Over more than a quarter-century of activity (1972–1998), the Committee on the Status of Women (COSW) tenaciously pursued feminist goals. This article uses COSW (an official SAA committee) as well as the Women's Caucus (an informal interest group) as a lens through which to examine the larger phenomenon of feminism in the archival profession. First, it sets forth the political, social, and cultural context of 1960s and 1970s feminism and discusses the factors that led to the founding of the two groups. Next, it traces their activities in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. COSW and the Women's Caucus worked within while pushing to reshape established SAA organizational structures. The two groups promoted the documentation of women's experiences and the writing of women's history, attacked job discrimination and salary inequities in the profession, lobbied strenuously for women's equitable participation in the SAA, encouraged scholarship by and about women, and supported passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. This article then sets forth the circumstances that led to the dissolution of COSW in 1998 (the caucus continued its longstanding work). Finally, it discusses the vital legacy of the two groups and suggests areas for further research.
I felt like I was at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. You were strong and vocal and did not hesitate to speak your minds and disagree with one another.
Our field is conservative in style but liberal in thinking.
Columbus, Ohio, scarcely seemed the likeliest place for history to be made. Program chair for the 1972 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Herman J. Viola said drolly, “As slogans go, ‘Come to Columbus’ was not very imaginative, but it got the job done.”3
The largest number of annual meeting attendees in the organization's history (more than 600) braved abundant rain to attend SAA's first-ever four-day meeting. It boasted 32 sessions and 127 speakers, approximately twice as many as at any previous meeting. Columbus was also the first time an annual meeting featured a session with only women presenting papers. Session chair Mabel E. Deutrich quipped, “It should be interesting!”4
The November 2 all-women session featured papers by Deutrich (National Archives), Elsie Freivogel (Smithsonian Institution), Joanna Zangrando (American History and Civilization Program for Community Museums), Eva Moseley (Radcliffe College), and Miriam Crawford (Temple University). The SAA's Committee on the Status of Women and the Women's Caucus effectively gestated at this Columbus session.
Over more than a quarter-century of activity (1972–1998), the Committee on the Status of Women (COSW)5 tenaciously pursued feminist goals. This article uses COSW (an official SAA committee) as well as the Women's Caucus (an informal interest group) as a lens through which to examine the larger issue of feminism—the women's movement—in the archival profession. First, it sets forth the political, social, and cultural context of 1960s and 1970s feminism and discusses the factors that led to the founding of the two groups. Second, it traces the activities of the two groups in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Working within while pushing to reshape established SAA structures, COSW and the Women's Caucus promoted the documentation of women's experiences and the writing of women's history, attacked job discrimination and salary inequities in the profession, lobbied strenuously for equitable participation in SAA (namely at annual meetings, in office-holding, and in the receipt of honors and awards), encouraged women's scholarship, and supported passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (1972–1982). This article then sets forth the circumstances that led to the dissolution of COSW in 1998. Finally, it discusses the legacy of the two groups.
The story of COSW and the caucus is not one of steady Whiggish progression. The two groups fought valiantly for women's rights and encountered numerous setbacks as well as important successes; as Mary Janzen lamented, “Even mild criticism doesn't go over very well in some quarters of our profession.”6 Comprehending the history of the women's movement can promote feminists' current and future efforts.7 By seeking to recover the history of the women's movement in SAA, this article pursues that aim.
The Feminist Context
The 1960s resulted in greatly expanded personal freedoms, radically flattened racial and gender hierarchies, and encouraged the formation of new political interest groups.8 Even as it confronted institutionalized sexism, feminists found an auspicious social climate given evolving attitudes toward sexuality, changing fertility rates, and improved long-term employment prospects.9
Feminism constitutes a democratic movement that insists women should be free to define their own identities.10 It propagates a twofold philosophy: first, that men and women are of inherently equal worth socially, politically, and economically; and second, that culture rather than biology accounts for the differences in men's and women's roles.11 Beginning in the 1960s, women claimed full equality within and outside the home with unprecedented forcefulness—and success.12 Feminists addressed political and civil rights, labor discrimination, sexual relations, and the so-called psychology of deference.13
Liberal, Radical, and Socialist Feminisms
The reinvigorated women's movement comprised three strands: liberal, radical, and socialist.14 Although these groups agreed on the presence of discrimination, they disagreed over the means of redress and ultimately the need for and the extent of social change.15 Many women, however, moved among or borrowed tenets from all three groups.16
Liberal feminism framed freedom as embodying both personal and political autonomy. Inadequately represented in and even marginalized by the democratic process, women suffered conditions that neglected their basic needs and interests.17 Enlisting the state as an ally, liberal feminists sought the integration of women into society through pragmatic reforms such as affirmative action, federally funded childcare, equal opportunity legislation, the Equal Rights Amendment, and entry into and advancement in male-dominated professions. They fought for assimilation and equality of opportunity, working within extant structures and electing not to question those structures' legitimacy.18
Sharing a collectivist attitude toward women's oppression, both radical and socialist feminists rejected the individualism of liberal feminism.19 Radicals anathematized not only the patriarchy, but men qua men, and favored separatism.20 Given their focus on institutional and structural change, moreover, radical feminism lambasted the ostensible timidity and even conservatism of liberal feminism as embodied in organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW).21 Socialist feminists, by contrast, were Marxists; they stressed the relationship between race and class as well as gender oppression.22 But socialists struggled mightily to forge cross-class or cross-race communities. What was more, they prioritized personal confrontation, which sometimes sapped their focus on larger political issues.23
All three strands of the women's movement capitalized on a redefinition of politics that included power relations between men and women.24 In other words, as historian Ruth Rosen maintains, “The ‘personal’ no longer seemed a purely individual problem, but the result of deep cultural, social, and economic forces and assumptions.”25 For better—and sometimes for worse—the personal as political could be applied in nearly any situation.26
A rite of passage for membership in the women's movement, consciousness-raising (CR) vivified the notion of the personal as political.27 Through CR, women politicized the dilemmas of their private lives and shared knowledge about the ways in which internalized societal norms contributed to their oppression.28 Requiring minimal resources, consciousness-raising not only attracted new members to the feminist cause, but also helped educate them and goad them to action.29
The National Organization of Women (NOW)
The civil rights movement provided an intellectual and practical model for postwar feminism that included legislation, executive orders, and court decisions.32 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 included a section (Title VII) that proscribed discrimination based on sex. The government's newly established Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to enforce Title VII, however, and many women grew disenchanted by its limitations.33 By contrast, an extragovernmental organization could act untrammeled by governmental direction or interference.34 Thus, NOW coalesced to pressure the EEOC politically to address women's issues just as the EEOC did racial issues.35
NOW's leaders branded the system—not men—the enemy.36 Soon after its founding, NOW petitioned the EEOC to end sex segregation in job advertisements. Also focusing on women's economic opportunities, it pushed in 1967 for federally funded childcare centers and income-tax deductions for childcare costs.
Young, educated, white, heterosexual, professional middle-class women formed the backbone of NOW and powerfully influenced the direction of COSW and the Women's Caucus.37 NOW's first president, Betty Friedan, author of the best-selling Feminine Mystique (1963), and her colleagues argued that existing social structures and institutions relegated women to the status only of house-wives and mothers as opposed to unique human beings.38
During its first five years, NOW foregrounded activism over education, maintained political independence, addressed diverse issues and adopted diverse tactics, and encouraged grassroots participation.39 Leery of schism, at first NOW downplayed issues such as lesbianism and sexual preference, abortion, and reproductive freedom.
Work and Economic Citizenship
“Independent status that provides the possibility of full participation in the polity,” economic citizenship hinges on access to the market.40 But, historically, women have been deprived of their own income; furthermore, lower status and low pay have often accrued to occupations into which women have entered in large numbers.41
Until the late 1960s, the majority of American men and women believed that family normalcy inhered in women subsuming their needs, rights, and obligations to those of their spouses and children.42 Overlooking prejudice, many Americans clung to the notion that women's occupational marginalization somehow complemented condign family obligations.43 But an increasing number of women both challenged the separation of spheres (female as domestic and male as public) and their being deprived of economic citizenship: over 40% of all women worked by the close of the 1960s.44
Yet, even as they gained purchase in the sphere of work, women faced considerable resistance: while educated women capitalized on new professional and managerial opportunities, many women remained consigned to low-wage, pink-collar work.45 Furthermore, the most prestigious or high-paying occupations seemed most intransigent.46 In general, moreover, employers and coworkers proved at best indifferent.47 A pattern emerged in professional associations seeking equal representation on women's behalf, one that COSW by and large followed. Older women organized women's caucuses in professional associations and generated fact-finding committees on the status of women. Subsequently, a tiny female presence would grow to a modest one; almost invariably, however, the increase would cluster at the entry-level.48
Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1936–1972
In its first three and a half decades (1936–1972), the Society of American Archivists seldom considered women's interests, though women comprised more than a quarter (28%) of its founding members.49 Concordantly, women played a minor role in Society matters: compared to men, they served in fewer offices and on fewer committees, authored fewer papers and articles, and received fewer awards (see Table 1).50 Elsie Freivogel, COSW's second chairperson, bemoaned this “pathology”: as late as 1972, she reported, women comprised a third of SAA's members but only 17% of its committee memberships and 10% of its committee chairpersons.51
Perhaps surprisingly, some “founding mothers” neglected to press for greater involvement: an absence of sorority contributed to the lack of proportional representation.52 Mary Janzen wrote, “A woman who is now a member of Council and who became active in the SAA in the 1960s said to me, ‘You know, there were so few of us in those days, we felt kind of cherished.’”53 COSW and the caucus indicated an end to such complacency.
The advances of the civil rights movement and feminism as well as the unrest produced by the Vietnam War, the New Left and the student movement, the consumer rights movement, and a broader questioning of political authority spurred these archivists toward reflexivity and ultimately, to action.55 East Coast–based educated white males stationed at the National Archives dominated SAA until well into the 1960s.56 “Old-boy networks” as well as a dearth of childcare, female role models, and self-promotion undercut women's contributions to and opportunities in SAA.57 But demographics changed seismically: between 1960 and 1970, membership surged from 1,272 to approximately 2,500; women soon constituted nearly half of SAA members and their imprint upon the organization increased markedly. “Contemporary feminism,” Andrea Hinding recalled, “required that each of us consider what it meant to be a man or woman as well as struggle with mundane but surprisingly troublesome questions of who would open doors, who would make coffee, and who would take minutes.”58
Wrapped up in this demographic transformation, a younger, more restive generation charged SAA with elitism.59 These new members lobbied for greater professional involvement for all members, for changes in SAA's decision-making processes, and for engagement with pressing contemporary social concerns.60 This momentum crystallized in a 1970 annual meeting session, “The Archivist and the New Left,” specifically in Howard Zinn's talk, “The Archivist and Radical Reform.”
The session sparked the founding of the Archivists for Change (ACT) caucus, led by Lynn Donovan, Miriam Crawford, and Patrick Quinn. ACT's founders set the stage for Columbus when they huddled in Donovan's living room at the 1971 SAA annual meeting in San Francisco. ACT effectively introduced the “activist archivist”—those who “address major social concerns of the archival profession and the public it serves and . . . improve their own workplaces, their professional organizations, and the archival profession.”61 Jettisoning the traditional separation of professional and extraprofessional political issues, these archivists endeavored to topple SAA's “elitist, sexist ‘old boy’ system.”62 Presaging COSW's aims, ACT committed to increasing members' participation in SAA affairs, encouraging the recruitment and retention of minorities, and improving the professional status of women.63
Though ACT proved an important precursor to COSW, SAA's Committee for the 1970s, established in 1970, played a similarly crucial part. Its recommendations—both procedural and constitutional—sought to render SAA more open to membership input.64 In its final report, released six months before Columbus, the committee exhorted SAA to pursue racial justice and equal employment while further opening access to research materials. It also stressed SAA's moral responsibility to propagate official positions on contemporary public issues affecting the profession.65 The committee focused heavily on racial and ethnic discrimination, however, allocating minimal attention to sex discrimination.66 Its limitations set the context for the founding of COSW and the Women's Caucus.
