Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the National Organization for Women, Johnson County-Iowa City Chapter records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1977-1997
Creator: National Organization for Women, Johnson County-Iowa City Chapter
Extent: 6.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0017
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Feminist activist organization records.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 8.

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 118) were donated by Elizabeth Kay Moon in 1992.

Preferred Citation: National Organization for Women, Johnson County-Iowa City Chapter records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

The Johnson County-Iowa City National Organizationfor Women chapter organized in Iowa City on May 3, 1978. It became an addition to several already existing Iowa state NOW chapters. There were chapters in Davenport, Des Moines, and Waterloo and by 1980, there were over 1,100 members state-wide.

NOW's raison d'etre was to ensure that women in Johnson County could fully participate in society without fear, without capricious encumbrances, and without malicious retributions. NOW sought equal educational, financial, and social opportunities for women. Therefore, women deserved the right, NOW argued, to work in any field that their education qualified them, to be financially independent, and to be spouses, partners, based on their preference not society's.

In its rather short tenure, the Johnson County-IowaCity NOW became involved with a couple of events of major nationalsignificance. The first was its 1980 work to obtain voter approval of the Iowa state equal rightsamendment and the national ratification of ERA. The Johnson County-Iowa CityNOW held runs in 1978, 1979, and 1980 to raise monies and public awareness forthe national NOW's ERA efforts. Another important matter was the Linda Eatonsexual discrimination case. In February 1979, Ms. Eaton, then a firefighter forIowa City, wassuspended twice without pay because of alleged insubordination. Her offense wasthat she refused to discontinue breastfeeding her son during her work breaks.In response, Ms. Eaton filed a sex discrimination complaint against Iowa City before the IowaCivil Rights Commission. On March 20, 1980, the Commission ruled unanimously inMs. Eaton's favor, awarding her compensatory damages, back pay, and attorney'sfees. And although she lost her subsequent civil suit against several city administrators, Ms. Eaton's case became a cause celebre.

The Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization for Women records measure 6 linear feet and date from 1977 to 1988 They are arranged into seven series: Administrative, Financial Records, Fundraising, Political Activities, Topical Files, Photographs, and Scrapbook. The bulk of the collection concerns NOW's efforts to ratify the state and the national Equal Rights Amendment in the period 1978 and 1980. Additional subjects covered include lesbian rights, abortion rights, and sex discrimination.

The Administrative series (1978-1988) consists of general business and organizational materials including bylaws, budgets, board meetings minutes, and committee oversight. The correspondence folder features letters by Jean Lloyd Jones, Minnette Dodderer, and Lily Tomlin. The History subseries two events scrapbooks highlighting some of NOW's most celebrated campaigns such as their 1981 UI Bijou protest against DePalma's "Dressed to Kill" at the Bijou Theatre on the University of Iowa campus. NOW argued that the movie should not be shown at the campus cinema because it portrayed gratuitous acts of violence against women.

The Financial Records (1978-1988) series includes ledgers, budgets, treasurer's reports, as well as ancillary material such as receipts for the Linda Eaton Litigation Fund.

The Fundraising (1978-1984) series provides a glimpse into the types of activities use by NOW to raise funds at the same time as women's consciousness. Prominent among them were the Linda Eaton litigation drives, the ERA runs, and the 1980 Alternative Inaugural spoof, presenting a woman president and vice president as alternatives to 1980 president-elect Ronald Reagan and vice-president-elect George Bush.

The Political Activities (1979-1985) series contains a plethora of material concerning NOW's many political campaigns and canvassing. These documents dovetail with other series in this collection in that they mostly pertain to NOW's state and national ERA efforts. Similarly, this series contains information about NOW's political endorsements and its efforts to elect Walter Mondale president of the United States.

The Topical Files (1978-1997) document some of NOW's less sustained political and fundraising activities such as the 1980 Iowa City streetlight campaign which lobbied Iowa City's city council for better lit residential neighborhoods. Other folders include the organizations newsletter and newspaper clippings about Linda Eaton's sex bias case and the 1978 NOW effort resulting in an ERA travel ban. This ban enjoined Iowa City from spending city funds for travel by municipal employees to states that had not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Photographs series includes Roxanne Conlin, Linda Eaton, Geraldine Ferraro, and the ERA Countdown Rally.

