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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 477: T-264: CD-131

Papers of Catherine Shipe East, 1941-1996


Papers of government official and feminist activist Catherine East


  • 1941-1996


Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. The papers are unrestricted, with the following exceptions: records generated by East on behalf of the National Women's Political Caucus (#29.1-30.15), are restricted under an agreement between that organization and the library. Written permission of the National Women's Political Caucus is required for access to folders #29.1-29.3, 29.5-29.8, 29.10, 29.12-29.15, 30.1-30.13, 30.15.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Catherine East is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in papers created by Catherine East while an officer of, or working on behalf of, an organization is held by the organization. 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. Written permission to copy restricted papers created for the National Women's Political Caucus (#27.36-28.8) must be obtained in addition to written permission to use the papers.


28.46 linear feet ((27 cartons, 3+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 16 photograph folders, 1 slide, 4 audiotapes, 2 CDs)

This collection documents Catherine Shipe East's efforts to improve women's legal, political, and economic status. A federal government employee for 38 years, she collected information, prepared reports (sometimes attributed to others), compiled statistics, and helped shape federal policies affecting women. After her retirement, she continued to work on behalf of expanding women's rights and opportunities.

The papers reflect East's service on various federal, state, and international commissions on women, as well as her efforts on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment and other major issues in a variety of women's organizations (e.g., National Women's Political Caucus, National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund). Included are correspondence, memoranda, speeches, reports, court cases and background material, appointment books, mailing lists, and printed material relating to numerous women's issues and organizations; correspondence, speeches and other papers re: her role in the Presidential campaign of John Anderson; story notes and related material by journalist Vera Glaser; and photographs. There are very few personal papers.

East's papers were sorted and shipped to the library by historian Cynthia Harrison and an assistant. They originally filled 95 cartons; the extensive reference files were heavily weeded. East read widely, collecting and analyzing information from many different sources. Her subject files bulged with clippings, leaflets, and reports on every aspect of the lives of women from all walks of life. Clippings, widely available publications by governments and organizations, and Congressional testimony prepared by others were discarded. Periodicals were transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection. Annotated publications and copies of clippings carrying routing information (usually to other well-known women in government or the women's movement) were retained. Topics overlap throughout the collection, and, in general, are not limited to any particular series. Most folder headings are those of Catherine East; archivist's notes are in square brackets.

The collection is divided into ten series:

Series I, Personal and Biographical (#1.1-1.13, 3.1-3.32v, 30.16), is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A contains biographical information, including brief career summaries, resumes, job applications, passport and identity cards (#1.1), and an article about East (#1.11); certificates and awards (#1.2, 1.3f, 1.6), including letters of tribute (#1.6), as well as award nomination letters (#1.4-1.5); papers relating to her early work for the Federal government (#1.7-1.9); a few letters and cards from her husband and children (#1.12); and a list of folder headings in her original filing systems (#1.13).

Subseries B contains a thirty-year run of appointment books, kept from 1962 through 1992 (#3.1-3.32v).

Series II, Correspondence Files (#1.14-2.53), covers all areas of East's work, and overlaps all other series. Spanning 1943-1994, it is divided into two subseries.

Subseries A (#1.14-2.30) is now arranged alphabetically, although when received the folders were spread haphazardly throughout the collection. Those folders containing only information about an individual, and no correspondence, are noted, as are folders containing speeches or other items of interest. There is extensive correspondence about court cases with lawyers Jean Ledwith King (#1.45-2.5) and Sylvia Roberts (#2.20-2.23), and several folders each for Congresswoman Martha Griffiths (#1.33-1.35), and feminists Wilma Scott Heide (#1.39-1.41) and Pauli Murray (#2.11-2.13). Some folders, especially those of Heide and King, contain numerous copies of correspondence with others. Many correspondents in this subseries appear throughout the collection, and are so noted in folder descriptions.

Subseries B (#2.31-2.53) is arranged chronologically, as originally received. Labeled "personal" by East, there are actually few personal letters; the label probably served to distinguish these papers from official government documents, which were left in her office(s). As with the alphabetical files, most correspondence concerns political issues and engagements. Selected correspondents are listed in the folder descriptions. Documents concerning the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW), International Women's Year (International Women's Year), National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education fund (NOW LDEF), and Women's Equity Action League (WEAL), as well as East biographical sketches, were transferred to their respective sections of the collection.

Series III, Speeches and Writings (#4.1-7.70, 30.17), consists of speeches, papers from a few meetings she attended only as an audience member, and writings (#7.59-7.70). Most speech folders include pre- and post-speech correspondence, speech notes, programs, and clippings. They are arranged by date of event. East spoke to professional associations, educational and financial institutions, clubs and organizations, government agencies, and military service academies and units about the status of women, government regulations affecting women's employment, and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Government publications, articles by others, invoices and travel arrangements, etc. have been discarded. Some speeches were revised and adapted for multiple uses. Speeches are not listed individually in the finding aid, but grouped by year. Non-speech items of unusual interest are noted, (e.g., forms completed by East about her management style in #4.25, and papers about a conference on extremists and the ERA in #7.47), as are her speeches about the ERA, and speeches attributed to others but apparently drafted by East. A few folders in other series also contain speeches, and are so noted.

East's writings consist of various book chapters and articles. A proposed book in collaboration with Caroline Bird and Mary Scott Welch on women who had established legal precedents under Title VII was apparently never published. Included here are transcripts and notes on interviews with attorneys and others, as well as correspondence, printed material and related papers (#7.59-7.61). There are also correspondence, memos, article drafts and the published chapter for East's contribution to Irene Tinker's book Women in Washington , published in 1983 (#7.64-7.66). In addition to East's chapter on the work of the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW), state commissions and the National Commission for the Observance of International Women's Year (NCOIWY), there are drafts of chapters by Joan Goodin and Fern Ingersoll. East also wrote about the ERA for the California Commission on the Status of Women (#7.63) and the National Women's Political Caucus (#7.62). Her paper for the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's observance of the 20th anniversary of the report by the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), along with correspondence, meeting minutes, and drafts of a speech East wrote for Martha Griffiths, are in #7.67-7.70. Additional writings (e.g., East's 1985 article on the ERA in #23.42, and her issue papers for John Anderson's Presidential campaign) are located in other series as noted.

Series IV, Commissions on the Status of Women (#7.71-9.7, 31.1), is arranged in two subseries. Subseries A, President's Commission on the Status of Women (President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), #7.71-8.32) contains background papers, "key documents," press releases, lists of Commission and committee members, correspondence, attachments (minutes, reports, statements, etc.) for meetings, reports, etc. Included are a few letters or memos with Eleanor Roosevelt (#8.17), Esther Peterson's notes on President Lyndon Johnson's talk to the Cabinet in January 1964 (#8.32), and Kay Klatzberger's interview of Mary Hilton in 1971 (#8.11).

Subseries B, Interdepartmental Committee on the Status of Women (#8.33-9.7) contains Esther Peterson's meeting notebooks and other notes (#8.33, 8.35-8.37, 8.43), meeting materials, including agendas, minutes, notes, etc. (#8.33-8.48), and related papers concerning the federal employment of women. The Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) was established November 1, 1963, by Pres. John F. Kennedy's Executive Order 11126. It was composed of the Secretary of Labor, as chairman, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, all ex officio. The Director of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor served as Executive Vice-Chairman of the Committee, and was an ex officio member. Its purpose was to maintain a continuing review and evaluation of the progress of Federal departments and agencies in advancing the status of women, to serve as a clearinghouse for information, stimulate cooperation and information-sharing among all levels of government, encourage research on factors affecting the status of women, and exchange information with the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW).

Series V, Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW), #9.8-17.40), documents East's role in the work of the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) from its establishment on November 1, 1963, by Executive Order 11126 (along with the Commission on the Status of Women), until she left for the State Department's International Women's Year Secretariat in April 1975. The Council was appointed by the President to study issues relating to the status of women, and to recommend changes in law and policy. East drafted position papers and reports, planned national conferences of the State Commissions on the Status of Women, helped the Congressional Judiciary Committee plan hearings on the ERA, and testified as an expert witness in court cases and before state legislatures.