Columbus and the Founding of the Women's Caucus and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women
By the 1972 Columbus meeting, feminism had made impressive inroads in American society and would see more milestones achieved in the next two years. Nineteen seventy-two saw the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which sought to give women the full and equal constitutional protection vouchsafed to men; the passage of Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments to the Civil Rights Act; the founding of Ms. magazine; Shirley Chisholm's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which extended the protections of Title VII to public employees and increased federal enforcement power. The next year yielded the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book by and for Women, and AT&T's settlement with the EEOC conceding discrimination and making financial restitution to 13,000 women and 2,000 men of color. Nineteen seventy-four ushered in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which ensured women had access to credit cards, bank loans, and mortgages long denied them; the Women's Educational Equity Act, which provided federal government monies for training teachers, improving girls' science and math success, and encouraging the development of women's studies programs; and a class action suit against the New York Times (settled out of court) that secured the company's pledge to hire more women.67
In addition to national political developments, by 1972 numerous professional organizations had established groups focusing on recognizing women's past contributions and expanding their current leadership roles. They included the Modern Language Association's Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession (1969), the American Historical Association's Coordinating Committee of Women in the Historical Profession (CCWHP) (1969), the Organization of American Historians' Standing Committee on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession (1970), and the American Library Association's Task Force on the Status of Women (TFSW) (1970).68 These precedents, especially that of ALA, provided added momentum for SAA to establish a similar body.69
Wilfred Smith of the Public Archives of Canada, SAA president in 1972–1973, recalled the informal meeting that launched the Women's Caucus and, by extension, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women. On the evening of Wednesday, November 1, ACT members camped out on the floor in the hotel lobby, supping on cold sandwiches and discussing the needs of women in the profession.70 This meeting, combined with the November 2 session devoted solely to women in archives that featured papers by Deutrich, Freivogel, Zangrando, Moseley, and Crawford, proved a springboard for action. Planning work for the session during the previous year had channeled into a nascent network of radical women.71 At the session, fifty-two attendees signed up for a mailing list to explore further action. This list constituted the kernel of the caucus.
The Women's Caucus subsequently tapped female candidates for SAA positions, helped women enter the job market and seek promotions, encouraged annual meeting session participation and publication, educated management about feminist concerns, served as a watchdog on women's issues, provided legal resources, disseminated information on the status of women, and supported COSW.72 Unlike the committee, however, the caucus operated outside SAA's control; it remained an interest group open to all.73
In November of 1972, SAA Council approved the creation of an ad hoc committee to conduct a salary survey measuring the extent of discrimination against women in the profession. Aside from Deutrich, who agreed to serve as chair, members included Marie B. Allen, Ann Morgan Campbell, Lynn Bonfield Donovan, Shonnie Finnegan, Andrea Hinding, David E. Horn, Clarencetta Jelks, Andrea Lentz, Richard Lytle, Nancy V. Menan, Patrick M. Quinn, and Jarritus Wolfinger.74 Conversely, dissenters emerged. Declining her appointment, Maine State Archives' Sylvia J. Sherman characterized women's issues as of secondary importance.75 As they had throughout the organization's history, SAA feminists would invariably face detractors; sorority could never be assumed.
The caucus and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women (COSW) complemented each other in their activities and their membership. Like the caucus, the committee's agenda revolved around three issues: sources for women's history, salary inequalities, and SAA participation, particularly in governance.76 On the last point, SAA president Smith assured Deutrich of SAA's commitment to increasing women's committee representation.77
Early COSW members' positions generally meshed with the tenets of liberal feminism as espoused by NOW. Deutrich blamed prejudice and tradition for hamstringing the social, economic, and legal status of women, as did others such as Deutrich's successor as COSW chair, Elsie Freivogel, and Joanna Zangrando.78 Noting that feminism boasted a broad base of support, Miriam Crawford likened feminist efforts to struggles for civil rights and economic justice. On the latter point, she deemed equal opportunity of employment not only central to attaining social and intellectual equality, but also the common denominator among feminists of all persuasions. She advocated, further, for consciousness-raising to help women improve their self-image.79 Finally, she blamed the system based on economic relationships favoring white men over other groups—not men per se.80 They, too, seemed victims of a perverse social structure. Testifying to this point, the committee welcomed male members from its inception.
More insidious, some women discriminated against other women.81 Andrea Hinding picked up on a peculiar contradiction: “Many women believe they have not been discriminated against, though they believe women generally have. The solution suggested most frequently is that women pull themselves up by the bootstraps.”82
Given the manifest adversity they faced from within and outside the profession from many men and a few women, as early as 1973, COSW requested that Council commit SAA to supporting the ERA.83 On two other feminist issues, however, COSW initially remained cautious. First, apropos of affirmative action, Deutrich expressed skepticism about the committee serving as a watchdog; she doubted its ability to supply necessary information and literature to women or minorities.84 Even so, the committee subsequently promoted affirmative action. Second, the committee remained mum on abortion, perhaps because the issue became a lightning rod of controversy, especially after Roe v. Wade (1973).85 On one hand, the right to choose earned support from advocates who cited population control, economic prudence, families' and women's suffering from unwanted births, and the freedom of physicians to care for patients.86 Indeed, feminists of all stripes overwhelmingly supported Roe.87 On the other, this robust support met an increasingly determined opposition from the right-to-life movement. Opponents framed abortion as the cynosure of feminist selfishness.88
Even as it struggled to determine how best to pursue affirmative action for women and persons of color and to unite women despite disagreement over issues such as abortion, COSW pushed SAA for an antidiscrimination resolution. Despite some opposition, SAA adopted such a resolution in 1973. It pledged to elide discrimination based on race or ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, lifestyle, and political affiliation. Additionally, it enjoined members “to secure equal opportunity . . . by establishing and monitoring programs which will correct past discriminatory practices, increasing . . . the number of qualified minority group members and women, and . . . seeking full compliance with the law.”89
In 1973, the ad hoc committee faced dissolution. Constituted specifically to undertake the salary survey (published in 1974), its mandate seemed fulfilled. But Deutrich and other members hoped the committee would be made permanent and its agenda broadened.90 Universities and related businesses discriminated against women with impunity; the dearth of female administrators demanded particular attention.91 Freivogel even advocated for equal employment opportunities as an SAA professional standard.92
In the spring of 1973, Council extended the ad hoc committee for a year, albeit without formal action on its fate. David E. Horn approved, calling information provision and antidiscrimination efforts ever-necessary. Also pleased, Andrea Hinding suggested the committee parlay its influence into substantive recommendations for change. Miriam Crawford, by contrast, cautioned that any separatist strategy should be temporary.93
Despite its new lease on life, the committee struggled to obtain even nominal funds from its parent organization. Like NOW in its early years, COSW ran on a shoestring budget. Nonetheless, in addition to its salary survey, it planned to publish a newsletter, to recruit female participants for SAA activities by compiling a roster of female archivists, to forge collaborations with women in related professions such as the American Library Association, and to promote women's history, for example by developing a national guide to repositories that held relevant records.94
In 1974, SAA Council made the ad hoc COSW a standing committee. In less than two years, then, COSW had advanced toward two of the committee's foundational goals: annual meeting participation and women's history. Elsie Freivogel commented on the annual meeting:
Most gratifying to me . . . was the role that women played in the sessions, both on and off the program. Comments from the floor, papers read or panels led, one had the impression of women who were taking responsibility for their own professional development. The superwomen syndrome had begun to be the every-women syndrome. . . . It was a mood I have not seen before, and was immensely satisfying.95
Freivogel's enthusiasm aside, that year the Report on the Status of Women in the Archives Profession made clear the daunting challenges faced by women in the profession.
The Report on the Status of Women in the Archives Profession (1974)
The report bolstered the COSW's arguments.96 Salary data proved most alarming: women earned less than men whether broken down by educational qualifications, years of professional experience, or years of professional experience at their institutions.97 The profession shut women out of the “big jobs and big money.”98 It appeared to Elsie Freivogel that “women run the house and men run the world.”99
In line with its findings regarding salary inequity, COSW protested discriminatory job advertisements and career information. Much career information was implicitly if not frontally sexist.100 To this point, one respondent insisted, “Job and career equality would definitely be a major factor in bringing about general equity.”101
In addition to salary discrimination, the report publicized the presence of broader discrimination against women (see Table 2). Overall, 58.3% of women (182) said discrimination did exist, in contrast to slightly more than one-third of male respondents (34.4%, or 115). Conversely, 219 men (65.6%) and 130 women (41.7%) claimed discrimination did not exist.
Further, age mattered in participants' perception of discrimination. For instance, men and women under 40 years of age were most likely to perceive discrimination in the profession (Table 2). Discrimination seemed most pronounced in promotional opportunities (Table 3); economic citizenship remained a distant dream.
Respondents also commented on sex discrimination. One wrote, “When I asked a woman who had been employed at this institution longer than I if there was sex discrimination, she replied, ‘hah, are you kidding? That's a dumb question!’”104 “I've worked under three men,” claimed another, “who have practiced being fatherly, head pats et al. Yuk.”105
Complicating any reductive interpretations, however, one respondent not only encountered male chauvinists, but also women who welcomed the status quo.106 Another echoed this sentiment: “Most archivists who are women, particularly those who have worked long and hard to ‘make it,’ are just as self-righteous as other professional women who insist that ‘if I could do it, they can do it too.’”107 A tiny fraction of respondents—eighteen men and two women—even contended that reverse discrimination existed.
The survey posed two “women-only” questions. One asked whether the respondent earned more than half her family's income and the other whether she preferred to be called “Ms.” First, well over half of respondents (56.2%) earned at least half of their household's income. In contrast to embedded stereo-types, then, “The earnings of married women are significant in the upkeep of the family and . . . belie the view that women work only for ‘pin’ money.”108 Economic citizenship loomed large in their estimation. Second, more than a quarter of women (27.5%) preferred the use of “Ms.” suggesting generational differences. Those under 30 years of age were far more likely to prefer the term (46%), followed by those 30 to 39 (27%), 40 to 49 (9%), and over 50 (7%).109
Two other key issues the report tackled included affirmative action and diversity and inclusivity. First, the survey found that fully four-fifths (118 of 147) of responding institutions supported affirmative action programs. One respondent suggested, “The greatest boon to ending sex discrimination here has been the necessity of filing an affirmative action plan with the Federal Government.”110
Additionally, the report pointed to the challenge of diversity and inclusivity. Though heavily indebted to the post–World War II civil rights movement, feminists, including those of COSW, struggled to forge alliances with other underrepresented groups. Miriam Crawford said, “We should not be drawn into the divisive Black vs. woman approaches. Our stake is the same as that of the Black man and woman. . . . We are allies in the movement towards a society that guarantees equal opportunity.”111 One respondent in the 1974 salary survey pointed out the formidable barriers facing those seeking to bring together diverse women. “My opinion is that 95% of the white women who are making a fuss over sex discrimination are skewed around inside,” this individual wrote. “They don't know much about what discrimination is.”112
Both Mabel Deutrich and David E. Horn hoped to include persons of color in COSW and they were not alone.113 Crawford, for instance, regretted the lack of data on African Americans' and other minorities' status. She favored soliciting statements from black archivists to help create a composite picture of discrimination in the profession and raise professional awareness about needed change. Unfortunately, this project never materialized.114
While the 1974 report underlined salary and overall professional discrimination, another issue related to discrimination also cropped up: that of women historians and women's history.
Writing Women into History in the 1970s
Women's historians argued that politics cannot be extricated from knowledge and its production; therefore, women's history is an inherently political field.115 The efflorescence of women's history thus dovetailed with the broader feminist movement.116
Historian Gerda Lerner bemoaned historians' neglect of women's history, which resulted in a profoundly distorted historical record.117 As she put it, “Men have defined their experience as history and left women out.”118 Few historians addressed women's history and few repositories collected, deliberately acquired, or proactively provided access to women's papers or other documentary resources.119 As avatars of the domestic sphere, women also faced exclusion from the (male-authored) history books.120 The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women's Eva Moseley favored the establishment of separate women's repositories, a comprehensive listing of locations of women's records (despite their possibly separatist connotations), and a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of keeping women's papers.121 Moseley also urged archivists to collect nontraditional sources and to update collecting policies, appraisal strategies, and finding aids.122 Of like mind, Zangrando pointed out that although sources such as court and health records, material objects, and diaries existed, “they have to be used . . . with some innovation and imagination.”123 Sanguinely, she asserted, “Women are being accorded a new place in the historical literature, and this change forces a total reassessment of the American experience.”124
By “raising Clio's consciousness,” feminist archivists and scholars reclaimed their past and rendered themselves visible historical actors.125 New feminist scholarship challenged established disciplinary methods and filled in gaps in the scholarly record, in the process revising virtually the entirety of the humanities and social sciences.126 Courses on women's history, journals and conferences, and the numbers of women in history generally and in women's history specifically all proliferated.127
The 1960s and 1970s saw more active solicitation of women's papers, the production of guides on and the reexamination of holdings, and revisions of catalogs and finding aids.128 A pivotal initiative in this area was the Women's History Sources Survey (WHSS). COSW's Andrea Hinding steered the project, which came together in 1975 through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Minnesota.129 Nearly 7,000 repositories responded to the survey and 2,000 held relevant materials. Contrary to popular belief, sources to write women's history existed in abundance and many smaller repositories held useful but overlooked materials.
