed are actual federal agencies, but have been kept here, as they were organized as such by PSEW staff. Folders include correspondence, memos, clippings, meeting notes, and some printed material; government publications were discarded. Folders on the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs (NACWEP) are also included; many of these documents carry Grace L. Mastalli's name and notes. Bernice Sandler was an appointed member of this council; more NACWEP records are in her papers (MC 558). The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries G, General information concerning women, 1970-1991 (#93.26-99.5), contains folders, abbreviated "GI," which include clippings, correspondence, mailings from interest groups, congressional testimonies, and printed material. Most clippings from the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as national newsweeklies, were discarded. International Women's Year (IWY, Mexico City, 1975) and National Women's Conference (Houston, 1977) material was included if it was marked with PSEW filing notations. PSEW was awarded a non-profit observer status at the National Women's Conference, but Bernice Sandler attended as a Maryland delegate. Sandler's more personal material from that conference can be found in her papers (MC 558). IWY folders (#94.3-94.4) include college and university conference announcements, clippings, and Sandler's notes from meetings held by the National Commission of IWY.

Subseries H, Laws and regulations, 1970-1990 (#99.6-112.10), contains folders (abbreviated "LR") with material related to federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to affirmative action, women's equality, and higher education. Folders include correspondence, speeches, congressional testimonies, clippings, etc. Printed copies of bills and government publications about bills or laws have been discarded unless annotated. Correspondence with Congressional aides and federal department staff suggests the high level of involvement of PSEW staff, either as experts, collaborators, or commentors (especially where regulation was concerned), in much of the equality-based federal legislation passed in the 1970s. Folders entitled "legislative history" include information about the particular bill before it became law; folders titled "general" usually include information from after its passage. Executive Order 11246 of 1965 "prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." Title IX folders include notes on policy rulings, correspondence about scope of coverage, information about and some copies of inquiries and filings, etc. "OCR letters of finding" were sent to Sandler by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Office of Civil Rights between 1976 and 1979. They are photocopies of letters sent to OCR/HEW by individuals or politicians inquiring about the meaning or scope of specific parts of Title IX. The government's response letters sometimes clarify Title IX policy, sometimes address an ongoing investigation, etc. These letters are filed chronologically, as they were received by PSEW. An index to some of the letters by subject, created by PSEW, can be found in #107.9. These rulings/letters do not only encompass higher education, but also elementary and secondary schools. For more material on Title IX see also Subseries K.

Subseries I, Sports, 1976-1978 (#112.11-112.14), contains correspondence and printed material on sports-related topics. Most of the files listed in the PSEW filing system for this topic can be found in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530). The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries J, States, 1969-1983 (#112.15-125.7), contains education-related material arranged alphabetically by state, and within that, by college or university name. Material includes reports and plans (primarily about affirmative action or the status of women) from state commissions on the status of women, statewide education commissions, and system-wide public university systems. The series also includes reports on the status of women, and/or women faculty and staff, at individual colleges and universities. General state folders contain material from smaller colleges as well as state-wide reports. Bound affirmative action reports were kept in PSEW's library, but have been filed here by college with other related material. A few items also relate to campus women's groups and women's centers. Other information about campus women's centers and women's studies course offerings can be found in Series V, Subseries B. In addition to formal and draft reports, folders also contain correspondence, clippings, notes, and meeting minutes.

Subseries K, Subject files, 1972-1991 (#125.8-131.19), contains topics and files not included (or marked as included) in the 1977 office file listing (#4.3), as well as files created by the archivist from miscellaneous material. The series includes supplemental files on topics found in other subseries in Series VII, as well as topics more relevant in the 1980s. Titles in square brackets were assigned by the archivist, and reflect a sorting by subject of much of PSEW's mail from the mid-to-late 1980s, which arrived loose at the Library: clippings, flyers, brochures, etc. Some of this material is not necessarily education-related, but seems to have been sent in order to be listed in On Campus with Women. Most of the Title IX folders in this subseries are organized by subsection of the "Departmental Regulation (45 CFR Part 86)" which is the May 1975 HEW document as to what the rules actually entail. Folder #129.18 contains an early version of the document. Most subsequent folders contain a copy of a subsection, often with annotations and comments by PSEW staff. Folders also contain copies of OCR internal memoranda and correspondence (mainly between OCR and institutions) that refer to that subsection. Some of the OCR internal memos present several solutions to "problems" with the regulations raised during the comment period (beginning in June 1974) and offer several options as to how to write the rules (these seem to have been circulated among OCR officials). Some folders contain copies of letters from colleges and universities to OCR with specific questions about Title IX definitions and enforcement. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.

Series VIII, COALITIONS, 1973-1989 (#132.1-137.4), contains material on coalition groups with which PSEW worked, primarily the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education. The series is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE), 1975-1989 (#132.1-136.10), contains folders of material related to the work of the coalition. In addition to Margaret Dunkle, the first chairman of NCWGE (1975-1977), other PSEW staff worked closely with the group and served on its committees and task forces. The Citizen's Council on Women's Education was a project of NCWGE headed by Joy Simonson. Some material is general files kept by PSEW, some is staff member's notes or research. When the original owner or author of a file could be determined, it has been noted below. Folders contain meeting agendas, minutes, meeting notes, letters sent to government officials, congressional testimonies, mailing lists, etc. Folders are arranged chronologically. Other NCWGE material can be found in the Margaret Dunkle Papers (MC 530).