Included here are meeting minutes, notes and related papers (#13.29-13.46), transcripts of proceedings (#13.47-15.19), and correspondence, notes and memos documenting the history of the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) and its policies (#12.18-12.20). Issues particularly well-documented include abortion (#9.16-9.21); disadvantaged families (#10.46-11.6), including East's annotated copy of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's The Negro Family; divorce (#11.14-11.23); the military draft (#11.24-11.33); the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (#11.40-11.45); East's trip to Great Britain to testify before the House of Lords on a pending sex discrimination bill (#12.10-12.14); the Inter-American Commission on Women assembly in 1972 (#12.24-12.29); maternity leave (#13.12-13.26); Title VII and protective legislation (#16.8-16.19); and women in various occupations (#16.26-17.32, 27.39-27.40).

A large portion of this series consists of files on court cases involving sex discrimination (#9.35-10.40), and contains correspondence, notes, and annotated reference material. Folders are arranged alphabetically by case name, with the exception of several pregnancy-related cases grouped at the end of the section. Most briefs and published articles have been discarded, unless annotated or referred to extensively in the accompanying correspondence.

There are also extensive files (#16.26-17.4) compiled by Vera Glaser, a syndicated reporter for the Knight-Ridder newspapers, and a close friend of East. Included are Glaser's typed interview notes, many with White House and other government employees about the appointment of women to office, the status of women, etc. (#16.31-16.33); papers about the founding of the Professional Women's Caucus (#16.30); and information about women in the Nixon Administration (#17.3-17.4). Two additional folders on women in the Nixon Administration supplement Glaser's notes and correspondence (#27.39-27.40); they were boxed separately from her other folders, and it is not clear by whom they were compiled.

Files documenting the efforts of White House staffer Ralph Dungan to help President Johnson place more women in top federal jobs contain correspondence, memos and lists (#17.19-17.26). There are also numerous folders about women in a variety of occupations, and their participation in various organizations. Of particular interest is East's completed questionnaire on "concerns and characteristics of people involved in social change," for the Women's Rights Conference held in Pittsburgh to celebrate the Women's Strike of August 1970 (#17.39). East filed papers on the ERA separately: see Series VII.

Series VI, National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year (#18.1-22.35, 27.41-27.45), covers East's work as Deputy Coordinator of the Secretariat for International Women's Year, State Department. Included are subject files, and extensive documentation of the 1975 international conference in Mexico City, and of the highly contentious state meetings leading up to and including the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977. East recruited and supervised staff for the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year's 14 committees, and worked closely with others to produce the 382-page report, ...To Form a More Perfect Union...Justice for American Women, writing the chapters on the ERA and the homemaker. Drafts and correspondence about the controversial report are included in #21.2-21.11. The report was written in March 1976, reviewed in April, and submitted to outside editor Lindsy Van Gelder for rewriting. It was presented to the Commission for their June 30 - July 1 meeting. The members were asked to vote on the different versions. Meanwhile, faced with a deadline, the GPO published the original version in June.

East helped select the State International Women's Year Committees and took part in planning their work. She supervised the creation of workshop guides on 18 women's issues, including the ERA, rape, wife abuse, credit, etc., and of state-produced monographs on the legal status of the homemaker. (National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year publications are housed with the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year records in the Schlesinger Library.) Also included are records of the Continuing Committee of the National Women's Conference (#18.38-18.41), even though they were created after East had resigned from the Commission in 1977 over disagreements with Presiding Officer Bella Abzug.