WHSS encouraged archivists to reassess their holdings and their collection development policies. A comprehensive WHSS guide published in 1979 stressed not only the growing legitimacy of women's history, but also the need for the use of previously neglected or recently located sources. The survey unearthed two troubling findings as well: a widespread lack of education and training of repository personnel, and the poor physical condition of many of the repositories holding materials.130
Complementing the WHSS, the National Archives hosted both an exhibit (opened in July of 1975), Her Infinite Variety: A 200-Year Record of America's Women, to commemorate the national bicentennial and the International Women's Year and a Women's History Conference (held in April of 1976). Under the guidance of Elsie Freivogel, the conference highlighted unpublished sources for documenting women in American history. The amount and quality of documentation struck observers, as did the formidable challenges of arranging it and publicizing it for research use.131 Momentum for women's history and documentation only grew in the following years.
COSW and SAA in the 1970s
Increased female representation in SAA affairs seemed evident at the 1976 annual business meeting, as women constituted five of the six presenters. “We'll soon have a Committee on the Status of Men in the SAA,” joked SAA executive director and COSW founding member Ann Morgan Campbell.132 SAA had embraced a younger and more progressive membership, and women increasingly assumed more professional responsibilities and published and spoke out more.133 At the same time, women but for a few “superstars,” lacked equal professional opportunity.134 McKay wrote, “Superstars of either sex will always rise to the top; it is the ordinary person that I worry about.”135 COSW thus integrated affirmative action for women into its goals. To this end, it developed a roster in 1976 and began monitoring statistics on women in the profession.
By the mid-1970s, although feminist language and perspectives pervaded the American lingua franca, the women's movement seemed in trouble, its morale and its pragmatic efforts in jeopardy.136 Most foreboding, both anti-abortion and anti-ERA groups had increased their activity and amped up their rhetoric.137 Inertia seemed to plague COSW too. Chair Freivogel informed committee members, “No new people signed on. The issues, exacerbated by the job crisis, appear not to be high on anyone's list, nor do general questions of advocacy activity seem to be gaining strength in the Society.” She fretted about COSW's goals and even its viability. The Women's Caucus, too, struggled with a crisis of confidence, deliberating whether to extend their activities beyond an annual meeting and a semiregular newsletter.138
Freivogel apprehended the ambivalence felt by some committee members. One who resigned claimed, “I don't have time (or really the desire) to work on this committee.” She felt the COSW's work alienated men; the COSW's efforts seemed nothing more than “‘coffee-klatching.’”139 New chair Eleanor McKay conceded the committee's lack of militancy.140 In 1977, for example, only five of the committee's twenty members were effectively active.
Program participants at the 1977 annual meeting included 125 men and 53 women (a dispiriting 28%), though the Program Committee was more inclusive (9 men and 7 women, or 43%). A maddening gap persisted between women's de jure and de facto equality.141 An undaunted McKay urged her colleagues to forge collective stands on better working conditions and improved professional status.142
Numerous COSW leaders had long agitated for recognition as an SAA permanent committee, but the committee encountered opposition from those who believed women's issues of transitory importance.143 SAA Council, though, conferred this status on COSW in 1978, acknowledging the group's necessity for the conduct of the organization's regular affairs.144 Despite its mid-1970s doldrums, the committee's legitimacy appeared secured.
McKay posited that SAA leadership failed to represent the organization's rapidly evolving membership and trivialized the latter's concerns.145 Indeed, demographics favored COSW's efforts: SAA membership spurted 80% between 1970 and 1978 (50% alone between 1975 and 1978) and women continued to increase their proportion of SAA membership. McKay ruminated, “That question of the status of women in our profession and our society is both controversial and still very much unresolved in the best interest of humanity.”146
As part of its efforts to monitor the disparities between men's and women's wages, especially given the flood of new SAA members, the committee embarked on a second salary survey in the fall of 1978. Periodic surveys of the status of professional women were among the central components of the women's movement.147 COSW's project proved so alluring, in fact, that Council appropriated it.148
The new survey found decreased but still pronounced salary inequity. The average woman earned approximately $15,000 and the average man nearly $19,000. (ALA's survey found a similar discrepancy.149) The survey broke down these disparities by education, age, and years of work experience. First, women gained at both the BA and PhD levels, decreasing the wage gap from 30% to 12% in the former and from 14% to 9% in the latter. Second, salaries increased 28% for men and 20% for women under 30 years of age, 24% for both men and women ages 30 to 39, and 41% for women and 34% for men ages 40 to 49. Finally, the survey reported an increase of 27% for women and 16% for men with 0 to 3 years of professional experience; 38% for women and 23% for men with 8 to 15 years; and 32% for women and 29% for men with 15 or more years. Though women had made substantial gains, they trailed men at every level. Men made anywhere between 9% and 51% more than their female colleagues.150
Results of the survey suggested to Mabel Deutrich that the women's movement benefited younger professional women, particularly in encouraging their expectations and aspirations. At the same time, she lamented, “Many of the older working women . . . have never recovered from the barriers they faced—either outright sex discrimination or the same thing in a more subtle form, their own lowered aspirations.”151 Linda Henry likewise equivocated, “I won't discount sexism for the dearth of ‘women's faces in high places,’ but . . . too many women have not thought about their work in career terms.” She also pointed out the continuing problem of women resisting program participation or office-holding.152
Leadership soon took its toll on McKay. “After three years and many crises,” she admitted in 1979, “I have burned out.” Rejected by four potential successors, McKay decried COSW's lack of leadership. All the same, she remained cautiously optimistic. Though inequalities regarding salaries, titles, publications, and speaking opportunities continued, attitudes seemed to be evolving.153
Closing out the 1970s, COSW continued to urge the involvement of women in SAA and to monitor opportunities for their participation.154 Their efforts paid modest dividends. In 1979, for example, women submitted 12 articles to the American Archivist, 6 of which were accepted. By contrast, men submitted 48, 11 of which were accepted. “Let's urge women to write more!,” admonished editor Virginia C. Purdy.155 Less than one-third of the 1979 annual meeting program was composed of women (74 women, 162 men, and 5 whose gender could not be identified by their names), however, not least because many refused to participate even when asked. The next year, too, numerous women demurred, becoming “shrinking violets,” to Nancy Menan's consternation.156
COSW encountered more frustration in the 1979 SAA election. Archie Motley, a longtime supporter of COSW, split the so-called liberal vote (he was a petition candidate). As a result, Ruth Helmuth defeated Elsie Freivogel. McKay exploded, “I will have a hard time forgiving [Motley] for his reckless lack of concern for the need to have a strong liberal executive.” “Damn Archie!”157 For her part, McKay feared Helmuth's reputed conservatism.158 It was painfully evident once more that not all SAA members endorsed the COSW agenda.
The committee pressed forward in 1980 on job monitoring, the roster, SAA Fellows, publishing, and cooperating with both archival regional organizations and allied professional organizations regarding affirmative action. It continued its work at the professional grassroots level as well: at the annual meeting, the committee raised money by selling ERA buttons and raised the consciousness of SAA members in the process.159
In line with the burgeoning numbers and changing demographics of membership, the committee agitated still more for SAA's democratization. Its efforts ultimately helped effect revisions to the SAA constitution. COSW's Nancy Sahli argued, first, for SAA's instantiation of initiative and referendum measures. Controversial questions would be put to the entire membership via mail ballot; its vote would be binding on Council. Second, Sahli favored making binding on Council any votes on resolutions at annual business meetings.160
Agreeing with Sahli, Eleanor McKay insisted that membership should retain final decision-making authority. “There is always the danger that the members can be swayed by emotional or illogical feelings,” she explained, “yet I would rather place my trust in the collected wisdom of thousands of members than in that of a handful of elected leaders.”161 David E. Horn, conversely, rejected direct membership control on both theoretical and practical grounds.162 Virginia Purdy suggested a third route: deferring to SAA Council on matters within its constitutionally approved purview, but on controversial issues opting for a mail ballot binding on Council.163
The new constitution adopted two changes that increased membership participation in SAA decision making. First, it expanded Council from eight members to nine, each of whom would serve a three-year as opposed to a four-year term. This measure increased turnover and widened the possibility for participation by more officeholders. Second, the new constitution permitted membership to overrule Council in certain situations:
Resolutions passed at the annual business meeting which request the council to take a specific action must be formally considered and voted upon by council in a timely fashion. The membership shall be notified of the results of that deliberation in the first mailing sent to the membership following the final council decision. If ten percent (10%) of the membership disagrees with council's decision, and files a petition to that effect with the executive office, a mail ballot shall be conducted through the next mailing to the membership and the results of this ballot shall be binding.164
Both of these changes seemingly benefited women of SAA, given their demographic advantage.
In the 1970s, women accounted for 60% of the total increase in the United States labor force. They made important gains in equalizing pay, fighting job discrimination, and provision of childcare, but by the early 1980s, feminists in the United States appeared to be on the defensive, if not in full retreat.165 Overall, the 1970s and 1980s showed Americans' ambivalence in terms of women's roles.166 The ERA was a glaring case in point.
The Equal Rights Amendment, 1978–1982
Passed by both houses of Congress in March of 1972, the ERA went down to final defeat fully a decade later (June 30, 1982). Its defeat effectively truncated feminist hopes in national politics.167 The ERA cast a long shadow over feminism. The fight enabled its participants to hone a feminist consciousness that helped them understand the machinations of power.168 Yet the ERA also revealed class fissures: while like COSW the National Organization for Women welcomed the ERA, trade unions rejected it.169
The ERA also rallied opposition to feminism, however. Opponents charged the ERA with subverting traditional gender roles indispensable for moral and social order and cohesion. They framed the amendment as an effort to make men and women the same and thus to abolish all institutions—the family, the home, religion, and motherhood—traditionally based on these differences.170 Often rural and religious, opponents also tied their arguments to anticommunism, patriotism, and all-male combat forces. Supporters cited nebulous values such as “equality” and “justice,” but these paled before anti-ERA groups' discourse of apocalyptic moral combat.171
Between 1978 and 1982, COSW like NOW foregrounded the ERA ratification campaign.172 Following its long-standing support of the ERA, COSW proposed to boycott states that refused to pass the amendment. It requested SAA relocate the 1979 annual meeting from Chicago to a city in a state that had ratified the ERA.173
Edward Weldon, later SAA president, demurred for financial but not ideological reasons. He concurred with the Women's Caucus's perhaps surprising stance, that is, not moving the annual meeting from Chicago, and cited the financial penalties should SAA breach its existing contract.174
Even as those such as Eleanor McKay favored a boycott, other SAA leaders in addition to Weldon remained wary. The Women's Caucus Newsletter reported:
Mr. Berkeley moved that the Society cancel its plans to meet in Richmond, Virginia in 1982, and that future meetings be scheduled only in states which have ratified the amendment. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weldon. Speaking against the motion, Ms. Hinding stated that participation in such a boycott is not appropriate for a professional organization such as the Society, and that much of the burden of the boycott would be felt by numerous female employees of boycotted hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. Ms. Hinding pointed out that these employees are not responsible for the position of their state legislatures on ERA. . . . The motion was defeated by a vote of 2–9.175
Pursuant to the vote, McKay castigated Hinding, writing, “My knowledge of the history of various movements has prepared me emotionally for finks and scabs in unlikely places.”176 Again, a united feminist front proved untenable. As a fall- back position, COSW leveraged pocketbook politics, encouraging its members to spend as little money as possible at the meeting.177
Though McKay demanded it abandon neutrality on the ERA, SAA Council remained chary of supporting the ratification extension; at the time, it also rejected economic boycotts as inappropriate for a professional organization.178 That summer, however, national politics intruded: the United States Congress voted (223 to 189) to extend the ratification deadline for ERA for thirty-nine months.
Still more propitious news came from the fall business meeting: McKay exulted to COSW members, “WE DID IT!”179 Attendees passed four resolutions. One supported ERA ratification overall; one supported the extension resolution on the ERA; one stipulated that after 1980, the SAA would hold meetings only in states that had ratified the ERA; and one pledged to inform Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, drafter of the 1972 version of the amendment, of SAA's position.180
Not all SAA members approved of the proposed boycotts. Sister M. Helena Sanfilippo chided Campbell for SAA's “secondary boycott.” “As a woman I am offended by these tactics for granting me my ‘right,’” she insisted.181 But a majority of membership disagreed; a persuaded Council relocated the 1982 annual meeting.182
Although SAA had endorsed ratification as a germane professional concern, controversy simmered.183 In a letter to the editor of American Archivist, Joseph Andrew Settani excoriated SAA for refusing to separate professionalism and politics. He characterized himself as “profoundly disturbed that a heavily loaded political issue . . . has grievously hurt the professional status of the SAA.” The ERA he dismissed as a “pet peeve.”184
In a vigorous rejoinder, COSW's Timothy Stroup argued that discrimination had “disastrous consequences for hiring, promotion, salaries, and even for what archivists think it worthwhile to preserve.” He upbraided Settani as “extremely myopic” and deemed ameliorating discrimination “one of the great moral challenges of our time.”185
A 1980 survey offered a broader perspective on membership's disagreement over social issues such as the ERA (see Table 4).186 Those who disagreed or strongly disagreed (407) with the statement that SAA should involve itself with social concerns outstripped those who agreed or strongly agreed (373). Similarly, those who disagreed or strongly disagreed (420) that the ratification of the ERA should be a social issue of concern to SAA outnumbered those who agreed or strongly agreed (332), and the same was true regarding the proposition that the ratification of the ERA should be a professional issue of concern (385 versus 359). Perhaps most pressing, those who disagreed or strongly disagreed (419) with the notion that SAA should participate in secondary economic boycotts in support of issues endorsed by the Society far outnumbered those who agreed or strongly agreed (305).
Though Susan Davis found these results terribly disconcerting, Miriam Crawford thundered, “The momentum that has now been generated for equal rights will not be stopped, and we cannot make the issue go away simply because it may be inconvenient and upsets our usual routines.”187 Alas, the ERA suffered final, narrow, defeat in 1982.
COSW and SAA in the 1980s
Even though salary inequality persisted, women streamed into the labor force: by the middle of the 1980s, nearly two-thirds of women ages 20 to 64 worked. Middle- and upper-class women had unprecedented opportunities in higher education and career advancement.188
A 1982 SAA membership survey found demographics continuing to shift in women's favor. Young women comprised an unprecedented majority: 68.7% of those under 30 (as opposed to 60% in 1973 and 56% in 1979). Conversely, salary inequality festered, though the survey showed some progress. Men earned 125% of women's salaries (versus 129% in 1979), namely, $23,746 versus $19,009.189
In addition to its campaign for salary equality, in the first half of the 1980s the committee maintained its established efforts in areas such as employment monitoring, SAA Fellows, annual meeting participation, the roster, childcare, sexist language, and coalition building. The results, though, were checkered. Mary Janzen blamed social structures that deterred women from taking advantage of opportunities and women's own “internal doubts and insecurities.”190
For example, COSW sponsored workshops on public speaking, publication, and career development along with a roundtable on management at the 1982 annual meeting, but lack of enrollment forced the cancellation of a 1983 follow-up, “Career Development and Job-Seeking Skills.” Similarly, though COSW agitated for a job-monitoring project in 1981 and 1982, it met with no success.
COSW's efforts to promote women for SAA Fellow also continued. Whereas between 1937 and 1972, 112 men and 27 women were named Fellows, between 1973 and 1980, 24 men and 11 women were so named.191 Zofia Sywak sighed, “It will take changes in attitudes and values over a substantial period of time before females will not feel that they have to prove that they are superwomen in order to qualify for various recognitions and honors.”192
Even with the defeat of the ERA and the challenge of convincing deserving women to accept recognition, COSW members could celebrate in 1982 because an equal number of men and women submitted annual meeting proposals. As important, women outnumbered men in SAA for the first time. This demographic advantage, Mary Janzen asserted, seemed important leverage for the committee. Conversely, she worried about archives becoming a “feminized” profession vulnerable to shrinking salaries and status.193
Just as COSW celebrated progress in SAA participation, so too did it try to exploit the roster as a wellspring for program proposals. Though the Women's Caucus found the roster ineffective in terms of job placement, it hoped the roster would increase participation at both national and regional meetings. But few women completed rosters, thus limiting the latter's effectiveness. In 1983, for example, COSW mailed 1,000 forms but only 127 women returned completed forms and only 58 of those suggested annual meeting paper topics. Though women constituted 54% of SAA membership, they comprised only 43% of participants in the 1983 annual meeting program.194
Another contentious issue—that of SAA-subsidized childcare—came to a head in 1984. A resolution on subsidized childcare for annual meetings passed unanimously at the annual business meeting; each annual meeting attendee subsequently contributed a childcare surcharge of $2. This seemed a conspicuous victory for parents in the SAA, especially mothers.195 Henceforth, the Local Arrangements Committee assumed this responsibility.
Sexist language in publications such as American Archivist also came under COSW's scrutiny. In an article about scholarly editing, the Smithsonian's Nathan Reingold provided a glaring example. Reingold recounted, “[Clarence] Carter was a fascinating old codger with whom I lunched on a number of occasions. . . . Carter was a striking man given, even in his early 70s, to pinching waitresses, which impressed me greatly. Young PhDs did not do that in the early 1950s, at least not in public. Even more impressive was his singular concentration on turning our volumes.”196
Justly appalled, Anne Kenney chided editor Charles Schultz for publishing an article that contained such sexist language.197 Schultz offered a rather tepid apology, writing, “I shall certainly try to keep an eye out for any such offensive phrases in manuscripts which come to me and delete any which I note.”198 For many men, after all, sexist language seemed innocuous.199
The challenge of coalition building with other underrepresented groups persisted as well. The lack of direct collaboration between COSW and archivists of color likely impelled the creation of the Task Force on Minorities (TFM) in 1981. Just as the civil rights movement influenced feminism, so too did the COSW influence the Task Force on Minorities. The first African American archivist at the National Archives, Harold T. Pinkett, recommended the task force consult COSW for possible strategies.200
Mary Janzen saw potential for collaboration among the groups, but the extent of their collaboration apparently remained nominal. COSW's 1983 annual report, for example, claimed only that the group had established contacts with TFM.201 COSW wanted to include persons of color but also to avoid interfering with TFM's prerogatives.202 The underrepresentation of minorities in the profession resulted not from exclusionary efforts, argued Archie Motley, but “from minority perceptions, often correct, that these fields have been the preserve of the white middle class.”203
Despite their perennial struggles with challenges such as coalition building, COSW had much to appreciate as the middle and late 1980s unfolded. Numerically in SAA, women constituted a “‘new majority.’”204 Women had served as three of the most recent four SAA presidents (Hinding, Finnegan, and Sue Holbert), and women constituted a major presence in committee, section, and Council work.205 Though on one hand, women proposed themselves and other women as speakers for program sessions with increasing frequency, on the other, more women than men turned down invitations for financial or temporal reasons.206 Advocacy remained crucial, in short, as the newfound gender balance on ballots and programs always faced retrogression.207
Committee leaders appeared divided on the group's success and its future direction, however. Mary Janzen worried, “There is some reality to the fear that the generation that brought change into the Society during the 1970s is too securely seated in the boat to make waves.” “We have met the establishment, and they is [sic] us.”208
Countering her own doubts, Janzen suggested, first, that COSW forge coalitions with ACT and the Minorities Roundtable, specifically by linking projects and by encouraging others to participate at annual meetings and Council forums. Second, she favored broad representation on committees and working groups. Third, as women earned less than men, she stressed the need to keep the costs of participating in SAA low. Finally, Janzen wanted COSW to lobby SAA to conduct periodic surveys of salaries and related concerns.209
By the end of the 1980s, the vast majority of American women (at least 80%) reported suffering from job discrimination and unequal pay.210 Conversely, between 75% and 95% of American women applauded the feminist movement achievements and urged it to continue agitating for change.211 Feminism permeated American culture still further in the 1990s.212
Consolidation and Dissolution in the 1990s
Despite concerns about its future direction, the committee adhered to its long-standing agenda as the 1990s dawned. SAA president John Fleckner wrote, “Although many positive changes have occurred . . . the committee's work is no less important today than it was ‘way back then.’”213 Hence, COSW focused on preparing SAA Fellow nominations (as of 1991, women comprised 52% of SAA membership but only 29.5% of Fellows); monitoring the participation of women in SAA affairs (the 1991 annual meeting program was 52% male and 48% female); assuming SAA leadership positions (1991–1992 SAA leaders comprised 52% men and 48% women); supporting the annual Women's Caucus meeting; initiating conversations on SAA mentoring initiatives; ensuring quality childcare at annual meetings; and parleying with the African American and Third World Archivists Roundtable (AATWAR) and the Lesbian and Gay Archivists Roundtable (LAGAR).214 Based on their “mutual concerns,” the three groups sought to establish “a social action agenda” for SAA.215 The possibility for collaboration seemed evident in the 1990 furor concerning the proposed annual meeting site (Salt Lake City) for 1996.
Long hostile to African Americans and lesbians and gays, Utah even tried in 1991 to roll back Roe v. Wade.216 The COSW joined with AATWAR and LAGAR in opposing Salt Lake; it seemed an ideal opportunity for coalition politics. As had the ERA, the Salt Lake City debate broke SAA into factions. Much discussion on the role of social issues in selecting a meeting site ensued, but no consensus emerged. SAA membership remained divided on abortion rights, and it preferred weighing only archives-related issues in site selection.217 Nonetheless, SAA moved the meeting to Atlanta, a key victory for COSW, the Women's Caucus, AATWAR, and LAGAR.
At its twentieth anniversary, COSW celebrated many gains. Women comprised approximately 53% of SAA membership, two women (Trudy Peterson and Anne Kenney) had been elected SAA president since 1987, and the Program Committees had achieved gender balance in the previous five years.218
Even so, many benchmarks remained: no women had yet served as Archivist of the United States; no women at the time directed any of the presidential libraries; and only five state archivists were women. The glass ceiling persisted in archives as in other professions nationally.219 Ever-pressing issues included pay inequity; equal opportunity in job appointments, promotions, and training; affordable childcare at annual meetings; gender balance in SAA appointments; sexual harassment; and mentoring, education, and training.220
COSW's vicissitudes continued. Although in 1996, women represented the majority on the annual meeting program, Laurie Baty worried about COSW's very survival. The body wavered over its status as a committee for a second consecutive year, but determined to keep its current configuration.221
Just as COSW members deliberated over its future, the body faced dissolution from another direction. Formed in 1995, the Task Force on Organizational Effectiveness (TFOE) issued its final report in January 1997.222 The first effort to revisit the constitutional amendments of 1981, it likened its task to that of the Committee on the 1970s: responding to perceived member needs and expectations regarding member services, publications, education and outreach, and policy.
TFOE recommended excising five extant committees, including COSW. The task force offered a lengthy if somewhat specious rationale:
Women participate actively in all phases of SAA's business and activities and are well represented in elected and appointed position. This portion of the Committee's charge has been accomplished. The other elements of the Committee's charge—monitoring the status of women in the archival profession and promoting an awareness of women's history and the sources that support it—are not specific programmatic or administrative elements of SAA's mission that warrant a committee.223
Aside from COSW's elimination, TFOE advocated for the Women's Caucus to assume roundtable status.
A firestorm of debate ensued among COSW members. Carol Rudisell objected, “SAA is not yet at the point where diversity issues will take care of themselves.”224 To this end, she strongly advocated for the establishment of a Diversity Committee with a broader scope than COSW's.225 An irate Tanya Zanish found SAA's decision risible; she expressed skepticism that Council would establish a Diversity Committee or attend to women's issues unless compelled by COSW. She even requested being noted as a dissenter should COSW agree to dissolve.226
Gretchen Lake took a similar if less fiery position. She informed Baty, “If in fact, much of what our official charge has been, has been accomplished, then we should fold our tents and NOT quietly go away, but go away with cautionary overviews of Council to be sure that our hard fought for needs are still being taken care of.”227
SAA president William J. Maher retrenched. He admitted that the task force had assumed erroneously that demographic changes and overall progress in women's status in SAA rendered COSW superfluous. Maher nonetheless enjoined Baty and COSW to marshal their energies toward addressing external challenges, not fomenting internal discord. He encouraged Baty to rally COSW members around the possibility of a new roundtable centering on women's issues.228
By early 1998, a majority of COSW members cautiously supported TFOE's recommendations. Baty informed Maher that COSW consented to roundtable status if scheduling conflicts (e.g., with the Women's Caucus at the SAA annual meeting) would be avoided. A second condition was that if the proposed round-table's membership fell below critical mass, SAA would pursue other avenues in addressing women's issues.229
That summer, SAA Council gave its imprimatur to the creation of a roundtable and voted to disband COSW. The Women's Professional Archival Issues Roundtable (WPAIR) took over from COSW (it was renamed the Women Archivists Roundtable [WAR] in 2000). The Women's Caucus meanwhile continued its unofficial role. A Task Force on Diversity did coalesce; its final report praised SAA's “outstanding results in opening its membership, program participation, awards recognition, and appointed and elected leadership to women.” But the report also stressed, “Within the profession…more remains to be done to overcome barriers to full participation by women at all levels, and SAA should do all that it can to encourage this process.”230
Even though COSW succumbed, the 1990s saw further progress for women in archives. The Women's Collections Roundtable, established in 1989, continued to gain momentum. Establishing at least fifteen repositories after 1990, feminists preserved their legacy even as scholars continued to look for more diverse primary sources.231 By the end of the decade, in the archival profession as in American society, feminism's influence was ineluctable, though always contested.232
Testifying to feminism's success, its conspicuous achievements—suffrage, education, and contraception, for instance—appear prosaic.233 But women face tremendous obstacles associated with the psychology of gender, infighting, sexuality, household labor and childrearing, and labor discrimination.234 The latter problem remains obdurate. Although a Pew Research poll in 2011 found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans believed the trend toward more women working was a positive social development, women still lacked full economic citizenship.235
Between 1979 and 2015, at every level of educational achievement, men's earnings declined or their wages grew less than women's.236 Women with bachelor's degrees saw their earnings increase 32.5% (versus 17.8% for men).237 In 2015, however, women who worked full time year-round earned far less than men (79.6%), though the gap had narrowed since the 1980's 60.2%. The U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau concludes, “By every measure, the wage gap endures, despite women's increased educational attainment, heightened labor force participation rates, and expanded access to jobs.”238 In libraries, the gender gap is smaller: as of 2014, females made approximately 89% of the salaries of males.239
The history of COSW and the Women's Caucus carries both symbolic and substantive significance. Working on shoestring budgets and from within a patriarchal structure, these groups made notable strides toward a more egalitarian and democratic SAA. They ferreted out documentary sources for women's history; redressed salary inequalities and monitored occupational discrimination; stimulated SAA participation, particularly in SAA leadership, annual meetings, publications, and awards; monitored sexist language; supported the Equal Rights Amendment; explored coalitions with other underrepresented groups; and provided childcare at SAA annual meetings. For example, SAA's immediate past president and its current president are COSW alumnae. The ratio of female to male Fellows,240 presidents,241 and Council members242 has improved over time as well. Childcare is a fixture of annual meetings, and women's history is a global phenomenon.243
Two surveys conducted by SAA in the 2000s explored women's affiliation with WAR, their interest in women's history, and their salaries compared to men's. A 2002 survey, though completed by only 227 women, revealed at least two striking findings vis-à-vis COSW's legacy. First, although 73% of respondents were SAA members, only 10% were members either of WAR or of the Women's Collections Roundtable. Second, although 98.7% of respondents believed that promoting and facilitating the writing of women's history was important, 77.1% made a dedicated effort to do so, and still fewer (61.9%) worked with materials related explicitly to women. (The survey did not address race or ethnicity or salary.)244
A second survey, the Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States (A*Census) of 2005 found a gender split of 65% women and 35% men, 93% of whom were white. It also examined salary data. On average, men's salaries outstripped women's by about 15%, an improvement from 1982's 25%. More propitious, the survey determined that the salary discrepancy was only 2% among those who entered the profession in 2000 or after.245
COSW became the Women Archivists Section (WArS) in 2017. Demographics in SAA continue to favor women. A WArS survey of 2017 did not juxtapose men's and women's salaries, but found that self-identified women constitute 84.3% of SAA and men 14%. Diversity has increased somewhat: the top three demographic groups include white (87.7%), African American (3.1%), and Latinx American (3.1%).246 Like COSW, WArS “continues to actively monitor the status of women and advocate for their involvement in the archival profession, looking toward the future while highlighting the accomplishments of women who have shaped the profession and the historical record.” Also extending COSW, its priorities center on family leave, salary negotiation and parity, flexible working hours, and highlighting past and current leaders.247
COSW's story suggests four questions for future research. First, has feminism's trajectory in the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and regional archival organizations such as the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC), and the Society of California Archivists mirrored that of SAA?
Second, the history of COSW, particularly its efforts to mobilize SAA behind the ERA and to boycott venues in nonratifying states for annual meeting sites, points to a larger question: what are the social roles and responsibilities of professional organizations? This issue has emerged recently with the discussion over whether to move the 2019 annual meeting because of the so-called bathroom bill.248 Other issues on which membership likely lacks a united front include gay marriage and the Me Too movement.
Third, can and should a group such as COSW speak on behalf of all members who identify as part of that identity group? Controversial issues such as abortion and the ERA clearly divided female membership. Nancy Menan wondered about this issue as early as 1980, writing, “Many women within the profession may not be in agreement with the past or present slant of the Caucus or Committee: are either large enough in scope and philosophy to accommodate these women?249 In any event, COSW engaged in constructive, reasoned conversation with friends and foes alike, a key legacy.
Fourth, how might underrepresented professional groups forge coalitions with other underrepresented groups and agree on a common agenda for change? The history of COSW suggests the myriad challenges in doing so; the issue seems ever more complicated. Further organizational structures emerged to address the concerns of underrepresented populations: 1987 saw the establishment of the African American and Third World Archivists Roundtable (now the Archives and Archivists of Color Roundtable)250 and 1989 the establishment of the Lesbian and Gay Archivists Roundtable (now the Diverse Sexualities and Gender Section).251
Looking forward, archivists invested in women's collections and women's history would profit, first, by engaging in collaborative collection development nationally and locally. Second, they might collect more materials in nontraditional formats such as reminiscences, oral histories, scrapbooks, ephemera, and artifactual materials.252 Third, outreach activities might include publicizing repository activities and goals, hosting events, giving presentations, visiting community celebrations, developing displays, and disseminating printed materials.253 Fourth, archivists might promote the use of new technology to facilitate unprecedentedly wide access, even as they remember that the digital divide still festers and smaller repositories might lack the resources to promote their collections.254
Archivists have a continuing mandate—and a responsibility—for work. The same concerns that animated COSW still resonate. Feminism permits archivists “to honor the past, actively engage with the intellectual tradition today, and guide women's archives into the future.”255 More colloquially, archivists can appreciate the merits—indeed, the virtues—of a small group of women (and men) who proved willing to act “damned pushy at times.”256
Appendix A. Society of American Archivists Demographics257
1Andrea Sheehan, “Greetings from the New Editor,” Women's Caucus Newsletter, February 1997.
2Elsie Freivogel, “Women's Caucus Statement” (1979). Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women. Society of American Archivists Records, UWM Manuscript Collection 172, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries, Archives Department. Unless otherwise noted, all manuscript citations refer to this collection. For the sake of consistency, Elsie Freivogel will be used throughout this article, although Freivogel's married names included Freeman and Finch.
3Herman J. Viola, “‘Come to Columbus’: The SAA 36th Annual Meeting Revisited,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 233.
4Mabel E. Deutrich, letter to Shonnie Finnegan, May 22, 1972. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 7: SAA Status of Women. Other Columbus firsts included an open meeting of SAA Council and a business meeting held in the evening to encourage broader attendance. The business meeting featured the presentation of Committee for the 1970s' Report and of proposed constitutional amendments. “An anticipated confrontation between insurgents and the SAA establishment did not occur,” Viola recalled (234).
5For consistency, the Committee on the Status of Women (COSW) will be used as the body's name; at times it was known as the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women and as the Status of Women Committee (SOWC).
6Mary Janzen, letter to Frank Cook, August 23, 1982. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 7: SAA Status of Women.
7Estelle B. Freedman, No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (New York: Ballantine, 2002), 347.
8David Farber, The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994).
9William Chafe, The Paradox of Change: American Women in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 201.
10Freedman, No Turning Back, 7; Christine Stansell, The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present (New York: Modern Library, 2010), xiii; Susan Faludi, Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women (New York: Crown, 1991), xxiii.
11As historian Joan Scott contends, feminism's “critical force comes from the fact that it exposes the contradictions in systems that claim to be coherent (republicanism that excludes women from citizenship; political economy that attributes women's lower wages to their biologically determined lower value as producers; medical teaching that conflates sexual desire with the natural imperatives of reproduction; exclusions within women's movements that press for universal emancipation) and calls into question the validity of categories taken as first principles of social organization (the family, the individual, the worker, masculine, feminine, Man, Woman).” Scott, “Feminism's History,” Journal of Women's History 16, no. 2 (2004): 20.
12Cynthia Ellen Harrison, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Issues, 1945–1968 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 219–20, 192.
13Stansell, Feminist Promise, xiv. Historian J. David Hoeveler contends, “Certainly no movement had more profound consequences for Americans than the women's movement that flourished in the 1970s.” The Postmodernist Turn: American Thought and Culture in the 1970s (New York: Twayne, 1996), 100.
14As a broad heuristic, scholars frame feminism in the United State as a series of three waves. The first wave began with the first women's rights conference in Seneca Falls in 1848 and lasted until 1920, with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the franchise. The second wave (the term was introduced in 1968) began with the advent of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (established in 1961). The second wave existed in a peculiar and even contradictory relationship with the first: it both repudiated and honored it. Furthermore, in many cases second-wave feminists effectively ignored or even rejected the generation of women who preceded them. If, much less when, second-wave feminism ended remains a topic of considerable debate. Some argue that it ended in the early 1980s; others, that second-wave feminism still exists. The term “third-wave feminism” dates from 1992. R. Claire Snyder, “What Is Third-Wave Feminism?: A New Direction,” Signs 34, no. 1 (2008): 175–96, and Snyder, “Third-Wave Feminism and the Defense of ‘Choice,’” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 1 (2010): 255–61.
The notion of “waves” of feminism has been deemed somewhat reductive. Shortcomings of the metaphor include four: 1) it implies that feminism is tied to two specific and different generations; 2) it encourages generational rebellion; 3) it concentrates on white women; and 4) it is United-States-centric Snyder, “What Is Third-Wave Feminism?,” 192. See also Nancy A. Hewitt, ed., No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2010); Astrid Henry, Not My Mother's Sister: Generational Conflict and Third-Wave Feminism (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2004), 57. Relevant documentation presents little evidence of waves in SAA, however, or tension between “mothers” and “daughters.”
15Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th Century America (Cary, N.C.: Oxford University Press, 2001), 280.
16Chafe, Paradox of Change, 210.
17Amy R. Baehr, “Liberal Feminism,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta (Winter 2013), https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2013/entries/feminism-liberal.
18Chafe, Paradox of Change, 203.
19Chafe, Paradox of Change, 202.
20Chafe, Paradox of Change, 204–6; Stansell, Feminist Promise, 256–58.
21Stansell, Feminist Promise, 233–34.
22Chafe, Paradox of Change, 205, 208.
23Chafe, Paradox of Change, 208–9.
24Freedman, No Turning Back, 327. Freedman contends, “One of the most important contributions of twentieth-century feminist theory has been the redefinition of the political to include both public and private realms, both male and female concerns,” 327.
25Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York, NY: Viking, 2000), 197. Stansell agrees: “Women's oppression came from the family, marriage, and the bedroom, as well as the jobs market and courtroom.” Stansell, Feminist Promise, 232.
26Stansell, Feminist Promise, 223.
27Harrison, On Account of Sex, 208; Stansell, Feminist Promise, 244.
28Snyder, “What Is Third-Wave Feminism?,” 184; Freedman, No Turning Back, 327; Snyder, “Third-Wave Feminism and the Defense of ‘Choice,’” 257.
29Maryann Barasko, Governing NOW: Grassroots Activism in the National Organization for Women (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell, 2004), 49.
30Harrison, On Account of Sex, 218.
31Chafe, Paradox of Change, 203.
32Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity, 241; Chafe, Paradox of Change, 197; Harrison, On Account of Sex, 207. Paradoxically, black women were far less advantageously positioned than white women to question the sexism of American society. Despite their support for equal pay and childcare, black women rejected the notion of universal sisterhood. They saw the women's movement as largely irrelevant and at loggerheads with their longstanding tradition of collective solidarity. They resented, too, white women's claims of subordination given their own historical experience. Chafe, Paradox of Change, 212–13; Stansell, Feminist Promise, 267–69.
33Congress gave the EEOC a rather toothless mandate, however, limiting the body only to investigating individual complaints. Moreover, the EEOC could only seek voluntary settlements. Therefore, should a firm deny charges of discrimination, the EEOC's only recourse was to lobby the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division for enforcement; should this fail, filing suit in federal court was the petitioner's sole option. Rosen, World Split Open, 73.
34Harrison, On Account of Sex, 195.
35Chafe, Paradox of Change, 199.
36Despite its ambitious agenda, the organization lacked funds even for postage, telephone service, transportation, or photocopies. Barasko, Governing NOW, 32–36.
37Harrison, On Account of Sex, xiii; Barbara Epstein, “What Happened to the Women's Movement?,” Monthly Review 53, no. 1 (2001): 4, 8; Rosen, World Split Open, 304. Even so, as Stephanie Gilmore's edited volume, Feminist Coalitions (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008), reminds us, feminism embraced numerous coalition opportunities that crossed lines of class, race and ethnicity, religion, region, and ideology.
38Chafe, Paradox of Change, 196.
39Barasko, Governing NOW, 23.
40Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity, 5, 13.
41Gerda Lerner, “New Approaches to the Study of Women in American History,” Journal of Social History 3, no. 1 (1969): 57.
42Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity, 241, 3.
43Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity, 241.
44Chafe, Paradox of Change, 200. Also promising was the verdict in Weeks v. Southern Bell (1969). Southern Bell argued that only men had the strength to be switchmen; this was overruled.
45Stansell, Feminist Promise, 307.
46Stansell, Feminist Promise, 289.
47Stansell, Feminist Promise, 295.
48Stansell, Feminist Promise, 292.
