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National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records

Call Number



1966-ongoing, inclusive
; 1966-1984, bulk


National Organization for Women. New York City
National Organization for Women. New York City (Role: Donor)


98.25 Linear Feet
in 82 record cartons, 28 manuscript boxes, 2 half manuscript boxes, and 5 oversize flat boxes, 1 artifact box, and 2 oversize folders.


2 websites
in 2 archived website.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Betty Friedan founded the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C. in 1966 to "bring women into the mainstream of American society." Not long after, the national organization was formed and the New York Chapter was founded in 1967. The collection includes: board, membership and committee minutes, officers' files, treasurer's reports, resumes, chapter newsletters, committee newsletters, newspapers, press clippings, photocopies of articles, pamphlets, film scripts, audio recordings, photographs, negatives, slides, flyers, leaflets, posters, membership lists, press releases, government publications, court decisions, financial statements, magazines, and an archived version of the New York chapter website, The website was first captured in October 2007. The material deals extensively with women's image in the media, divorce, abortion and feminist groups in NYC. Other subject files include child care, legislation and politics. Correspondents include: Bella Abzug, Martha Griffins, Gloria Steinem, Patsy Mink, Edward Muskie, Ed Koch, George McGovern, John Dean III, Jacob Javits, Shirley Chisholm and John Brademas.

Historical Note

In 1966, Betty Friedan founded the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C., a group whose goal was to "bring women into the mainstream of American society." Three years earlier, her book The Feminine Mystique had hit a nerve with American women (largely white, upper class women), whose discontent with their economic and social opportunities would result in the feminist social activism of the 1960s and 1970s. Not long after the national organization was formed, the New York Chapter was founded in 1967. It was the founding chapter and, arguably in its early days, the most influential chapter, as its victories in New York rippled out into the rest of the country. The motivating force for its early organizing efforts was largely related to employment discrimination in hiring practices and discrepancy in wages between men and women--one of NOW-N.Y.C.'s early victories was the elimination of sex-segregated help-wanted advertisements in the New York Times. However, from its inception, the group was multi-issue, functioning through a committee structure that included committees on the arts, child care, education, employment, the image of women in the media, legislation and politics, reproductive rights, and sexuality.

NOW-N.Y.C. sponsored large-scale marches and strikes, such as the well-known "Women Strike for Equality" march August 26, 1970 in New York City, which became an annual event for NOW for several years. Early on the group focused on media-attention-getting tactics to make its relatively small ranks look larger, such as the "flush-in" outside the offices of Colgate-Palmolive to protest discrimination in hiring practices. The organization also used such mainstream democratic tactics as lobbying legislators, collecting petitions, and sending mass mailings to the White House to put pressure on government officials. The chapter participated in an annual state lobby day with NOW-New York State. In the 1980s, NOW created a group called WomanPower PAC, a political action committee formed to raise money to elect women and feminist leaders to elected office. The first four presidents of NOW-NYC were Jean Faust, Ti Grace Atkinson, Ivy Bottini and Jacqueline Ceballos (the latter in 1971).

The Education Committee studied the course offerings of girls and boys in New York public schools in the 1970s, and its report was so much in demand, it went into four printings. New York schools and schools across the country began changing their course offerings as a result of this committee's work. In the mid-seventies it began addressing the issue of rape, and its Rape Prevention Committee was one of the first of its kind, offering myriad services to victims of rape and battery and changing the public perception of rape and rape victims. In the late 1970s and 1980s, NOW-N.Y.C.'s employment focus broadened to include career-training workshops and referral services for employers.

The struggle for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment began in the early 1970s and gained momentum throughout the decade. In the years before the deadline for ratification, the issue took center stage for NOW-N.Y.C., and the ERA Committee reached out to other states to aid in the battles for ratification in state legislatures. In the areas of the arts and the image of women in the media, NOW fought for a dignified representation of women. The group's Image Committee influenced changes in print media advertising, and the Arts Committee called attention to the discrimination against women in the art world. The organization continues its mission of equality for women in New York City. For information on the actions, events, and tactics of the committees, please see the descriptions below each committee heading.


The records are arranged in fifteen series, two of which have been further arranged in subseries. The contents of most series are arranged alphabetically, with several exceptions. Series II: Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Series VI: National and Regional NOW is arranged by chapter or region and arranged from largest organizing group to smallest. Records are arranged chronologically with each organizing body. Legal briefs in Series XIII: Legal Cases are arranged in rough grouping by case. The series and subseries arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series I: Administration
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Officers' Files
Subseries A: Jean Faust, 1966-1970
Subseries B: Elayne Snyder, 1971-1975
Subseries C: Noreen Connell, 1968-1972
Series IV: Committees
Series V: Programs
Series VI: National and Regional NOW
Series VII: NOW and other Organizations
Series VIII: Photographs, Slides, Graphics, Ephemera and Other Materials
Subseries A: Photographs and Negatives
Subseries B: "Our North American Foremothers" Slideshow
Subseries C: Graphics, Ephemera and Other Material
Series IX: Artifacts and Oversize Ephemera
Series X: Audio/Visual Materials
Series XI: Radio Records, Symposiums, and Conferences
Series XII: Audiovisual Materials
Series XIII: Legal Cases
Series XIV: Unprocessed Materials
Series XV: Archived Website.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes material from 1966 to 2019. The bulk of the collection consists of the committee files for these years, as most of the National Organization for Women- New York City's (NOW-NYC) actions and events were planned through its committees. Materials in the collection include but are not limited to the following: announcements, ballots, brochures, bylaws, calendars, clippings, correspondence, depositions, flyers, forms, invitations, job descriptions, leaflets, legislative bills, lists, memoranda, minutes, mission statements, petitions, poems, position papers, press kits, print advertisements, programs, reports, resolutions, resumes, schedules, songs, speeches, voting records. Collection also includes audio cassettes of meetings and conferences, film, video, photographs, negatives, artifacts, posters, and ephemera. The collection also includes an archived version of the New York chapter website,, which was first captured in 2007. The website includes information on the latest news and events regarding NOW-NYC, their priorities, and ways to get involved.