This series contains minutes, correspondence (#18.9-18.26), subject and publicity (#20.35-20.41) files, and files on state meetings, arranged alphabetically (#21.22-22.7). Many of the documents are photocopies. In addition to those topics and conferences mentioned above, the subject files include correspondence and reference material on Jimmy Carter's campaign and Presidency (#27.41-27.45); divorce and support laws (#19.1-19.6); homemakers' rights (#19.19-19.21); material about opposition to the ERA and to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year in two court cases (#19.16-19.17, 19.31-19.33) and on Sen. Jesse Helms' hearings on the matter (#19.18); an interview with Annie Dodge Wauneka, Navaho member of the Commission (#19.25); and women in various occupations and organizations. East filed her papers on the ERA separately: see Series VII.

Series VII, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA, #22.36-25.11), contains correspondence and printed material from East's unflagging efforts to achieve ratification of the ERA in Virginia and nationally. This series overlaps Series V and VI, since East kept most ERA materials together, adding to them as the unsuccessful campaign continued. However, there are several folders pertaining to the ERA in other series. Following the correspondence (#22.36-22.42) and several folders of general material (#22.43-22.45), is an alphabetical subject file. Many issues overlap those in earlier series. Documented extensively are Congressional hearings (#23.22-23.44); legislative history (#23.25-23.34); Mormons for ERA (#23.39-23.41); ERA and the various states (#24.3-24.49), with particular emphasis on the Commonwealth of Virginia (#24.28-24.48); and support laws (#24.50-25.4).

Series VIII, John Anderson Presidential Campaign (#25.12-26.35), shows East's role as Women's Issues Coordinator for the independent candidacy of John B. Anderson, Republican Congressman from Illinois. A life-long Democrat, East joined Anderson's campaign in November 1979 because of his early attention to women's issues. She wrote the women's issues section of Anderson's platform; recruited other women for the campaign, both for a National Advisory Committee and by drafting direct mail letters; wrote speeches for Anderson and his wife Keke Anderson; and attended the Republican National Convention to oppose the Republican platform on the ERA, and to recruit Anderson supporters. East resigned from the campaign in September 1980 because she believed that little attention was being paid to women's issues or to unorganized women voters.

This series contains correspondence; platform drafts (#25.72-26.3) and position papers (#26.4); notes for the debate with Ronald Reagan (#25.29); speeches (#26.11-26.16); information on specific campaign topics and state campaigns and ballot access provisions; mailing lists (#25.53-25.56); contacts with women's organizations; and papers giving the history of the campaign (#25.47-25.48). A copy of East's resignation letter is in #25.14. The folders are arranged alphabetically by folder heading.

Series IX, Other Organizations and Issues (#26.36-30.15, 31.2-31.4), contains correspondence and reference material gathered in East's unofficial capacity, while employed by the federal government, and after retirement. The folders are arranged in one alphabetical sequence, intermingling subjects and organizations, and covering the years 1966 to 1987. Topics include divorce and support (#26.37-26.40); and histories of Title VII (#26.42), of women's rights (#26.43), and of the EEOC (#26.44). Organizations well-documented here include the National Organization for Women (#26.50-27.11), from its organizing conference in 1966 through its 20th anniversary in 1986 (though there is no coverage of 1981-1985); the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (#28.1-28.21), on whose board East served from 1979 to 1983; the National Women's Political Caucus (#29.1-30.15), for which East served as legislative director (October 1983 - December 1986), and later liaison to a coalition working on behalf of civil rights; the Twentieth Century Fund (#27.17-27.26), whose Task Force on Women and Employment East advised; and the Women's Equity Action League (#27.34-27.36), including letters from Elizabeth Boyer on WEAL's early activities, and reasons for its founding (#27.36).

The NOW papers include correspondence (#26.50-27.5), early documents (mostly photocopies), and clippings relating to the founding of NOW and its first few years, NOW's 20th reunion (#27.11), and a few items from national conferences in 1978 and 1979. Of particular interest is Jean Faust's description of Ti-Grace Atkinson's role in NOW (#26.53).

Included in the NOW LDEF records are correspondence, East's notes taken at board meetings and other events, and information on legislation.

