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National Organization for Women, Dayton Chapter Records (MS-649)

Identifier: MS-649

Content Description

While the records in the collection only cover the first four years of the 1980s, the collection does provide insight into the priorities, membership, and activities of the National Organization for Women, Dayton Chapter and its collaboration with the national and state organizations, as well as related area organizations. The records include monthly Board and General meeting minutes for March 1982 to May 1984. The minutes document the officers and activity planning, as well as the organization’s participation in events and activities. While only two Treasurer’s reports are included in the collection dated June and July 1983, the Board meeting minutes do include the treasury balance. Along with the minutes, a folder on “Calls for Participation” also provides insight into the activism of the Dayton Chapter. The folder contains fliers and publicity for activities and events. Also included are minutes from two Ohio NOW Board Meetings dated March 6 and November 13, 1982, and a folder of correspondence to and from Joan Rourke, who was Vice President and then President of Ohio NOW during the early 1980s.


  • Creation: 1980-1984


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The National Organization for Women (NOW), founded in 1966, focus on six priority issues including reproductive rights, ending sex discrimination/constitutional equality, promoting diversity and ending racism, economic justice, stopping violence against women, and LGBTQIA rights. Chapters across the country advocate for women’s rights on the local and national level with the goal of bringing about equality for all women. It is unclear from this collection when the Dayton Chapter first formed, but the Ohio National Organization for Women started in the late 1960s. It was not uncommon for local chapters to open, close and re-start as needed. The earliest date for the Dayton Chapter in this collection is from May 1980 found on a flier calling for members of the Greater Dayton Chapter of NOW to bus ride to the ERA March in Chicago to support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois. However, in the same folder, is a flier dated November 24, 1981 for a Dayton NOW Holiday Get-Together with the stated purpose to talk about re-activating the Dayton Chapter. The flier was initiated by Joan Rourke, who at the time was the Ohio NOW President and a resident of Centerville, Ohio. Monthly Board and General meeting minutes in the collection for 1982-1984 are evidence of the active status of the Dayton Chapter during those years. The meetings were often held at Sinclair College. The following committees regularly provided updates on their activities at the meetings: Legislative Action Committee, Reproductive Rights Committee, Public Relations Committee, and Membership Committee. Members were engaged on a national, state, and local level, participating in Ohio NOW and participating in events organized by the national organization, as well as activities put on by related women’s organizations. In September 1983, the Board discussed the Chapter’s priorities of consciousness raising, political leadership training, pay equity, and voter registration and voter education. While the records in this collection stop in 1984, the Dayton Chapter is listed (as of 2019) with contact information on the Ohio NOW website at


0.25 linear feet (Legal half size document case)


Meeting minutes, fliers, publicity and correspondence from the National Organization for Women, Dayton Chapter during the years 1980-1984. The collection provides insight into the organization’s activities advocating for women’s rights on the local and national levels. Among the issues represented are ERA ratification, and reproductive rights.


Arranged by document type.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These materials were given to Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University by Susan Emery on August 1, 1984.

Related Materials

MS-429 Gladys Chaney Wessels Papers ( )

MS-119 Dayton Women’s Center Records (

MS-507 Judith Ezekiel “Feminism in the Heartland” Research (

Records of Ohio National Organization for Women and Columbus Chapter, 1981-1987 at Ohio History Connection (

Records of the National Organization for Women, Akron Chapter are at the University of Akron (

Records of the National Organization for Women Toledo Chapter, 1972-1986 are at the Library of Congress (

Guide to the National Organization for Women, Dayton Chapter Records (MS-649)
Toni Vanden Bos
2019 April
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA