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A Guide to the Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER)

Finding aid prepared by Dina Benson

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
August 2004

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Gainesville Women for Equal Rights
Title: Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER)
Dates: 1963-2001
Abstract: Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights including correspondence, meeting minutes, and newsletters.
Extent: 1.5 Linear feet. 4 Boxes.
Identification: Ms 167
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Gainesville Women for Equal Rights formed in 1963 in conjunction with the Student Group for Equal Rights. The women first made their presence known in October 1963 during protests against segregation at the College Inn; they replaced students on the picket lines who faced expulsion from the University of Florida due to continued absence from class. Members of GWER continued their work in Gainesville for over a decade, sponsoring education and employment programs, protesting discriminatory legal actions, and otherwise striving to improve the quality of life of African-American citizens in Gainesville and surrounding areas. GWER was the driving force behind desegregation at the Boys' Club, the Library, Alachua General Hospital, and other institutions.

Notable individuals: Jean Chalmers, Shirley Conroy, Vivian Filer, Jane Hiers, June Littler, Ann McGhee, Cora Robertson, Rosa Williams, Bobbi Zeman.

Scope and Content

The collection, dated 1963 to 2001, includes correspondence, meeting minutes, and newsletters; documents related to the Home and School (HANDS) education program; and records from the GWER/ACLU Court Observer Program. A video of a 2001 panel discussion and recognition reception hosted by the Central Gainesville/Judy Levy chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women) includes personal anecdotes from GWER members.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER), Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

General Files, 1963-2001

1 Advisory Board Correspondence and Meeting Minutes. 1971-1974
1 Brochures, Pamphlets, and Stationery. 1963-2001
1 Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. 1964-1972
1 Committee Information and Meeting Minutes. 1964-1975
1 Correspondence. 1964-1966
1 Correspondence. 1967-1976
1 Editorials. 1964-1975
1 FOCUS Newsletter. 1963-1969
1 FOCUS Newsletter. 1970-1976
1 General Meeting Minutes. 1964-1967
1 General Meeting Minutes. 1968-1977
1 Guidelines for Forming New Associations. 1963-1976
2 Membership Lists. 1965-1975
2 Nominations, Endorsements, and Recommendations. 1965-1972

Education Projects, 1963-1975

2 Best Day of the Week Correspondence and Meeting Records. 1971-1972
2 Best Day of the Week Lists of Participants, Parents, Employees, etc. 1971-1972
2 Best Day of the Week Quarterly Reports and Appendix. 1971-1972
2 HANDS Correspondence. 1972-1975
2 HANDS Financial Documents -- Official Compilation. 1964-1976
2 HANDS Financial Documents -- Miscellaneous. 1972-1975
2 HANDS General Information. 1972-1975
2 HANDS Progress Reports. 1974-1975
3 Kindergarten Alert. 1966-1967
3 Miscellaneous Education Correspondence, Reports, etc. 1963-1975

Community Programs, 1965-1975

3 GWER/ACLU Court Observer Program (folder 1 of 2). 1968-1969
3 GWER/ACLU Court Observer Program (folder 2 of 2). 1968-1969
3 Housing. 1965-1972
3 Manpower. 1964-1975

Issues of Interest, 1964-1975

3 Boys' Club/Swim Meet Desegregation. 1964-1971
3 Firing of Harold Acosta. 1964
3 Tax/Golf Course Controversy. 1971
3 Miscellaneous. 1964-1975
3 Waffle Shop. 1966

Related Organizations, 1963-1991

3 League of Women Voters. 1967-1972
3 Miscellaneous. 1965-1975
3 Related Publications. 1963-1991

Photos, 1971-2001

4 Best Day of the Week: Alachua - High Springs Session III. 1971
4 Best Day of the Week: Archer - Newberry Session IV. 1971
4 Best Day of the Week: Littlewood - Terwilliger Session II. 1971
4 Best Day of the Week: Metcalfe - Stephen Foster Session V. 1972
4 GWER Members attending luncheon/dinner function (includes Rosa Williams, Beverly Hill, Bobbi Zeman, Sandy Peterson, Sue Legg, June Littler, Barbara Higgins, and others). ca. 1980
4 GWER Officers 1971-1972. 1971
4 Panel Discussion and Recognition Reception hosted by the Judy Levy Chapter of NOW in honor of the members of GWER. 2001

Audiovisual Recordings, 1973-2001

4 Audio Cassette: Coordinating Council of Concern Planning Meeting. 1973
4 VHS Videotape: "Gainesville Women for Equal Rights: The Politics of Freedom" (panel discussion and recognition reception hosted by NOW). 2001

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

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