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National Women's Conference. Audiotape collection of the National Women's Conference, 1977: 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.: T-88
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: National Women's Conference
Title: Audiotape collection of the National Women's Conference, 1977
Date(s): 1977
Quantity: 42 audiotapes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Audiotape collection of recordings from the National Women's Conference, held November 18-21, 1977, in Houston, Texas.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 78-M44
These audiotapes were purchased by the Schlesinger Library in 1978.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 2009
By: Melissa Dollman

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the audiotapes created by the National Women's Conference is held by the National Women's Conference. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Audiotapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

National Women's Conference Audiotape collection, 1977; item description, dates. T-88, reel #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


During November 18-21, 1977, twenty-thousand women gathered in Houston, Texas for the National Women's Conference, an outgrowth of International Women's Year, 1975. The conference aimed to address legal, economic, and social changes needed to ensure equality for women. Twenty-six resolutions on women's rights were proposed, voted upon by delegates, and presented to the Carter administration and Congress for adoption. The opening ceremony speakers included: First Ladies Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson, activists Coretta Scott King, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Barbara Jordan, Liz Carpenter, and Jean Stapleton. Maya Angelou read the declaration of intent.
Heated debates ensued over the Equal Rights Amendment, reproductive rights, child care funding, sexual orientation, and the rights of disabled, minority and aging women. There was also a lengthy discussion about disarmament, and a series of lectures by women in high-ranking government positions such as chair of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Assistant Secretary for the United States Department of Commerce, and head of the Environmental Protection Agency.


The collection is arranged in two series:


The audiotape collection consists of speeches, plenary sessions, and Distinguished Women in Government lectures recorded live at the National Women's Conference, November 18-21, 1977, in Houston, Texas. For related audiotapes, see the Ann J. Lane, National Women's Conference in Houston interviews (T-66). For related papers, see National Women's Conference Committee Records, and National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year Records, among other materials.
Series I, OPENING CEREMONIES, RESOLUTIONS, AND DISARMAMENT DISCUSSION (#1-9), includes recordings of opening speeches, debates, and voting on resolutions; and a panel discussion on women's role in disarmament talks.
Series II, DISTINGUISHED WOMEN IN GOVERNMENT LECTURES (#10-42), contains recordings of lectures by women in executive positions within federal and state governments.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Civic leaders--United States
Equal pay for equal work--United States
Equal rights amendments--United States
Feminism--United States
Feminists--United States
International Women's Year, 1975
Sex discrimination against women--United States
Women government executives--United States.
Women in the civil service--United States
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Women political activists--United States
Women--Political activity--United States
Women's rights--United States--Congresses
Abzug, Bella S., 1920-1998
Angelou, Maya
Carpenter, Liz
Carter, Rosalynn
Ford, Betty, 1918-2011
Friedan, Betty
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007
Jordan, Barbara, 1936-1996
King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006
Stapleton, Jean, 1923-2013