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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 655

Records of the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1973-2005


Records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.), Milwaukee Chapter, include administrative, financial, project, and event files; public relations and press; publications and related material; photographs; and electronic records.


  • 1973-2005

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Researchers must sign a special form to use the collection. These records have been screened by library staff, and access to folders which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy have been temporarily closed as noted. Files containing board nominee information, personnel files, job applicant evaluations, confidential legal records, restricted interview questionnaires and support material, job survival hotline caller logs, and restricted Rate Your Job contest submissions are closed for the following periods: #1.6 is closed until January 1, 2051; #4.22 is closed until January 1, 2067; #4.26-4.27 are closed January 1, 2065; #11.17-12.8 are closed January 1, 2069; #17.12 is closed until January 1, 2082; #17.15-17.16 are closed January 1, 2081; #19.6 is closed until January 1, 2083; #25.7-25.8, 25.13, 28.15-28.16, 29.3, 29.5, 29.7, 29.11-29.12, 29.20, 29.21-30.3 are closed January 1, 2064. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women is held by the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women as long as the organization exists. If and when 9 to 5 ceases to exist, copyright will be transferred to 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. Researchers must request permission to make photocopies of records. Such copies are for personal use only and should be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


16.7 linear feet ((40 file boxes) plus 3 photograph folders and electronic records)
.69 Megabytes (1 file)
The records of 9 to 5 Milwaukee contain administrative, financial, project, and event files; public relations and press files; publications and related material; photographs; and electronic records. While the majority of the records offer insight into the internal operations and external activities of 9 to 5 Milwaukee, they also include some information regarding the national, umbrella organization of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.). Files relating to national 9 to 5 and various 9 to 5 chapters are found in Series I, which contain administrative files and the records of Ellen Bravo, who served as national executive director between 1993 and 2004. Original folder headings were maintained. Additional information added by the processor is listed in square brackets. Audiotapes (T-380) and Videotapes (VT-186) are described separately. Electronic records were received in one 5.25" disk. The disk was imaged using FTK imager. Selected data has been converted to PDF/A for preservation and delivery.

Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE, 1973-2005 (#1.1-13.18, E.1), contains records documenting the internal functions of 9 to 5 Milwaukee, the national board, as well as other chapters' activities.

Subseries A, General, 1973-2003 (#1.1-10.3, E.1), includes a very small number of files of national and Milwaukee boards of director; alphabetical chapter files (memoranda, flyers, clippings, etc.); files re: conferences attended by 9 to 5 Milwaukee and national staff and members; correspondence; personnel records; work reports of staff detailing various projects and professional efforts; material re: training retreats and workshops; and the national web site and related material. 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.

Subseries B, Ellen Bravo, 1983-2005 (#10.4-13.18), documents Bravo's tenure with 9 to 5 Milwaukee and her work as national executive director. Included are files on advisory boards on which Bravo sat and conferences attended; correspondence; legal files (not 9 to 5) re: women workers; notes; research material on topics including child care and labor unions; and op-eds, talking points, and press releases written by Bravo. Additional material received as electronic files will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in this series.

Series II, FINANCIAL, 1987-2003 (#13.19-17.11), contains annual reports, audits, budgets, correspondence, fundraising and grant material, membership files, etc. Financial records also include 25th anniversary files of the national organization, which Milwaukee used as a fundraising opportunity.

Series III, PROJECTS, 1987-2002 (#17.12-30.3), is arranged alphabetically by project name and contains files that document specific efforts carried out by 9 to 5 Milwaukee to advocate for working women. Across the Boundaries was a joint project in 2000 between 9 to 5's Milwaukee, Denver, and Boston chapters and the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute. Researchers conducted field work and interviews to study work and family conflicts that confronted low-income working parents, usually mothers. The Contingent Workers Project focused on advocacy for temporary and non-standard workers and targeted policy issues such as health care for temporary employees. The Election Connection promoted political participation and provided voter information to working women. The Family and Medical Leave Project focused on advocacy for the Family and Medical Leave Act and changes to the legislation. The Jobs Retention Project aimed to help women attain employment and then keep it through professional behavior, appearance, and job skills trainings. The Poverty Network Initiative dealt with Wisconsin welfare reform and its effects on working and low-income women and families. In general, all project files include correspondence, planning files, project financials, and research material on related topics (e.g.,Wisconsin Welfare to Work).

Series IV, EVENTS, 1994-2002 (#30.4-32.3, E.2), contains files relating to special events organized, hosted, or supported by 9 to 5 Milwaukee for working women. Files are arranged alphabetically by event and include correspondence, information sheets, memoranda, notes, planning files, donation information, and press releases.