49Michelle F. Pacifico, “Founding Mothers: Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1936–1972,” American Archivist 50, no. 3 (1987): 388. Among these women, Margaret Cross Norton (1891–1984) merits particular note. The first state archivist of Illinois (1922–1957), Norton was a founding member of SAA, its first vice president (1936–1937), a Council member (1937–1942), president (1943–1945), and editor of American Archivist (1946–1949). See Randall C. Jimerson, “Margaret Cross Norton Reconsidered,” Archival Issues 26, no. 1 (2001): 41–62; and Erin Lawrimore, “Margaret Cross Norton: Defining and Redefining Archives and the Archival Profession,” Libraries & the Cultural Record 44, no. 2 (2009): 183–200. Jimerson writes, “Almost single-handedly [Norton] nudged the American archival profession away from the domination of scholars and into an independent identity that included service to records as both historical documents and, more importantly in her view, as legal records vital within the domain of government administrators,” 43.
50Mabel E. Deutrich, “Ms. versus Mr. Archivist,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 171. The American Library Association (ALA) had only 15 female presidents between 1876 and 1972 and only one female secretary (the precursor to executive director) between 1879 and 1958.
51Elsie Freivogel Freeman, “Women in Archives: The Status of Women in the Academic Professions,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 200.
52Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 386.
53Mary Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1972–1986,” 2. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
54Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 370–89.
55Pacifico, “Founding Mothers,” 388; Philip P. Mason, “Archives in the Seventies: Promises and Fulfillment,” American Archivist 44, no. 3 (1981): 199–200; Freeman, “Women in Archives,” 188.
56Nicholas C. Burckel, “The Society: From Birth to Maturity,” American Archivist 61, no. 1 (1998): 16. The tenets of middle-class Progressivism deeply influenced early SAA leaders: they brought together professional and bureaucratic expertise and a commitment to public service. Peter J. Wosh, “Here's Waldo: Leland and the Creation of an American Archival Culture,” American Archivist 74, Supplement 1 (2011), 404: 5–9.
57“SAA Committee on the Status of Women,” ca. 1987. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women.
58Herman Kahn, Frank B. Evans, and Andrea Hinding, “Documenting American Cultures through Three Generations: Change and Continuity,” American Archivist 38, no. 2 (1975): 158. Hinding added, “In no area did the monolith come apart more painfully or with greater consequence—statistical, symbolic, or psychic—than it did with the insistence of the new feminists that women be defined as fully human,” 158.
59Patrick Quinn, “Archivists and Historians: The Times They Are A-Changin',” Midwestern Archivist 2, no. 2 (1977): 8. See also Patrick Quinn, “Archivists against the Current: For a Fair and Truly Representative Record of Our Times,” Provenance 5, no. 1 (1987): 1–7.
60Mason, “Archives in the Seventies,” 200.
61Archie Motley, “Out of the Hollinger Box: The Archivist as Advocate,” Midwestern Archivist 9, no. 2 (1984): 65.
62Motley, “Out of the Hollinger Box,” 65–66.
63Patrick M. Quinn, “The Archivist as Activist,” Georgia Archive 5, no. 1 (1977): 25–26. In the same issue, David E. Horn, another COSW member, argued for a moderate stance. He favored “A thorough, careful, thoughtful reconsideration of everything we do as archivists.” His ideal would be “neither a recluse archivist nor a hyperactive archivist who is busy with the principal concerns of his archival institution and of his profession.” Horn, “Today's Activist Archivists: A Moderate View,” Georgia Archive 5, no. 1 (1977): 21.
64Quinn, “The Archivist as Activist,” 29.
65Philip P. Mason, “Report of the Committee for the 1970s,” American Archivist 35 (April 1972): 205.
66Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists,” 4.
67Stansell, Feminist Promise, 285–86.
68Like female archivists, in the late 1960s momentum grew among female librarians to protest inequality. Kay Ann Cassell asserted, “Women librarians were faced with being second-class citizens in what was and is essentially a women's profession.” Cassell, “The Women's Rights Struggle in Librarianship: The Task Force on Women,” in Activism in American Librarianship, 1962–1973, ed. Mary Lee Bundy and Fredrick J. Stielow (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1987), 21. Dee Garrison found “overwhelming” evidence “that in library work, which women have historically dominated in number, sexual discrimination involving salary and promotion has been consistent, blatant and, until recently, relatively unquestioned.” Garrison, “Women in Librarianship,” in A Century of Service: Librarianship in the United States and Canada, ed. Sidney L. Jackson, Eleanor B. Herling, and E. J. Josey (Chicago: ALA, 1976), 147.
Established in 1970 by the Social Responsibilities Roundtable (SRRT), the American Library Association's Task Force on the Status of Women (TFSW), heavily influenced COSW. The year after its founding, the task force issued a resolution that insisted, “The underutilization of [women's] talent and education wastes needed professional resources and assaults our sense of human dignity.” Cassell, “The Women's Rights Struggle in Librarianship,” 22. Subsequently, the TFSW addressed a range of issues, many of which overlapped with those tackled by COSW. It pushed for proportional representation in positions of responsibility in the ALA; sought improved access to information on women's issues by female library users; collected and disseminated information relating to equal opportunity for women in the profession, particularly with respect to hiring, salaries, and promotion; fought sexist language in books, classification schemes (eventually publishing On Equal Terms), and collection development; publicized incidents of discrimination; published a newsletter; secured a resolution proscribing sexist language in ALA; developed a job roster; monitored ALA exhibits for sexist advertising; and supported Roe v. Wade and the Equal Rights Amendment.
ALA passed a resolution supporting the ERA in 1974. It joined the boycott of states that had not passed the ERA in 1977, but retrenched 18 months later. After moving its 1979 midwinter meeting to Washington, D.C., the ALA Executive Board reaffirmed ALA's existing contract with Palmer House in Chicago for 1980. ALA established an ERA Task Force and gave funds to state library associations in unratified states to promote passage of the amendment. It supported ERA until the amendments' 1982 failure. As a result of the Task Force's efforts, women's opportunities in the profession significantly increased. See Freeman, “Women in Archives,” 192; Patricia Lester, American Library Association Social Responsibilities Round Table, Feminist Task Force. 2008.1 Box 16 Folder 4: SAA Status of Women; Cassell, “The Women's Rights Struggle in Librarianship,” 21–28; and Garrison, “Women in Librarianship,” 146–68.
The Feminist Task Force continues its work in 2018 as the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL). Its mission remains consistent: “To officially represent the diversity of women's interest within ALA and to ensure that the association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field. To promote and initiate the collection, analysis, dissemination, and coordination of information on the status of women in librarianship. To coordinate the activities of ALA units that consider questions having special relevance for women. To identify lags, gaps, and possible discrimination in resources and programs relating to women. To help develop evaluative tools, guidelines, and programs in cooperation with other ALA units designed to enhance the opportunities and the image of women in the library profession, thus raising the level of consciousness concerning women. To establish contacts with committees on women within other professional groups and to officially represent ALA concerns at interdisciplinary meetings on women's equality. To provide council and membership with reports needed for the establishment of policies and actions related to the status of women in librarianship, and monitor ALA units to ensure consideration of the rights of women,” http://www.ala.org/aboutala/committees/ala/ala-coswl.
69Lynn Bonfield, “The Founding of the SAA Women's Caucus,” Women's Caucus Newsletter, August 1986, 5.
70SAA Committee on the Status of Women. Series 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
71Bonfield, “The Founding of the SAA Women's Caucus,” 5.
72Bonfield, “The Founding of the SAA Women's Caucus,” 5–7; Elsie Freivogel, “Report on the 1974 SAA Women's Caucus Meeting, Toronto.” Series 18.104.22.168 Box 1 Folder 4: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell. Its newsletter sought to be “a voice of our collective experience.” Sandra Tonnesen, ed., Women's Caucus Newsletter, February 1994.
73Nancy V. Menan, “The Way We Were: A Review of the Women's Caucus,” SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter 5, no. 1 (1980). Series 22.214.171.124 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell. Eleanor McKay noted, “The caucus exists to inform, support, and help our committee.” Eleanor McKay, memo-randum to Committee on the Status of Women, “Annual Report and Agenda for 1978 meeting,” August 22, 1978. Series Box 17, Folder 3: SAA Status of Women; Elsie Freivogel, memorandum to Members of the Committee on the Status of Women, November 17, 1975. Series 126.96.36.199 Box 2 Folder 15: SAA Ann Campbell Morgan.
74The next year, Campbell, Lentz, and Lytle dropped off and Frank L. Tusa joined. Founding members who were named SAA Fellows included Ann Morgan Campbell (1976), Lynn Bonfield Donovan (1982), Shonnie Finnegan (1975), Andrea Hinding (1977), Richard Lytle (1981), and Patrick Quinn (1984).
75Sylvia J. Sherman, letter to Robert Warner, December 18, 1972. Series 188.8.131.52 Box 1 Folder 30: SAA Robert M. Warner.
76“SAA Committee on the Status of Women,” ca. 1987. Series 184.108.40.206 Box 5, Folder 1: SAA Units.
77Wilfred I. Smith, letter to Mabel E. Deutrich, November 15, 1972. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 7: SAA Status of Women.
78Deutrich, “Ms. versus Mr. Archivist,” 171; Freivogel, “Women in Archives,” 183, 197; Joanna Schneider Zangrando, “Women in Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 204. Freivogel added, “Always the first ones cooled out from Ph.D. programs, women at this moment suffer an even more damaging double jeopardy, where we often find ourselves relegated to curatorial duties which are not currently expanding, without any clear examination of what those duties entail and how they led to professional development.” Freivogel, “To Members of the Committee on the Status of Women,” ca. 1973. Series 220.127.116.11 Box 1 Folder 30: SAA Robert M. Warner.
79Miriam Crawford, “Women in Archives: A Program for Action,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 226. Crawford's position aligned neatly with the goals of liberal feminism.
80Crawford, “Women in Archives: A Program for Action,” 223–25. This sentiment presaged that of one respondent to the 1974 Report on the Status of Women: “The women's movement, if successful . . . will liberate men.” Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession (August 29, 1974), 39. Series 200.4.5 Box 1, Folder 62: SAA Howard L. Applegate.
81Deutrich, “Ms. versus Mr. Archivist,” 180–81.
82Andrea Hinding, letter to Mabel E. Deutrich, December 1, 1972. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 7: SAA Status of Women.
83Eleanor McKay, letter to Linda Bauch, July 25, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
84Mabel Deutrich, letter to Richard Lytle, July 20, 1973. Series 200.5.1 Box 2 Folder 23: SAA Members of the Council.
85Mabel Deutrich apprised one correspondent that no public pronouncement on abortion was likely. Deutrich, letter to Gail Rosenberg, September 5, 1974. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 10: SAA Status of Women.
86Stansell, Feminist Promise, 317.
87Stansell, Feminist Promise, 343.
88Stansell, Feminist Promise, 327; Chafe, Paradox of Change, 218. The Catholic Church swiftly mobilized against Roe; subsequently, the Hyde Amendment of 1976 banned the use of taxpayer money for abortion. By 1980, abortion constituted a key test of fitness for Republican political candidates and appointees.
89“Council to Offer Resolution on Discrimination at Annual Meeting,” SAA Newsletter, June 1973, 2. Specific goals the resolution advanced included increasing the number of women and minorities nominated for elective and appointed positions in SAA; increasing minority and women's participation in annual meetings; recommending minorities and women for teaching assignments and membership in interdisciplinary and interagency committees; ensuring minorities and women are able to compete on a fair and equal basis for awards and honors; recruiting minorities and women for all paid SAA positions; encouraging state and regional organizations to follow SAA's lead; providing factual information on the status of minorities and women; and making available information on resources available for minorities and women who may face problems of employment discrimination.
90Mabel E. Deutrich, memorandum to members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, January 10, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Mabel E. Deutrich, letter to Vicki Hamer, March 28, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women.
91Freeman, “Women in Archives,” 183; Andrea Lentz, letter to Mabel Deutrich, February 16, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 8: SAA Status of Women.
92Elsie Freivogel, letter to Richard Lytle June 7, 1973. Series 200.5.1 Box 2 Folder 23: SAA Members of the Council.
93David E. Horn, letter to Mabel E. Deutrich, August 15, 1974. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 10: SAA Status of Women; Andrea Hinding, letter to Mabel Deutrich, April 26, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Crawford, “Women in Archives: A Program for Action,” 232.
94Deutrich to members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession; Andrea Lentz, letter to Mabel Deutrich, March 13, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Mabel Deutrich, letter to Vera Rony, April 23, 1973. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Mabel E. Deutrich, letter to Perdita Huston, March 5, 1974. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 10: SAA Status of Women. Deutrich elaborated: “I do not favor the establishment of a new repository in which records relating to women will be deposited. . . . But we do need a detailed guide to records relating to women that are scattered among the various archives and libraries. We need to know what records are available and where they are. We need to know their quantity and date coverage, and how they are arranged.” See also Crawford, “Women in Archives: A Program for Action,” 230.
