Cooper, Sandi E.. Papers of Sandi E. Cooper, 1969-1988: 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
Call No.: MC 871
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Cooper, Sandi E.
Title: Papers of Sandi E. Cooper, 1969-1988
Quantity: 1.46 linear feet (3+1/2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Photocopies of trial briefs, depositions, trial transcripts from a 1984 sex discrimination
case against Sears, Roebuck & Co. in which Sandi E. Cooper, history professor, testified.
Accession number: 86-M39. Accession numbers 87-M49, 93-M61, 96-M161, 2006-M87, 2010-M114, 2014-M180 were added to the collection in January 2017.
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Sandi E. Cooper between March 1986 and November 2014.
Processed: December 1986
By: Anne Engelhart
Updated and additional materials added: January 2017
By: Mark Vassar
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Sandi E. Cooper is held by the President
and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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.
Sandi E. Cooper Papers, 1969-1988; item description, dates. MC 871, folder #. Schlesinger
Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
A professor of history at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York,
Sandi E. Cooper collected these papers because of her interest in the case brought
by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Sears, Roebuck and Company.
The plaintiff charged Sears with discrimination in two main categories of employment,
claiming that women were underrepresented in high-paying commission sales jobs, and
that there were disparate salary rates for men and women in certain managerial and
administrative positions (so-called "checklist" employees). Sears maintained that
the government's statistics did not prove discrimination, and disputed the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission assumption that male and female applicants were equally qualified
for and interested in commission sales positions. To bolster their respective arguments,
the litigants brought in two prominent feminist historians: Rosalind Rosenberg testified
for Sears and Alice Kessler-Harris for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
They presented conflicting interpretations of women's attitudes toward work and the
relative importance of workers' and employers' roles in shaping patterns of employment
by sex. The case was tried in 1984 and 1985 in U.S. District Court in Chicago, and
in early 1986 Judge John A. Nordberg ruled in favor of Sears.
For further information on the case, see "Women's History Goes to Trial: EEOC v. Sears,
Roebuck and Company," with an introduction by Sandi E. Cooper, in Signs 11 (summer 1986); and Ruth Milkman, "Women's History and the Sears Case," in Feminist Studies 12 (summer 1986).
This collection consists of photocopies of trial briefs, depositions, trial transcripts,
and the ruling by John A. Nordberg; also included are typescript and manuscript notes
by Sandi E. Cooper, and clippings about the lawsuit, 1979-1986. Copies of these documents
are also available at the Women's Center, Barnard College. Additional material (accession
numbers 87-M49--2014-M180) was added to the collection in January 2017. This material
is located in folders #24-34. It consists of additional court documents as well as
clippings and articles regarding the case, including drafts of "Women's History Goes
on Trial: EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck and Company" and "Women's History and the Sears Case."
Also included are files on a sex equity case, Melani et al. v. the Board of Higher
Education (City University of New York), and material gathered by Cooper during her
involvement with several women historians organizations. Folder headings and the order
of files are generally those of the donor (see #1).
- Box 1: 1-12
- Box 2: 13-20
- Box 3: 21-30
- Box 4: 31-34
- 1. List of files; typescript notes by Sandi E. Cooper re: documents in other files, ca.1986
- 3. Trial brief of Sears, September/October 1984
- 4. Pre-trial briefs of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Checklist compensation
issue, August 16, 1984
- 5. Pre-trial briefs of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Commission sales issues,
revised, November 1984
- 6. Deposition of Rosalind Rosenberg. Part I, July 2, 1984
- 7. Deposition of Rosalind Rosenberg. Part II, July 3, 1984
- 8. Excerpt from testimony of Sears EEO director, n.d.
- 9. Offer of proof re: Rosalind Rosenberg's testimony, March 11, 1985
- 10. Written testimony of Alice Kessler-Harris, Spring 1985
- 11. Written rebuttal testimony of Rosalind Rosenberg, Spring 1985
- 12. Trial transcript of Rosalind Rosenberg, March 11, 1985
- 13-14. Deposition of Alice Kessler-Harris, April 12, 1985
- 15-16. Deposition of Alice Kessler-Harris, April 15, 1985
- 17. Trial transcript of Alice Kessler-Harris, June 6-7, 1985
- 18. Trial transcript of Rosalind Rosenberg (cross), June 22, 1985
- 19. Final argument of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, June 26, 1985
- 20-21. Final argument of Sears, June 28, 1985
- 22. Post-trial brief of Sears, June 26, 1985
- 23. Ruling by John A. Nordberg, January 31, 1986
- 24. Written rebuttal testimony of Rosalind Rosenberg, 1985
- 25. Response to written rebuttal testimony of Rosalind Rosenberg, November 11, 1985
- 26. Articles and clippings re: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sears, 1985-1986
- 27. Articles re: Equal Opportunity Employment Commission v. Sears, 1986; includes letter
from Alice Kessler-Harris
- 28. Correspondence re: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sears, 1985-1986
- 29. "Letters to the Editor" re: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sears, 1985-1986
- 30. "Women's History Goes on Trial," 1985-1986; includes correspondence with Signs
- 31-32. Melani et al. v. Board of High Education (City University of New York), 1972-1983
- 33. Berkshire Conference of Women Historians: minutes, correspondence, member lists, 60th
anniversary essay, etc., 1978-1988
- 34. Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession, Commission on the Status
of Women in the Profession, Marxist-Feminist III: mailers, membership lists, resolutions,
Actions and defenses--Cases
Discrimination in employment--United States
Labor laws and legislation--Cases
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Sex discrimination in employment--United States
Sex role in the work environment--United States
Rosenberg, Rosalind, 1946-
Sears, Roebuck and Company--Trials, litigation, etc.
United States. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission--Trials, litigation, etc.