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A Guide to the National Women's Conference Interviews

Finding aid created by Alexandra von Mering

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2012

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Abrams, Marjorie
Title: National Women's Conference Interviews
Dates: 1977-1978
Abstract: Oral history interviews conducted with delegates at the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977.
Extent: 0.5 Linear feet. 1 manuscript box and 1 cassette box.
Identification: MS Group 316
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

The National Women's Conference was held in Houston, Texas, November 18-21, 1977. The conference was federally funded and included speeches, skills clinics, ceremonies, and discussions. Over 2000 delegates assembled to make decisions, but over 20,000 women attended the conference as observers and to participate in the ceremonies and clinics. The purpose of the conference was to formulate a National Plan of Action that was submitted to President Jimmy Carter and to Congress. Notable attendees and leaders of the conference included First Ladies Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford, and Lady Bird Johnson, as well as Coretta Scott King, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Barbara Jordan, Liz Carpenter, Jean Stapleton, Maya Angelou and Margaret Mead.

International Women's Year was the name given to 1975 by the United Nations. This program, abbreviated IWY, became a much larger part of the organized conferences throughout the "Women's Decade." As part of the IWY's efforts to record events and developments during the 1970's, the IWY Oral History Project was developed. Constance Ashton Myers, the principal investigator in the National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded program contacted Marjorie Abrams and 28 other women and asked them to conduct interviews at the conference in Houston in 1977. At the conference, a wide range of women were recorded for their views on the conference.

Scope and Content

This collection consists primarily of Abrams' interviews on nine cassette tapes. Also included is correspondence between Abrams and other "oral reporters," conference handouts, Abrams' notes on the interviews, and a copy of the conference report.

Marjorie Abrams' recordings consist of nine cassette tapes: #1 Marion Swoboda (Delegate), Jane Loenthal (delegate), and Consuelo Nieto (univ. professor), #2 Sara Arant Sansom (anti-ERA), Nilda Aponte-Raffaele (alt. delegate Puerto Rico), and Joan Mulligan (associate professor from University of Wisconsin), #3 Cont. Nilda Aponte and Elizabeth Holtzman (congresswoman and IWY commissioner), Miriam Micelli (officer), #4 Sara Dickerson (YWCA), Angela Kennedy (age 17), Mary Freund, Nona Seghal (battered wife), Inez Raiser (president of multiple organizations), #5 Jan Glover (deserted wife), #6 Sheila Tobias (associate provost Wesleyan), Anonymous, Anonymous, #7 Con't anonymous, Priscilla Tankersley (student), Shirley Perry (homemaker), Elsie Apley (homemaker), #8 Odilva Mendez (bilingual education), Thelma Dunn, Guadalupe Rivers Callsillo (health issues), Joanne Jaurequin (disability), #9 Con't Joanne Jaurequin, Elizabeth Starleaf (homemaker), Anne Williamson.

Additional information on the interviewees can be found in the interviewer's notes.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

The South Caroliniana Library Office of Oral History at the University of South Carolina holds a complete set of the tapes created by all 29 oral history interviewers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], National Women's Conference Interviews, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marjorie Abrams, Ph.D.

Contents List

1 Notes, correspondence, published report. 1977-1978
2 9 audiotapes. 1977

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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