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Crisp, Mary Dent, 1923-2007. Videotape collection of Mary Dent Crisp, 1979-1998: 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.: Vt-117
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mary Dent Crisp, 1923-2007
Title: Videotape collection of Mary Dent Crisp, 1979-1998
Date(s): 1979-1998
Quantity: 20 videotapes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Collection includes television programs, promotional videos, and seminar recordings featuring interviews, speeches, and commentary by Mary Dent Crisp, co-founder of the National Republican Coalition for Choice.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 2000-M157
These videotapes were given to the Schlesinger Library by Mary Dent Crisp in October 2000.

Processing Information:

Processed: October 2011
By: Melissa Dollman

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the videotapes of Mary Dent Crisp is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other videotapes in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Preferred Citation:

Mary Dent Crisp Videotape collection, 1979-1998; item description, dates. Vt-117, reel #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Mary Dent Crisp, 1942-1999 (MC 681; T-390).


Mary Dent Crisp was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She received her degree in botany from Oberlin College in 1946, later pursuing graduate studies in political science at Arizona State University. In 1948 she married William Crisp, a doctor; they had three children before divorcing in 1976. A fervent supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and of abortion rights, Crisp was an active member of the Republican Party, first on the local and then on the national level, for over 20 years. In 1977, she was elected co-chair of the Republican National Committee, and served until 1980. At the 1980 Republican Convention, she spoke out against the platform committee's decision to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment, and also protested the party's opposition to the federal funding of abortion. Crisp subsequently announced that she would not seek reelection as co-chair and signed on as presidential candidate John Anderson's campaign manager. She served on President Carter's Advisory Committee for Women and on the boards of Women's Economic Roundtable, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women's Political Caucus, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. From 1984 until the mid-1990s, she was a national director of the political action committee, Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan advocacy group concerned about the economic effects of the arms race. In 1989, after the Supreme Court restricted federal funding for abortion, Crisp co-founded and served as chair and spokesperson for the National Republican Coalition for Choice. She died in her home in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2007, from complications from a stroke.


The videotape collection includes recordings sponsored by the Republican National Committee and the National Women's Conference to Prevent Nuclear War, as well as television programs and a film that feature interviews with or commentary by Crisp on topics such as changes to the Republican Party platform, reproductive rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, nuclear disarmament, and the "gender gap." Videos are in 3/4-inch or VHS format, and listed in chronological order.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Abortion--United States
Arizona--Politics and government--1951-
Award presentations
Equal rights amendments--United States
Nuclear disarmament--United States
Pro-choice movement--United States
Republican National Convention (35th : 1992 : Houston, Tex.)
Television programs
United States--Politics and government
Women--Political activity--United States
Business Executives for National Security (U.S.)
Melia, Jinx
Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )