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MC 596

Eastwood, Mary O., 1930- . Papers of Mary O. Eastwood, 1915-1983 (inclusive), 1961-1977 (bulk): 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 596
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mary O. Eastwood, 1930-
Title: Papers of Mary O. Eastwood, 1915-1983 (inclusive), 1961-1977 (bulk)
Date(s): 1915-1983
Date(s): 1961-1977
Quantity: 3.13 linear feet (7 + 1/2 file box) plus 2 photograph folders)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, minutes, memos, etc., of Mary O. Eastwood, lawyer and feminist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 78-M187, 83-M257
The papers of Mary Eastwood were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1978 and December 1983 by Mary Eastwood.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: September 1984; updated April 2009
By: Anne Engelhart; updated by Katherine Gray Kraft

Conditions Governing Access:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Eastwood 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.

Preferred Citation:

Mary O. Eastwood Papers, 1915-1983; item description, dates. MC 596, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


A native of Wisconsin, Mary Eastwood was graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1955 and moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked on a temporary study project for the National Academy of Sciences. She joined the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in 1960, serving both as an attorney advisor and later (1969-1979) as an equal opportunity advisor. The following year Eastwood became the associate special counsel for investigation in the special counsel's office of the Merit System Protection Board, which was charged with looking into allegations of illegal personnel practices in the federal government.
As technical secretary to the civil and political rights committee of President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), Eastwood researched decisions involving women and the Fourteenth Amendment, and became increasingly interested in the women's movement. With Pauli Murray she wrote the highly influential article "Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII," which appeared in the Georgetown Law Review (34, December 1965). She was very active in the formation of the National Organization for Women (NOW); a board member of Human Rights for Women (HRW), an organization formed in 1968 to help finance sex discrimination litigation and research projects on women's issues; and a member of Federally Employed Women (FEW), a group that sought an end to sex discrimination in the federal government.


Included in the collection are papers relating to NOW (including the original sign-in sheet and a photograph from the October 1966 convening meeting; drafts of the constitution, bylaws, and early position papers; correspondence and memos; etc.), FEW, HRW, PCSW, the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW), CHANGE (Cease Harassment and Negligence in the Government Equal Employment Opportunity System), and the October 17 Movement (later The Feminists). The files contain correspondence, minutes, memos, and printed material covering a number of women's issues, as well as drafts of position papers, records of court cases involving sex discrimination, and correspondence and related material about "Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII." Although there is substantial correspondence between Eastwood and Ti-Grace Atkinson, Jo Freeman, and Pauli Murray throughout the collection, only some folder descriptions designate its inclusion.
The folders are in the order in which they were sent by the donor. Folder titles are the donor's; any information added by the processor is in square brackets. In 2009, the processor divided the overly-full folders for preservation reasons, maintaining the previously-assigned folder numbers (and adding alphabetical designations), since the collection had been heavily used and cited.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Associations, institutions, etc.
Civil rights
Equal rights amendments
Feminism--United States
Feminists--United States
Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation--United States
United States--Officials and employees
Women's rights
American Civil Liberties Union
Atkinson, Ti-Grace
Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women (U.S.)
Federally Employed Women, Inc.
Feminists (Organization)
Freeman, Jo
Human Rights for Women, Inc.
Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985
National Organization for Women
National Woman's Party
October 17 Movement
Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
United States. Department of Justice
United States. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
United States. President's Commission on the Status of Women