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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 596

Papers of Mary O. Eastwood, 1915-1983 (inclusive), 1961-1977 (bulk)


Correspondence, minutes, memos, etc., of Mary O. Eastwood, lawyer and feminist.


  • Creation: 1915-1983
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1961-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Eastwood 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.


3.13 linear feet ((7 + 1/2 file box) plus 2 photograph folders)

Included in the collection are papers relating to NOW (including the original sign-in sheet and a photograph from the October 1966 convening meeting; drafts of the constitution, bylaws, and early position papers; correspondence and memos; etc.), FEW, HRW, PCSW, the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW), CHANGE (Cease Harassment and Negligence in the Government Equal Employment Opportunity System), and the October 17 Movement (later The Feminists). The files contain correspondence, minutes, memos, and printed material covering a number of women's issues, as well as drafts of position papers, records of court cases involving sex discrimination, and correspondence and related material about Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII. Although there is substantial correspondence between Eastwood and Ti-Grace Atkinson, Jo Freeman, and Pauli Murray throughout the collection, only some folder descriptions designate its inclusion.

The folders are in the order in which they were sent by the donor. Folder titles are the donor's; any information added by the processor is in square brackets. In 2009, the processor divided the overly-full folders for preservation reasons, maintaining the previously-assigned folder numbers (and adding alphabetical designations), since the collection had been heavily used and cited.


A native of Wisconsin, Mary Eastwood was graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1955 and moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked on a temporary study project for the National Academy of Sciences. She joined the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in 1960, serving both as an attorney advisor and later (1969-1979) as an equal opportunity advisor. The following year Eastwood became the associate special counsel for investigation in the special counsel's office of the Merit System Protection Board, which was charged with looking into allegations of illegal personnel practices in the federal government.

As technical secretary to the civil and political rights committee of President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), Eastwood researched decisions involving women and the Fourteenth Amendment, and became increasingly interested in the women's movement. With Pauli Murray she wrote the highly influential article Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII, which appeared in the Georgetown Law Review (34, December 1965). She was very active in the formation of the National Organization for Women (NOW); a board member of Human Rights for Women (HRW), an organization formed in 1968 to help finance sex discrimination litigation and research projects on women's issues; and a member of Federally Employed Women (FEW), a group that sought an end to sex discrimination in the federal government.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 78-M187, 83-M257

The papers of Mary Eastwood were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1978 and December 1983 by Mary Eastwood.


  1. Box 1: 1-10
  2. Box 2 : 11-17a
  3. Box 3: 17b-30c
  4. Box 4: 31-40a
  5. Box 5: 40b-50e
  6. Box 6: 51a-56
  7. Box 7: 57-70b
  8. Box 8: 71-73b

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: September 1984; updated April 2009

By: Anne Engelhart; updated by Katherine Gray Kraft

Eastwood, Mary O., 1930- . Papers of Mary O. Eastwood, 1915-1983 (inclusive), 1961-1977 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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