The collection also contains legal briefs from the late 1990s related to NOW-NYC work in support of women in New York State who faced work-place discrimination and sexual harassment.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Some recordings from Series XI: Radio Recordings, Symposiums and Conferences are missing as of October 2019, and are therefore not available to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by NOW-NYC, with the exception of copyright for materials in Series VIII, VIV, X, XI, and XII, was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

To the extent that they own copyright, NOW-NYC have transferred the copyright of the materials in Series VIII, VIV, X, XI, and XII to New York University. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives. Please contact, (212) 998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records; TAM 106; box number; folder number, or electronic record identifier; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records; TAM 106; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Location of Materials

Some materials are stored offsite, and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by NOW-NYC, 1978, 1981-1993, 2008, 2012, 2018, and 2023. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 1981.007, 1981.008, 1981.010, 2008.062, 2012.069, 2018.019, and 2023.097.

Materials found in the repository were added to the collection in 2014. The accession number associated with these materials is 2014.054.

In 2015, 2 additional boxes of photographs and artifacts found in repository were incorporated into the collection. The accession numbers associated with this material are NPA 2000.216, NPA 2000.232, and NPA 2001.023.

In 2017, materials were found in repository. These materials had been separated from the original collection during processing. Materials were reincorporated into the collection in 2017. The accession numbers associated with these materials are NPA 2000.208 and NPA 2000.209.

NOW-NYC sent an additional donation of legal briefs and executive board meetings minutes in 2016. The accession number associated with this gift is 2016.042. In 2018 the organization sent an additional 5 boxes of photographs, videos, and memorabilia. The accession number associated with this gift is 2018.019. NOW-NYC sent addition administrative documents and ephemera in July 2023; the accession number associated with this gift is 2023.097. was initially selected by curators and captured through the use of The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service in 2007 as part of the Other Left Activism Web Archive. In 2014, was added. In November 2015, these websites were migrated to Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In February 2022, 7 Google Documents related to the 2021 Manhattan District Attorney candidates were added to Archive-it to better capture these materials directly. The accession numbers associated with these websites are 2022.043.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Take Down Policy

Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.

If you hold the rights to materials in our archived websites that are unattributed, please let us know so that we may maintain accurate information about these materials.

If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on this website for which you have not granted permission (or is not covered by a copyright exception under US copyright laws), you may request the removal of the material from our site by submitting a notice, with the elements described below, to

Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.

Separated Materials

Newsletters and newspapers have been removed from the collection and housed in the Tamiment Library's serials collection. They fall into the following categories: National NOW newsletters; NOW Regional newsletters (East, West, etc.); NOW--New York State newsletters; Local chapters of NOW (excluding NOW New York Chapter); NOW New York Chapter newsletters; NOW New York Chapter committee newsletters.

Collection processed by

Sarah Griffin in 1997. Series XIII added by Rachel Schimke in 2012. Edited by Bonnie Gordon for DACS compliancy and to reflect the incorporation of nonprint materials in March 2014.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 13:59:52 -0500.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid is in English

Processing Information

Photographs, ephemera, artifacts, and audio had been removed from this collection during initial processing and established as the National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Photographs (PHOTOS 081) and the National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Oral History Collection (OH 044). Posters had been separated and integrated into the Tamiment/Wagner Poster Collection (GRAPHICS 002) in the subseries US56.2/Women/National Organization for Women. Additionally, audiovisual materials were separated and integrated with the library's film collection. In 2014, these materials were reincorporated into National Organization for Women: New York City Chapter Records (TAM 106). In 2014, the archived website was added as series XV. NOW's New York chapter's website was archived to the Internet Archive using the Archive-It service. Also in 2014, approximately 0.25 linear feet of materials discovered in the repository were added to the collection, mostly to Series VI.

In 2015, 2 boxes of photographs and negatives found in repository were incorporated into Series VIII: Photographs and Negatives. Artifacts and graphics found in repository in 2015 were added to Series IX: Artifacts, Ephemera, Graphics and Other Material.

Executive board meetings from a 2016 donation were incorporated into Series I: Administration, while legal briefs from the same donation were added as a new series, Series XIII: Legal Cases.

In 2018, 5 boxes of banners, videos, photos, and memorabilia were added to Series XIV: Unprocessed Materials as 2018 Accretion. These materials were originally loose in several boxes and have been moved into archival housing. Loose photos and documents were moved into folders by the archivist and given titles based on general topics. Born-digital records included in this accretion have been inventoried but not forensically imaged. These materials have not been arranged by an archivist.

New York University Libraries follows professional standards and best practices when imaging, ingesting, and processing born-digital material in order to maintain the integrity of the content.

In 2022, additional websites were added and description for the archived websites was updated.

In November 2023, an accretion of administrative documents and ephemera was intellectually integrated into the collection as Boxes 103-106.

Revisions to this Guide

September 2016: Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect incorporation of 2016 accession.
June 2019: Edited by Amy C. Vo for compliance with ACM Required Elements for Archival Description.
November 2019: Edited by Weatherly Stephan to note missing materials in Series XI.
May 2021: Updated by Rachel Mahre to state some audiovisual materials have been digitized and are accessible to patrons.
January 2022: Updated by Lyric Evans-Hunter to reflect the digitization of some audiovisual materials.
May 2022: Edited by Nicole Greenhouse for additional administration information and the incorporation of archived websites.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from NOW NYC Guide.wpd


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012