The National Women's Political Caucus records are restricted under an agreement between the National Women's Political Caucus and the library; written permission of National Women's Political Caucus's executive director or president is required for access to most folders. Included are papers from the organizing conference in 1971 (#29.1); correspondence, notes, and memos; extensive files on the abortion amendment to the Civil Rights Restoration Act (#29.7-30.11), and opposition to the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court (#29.3-29.6); and information on legislation and court cases.

The records relating to the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on Women and Employment (#27.17-27.26) include correspondence with and report drafts by Lenore Weitzman and recommendations by the Task Force. There are also papers concerning disagreements within the National Woman's Party (#27.12-27.14).

Series X, Photographs and Oversized Items (#PD.1-PD.16, 27.46f+), includes photographs received in folders containing photographs only. They include portraits of East (#PD.1), images depicting many phases of the work of the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) (#PD.2-PD.8), of meetings of the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) (#PD.9), of the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year (#PD.10-PD.11), of East at other meetings and events (#PD.12), and of Congresswomen and others, possibly including an East family member (#PD.13). There are also several folders created to contain photographs removed from correspondence folders throughout the collection; reference copies of those photographs remain in their original locations.

This series also includes one folio+ folder of oversized items removed from folders throughout the collection. Oversized items from Series I are in #1.3f.


Government official and feminist activist Catherine East was born May 15, 1916, to U.G. and Bertha (Woody) Shipe, in Barboursville, West Virginia. She attended Marshall College (now University) in Huntington, West Virginia, from 1932 to 1935, where she majored in English and mathematics. Unable to pay her tuition, she had to leave school before completing the requirements for her degree. Marshall granted the A.B. in absentia in 1941, having allowed her to complete her coursework at George Washington University, which she attended at night during the 1939-1940 academic year. Later (1942-1944), she studied law at George Washington University, and took courses in comparative religion at the Washington School of Psychiatry and Episcopal Cathedral. She married Charles D. East on July 2, 1937; they divorced in 1956. They had two daughters, Mary Ellen ("Vicky," born in 1945) and Elizabeth Rose ("Betsy," born in 1952). East was active in the Unitarian Church.

After leaving college due to lack of funds, East worked as a bookkeeper in several clothing stores in Huntington. In January 1939 she began her career in the federal government in Washington, D.C., as a clerk in the Civil Service Commission. During her 23 years there she worked her way up to staff officer, placement officer, program planner as assistant to the chief of the program planning division, coordinating officer in the Bureau of Programs and Standards, and finally Chief of the Career Services Division in the Bureau of Recruiting and Examining.

East served in a senior capacity on all Presidential advisory commissions on women from 1962 through 1977, conducting research, and preparing position papers, publications and reports on a wide range of women's issues. These reports provided the underpinning and impetus for a renewed effort on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. East was also instrumental in orchestrating pressure on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to adopt and enforce sex discrimination guidelines. She was the Technical Secretary to the Committee on Federal Employment of the President's Commission on the Status of Women (March 1962 - November 1963), and served as the Executive Secretary of the Interdepartmental Committee on the Status of Women and the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (November 1963 - April 1974). While Deputy Coordinator of the International Women's Year Secretariat (April 1975 - November 1976), East wrote several chapters of the report, ...To Form a More Perfect Union...Justice for American Women . In November 1976 she became Coordinator of Policies and Plans for the International Women's Year Secretariat, resigning a year later over differences with Bella Abzug. It was her last government position.

After her retirement in 1977, East began a new career as a full-time activist, working for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia and nationally, serving as women's issues coordinator in the John Anderson Presidential campaign (November 1979 - November 1980), as legislative director of the National Women's Political Caucus (October 1983 - December 1986), and as a board member of the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund (NOW LDEF) from 1979 to 1983. She also participated in a study of how ten newspapers handled various women's issues, and co-authored the report "New Directions for News." (The related correspondence and project files from that study are part of East's papers in the National Women and Media Collection at the University of Missouri-Columbia.)