Subseries B, Other coalitions, 1973-1985 (#136.11-137.4), contains files on other coalitions, both short-lived and ongoing, in which PSEW staff were involved. Coalitions of representatives of women's organizations met with government officials about issues of interest throughout the early 1970s. It was out of some of these coalitions that NCWGE was formed. Folders contain notes, minutes, correspondence, and lists of attendees. The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Series IX. OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL AND RELATED, 1972-1986 (#137.5-138.12), contains reports (final and drafts) and pamphlets sent to PSEW. Most of the printed material which arrived with the collection was transferred to the Schlesinger Library book division; material in this subseries was heavily annotated by PSEW staff. Folders are arranged chronologically.

Series X. OVERSIZED, PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIOVISUAL, AND MEMORABILIA, 1972-1991 (#F+D.1m-F+D.2, OD.1-OD.4, SD.1-SD.2, PD.1-PD.2, T-81.1-T-81.5, Vt-9.1-Vt-9.12, 138.13m-138.15m, Mem.1-Mem.3) contains posters and other oversize material, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, bumper stickers, and other memorabilia. The series is arranged in four subseries.

Subseries A, Oversized, 1972-1985 (#F+D.1m-F+D.2, OD.1-OD.4, SD.1-SD.2), contains oversize material found throughout the collection, and generally includes posters and charts. Most has been previously listed in relevant series.

Subseries B, Photographs, 1977 (#PD.1-PD.2), contains a few photographs of the PSEW staff from the summer of 1977, and several photographs removed from folders throughout the collection.

Subseries C, Audiovisual, 1972-1991 (#T-81.1-T-81.5, Vt-9.1-Vt-9.12), contains audio and videotapes of Sandler's speeches at conferences and appearances on television. The subseries is arranged with audiotapes followed by videotapes, and with each format arranged chronologically.

Subseries D, Memorabilia, 1975-1986 (#138.13m-138.15m, F+D.1m, Mem.1-Mem.3), contains mainly small momentoes collected by or sent to PSEW staff. Topics of items include women's sports, women's equality, and International Women's Year. Included are bumper stickers, button, sash, handkerchief, ballpoint pen, signs, stickers, and a game. The subseries is arranged chronologically.


The Project on the Status and Education of Women (PSEW) was formed under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges (AAC) in 1971. At its inception, PSEW was the first national project concerned with achieving equity for women students, faculty, and administrators in colleges and universities. PSEW was primarily funded by grants, mainly from the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation. AAC sporadically provided monetary support for the project and its employees, and the project operated out of the AAC headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Bernice Resnick Sandler was hired as the Executive Associate and Director at the project's inception, and ran the project for the next 20 years. Sandler's previous experience had been in the nonprofit and government sectors; she worked with the Women's Equity Action League (WEAL) to file administrative charges on behalf of women college faculty, and as a Congressional subcommittee staff member, organizing the first hearings on women's status in employment and education in 1970. Sandler's numerous contacts throughout government, academia, and the women's movement aided her work with PSEW. The PSEW office usually functioned with a small number of staff: generally one to three higher-level researchers and a few lower-level administrative staff members. Margaret C. Dunkle was Associate Director of PSEW from 1972 to 1977. Other higher-level staff included Roberta M. Hall (1980-1985) and Grace L. Mastalli (1977-1980).

PSEW served as an information clearinghouse and distributor, a lobbying organization, a research institute, and a speakers and advisory bureau. In its work as an information resource, PSEW disseminated original and reprinted materials addressing the needs of women as students, staff, faculty, and administrators in education. Project staff monitored federal statutes and regulations for the ways they affected women on campus. PSEW issued more than 100 reports in its 20 years (some written by staff, some written by outside consultants), including reports on Title IX, financial aid for women students, campus sexual harassment, peer sexual harassment, and the "chilly climate" for women in academe (how men and women are treated differently in the classroom). PSEW also published booklets and pamphlets intended to help women know their legal rights and meet their educational needs. They published a newsletter, On Campus with Women, that appeared quarterly, and informed readers of programs, regulations, research, conferences, and other relevant information about women and education.

PSEW staff worked to assist and cooperate with academic institutions regarding the formation of programs and policies for and about women, and to aid those institutions in understanding government regulations affecting women and minorities in education. Administrators and faculty sought PSEW's help with regard to forming affirmative action policies and other policies and programs, setting up women's studies programs, and recruiting and hiring women. Staff answered numerous letters and phone calls, and also traveled to campuses to consult with administrators on policies and programs, or to conduct workshops for students and faculty.

Subjects addressed by PSEW in its newsletter, research, or reports were: recruitment of women students and faculty, minority women in academia, re-entry (returning) women students, child care on campus, financial assistance, discrimination, personnel policies, sex bias in research, development of women's studies curricula, sex discrimination claims in hiring and promotion at educational institutions, and affirmative action policies. PSEW staff wrote the first national reports on discrimination against women in collegiate sports, classroom "chilly climate," campus gang rape, students sexually harassed by faculty, and student peer sexual harassment. Materials were distributed widely: to college presidents and other personnel, faculty and students, men as well as women.