95Freivogel, “Report on the 1974 SAA Women's Caucus Meeting, Toronto.”
96Disseminated in the fall of 1972, the survey targeted 1,400 individuals (672 usable responses) and more than 250 institutions (147 usable responses). Nearly an equal number of men (345; 37 of whom were not SAA members) and women (327; 98 of whom were not SAA members) responded. Nearly all respondents identified as white: of the 345 men, 333 identified as white (96.5%), 4 as black (1.2%), and 1 as Native American (.3%). Of the 327 women, 314 identified as white (96%), 8 identified as black (2.4%), and 4 as Asian American (1.2%). Even as SAA became more heavily female, it remained almost wholly white.
97Mabel E. Deutrich, “Women in Archives: A Summary Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession,” American Archivist 38, no. 1 (1975): 44.
98Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 37.
99Elsie Freivogel, untitled comments on Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, August 16, 1974. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 10: SAA Status of Women.
100Barbara J. Yanico, letter to Mabel Deutrich, September 17, 1974. Series 200.8.1 Box 16 Folder 10: SAA Status of Women. In the summer of 1965, the EEOC ruled discrimination in job advertisements was legal; it reversed course and proscribed them in August of 1968.
101Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 37.
102Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 33.
103Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 32.
104Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 35.
105Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 37.
106Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 39.
107Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 60.
108Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 44.
109The term “Ms.” debuted in 1901 in the Sunday Republican (Springfield, Mass.). Sheila Michaels had stumbled across it in 1961; subsequently interviewed on a progressive New York City radio station in late 1969 or early 1970, she introduced and advocate for the term. Ms. soon became recognized as a “calling card” of the women's movement. Ben Zimmer, “On Language: Ms.,” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 2009, 16. Given the term's association with young feminists, it was not surprising that a new magazine in 1972 took the title Ms. Stansell writes, “Ms., glossy, cheerful, and ebulliently pluralistic, mixed human interest and glossy advertising with devotion to liberal causes—the ERA, legal abortion,” Feminist Promise, 303.
110Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 36.
111Miriam Crawford, “The Responsibility of the SAA: Guidelines for Action,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, November 2, 1972, 12. Series 200.5.1. Box 2, Folder 23: SAA Members of Council.
112Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, Report on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession, 38.
113Mabel Deutrich, letter to Wilfred Smith, November 29, 1972. Series 18.104.22.168 Box 1 Folder 4:1 SAA Ann Morgan Campbell; Horn to Deutrich.
114Miriam Crawford, letter to Ann Campbell, September 3, 1976. Series 22.214.171.124 Box 3 Folder 8: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell.
115Joan Scott, “Women's History,” in New Perspectives on History, ed. Peter Burke (College Park, Penn.: Penn State University Press, 2001), 61.
116Elizabeth Myers, “I Am My Sister's Keeper: Women's Archives, a Reflection,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, 438. Gerda Lerner observed, “The true history of women is the history of their ongoing function in that male-defined world, on their own terms” (emphasis original). Lerner, “Placing Women in History, 17.
117Gerda Lerner, “Holistic History: Challenges and Possibilities,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 414; Lerner, “New Approaches to the Study of Women in American History,” 53. “The struggle to establish women's archives had to overcome many hurdles. This historical transformation at universities and colleges in the 1930s and 1940s, to professionalize and institutionalize scholarship did not include women's history. It was not until pioneers, like Mary Beard, who recognized that only through the establishment of women's archives could women's history be thoroughly professionalized and institutionalized.” Anke Voss-Hubbard, “‘No Documents—No History’: Mary Ritter Beard and the Early History of Women's Archives,” American Archivist 58, no. 1 (1995): 30. See also Anke Voss, “Salvaging Their History: Initiatives and Challenges in the Early Development of Women's Archives and Documentation,” American Archivist 74, Supplement 1 (January 2011): 506: 9–15.
118Gerda Lerner, “Placing Women in History: Definitions and Challenges,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, 27.
119Eva Moseley, “Women in Archives: Documenting the History of Women in America,” American Archivist 36, no. 2 (1973): 215; Crawford, “Women in Archives: A Program for Action,” 228.
120Zangrando, “Women in Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio,” 205. See also Bonnie G. Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000); and Julie Des Jardins, Women and the Historical Enterprise in America: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Memory, 1880–1945 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003).
121Mosely, “Women in Archives: Documenting the History of Women in America,” 219–21.
122Eva S. Moseley, “Sources for the ‘New Women's History,’” American Archivist 43, no. 2 (1980): 180–90.
123Zangrando, “Women in Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio,” 210.
124Zangrando, “Women in Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio,” 207.
125Veronica Strong-Boag, “Raising Clio's Consciousness: Women's History and Archives in Canada,” Archivaria 6 (1978): 70–82; Kären Mason and Tanya Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own: Women's Archives in the Year 2000,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 131; Zangrando, Women in Archives: An Historian's View on the Liberation of Clio, 207.
126Rosen, The World Split Open, 266; Hoeveler, The Postmodernist Turn, 101; C. H. Dayton and L. Levenstein, “The Big Tent of U.S. Women's and Gender History: A State of the Field,” Journal of American History 99, no. 3 (2012): 795; Scott, “Women's History,” 43–70.
127Bonnie G. Smith, “Women's History: A Retrospective from the United States,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 35, no. 3 (2010): 727.
128Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 128–29.
129Kären Mason, “‘A Grand Manuscripts Search’: The Women's History Sources Survey at the University of Minnesota, 1975–1979,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 71–102.
130Eleanor McKay, Nancy Kaufer, Chris Rongone, Susan Davis Sharlin, SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter 1, no. 3 (1976). Series 126.96.36.199 Box 2 Folder 15: SAA Ann Campbell Morgan. The survey unearthed two troubling findings as well: a widespread lack of education and training of repository personnel, and the poor physical condition of many of the repositories holding materials.
131McKay et al., SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter; Mabel E. Deutrich and Virginia C. Purdy, Clio Was a Woman: Studies in the History of American Women (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1980).
132Ann Morgan Campbell, letter to Eleanor McKay, ca. 1976. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
133Eleanor McKay, letter to Deborah S. Rosenfelt, May 24, 1977. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 2: SAA Status of Women; Elsie Freivogel, letter to Ann Morgan Campbell, ca. 1976. Series 188.8.131.52 Box 2 Folder 15: SAA Ann Campbell Morgan.
134Freivogel to Campbell.
135McKay to Rosenfelt.
136“The initial euphoria was long gone; consciousness-raising groups had all but disappeared; feminists felt more isolated; and many movement initiatives and collectives had collapsed.” Rosen, The World Split Open, 263.
137Rosen, The World Split Open, 264.
138McKay et al., SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter. The newsletter survived on grassroots contributions: “Please be prepared to pass the hat at the Caucus meeting on September 30. One dollar per person should be enough to see the Newsletter through another year.”
139Nancy [last name not specified], letter to Eleanor McKay, November 23, 1976. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
140Eleanor McKay, letter to Deborah Keller Cohen, May 25, 1977. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 2: SAA Status of Women.
141Quinn, “The Archivist as Activist,” 28.
142Eleanor McKay, memorandum to Members of the SAA Committee on the Status of Women, August 5, 1977. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 2: SAA Status of Women.
143Ann Morgan Campbell, letter to Eleanor McKay, August 10, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
144Eleanor McKay to Committee on the Status of Women, August 22, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women. McKay told members of the COSW, “statistics indicated that discrimination against women permeates most levels of society, which makes it necessary for the SAA, as with its sister organizations, to have a standing committee representing the needs of its women members at the forefront of the organization's policy-making.” Series 184.108.40.206 Box 4 Folder 24. McKay also wrote Campbell on August 22, 1978, “The SOWC [sic] fits a need recognized by at least 33 of our sister organizations in the humanities and social sciences to give women a special place of representation in the organization's policy-making, as a way to recover from the documented systematic discrimination against women.” Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
145Eleanor McKay, letter to Ed Weldon, October 5, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
146Eleanor McKay, letter to Ann Campbell, July 25, 1978. Series 2006.3.3 Box 3 Folder 4:5 SAA Ann Campbell Morgan.
147Eleanor McKay, memorandum to Members of the COSW, July 25, 1979. Series 220.127.116.11 Box 4 Folder 34: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell.
148Eleanor McKay to the Committee on the Status of Women.
149Like SAA, the American Library Association embarked upon a salary survey in the late 1970s. Sex discrimination prevailed in ALA just as in SAA. Katherine M. Heim and Leigh S. Estabrook reported, “The occupational segregation of women which occurs in the larger labor market—that is the concentration of women into lower-paying, lower status jobs functions clearly in librarianship.” Female members “earn 25 percent less, have published less, have been less active in professional associations, and are more occupationally diverse than their male counterparts.” Unsurprisingly, they were less likely to be at the top of their organizations or to have supervisory responsibilities. ALA, “A Profile of ALA Personnel Members” (1980), 12. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women. The COSW annual report of 1980 praised ALA's responsiveness in discussing common concerns. COSW, “SOWC [sic] Annual Report, 1979–1980.” Series 18.104.22.168 Box 5, Folder 15: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell. Similarly, in the “Committee on Women Historians' 1980 Summary Report,” Kathryn Kish Sklar and Joan Wallach Scott reported “dramatic increase in the representation of women in all but the very highest administrative levels.” They concluded, “women have come to form a significant minority of the historical profession, but they are largely concentrated at the bottom-level, insecure, and underpaid ranks.” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/historical-archives/committee-on-women-historians-1980-summary-report.
150These numbers presumably played in a role in the committee's 1980 proposal to monitor job advertisements to discern discrimination and seek redress. SAA Council, however, refused the committee's proposal for financial reasons.
151Mabel E. Deutrich, “Ms. vs. Mr. Archivist: An Update,” SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter, February 1981, 5. Series 22.214.171.124 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell.
152Linda Henry, letter to Mary Janzen, August 7, 1981. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 6: SAA Status of Women.
153Eleanor McKay, letter to Linda [last name not specified], February 12, 1979. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women. “Let us rejoice that attitudes are changing,” she noted, “but remember that we still have to fight for parity in salaries, titles, education requirements, publications, speaking opportunities and perquisites.” McKay to Members of the COSW.
154Eleanor McKay, letter to Maynard Brichford, June 18, 1979. Series 126.96.36.199 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell.
155Virginia C. Purdy, letter to Linda Henry, July 29, 1980. Series 200.0.1 SAA Status of Women Box 17, Folder 5.
156SAA Committee on the Status of Women, September 25, 1979. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women; Menan, “The Way We Were.”
157Eleanor McKay, letter to Irene Cortinovis, July 30, 1979. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
158McKay to Cortinovis. Emphasis original.
159Nancy Sahli to Kathryn Kish Sklar, April 14, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
160“Let's democratize the Society and make its decision-making process more responsive to the wishes of its members.” Nancy Sahli, “A Referendum Procedure,” SAA Newsletter, July 1980, 9.
161Eleanor McKay to Nancy Sahli, “Campaign Questionnaire,” June 9, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
162David Horn, letter to Nancy Sahli, June 9, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
163Virginia Purdy, letter to Nancy Sahli, June 18, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
164“Membership to Vote on New Constitution,” SAA Newsletter, July 1981, 15.
165Chafe, Paradox of Change, 219–20.
166Chafe, Paradox of Change, 215.
167Stansell, Feminist Promise, 343.
168Donald G. Mathews and Jane Sherron De Hart, Sex, Gender and the Politics of Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 216.
169Rosen, The World Split Open, 82. NOW backed the ERA overwhelmingly as early as 1967. On the ERA, see also David E. Kyvig, “Historical Misunderstandings and the Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment,” The Public Historian 18, no. 1 (1996): 45–63; Sarah A. Soule and Brayden G. King, “The Stages of the Policy Process and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1972–1982,” American Journal of Sociology 111, no. 6 (2006): 1871–1909; Sarah A. Soule and Susan Olzak, “When Do Movements Matter? The Politics of Contingency and the Equal Rights Amendment,” American Sociological Review 69, no. 4 (2004): 473–97; and Joan Hoff Wilson, ed., Rights of Passage: The Past and Future of the Equal Rights Amendment (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986).
170Chafe, Paradox of Change, 217; Janet K. Boles, “The Equal Rights Movement as a Non-Zero-Sum Game,” in Rights of Passage: The Past and Future of the Equal Rights Amendment, ed. Joan Hoff Wilson (Bloomington, Indiana University Press), 60.
171Boles, “The Equal Rights Movement as a Non-Zero-Sum Game,” 60. Stansell concurs, “ERA itself had so few concrete meanings that tangible truths were scarce to use in countering Stop ERA's fantastical charges,” Feminist Promise, 342. See also Rosen, World Split Open, 332; Harrison, On Account of Sex, 211; Mathews and De Hart, Sex, Gender and the Politics of Era, 213, 223.
172Barasko, Governing NOW, 69.
