Women have been members of the Society of American Archivists since its inception in 1936. Of the 226 founding members, 28 percent were women. In the following decades their numbers increased to 33 percent of the membership and that percentage held through the 1970s. Yet women's participation in the formal activities of the Society was well below the percentage of women members in the Society. Furthermore, until the 1970s little thought was given by the Society to the interests of women. This article examines and analyzes the status and role of women in the Society of American Archivists from its inception to the establishment in 1972 of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Archival Profession. Included are a discussion of the inequities and obstacles to participation present in the Society, and descriptions of the women who participated and their contributions.

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