[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch00328View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement

On July 16, 2018, OASIS will retire. It will be replaced by HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. Please explore.
MC 499; T-157

Dolores Alexander. Papers of NOW officer Dolores Alexander, 1960-1973: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 499; T-157
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Dolores Alexander
Title: Papers of NOW officer Dolores Alexander, 1960-1973
Date(s): 1960-1973
Quantity: 4.17 linear feet (10 file boxes) plus 2 folio plus folders, 2 oversize folders, 9 photograph folders, 6 audiotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of National Organization for Women executive director Dolores Alexander.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 82-M88
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dolores Alexander in 1982.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 2004
By: Deborah A. Richards


Access. Unrestricted except that folders #5.14-6.1, and 6.13 are closed until January 1, 2054 and folders #8.14 and 8.43 are closed until January 1, 2040 as per the legal agreement between NOW and the Schlesinger Library. Folders #7.14-7.15 are closed until January 1, 2054, following the restrictions on New York NOW chapter records at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives at the University at Albany, SUNY. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
As of November 2015, written permission of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is no longer required for access to folders #1.6-7.10, 8.5-10.17, OD.1-OD.2, PD.1-PD.9.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Dolores Alexander while executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is held by NOW. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Dolores Alexander. Papers of NOW officer Dolores Alexander, 1960-1973; item description, dates. MC 499, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Donors: Dolores Alexander
Accession number: 82-M88
Processed by: Deborah A. Richards
The following items have been removed from the collection:


Dolores Alexander, freelance writer, reporter, and first executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW), received her B.A. in Language and Literature from the City College of New York in 1961. During her senior year of college she was chosen by The New York Times to work for 10 months as a paid "stringer" or "cub reporter" to gain experience in journalism. After graduation, she worked from 1961 to 1964 as a reporter, copy editor, and bureau chief for Newark Evening News. Alexander then moved to Newsday, where she worked as a reporter, copy editor, and assistant women's editor, and was feature writer for Newsday's weekend magazine from 1964 to 1969.
Alexander became active in NOW in 1966 after coming across a press release announcing the creation of a new women's rights organization. With her background in media, she chaired the Monitor Subcommittee of the National Task Force on Image of Women in Mass Media. In 1969, Alexander became the first executive director of the National Organization for Women (NOW). As executive director, she established a national office for NOW in New York City, expanded NOW's membership base nationally, and edited NOW Acts, NOW's national newsletter. Resigning in May 1970, Alexander continued to lecture on women's rights, and worked with the New Feminist Talent Collective, a speaker agency formed by Jacqui Michot Ceballos in response to the demand for speakers on the women's movement. In addition, she opened and ran Mother Courage, a feminist restaurant in Greenwich Village. She was one of the founders and organizers of Women Against Pornography and worked with New York Radical Feminists. Alexander was also a board member of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL); member of the advisory board of New York chapter of NOW; and member of New York Newspaper Women's Club.
She continued to be active in women's causes, including the North Fork Women for Women Fund, a nonprofit group that raised money for women facing health-care emergencies, and the Herstory Writer's Workshop, a community writing project for women interested in writing memoirs.


The collection is arranged in two series:


This collection contains mostly correspondence. There is also printed material, reports, clippings, press releases, minutes, and notes by Alexander and members of NOW, including board members. Titles and information in square brackets [ ] have been supplied by the processor. Whenever possible, original folder titles and spellings have been retained. The records are organized into two series.
Series I, Biographical and personal (1.1-1.5, F+D.1-F+D.2), contains biographical material, correspondence, notes, and clippings related to Alexander's speaking engagements after leaving her position as executive director of NOW.
Series II, National Organization for Women (1.6-10.17, OD.1-OD.2, PD.1-PD.9), contains correspondence, memos, minutes, committee reports, clippings, board reports, fundraising material, and press releases related to NOW's board, national meetings, general membership, chapters, task forces, committees, and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. There are 12 folders of material specific to New York NOW. Correspondence with NOW members, political activists, public officials and other individuals, as well as research files cover a range of topics including abortion, campaign literature, sex discrimination in education, the Valerie Solanas case, breastfeeding, Native American women, rape, equal rights for women, and poverty, in the form of pamphlets, fliers, brochures, correspondence, clippings, reports, and newsletters. Also included are audiotapes from a NOW conference, Priorities for Action, held in New York, December 7-8 (year unknown), and an appearance by Betty Friedan on CBS radio, 1970. There is no material related to the resignation of Alexander from NOW. Photographs of Dolores Alexander, NOW actions, and NOW board members are also included in the collection.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Boycotts--United States
Civil rights--United States
Demonstrations--United States
Equal pay for equal work--United States
Equal rights amendments--United States
Feminism--United States
Feminists--United States
Journalists--United States
Pay equity--United States
Pro-choice movement--United States
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Sex discrimination in employment--United States
Sex discrimination in higher education--United States
Women journalists--United States
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Women's rights--United States
Atkinson, Ti-Grace
Bernard, Shirley, 1928-
Boggs, Hale, 1914-1972
Bowers, Richard M.
Ceballos, Jacqueline Michot, 1925-
Chicago Women's Liberation Union
Chisholm, Shirley, 1924-2005
Clarenbach, Kathryn F.
Collins, Mary Jean, 1939-
Crisp, Ann
Daly, Mary, 1928-2010
DeCrow, Karen
Dickler, Florence F.
Dixon, Marlene, 1936-
Dwyer, Florence Price, 1902-1976
Earley, Mary Two-Axe, 1911-
East, Catherine, 1916-1996
Eastwood, Mary O., 1930-
Everhart, Jane
Faust, Jean
Fasteau, Brenda Feigen
Fox, Muriel, 1928-
Freeman, Jo
Friedan, Betty
Goodman, Carol
Gornick, Vivian
Green, Edith, 1910-1987
Griffiths, Martha W. (Martha Wright), 1912-2003
Hansen, Julia Butler, 1907-1988
Harris, Elizabeth Farslin
Heckler, Margaret
Heide, Wilma Scott, 1921-1985
Hernandez, Aileen C.
Hull, Joan
Ireton, Barbara
Jerard, Elise, 1902?-1977
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
Kennedy, Florynce, 1916-2000
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
Lamb, Myrna, 1942-
Lucy Stone League
Millet, Kate
Mink, Patsy T., 1927-2002
Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985
National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women. New York State
National Woman's Party
New York Radical Feminists
New Yorkers for Abortion Law Repeal
NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund
O'Hanrahan, Inka Irene, -1970
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
Perley, Edith
Rawalt, Marguerite, 1895-1989
Seidenberg, Faith
Simchak, Morag
Smith, Margaret Chase, 1897-1995
Solanas, Valerie
Sullivan, Leonor K.
Vollmer, Deborah A., 1948-
Women's Equity Action League