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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the National Organization for Women, Dubuque Chapter records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1973-1995
Creator: National Organization for Women, Dubuque Chapter
Extent: 1.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0223
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: The group was formed in 1973. The purpose of the group was to improve and expand the role of women in society and it supported the Equal Rights Amendment, safe and legal abortion among other issues.
View Selected Items Online:Iowa Women's Archives Images

Alternate Extent Statement: 3 audiocassettes [AC309-AC311]
Photographs in Box 3.

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. 308) were donated by Ruth Scharnau in 1995 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: National Organization for Women, Dubuque 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 Dubuque chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was organized in late 1973 by a small group of women from the University of Dubuque and the surrounding community to improve and expand the role of women in society. The group supported the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and worked to keep abortion safe and legal, to eliminate sexist language and images in education, and to make communities safe for women.

The Dubuque NOW records date from 1973 to 1995 and measure 1.25 linear feet. The records are arranged in five series: Administrative records, Events, Issues, Other NOW chapters, and Photographs. The Dubuque NOW records focus on local feminist concerns and activities.

The Events series contains information about several of the special and on-going events that Dubuque NOW organized and participated in, such as the Take Back the Night March, an annual event to empower women and help them regain their right to be safe and confident in their communities at night.

The Issues series contains material pertaining to the issues that concerned Dubuque NOW. The group concentrated on passing the Equal Rights Amendment, increasing awareness of sexist language and attitudes in school and everyday life, and affirmative action. Dubuque NOW occasionally provided legal support through the legal defense fund, as in the cases of Susan Dolter and Karen Rolling, two Dubuque women who were fired from their teaching jobs at a private school because they became pregnant outside of marriage. The series also includes materials related to the "call to conscience" campaign launched by Dubuque NOW in 1986 in response to attempts by the group Voices for Life to intimidate NOW members and disrupt NOW's local activities.

The Photographs series contains black and white photographs of local and national ERA rallies and marches, and other chapter-sponsored events. Several contact sheets and sheets of negatives are also included in the collection.
Ruth Scharnau papers (IWA): Ruth Scharnau was a founding member of the Dubuque NOW chapter.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS
Series 2: EVENTS
Series 3: ISSUES
Series 4: OTHER NOW CHAPTERS
Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS
  • Box 1:
  • Bylaws - 1980, 1985
  • Chapter certificate - 1974
  • Correspondence - 1974-1986
  • Ledgers - 1980-1987
  • Meeting agendas - 1976-1986
  • Membership - 1983
  • Newsletters - 1973-1986
  • Newspaper clippings - 1973-1986
    [also shelved in map case]
  • Press file - 1978-1982
  • University of Dubuque student chapter - 1973-1975
  • Box 2:
  • Miscellaneous (folder 1) - 1980-1986
  • Miscellaneous (folder 2) - 1980-1986
  • Series 2: EVENTS
  • Box 2:
  • Bread and Roses dinner - 1984
  • Fundraisers - 1984
  • Political activities: General - 1975, 1984
  • Political activities: National NOW endorsement of Walter Mondale by Judy Goldsmith (30 minutes)
  • AC311: Political activities - 1983
  • Programs, undated
  • Skills conference - 1983
  • Take Back the Night - 1974-1995
  • Women's Equality Day (folder 1) - 1978-1980
  • Women's Equality Day (folder 2) - 1978-1980
  • Women's Equality Day (folder 3) - 1978-1980
  • Women's history week - 1985
  • Series 3: ISSUES
  • Box 2:
  • Abortion - 1977-1986
  • "Call to conscience" - 1985
  • Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1985 - 1985
  • Equal employment opportunities: Unfair firing practices: Susan Dolter and Karen Rolling - 1979-1980
  • Equal employment opportunities: Unfair firing practices: Legal defense fund - 1978-1981
  • Equal employment opportunities: Unfair hiring practices - 1981
  • Equal Rights Amendment: Federal amendment campaign: General - 1978-1980
  • Equal Rights Amendment: Federal amendment campaign: Correspondence - 1976-1992
  • AC309: Equal Rights Amendment: Federal amendment campaign: Text of ERA (30 seconds), undated
  • Box 3:
  • Insurance: General - 1983
  • AC310: Insurance: Joel Spivak Show with Judy Goldsmith, National NOW President (30 minutes) - 1983
  • Lesbian rights - 1982-1987
  • Media Watch - 1982-1983
  • Non-sexist education - 1973-1983
  • Non-sexist language, undated
  • Pornography - 1981
  • Ronald Reagan - 1983
  • Series 4: OTHER NOW CHAPTERS
  • Box 3:
  • Iowa NOW: Conference, General - 1985
  • Iowa NOW: Conference, Speech by Ruth Scharnau on the importance of inter-chapter communication - 1976
  • Iowa NOW: Legislative issues - 1987
  • Iowa NOW: Minutes - 1982, 1983
  • Iowa NOW: Newsletters - 1980-1986
  • Midwest Region NOW minutes - 1983
  • National NOW: Conference - 1982
  • National NOW: Internal debates - 1986-1987
  • Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 3:
  • Contact sheets and negatives, undated
  • Negatives, undated
  • ERA rallies and marches - 1976, 1979