In addition to studying and educating women students and educators, PSEW staff were active in ensuring women's equal rights in education, as well as other areas. They worked in conjunction with Congressional staff and other interested organizations and coalitions on the development and passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, mandating that educational institutions that received federal funding could not discriminate on the basis of sex. Title IX became law in June 1972, yet the final regulation on its application from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) were not published until June 1975. During the interim period, PSEW acted as a clearinghouse for educational institutions on Title IX implementations and assumed policy, as can be seen in the incoming letters from universities in Series III. PSEW staff also continued to work to ensure the law would be enforced vigorously. Some of this advocacy work was done as part of the National Coalition for Women and Girls Education (NCWGE), a nonprofit organization of more than 50 organizations formed to actively advocate for more government regulation, enforcement, and funding of education-related programs for women. Margaret Dunkle was the first chair of NCWGE from 1975 to 1977. Coalition members, including Sandler and Dunkle, met with HEW officials, White House staff, and other federal officials and staff to discuss the shape and direction of relevant regulations. NCWGE members, including PSEW staff, reviewed and commented on drafts of regulations, and monitored enforcement.

Through NCWGE and other advocacy work, PSEW staff aimed to educate policymakers and government officials about issues facing women on campus. Staff members' campus visits allowed them to identify emerging issues and trends, and work for more resources and relevant litigation. Beginning in the 1970s, and continuing through the 1980s, PSEW addressed issues of rape and sexual harassment on campus. In the 1980s, PSEW worked to develop educational materials on sexual harassment and related topics to be used in educating students, faculty, and university administrators.

In 1990, AAC (now the Association of American Colleges and Universities) decided to change its focus on issues relating to women, and tried to integrate women's issues into all its programs. Bernice Sandler was asked to step down. PSEW under Sandler's direction ceased to exist on June 30, 1991. AACU continues to fund a "Program on the Status and Education of Women" (also known as PSEW), with a much smaller scope, at the time of this writing.


The collection is arranged in ten series:

  1. Series I. Administrative records, 1971-1991 (#1.1-5.16, E.1)
  2. Series II. Funding, 1972-1991 (#5.17-9.11)
  3. Series III. Correspondence and office files, 1971-1991 (#9.12-53.2)
  4. Series IV. Conferences, meetings and speeches, 1971-1991 (#53.3-74.3)
  5. Series V. Projects, 1971-1988 (#74.4-83.1)
  6. Series VI. Publications and publicity, 1971-1989 (#83.2-85.6, 139.1)
  7. Series VII. Research and resource files, 1969-1991 (#85.7-131.19)
  8. Series VIII. Coalitions, 1973-1989, (#132.1-137.4)
  9. Series IX. Other printed material and related, 1972-1986 (#137.5-138.12)
  10. Series X. Oversized, Photographs, Audiovisual, and Memorabilia, 1972-1991 (#F+D.1m-F+D.2, OD.1-OD.4, SD.1-SD.2, PD.1-PD.2, T-81.1-T-81.5, Vt-9.1-Vt-9.12, 138.13m-138.15m, Mem.1-Mem.3)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 77-M30, 78-M21, 78-M102, 78-M172, 78-M209, 79-M176, 79-M202, 80-M182, 82-M50, 82-M150, 82-M226, 83-M160, 83-M231, 84-M59, 84-M167, 85-M164, 85-M265, 86-M17, 86-M156, 86-M185, 87-M92, 88-M39, 88-M44, 88-M136, 88-M171, 88-M192, 91-M110

The records of the Project on the Status and Education of Women were given by Bernice Resnick Sandler between 1977 and 1991, and by Margaret Dunkle in 1986.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Bernice Resnick Sandler, 1963-2008 (MC 558) and Papers of Margaret Dunkle, 1957-1993 (MC 530).


  1. AAAS: American Association for the Advancement of Science
  2. AAC: Association of American Colleges
  3. ACE: American Council on Education
  4. AAUP: American Association of University Professors
  5. AAUW: American Association of University Women
  6. EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  7. FIPSE: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
  8. HEW: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
  9. IEL: Institute for Educational Leadership
  10. NEA: National Education Association
  11. NIE: National Institute of Education
  12. NACWEP: National Advisory Council for Women's Educational Programs
  13. NAWDAC: National Association for Women Deans and Counselors
  14. NCWGE: National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education
  15. OCR: Office of Civil Rights
  16. PSEW; Project on the Status and Education of Women
  17. WEAL: Women's Equity Action League
  18. WEEA: Women's Educational Equity Act
  19. WEEAP: Women's Educational Equity Act Program

Processing Information

Processed: September 2008

By: Jenny Gotwals

Project on the Status and Education of Women (Association of American Colleges). Records of the Project on the Status and Education of Women, 1969-1991 (inclusive), 1971-1985 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Radcliffe College Class of 1950 and the Radcliffe College Class of 1956.

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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