East was a member of numerous organizations, including the American Association of University Women, American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, National Woman's Party, NOW, National Abortion Rights Action League, National Federation of Business and Professional Women, National Women's Political Caucus, and Planned Parenthood. Recognized by Betty Friedan as the "midwife to the birth of the women's movement," she also received numerous awards, including WEAL's Elizabeth Boyer Award in 1983 for her "outstanding contribution to the advancement of women," and the Veteran Feminists of America Medal of Honor in 1993. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York in 1994. A longtime resident of Arlington, Virginia, East moved to Ithaca, New York, in early 1996 to be near her younger daughter Betsy East. She died August 17, 1996.

  1. May 15, 1916: Born in Huntington, West Virginia
  2. September 1932 - August 1935: Attended Marshall College
  3. September 1935 - December 1938: Bookkeeper in three clothing stores in Huntington
  4. 1937: Married Charles D. East
  5. January 1939 - April 1941: Application Reviewer and Supervisor for the United States Civil Service Commission (CSC), Washington, D.C.
  6. April 1941 - September 1942: Junior Administrative Assistant, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  7. September 1942 - April 1944: Junior Administrative Officer, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  8. April 1944 - October 1949: Staff Officer, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  9. March 19, 1945: Mary Ellen East ("Vicky") born in Washington, D.C.
  10. October 1949 - February 1951: Civil Service Examiner, Chief, DCE [Displaced Career Employees] Unit
  11. February-September 1951: Special Placement Representative, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  12. September 1951 - October 1953: Policy and Procedures Officer, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  13. June 12, 1952: Elizabeth Rose East born in Washington, D.C.
  14. October 1953 - October 1955: Regulations and Instructions Coordinator, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  15. October 1955 - February 1960: Assistant for Legislation to Division Chief, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  16. February 1960 - April 1961: Coordinating Officer, Bureau of Program and Standards, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  17. April 1961 - March 1962: Chief, Career Services Division, United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  18. March 1962 - November 1963: Technical Secretary, Committee on Federal Employment, President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW): detailed from United States Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  19. November 1963 - April 1975: Executive Secretary, Interdepartmental Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) and Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW). Also performed staff services for President's Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities (1969).
  20. 1972: Testified before select committee of the British House of Lords; lectured throughout Great Britain.
  21. 1973: Adviser to United States delegation to Inter-American Commission on Women
  22. 1974: Traveled and lectured in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji
  23. April 1975 - November 1976: Deputy Coordinator, International Women's Year Secretariat
  24. 1975: Adviser to U.S. delegation to International Women's Year World Conference in Mexico City
  25. November 1976 - September 1977: Coordinator, Policies and Plans, International Women's Year Secretariat
  26. 1977-1979: Lobbyist for Virginia Women's Political Caucus, Arlington, Virginia.
  27. 1979-1983: Secretary, National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund (NOW LDEF) Board of Directors
  28. November 1979 - November 1980: Women's Issues Coordinator, Anderson Presidential campaign
  29. 1980 - October 1983: Coordinator, study of newspaper coverage of women's issues, sponsored by George Washington University
  30. October 1983 - December 1986: Legislative director, National Women's Political Caucus
  31. 1987: Represented National Women's Political Caucus on coalitions for Civil Rights Restoration Act and opposing nomination of Robert Bork to United States Supreme Court
  32. 1994: Inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York
  33. 1996: Moved to Ithaca, New York
  34. August 17, 1996: Died in Ithaca, New York

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 82-M239, 95-M133, 2001-M133. Accession numbers 2004-M35, 2005-M37, and 2022-M208 were added to the collection in August 2023.

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1982 and September 1995 by Catherine Shipe East; additional papers originally borrowed from East were transferred to the library in August 2001 by Cynthia Harrison. Additional materials were received from Catherine East's daughter, Betsy East between March 2004 and December 2022 and can be found in folders 30.16-31.4 and CD.131.1 - CD.131.2.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2003

Updated: April 2011

By: Katherine Gray Kraft

Updated: February 2016

By: Jenny Gotwals

Updated: August 2023

By: Johanna Carll

East, Catherine Shipe, 1916-1996. Papers of Catherine Shipe East, 1941-1996: 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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