Scrapbook (1980-1983) consists of four scrapbooks entitled "ERA Task Force;" "Johnson County/Iowa City NOW," 1981-1983; Johnson County/Iowa City NOW, 1978-1980; and Linda Eaton, 1979-1981.  They are comprised of newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE
Series 2: FINANCIAL RECORDS
Series 3: FUNDRAISING
Series 4: POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
Series 5: TOPICAL FILES
Series 6: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 7: SCRAPBOOKS

  • Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE
  • Sub-Series: General
  • Box 1:
  • Administrative office codes
  • Bylaws: National Organization for Women--amended 10 - 1978
  • Bylaws: Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization for Women - 1978-1981
  • Chapter memorabilia and records - 1978
  • Correspondence - 1978-1985
  • Standardized computer data entry; staff and volunteers
  • Taskforce guidelines
  • Sub-Series: Governing Board
  • Box 1:
  • Board meetings - 1979, 1982
  • Executive board (general) - 1980
  • Operating rules/bylaws
  • task force
  • Minutes, April-December - 1978
  • Minutes - 1979
  • Minutes - 1980
  • Minutes - 1981
  • Minutes, January-May - 1982
  • Sub-Series: Membership
  • Box 2:
  • Application, fact sheet, and local chapter directory
  • General membership and board meetings minutes: May 1978-September 1979
  • General membership and board meetings minutes: October 17, 1979-September 17, 1980
  • General membership and board meetings minutes: October 1, 1980-September 16, 1981
  • General membership and board meetings minutes: Iowa NOW membership list
  • Membership processing manual
  • Roster - 1978-1981
  • Roster - 1982-1988
  • Series 2: FINANCIAL RECORDS
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 2:
  • General: Iowa NOW treasurer's report and budget - 1984-1986
  • General: "Record Keeping for Chapters," undated
  • Sub-Series: Administrative Committee
  • Box 2:
  • Budget request, November 5 - 1980
  • Budgets - 1978-1983
  • Chapter renewal monetary report - 1983-1988
  • Federal tax forms and information - 1979-1980
  • Income and expense records (folder 1) - 1979-1980
  • Income and expense records (folder 2) January-October - 1981
  • Income and expense records (folder 3) November-December - 1981-1982
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 3:
  • Ledgers - 1978-1979
  • Ledgers - 1979-1980
  • Ledgers - 1980-1981
  • Ledgers - 1982
  • Ledgers - 1983
  • Ledgers: Account balances - 1984-1985
  • Ledgers: Income - 1984-1985
  • Treasurer: Procedure manual, undated
  • Treasurer: Treasurer's report - 1978-1982
  • Series 3: FUNDRAISING
  • Sub-Series: General
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1978-1981
  • Local chapter campaigns - 1981-1984
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 3:
  • Alternative inaugural ball, January 20 - 1981
  • ERA Countdown rally, June 30 - 1981
  • ERA lapel pin - 1981-1982
  • ERA Media Awareness Week - 1981
  • ERA Walk/Run, August 20 - 1980
  • Film Festival - 1981
  • Flyers and placards
  • Linda Eaton legal fund
  • Spouse abuse shelter - 1979-1981
  • Series 4: POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 4:
  • Iowa NOW
  • Administration, general
  • Correspondence - 1980-1981
  • Endorsement guidelines
  • Legislative project - 1981
  • Lesbian rights committee report, July-September - 1985
  • Precinct caucus project - 1981
  • Precinct report-delegate election tally - 1984
  • Proposed state plan of action (strategies) - 1985-1986
  • Public relations committee report - 1981
  • Reproductive Rights Lobby Day, January 19 - 1983
  • Skills development conference, November 10-11 - 1979
  • State conferences - 1979
  • State conferences - 1984-1985
  • State consciousness raising coordinator - 1980
  • State contact sheet
  • State council meetings - 1981-1985
  • State council minutes - 1981-1982
  • Sub-Series: Political conventions
  • Box 4:
  • Johnson County Democratic Convention - 1980
  • State and county convention: delegates and alternatives - 1980
  • District Democratic party convention: First district - 1982
  • District Democratic party convention: Third district - 1982
  • Democratic national convention (folder 1) - 1980
  • Democratic national convention (folder 2) - 1984
  • Democratic newsletter
  • Iowa Democratic Convention - 1980-1982
  • Political action committees
  • Political endorsements - 1980
  • Sub-Series: Precinct work
  • Box 5:
  • Iowa NOW precinct caucus kit - 1982
  • Johnson County precinct captains