Series V, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PRESS, 1974-2001 (#32.4-37.4), contains general files and clippings arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, General, 1978-2001 (#32.4-34.14), includes correspondence, letters to the editor, media-related project files, media contact lists, press releases, speaker information, and working files of 9 to 5 public relations staff.

Subseries B, Clippings, 1974-1999 (#34.15-37.4), includes various news articles regarding chapters, projects, and leadership.

Series VI, PUBLICATIONS AND RELATED, 1986-2002 (#37.5-40.13), contains guides and reports produced by 9 to 5 Milwaukee and support material related to 9 to 5 Milwaukee publications. The series is arranged in two subseries. For access to 9 to 5 newsletters, see the Schlesinger Library periodicals collection and consult the library's catalog for specific holdings.

Subseries A, Guides and reports, 1990-2002 (#37.5-37.12), contains publications that were produced by 9 to 5 Milwaukee. Items are arranged alphabetically by title.

Subseries B, Support material, 1986-2000 (#37.13-40.13), includes author profiles of Ellen Bravo, book marketing material, book flyers, book proposals, correspondence, drafts, notes, research material, and subject files.

Series VII, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1980-2001 (#PD.1-PD.3), contains images that capture 9 to 5 leadership including Karen Nussbaum and Ellen Bravo.

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 [*].


The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women was founded by office workers Kitty Barber, Anne Devitt, Jocelyn May, Penny Pond, and labor activist Ellen Bravo in September 1982. 9 to 5 Milwaukee became one of many 9 to 5 chapters located throughout the country that advocated for women office workers.

9 to 5 was originally founded in Boston in 1972 by Ellen Cassedy and Karen Nussbaum, then secretaries at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Known then as 9 to 5: Organization for Women Office Workers, the organization was renamed in 1977 when several affiliated groups, including Boston 9 to 5, sponsored the formation of a national group called Working Women, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1983, the national organization changed its name once again to its current form, 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women. By means of publicity, conferences, affirmative action campaigns, and job and wage surveys, the organization has worked to improve conditions for women employees. In addition to affirmative action and equal pay, important issues addressed by the organization include the status of minority women, age discrimination, and "re-entry" for displaced homemakers.

9 to 5 Milwaukee is located in Wisconsin's largest city. The office houses the local chapter as well as the 9 to 5 national headquarters, which moved to Milwaukee from Boston sometime in the 1980s. Founding member Ellen Bravo became national executive director in 1993 and served in that role for 11 years. She was followed by labor advocate Linda Meric from the Colorado chapter in 2004. Linda Meric remains national executive director in 2010.

9 to 5 Milwaukee works to strengthen women's ability to win economic justice. Its constituents are low-wage women, women in traditionally female jobs, and those who have experienced any form of discrimination. The chapter works to promote policy change on issues including welfare reform, pay equity, sexual harassment, family leave, and workplace discrimination. It has provided analysis and grassroots leadership to help win victories that include the Family and Medical Leave Act, the 1991 improvements in the Civil Rights Act, and greater investments in child care and health care for working families. In 2008, 9 to 5 led the historic campaigns that won paid sick days in Milwaukee and defended equal opportunity programs in Colorado.


The collection is arranged in seven series:
  1. Series I. Administrative, 1973-2005 (#1.1-13.18, E.1)
  2. Series II. Financial, 1987-2003 (#13.19-17.11)
  3. Series III. Projects, 1987-2002 (#17.12-30.3)
  4. Series IV. Events, 1994-2002 (#30.4-32.3, E.2)
  5. Series V. Public relations and press, 1974-2001 (#32.4-37.4)
  6. Series VI. Publications and related, 1986-2002 (#37.5-40.13)
  7. Series VII. Photographs, 1980-2001 (#PD.1 - PD.3)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2005-M91

The records of the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women were given to the Schlesinger Library by 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.). Milwaukee Chapter, in August 2005.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1972-1980 ( 79-M16--81-M121), Additional records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1972-1985 ( 82-M189--86-M213; T-78), Additional records of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1972-1986 ( 88-M96--89-M104), Videotape collection of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1978-1980 ( Vt-10), Audiotape collection of the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1974-2000 ( T-380), and Videotape collection of the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1982-2001 ( Vt-186).

Processing Information

Processed: November 2010

By: Mary O. Murphy

Updated and additional materials added: July 2017

By: Pablo Morales Henry
Link to catalog
9 to 5, National Association of Working Women (U.S.). Milwaukee Chapter. Records of the Milwaukee Chapter of 9 to 5, National Association of Working Women, 1973-2005: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Processing of this collection was made possible by the generosity of Clara 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.

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