Since 1970 the McCormick Library has collected material generated by people active in the second and third waves of the women’s liberation movement, both in the U.S. and abroad. This includes books, pamphlets, newsletters, newspapers, position papers, posters, broadsides, flyers, calendars, and other ephemera, including political buttons. The historical focus of the collection is primarily between 1965 and 1985, although many periodical subscriptions solicited from women’s organizations around the world continue to the present day, with new ones being generated each year.
Jenny Knauss Collection (MS93): Chicago women’s liberation, health, abortion
Jenny Knauss Personal Papers (MS162)
Aleta Styers (MS66): Chicago National Organization of Women
United Nations Radio Tapes on Women (MS107)
Paula Kamen (MS125): JANE underground abortion service
Chicago Commission on Women’s Affairs (MS126)
Elizabeth Clarke (MS127): Illinois Commission on the Status of Women
Women’s Franchise League, England (MS123): minutes book, letters, 1889-92
Sarah J. Wickes (MS123): commonplace book, upstate New York, 1890s
Nellie F. Harvey (MS123): letters, Bangor, Maine, 1885-1887
Teresa Dean (MS48): “the Widow” autobiographical articles, c1890
Dorothy Brett (MS27): artist’s diaries, letters, 1922-1948, 1965-1969
Helen Nutting (MS30): poet’s diaries, letters, 1921-1937
Helen Palmer Dawes (MS84): diaries, letters, Evanston, 1895-1941
Julia P. Cutler (West. Ms. 71): journal, Ohio, 1861-62
Study Club (MS70): Hyde Park, Chicago, women’s literary circle, 1896-1970
Feminist buttons (MS112)
Women's Poster Collections
The WEF file can be consulted for articles, conference papers, reprints, broadsheets, etc. on a range of subjects; a guide is available at the McCormick Library reference desk. Donations to WEF have included Julia LeSage’s collection of feminist film ephemera, papers and archives from N.U. professors and feminists Arlene Meyers and Arlene Kaplan Daniels, Myrna Shiras’s collection of feminist art materials, the Spokeswoman archive, and materials from Laura X.
Women's Ephemera Files (WEF)
Books and Serials in NUsearch
The book and pamphlet collection of nearly 7000 titles concentrates on the contemporary women’s liberation movement and includes bibliographical and reference tools as well as primary sources. However, some 19th and early 20th century volumes on franchise, reproductive health, and other issues of interest to women are also available. The pamphlet collection is growing rapidly due to an effort to catalog items from the Women’s Ephemera Collection (WEF), a topical archive of material generated between the mid-1960s and 1980.
In general the women’s periodical collection is one of the most comprehensive anywhere for the voices of the feminist periodical press generated by activists in the contemporary liberation movement. Major acquisitions which formed the foundation of the periodical collection included the International Women’s History Periodical Archive and continuing donations from Fran Hosken, editor of Women’s International Network. Altogether, more than 3500 periodical titles can be found in NUsearch, the on-line catalog, complete with holdings records. Many of these titles are current subscriptions from women’s organizations throughout the world, including European countries, the Middle East, Asia and Pacific island nations, Australia, and North and South America. Materials generated in African countries can be found in Northwestern University Libraries’ Melville J. Herskovitz Library of African Studies.