  • Precinct caucus delegates - 1980
  • Precinct caucus delegate selection - 1979-1980
  • Precinct caucus delegate selection - 1984
  • Precinct coordinator: Edward Kennedy endorsement - 1980
  • Precinct finders - 1981
  • Precinct maps: Iowa City
  • Precinct report tally sheets - 1984
  • Republicans of Iowa - 1980
  • Republicans rights plank - 1980
  • Sub-Series: Walter Mondale's Presidential Bid
  • Box 5:
  • Iowa Women for Walter Mondale - 1983-1984
  • Mondale phone script--aka "Fritz Blitzers"
  • Mondale precinct captain kit
  • Mondale precinct caucus, 20 Feb - 1984
  • Mondale precinct report forms
  • Series 5: TOPICAL FILES
  • Box 5:
  • Abortion rights week - 1979
  • Advertisements - 1979-1981
  • Affirmative Action - 1981
  • AllState [Insurance] protest - 1983
  • Antioch University Internship - 1978-1979
  • Certificates of Appreciation
  • Chicago ERA march, May 11 - 1980
  • Chu, Amy: sex discrimination - 1982
  • Clark, Joan: visit to University of Iowa, Nov 16 - 1979
  • Consciousness raising - 1979
  • Constanza, Midge visit at Old Brick - 1980
  • Director of Human Relations, Iowa City - 1978-1979
  • Disorientation collective - 1983
  • Door-to-door canvassing - 1982
  • Early childhood development committee, February - 1981
  • Box 6:
  • Eaton, Linda: General - 1979
  • Eaton, Linda: Newspaper clippings - 1979-1984
  • ERA Congressional correspondence - 1978-1979
  • ERA state vote count, Iowa - 1983
  • ERA travel ban - 1980
  • Goldsmith, Judy campaign visit to Iowa Memorial Union - 1983-1984
  • Grant, Charity: sex discrimination - 1984
  • Illinois legislature lobby - 1982
  • International Women's Day - 1982
  • Iowa Abortion Rights Action League - 1981
  • Iowa City Human Rights Action League
  • Iowa City Jaycees: sex discrimination - 1982
  • Iowa City Street Lights Campaign - 1980
  • Iowa redistricting - 1980
  • Iowa State NOW chapters
  • Iowa Women's Day, April 17 - 1979
  • Iowa Women's Meeting, June - 1977
  • Box 7:
  • Jepsen, Roger (former U.S. Senator, R-IA) Iowa City town meeting, March 31 - 1984
  • Jepsen, Roger (former U.S. Senator, R-IA) Newspaper clippings - 1984
  • Johnson, Sonia: Mormons and the ERA - 1979
  • King, Sheila Jean (lesbian mother--child custody case)
  • Legal Defense Fund - 1980
  • Lesbian Rights Task Force
  • Letter writing (handbook on effective letter writing)
  • Message brigade
  • Midwest regional conference, Sioux City, IA - 1981
  • "A Million Voices Strong: The Call to Conscience:" resolution of Iowa NOW, September 7 - 1985
  • Model state bylaws - 1978
  • National ERA petition campaign
  • National Organization for Women material order form
  • National Organization for Women policy manual
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter (June-December) - 1978-1979
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter - 1980-1981
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter - 1982-1984
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter - 1993-1994
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter - 1995-1996
  • Box 8:
  • Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization For Women Newsletter - 1997-
  • Newspaper clippings, general
  • Press releases
  • Questionnaires
  • Resolutions
  • Roth, Sandy--visit to Iowa City, November 9-12 - 1979
  • Round, Claudia J. (lesbian mother--child custody case)
  • Schlafly, Phyllis Iowa City visit, March - 1983
  • Sex discrimination
  • Sexist advertisements - 1979
  • Sexual harassment survey - 1981
  • Speech materials
  • State presidents/coordinators caucus
  • Strategic overview of local feminism, November 12 - 1978
  • University of Iowa homecoming, [NOW protest of Homecoming Queen pageant] - 1978
  • Volunteer workshop - 1983
  • Wells-Schooley, Jane visit, November 30-December 2 - 1979
  • WRAC (Women's Resource and Action Center) orientation - 1978
  • Women and hunger - 1984
  • Women in development symposium, May 6 - 1980
  • Women on U.S. postage stamps - 1979
  • Women's Truth Squad on Reagan - 1984
  • Series 6: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 8:
  • Conlin, Roxanne
  • ERA Countdown rally, June 30 1981 (4 envelopes; includes negatives)
  • Eaton, Linda
  • Ferraro, Geraldine
  • Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization For Women holiday party, undated
  • Series 7: SCRAPBOOKS
  • Box 9:
  • ERA Task Force - 1980
  • Johnson County/Iowa City NOW - 1981-1983
  • Box 10:
  • Linda Eaton - 1979-1981
  • Box 11:
  • Johnson County/Iowa City NOW - 1979-1980