173Eleanor McKay, letter to Ann Campbell, February 22, 1978. Series 2006.3.3 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
174Edward Weldon, letter to Eva Moseley, February 27, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
175SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter 3, no. 3 (1978).
176McKay to Cortinovis.
177Eleanor McKay, “Annual Report and Agenda for 1979 Meeting.” Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
178McKay to Cortinovis, July 25, 1978; Campbell to McKay; M. Carolyn Dellenbach, letter to NOW National Action Center, October 24, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
179Eleanor McKay, memorandum to Members of SAA Committee on Status of Women, “Committee Report,” November 4, 1978. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 3: SAA Status of Women.
180McKay to Members of the SAA Committee on Status of Women; Miriam I. Crawford, letter to Eleanor McKay, August 24, 1977. Series 200.8.1 Box 17 Folder 2: SAA Status of Women. McKay cautioned, “The easiest—and perhaps most ineffectual—form of action is the passage of a resolution.”
181M. Helena Sanfilippo, letter to Anne Morgan Campbell, November 28, 1978. Series 188.8.131.52 Box 4 Folder 34: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell.
182Ann Morgan Campbell, letter to H. Helena Sanfilippo, January 17, 1979. Series 184.108.40.206 Box 4 Folder 34: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell.
183Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship 1981 Midwinter Meeting, Washington, D.C., Minutes. Series 200.8.1 Box 16, Folder 1 SAA Status of Women.
184Joseph Andrew Settoni, “To the Editor,” American Archivist 43, no. 3 (1980): 281.
185Timothy Stroup, “To the Editor,” American Archivist 44, no. 1 (1981): 8.
186SAA Advisory Poll, ca. 1980. Series 200.8.1. SAA Status of Women. Box 17, Folder 5.
187Susan Davis, letter to Nancy Sahli, August 26, 1980. Series 200.8.1. SAA Status of Women. Box 17, Folder 5; Miriam Crawford, letter to Maynard Brichford and Ann Morgan Campbell, May 19, 1980. Series 200.8.1 SAA Status of Women, Box 17, Folder 5.
188Chafe, Paradox of Change, 221–23.
189David Bearman, “1982 Survey of the Archival Profession,” American Archivist 46, no. 2 (1983): 233–41.
190Mary Janzen to Jane A. Legget, March 10, 1984. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Janzen to Cynthia Swank, August 16, 1982. 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 7: SAA Status of Women.
191Deutrich, “Ms. vs. Mr. Archivist: An Update,” 3–6. Series 220.127.116.11 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell.
192Zofia Sywak to Hugh A. Taylor, May 7, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
193Mary Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1972–1986,” 4. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
194Mary Janzen to Pat Adams, “Women's Roster mailing,” February 23, 1983. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8; Ruth Helmuth, letter to Nancy Sahli, November 13, 1980. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women; Anne Kenney to Nancy Sahli, April 16, 1981. 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 6: SAA Status of Women; SAA Women's Caucus Newsletter 4, no. 3 (July 1980): 1. Nancy Sahli thought the roster was useful on a related front: “It would be equally useful to develop a roster of minority group members of SAA for similar reasons—their participation in annual meetings and in general professional development lags far behind the rest of the profession.” Nancy Sahli, letter to Ruth Helmuth, November 19, 1980. Series 18.104.22.168 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell.
195Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists.”
196Nathan Reingold, “Reflections of an Unrepentant Editor,” American Archivist 46, no. 1 (1983): 17.
197Anne Kenney, letter to Charles R. Schultz, August 30, 1983. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women.
198Charles R. Schultz, letter to Anne Kenney, September 6, 1983. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women.
199Stansell, Feminist Promise, 302.
200Harold T. Pinkett, letter to Edward Weldon, October 6, 1981. Harold T. Pinkett Papers, Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.
201Committee on the Status of Women, Annual Report, January 12, 1983. Series 22.214.171.124 Box 7, Folder 25: SAA Ann Morgan Campbell.
202Janzen to Swank.
203Motley, “Out of the Hollinger Box,” 70.
204Kathy Marquis, letter to Michelle Pacifico, August 20, 1987. Series 200.8.1 Box 17, Folder 8: SAA Status of Women; Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists,” 8. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
205Marquis to Pacifico.
206Kathy Marquis, letter to Colleagues, June 22, 1987. Series 126.96.36.199 Box 1 Folder 4:5 SAA Don C. Neal.
207Marquis to Pacifico.
208Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists.”
209Mary Janzen, “The Participation of Women in the Society of American Archivists, 1972–1986,” 11. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 5: SAA Status of Women.
210Faludi, Backlash, xvi.
211Faludi, Backlash, xv.
212Stansell, Feminist Promise, 348.
213John Fleckner, letter to Brenda Banks, January 16, 1990. Series 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
214Committee on the Status of Women, “Current Activity Report,” September 1990 to August 1991. Series 200.8.1 Box 18, Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
215Committee on the Status of Women, “Current Activity Report,” September 1990 to August 1991. Series 188.8.131.52 Box 5, Folder 1: SAA Units.
216Lori Hefner, letter to Anne Diffendal, October 29, 1991. Series 184.108.40.206 Box 5, Folder 1: SAA Units.
217Mary Janzen, letter to Lori Hefner, January 31, 1992. Series 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
218Lori Hefner, “The Committee on the Status of Women Turns 20.” Series 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
219Lori Hefner, “The Committee on the Status of Women Turns 20,” Archival Outlook (May 1993): 18.
220Hefner, “The Committee on the Status of Women Turns 20.” Series 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1: SAA Status of Women.
221Laurie Baty, letter to Lori Hefner, ca. 1996. 200.8.1 Box 18 Folder 1 SAA Status of Women; Women's Caucus Newsletter, August, 1996. Series 220.127.116.11 Box 6 Folder 52: SAA Units.
222Gretchen Lake, letter to Laurie Baty, May 27, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
223Society of American Architects, “Task Force on Organizational Effectiveness,” https://www2.archivists.org/governance/taskforces/reports/tfoe.
224Carol Rudisell, letter to Laurie Baty, May 28, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
225Rudisell to Baty.
226Tanya Zanish, letter to Laurie Baty, May 27, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women; Tanya Zanish to Laurie Baty, June 4, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
227Gretchen Lake, letter to Laurie Baty, May 27, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
228William Maher, letter to Laurie Baty, December 1, 1997. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
229Laurie Baty, letter to William Maher, January 5, 1998. Series 200.8.1 Box 19, Folder 4: SAA Status of Women.
230Society of American Archivists, “Task Force on Diversity Final Report,” February 1999, http://www2.archivists.org/governance/taskforces/reports/diversity_final. On the Task Force on Diversity, see Susan E. Fox, “Diversity and SAA,” Archival Outlook (March/April 1997): 4; and Brenda Banks, “Diversity Matters: An Update from the Task Force on Diversity,” Archival Outlook (July/August 1998): 7.
231Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own, 123–46. Separate collections, they assert, allow archivists to rectify past neglect and further to promote the study of women's history. Specific to the period, Danelle Moon argues, “The 1990s represented a milestone decade when activists and collectors joined hands to preserve the history of women.” “Regional Collections—Documenting the Feminist Experience,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 388.
232Rosen, The World Split Open, xv; Freedman, No Turning Back, 6.
233Stansell, Feminist Promise, xiii.
234Stansell, Feminist Promise, 396; Scott, “Feminism's History,” 21.
235Eileen Patten and Kim Parker, “A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations: Young Women Now Top Young Men in Valuing a High-Paying Career,” April 19, 2012, Pew Research Center, http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/04/19/a-gender-reversal-on-career-aspirations.
236U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, “Women's Earnings and the Wage Gap,” 19, https://www.dol.gov/wb/resources/Womens_Earnings_and_the_Wage_Gap_17.pdf.
237U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, “Women's Earnings and the Wage Gap,” 19.
238U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau, “Women's Earnings and the Wage Gap,” 24.
239Laura Girmscheid and Meredith Schwartz, “LJ Salary Survey 2014,” Library Journal (July 23, 2014), https://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/07/careers/payday-lj-salary-survey-2014. More specifically, female library directors made approximately 74% of male directors' salaries; female library managers made the same as male directors; and women in technical services made 6% more than males in the area.
240Fellows: 1972–1979: 10 females; 24 males; 1980–1989: 13 females; 26 males; 1990–1999: 25 females; 22 males; and 2000–2009: 25 females; 32 males.
241Presidents: 1970/1971–1979/1980: 1 female; 9 males; 1980/1981–1989/1990: 4 females; 6 males; 1990/1991–1999/2000: 6 females; 4 males.
242Council: 1972–1999: 37 females; 37 males. Over time, the balance has swung toward more women than men.
243Smith, “Women's History: A Retrospective from the United States,” 728.
245“Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States,” American Archivist 69, no. 2 (2006): 358–359.
246Society of American Archivists, “Women in the Archival Profession,” https://www2.archivists.org/sites/all/files/WArS-SAA-Salary-Survey-Report.pdf.
247Leslie Van Veen McRoberts and Bethany Anderson, “Founding WARriors: Women Archivists Section's Wikipedia Edit-a-thon,” Archival Outlook (May/June 2017): 10; “The Women Archivists Section will: Monitor the status of women within the archival profession; Encourage the participation of women in all phases of SAA business and other activities as well as in the archival profession as a whole; Monitor gender balance on SAA programs; Nominate candidates for Fellow in SAA; Monitor the continuance of day care at the SAA Annual Meeting; Meet annually in conjunction with the SAA meeting; and Conduct its business in accordance with Section IX of the SAA Governance Manual,” Society of American Archivists, “Women Archivists Section Standing Rules,” https://www2.archivists.org/groups/women-archivists-section/standing-rules.
248Society of American Archivists, Council Conference Call Minutes, August 22, 2017, https://www2.archivists.org/sites/all/files/0817-Council-CC-Minutes_AsAdopted091317.pdf.
249Menan, “The Way We Were.”
250On AACR, see Alex H. Poole, “Harold T. Pinkett and the Lonely Crusade of African American Archivists in the Twentieth Century,” American Archivist 80, no. 2 (2017): 296–335, especially 324–27; and Alex H. Poole, “Pinkett's Charges: Recruiting, Retaining, and Mentoring Archivists of Color in the Twenty-First Century,” American Archivist 80, no. 1 (2017): 103–34, especially 103–06. The Task Force on Minorities (1981–1987) gave way to the Third World Archivists Roundtable (1987) and then to the African American and Third World Archivists Roundtable (1988) and finally to the Archives and Archivists of Color Roundtable (1995–).
251Stephen Novak, “Inreach and Outreach: The SAA Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable, 1988–2004,” paper presented at the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Boston, 2004. Copy in possession of Alex H. Poole.
252Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 134–35; Myers, “I Am My Sister's Keeper,” 445.
253Kären M. Mason and Tanya Zanish-Belcher, “Raising the Archival Consciousness: How Women's Archives Challenge Traditional Approaches to Collecting and Use, or, What's in a Name?,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 293.
254Mason and Zanish-Belcher, “A Room of One's Own,” 137–38; Kären Mason, “‘A Grand Manuscripts Search’: The Women's History Sources Survey at the University of Minnesota, 1975–1979,” in Perspectives on Women's Archives, ed. Tanya Zanish-Belcher and Anke Voss (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013), 71–102.
255Myers, “I Am My Sister's Keeper,” 434.
256Lynn Bonfield Donovan, quoted in Menan, “The Way We Were,” Women's Caucus Newsletter 5, no. 1 (1980). Series 18.104.22.168 Box 5, Folder 15: Ann Morgan Campbell.
257It should be noted that the below statistics are based on the survey sample, not the overall population of SAA. Comparisons must be made with caution.
258Ernst Posner, “What, Then, Is the American Archivist, This New Man?” American Archivist 20, no. 1 (1957): 5.
259Frank B. Evans and Robert M. Warner, “American Archivists and their Society: A Composite View,” American Archivist 34, no. 2 (1971): 162.
260Deutrich, “Mr. vs. Ms. Archivist,” 174.
261Mabel E. Deutrich and Ben DeWhitt, “Survey of the Archival Profession—1979,” The American Archivist 43, no. 4 (fall 1980): 529.
262Bearman, “1982 Survey of the Archival Profession,” 234.
263Victoria Irons Walch, Nancy Beaumont, Elizabeth Yakel, Jeannette Bastian, Nancy Zimmelman, Susan Davis, and Anne Diffendal, “A*CENSUS (Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States),” American Archivist 69, no. 2 (2006): 347.
264Robin H. Israel and Jodi Reeves Eyre, “The 2017 WArS/SAA Salary Survey: Initial Results and Analysis,” https://www2.archivists.org/sites/all/files/WArS-SAA-Salary-Survey-Report.pdf, 14. The 2017 survey for the first time offered a nonbinary category; 0.8% of respondents identified themselves as such. Sincere thanks to Susan E. Davis for her feedback on an earlier draft of this article and to Elizabeth A. Jenkins for her research assistance.