National Organization for Women (Quad Cities Chapter) records
1966-2004, and undated

MSS 310
8 linear feet

Name of Creator(s):

National Organization for Women, Quad Cities Chapter.




The following restrictions apply to this collection: sensitive items, including minutes, business records and membership records, are closed for research until 2029, unless prior consent is granted. Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Access points:

Feminism -- United States.
National Organization for Women.
Equal rights amendments.
Sex discrimination against women.
Women -- Societies and clubs.
Women's rights -- United States.

Finding aid prepared by:

Lisa Beane, 2002. Revised by Helen Reinold, 2011; Elizabeth Mayer, 2013; Samantha Crisp, June 2014; and Caroline McPherson, February 2015.

Preferred citation:

[identification of item], in MSS 310 National Organization of Women (Quad Cities Chapter) records, Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List


The materials related to the Quad Cities chapter of NOW were donated by Kathleen Gibson. Additional materials were donated in 2013 by David Stewart.


The Quad Cities chapter of the National Organization for Women began humbly in August 1970 with a few women who organized a teach-in on women's rights. The teach-in was well attended, and a small group of the women began holding meetings at the Omega House in Rock Island. In December, the women officially formed a local, independent organization called Women for Equality (WE). WE soon decided to affiliate with a national organization, and in May 1971, with the minimum ten members, it became the second chartered chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in Illinois. The local newspapers became their first target for action, as Quad Cities NOW encouraged the publishers to stop separating their want-ads into "Jobs for Men" and "Jobs for Women." Though they met some resistance, the Supreme Court soon settled the dispute for them in its decision on a related case.

The year 1973 saw QC NOW co-sponsoring the Women’s Counseling Service, and the Quad City Women’s Center, a symposium on women’s liberation. QC NOW also started work toward the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Lobbying for the ERA, investigation of sex discrimination, and public meetings on reproductive rights kept QC NOW busy throughout 1974. A major event for QC NOW in 1975 was the “Alice Doesn’t Day” strike and rally to demonstrate women’s contribution to the work force.

In 1976, QC NOW helped establish the Rape Crisis Center and participated in a major ERA rally in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital. QC NOW organized a panel on abused wives in 1977 which led to the formation of the Women’s Shelter. QC NOW worked intensely on the ERA in 1978 as the original deadline for passage approached. An ERA fundraiser featuring Maureen Reagan and Midge Costanza as guest speakers was very successful. Several members traveled to Washington, D.C. for the ERA Extension March. QC NOW’s first “Get-Acquainted Night” was held in 1979 as was the first ERA Walkathon. The “Take Back the Night” demonstration protesting the amount of crime in the Quad Cities was also held during 1979. QC NOW’s push for the ERA continued during 1980 with an emphasis on Iowa’s state ERA and another large ERA march, this time held in Chicago.

New developments in 1981 included the formation of a Lesbian Rights committee and the renewal of the consciousness raising discussion groups. As the second deadline for the passage of the ERA approached in 1982, QC NOW was hard at work. On January 14, an ERA rally was held at the Moline YWCA with Lily Tomlin among the speakers. QC NOW members participated in door-to-door canvassing for the ERA and actively volunteered in the campaigns of local pro-ERA candidates for office. With the failure of the ERA, QC NOW’s focus shifted to reproductive rights and other women’s issues. In 1986, QC NOW elected its first male president, Dave Stewart. In 1987, QC NOW was the host chapter for the first bi-state (Iowa-Illinois) NOW convention in NOW history.



The Quad Cities National Organization for Women (NOW) records date from 1970 to 1989 and measure 8 linear feet (plus oversized materials). They are arranged into three series: Quad Cities NOW, State and Regional NOW, and National NOW.

The Quad Cities NOW series (1970-2004) contains materials pertinent to the organization on the local level, including the chapter's administrative records and newsletters, subject files, and press clippings, as well as some photographs and artifacts. It has nine subseries: Administrative (1972-1992, and undated), Contact Lists (undated), Newsletters (1970-2000, and undated), Miscellaneous Chapter Documents (1970-1994, and undated), Subject Files (1971-2004, and undated), Press Clippings (1970-2000, and undated), Photographs (1976-1989), Artifacts (undated), Texts (1968-1980), and Scrapbooks. The Administrative subseries contains board and business meeting minutes and financial and membership records. The Contact Lists subseries contains the contact information of current, former, and prospective members, legislators and members of the media. The Newsletters subseries contains NOW chapter newsletters. The Miscellaneous Chapter Documents subseries contains materials generated by the chapter at the local level. The Subject Files subseries consists of subject files containing information about issues NOW advocated. The Press Clippings subseries contains clippings mentioning NOW’s advocacy of various issues. The Photographs subseries contains photographs of NOW members and events. The Artifacts subseries contains buttons, sashes, stationary, stickers, posters, and other items produced by the NOW chapter. The Texts subseries contains a facsimile of the title page from various books; the books have been separated and cataloged in Special Collections.The Scrapbooks subseries contains two scrapbooks from the 1980s pertaining to NOW activities and general Quad Cities news clippings.

The State and Regional NOW series (1976-1987) consists primarily of materials from various conventions and council meetings held throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

The National NOW series (1966-1995, and undated) includes some administrative papers in addition to materials from national conventions and national newsletters. It has four subseries: Administrative (1966-1987, and undated), National Conferences (1972-1995), National NOW Times (1974-1994), and ERA Campaign (1972-1985, and undated). The Administrative subseries contains bylaws and policies, newsletters, financial reports, and other documents. The National Conferences subseries consists of meeting minutes and reports from various national conferences. The National NOW Times subseries contains copies of the national newsletter. The ERA Campaign subseries contains document related to the campaign for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. It has two sub-subseries: ERA Subject Files and Press Clippings.

The Video Recordings series (1995) consists of one video recording that contains two public service announcements titled, "Affirmative Action" and "Violence Against Women". The tape is dated July 21st, 1995.



The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject within each series. Newsletters and photographs are arranged chronologically. Undated documents are organized alphabetically by title.



Series I. Quad Cities NOW, 1970-1987

Subseries I. Administrative, 1972-1987, and undated

Annual Report, 1992

Board Minutes,1972

Board Minutes, 1973

Board Minutes, 1974

Board Minutes, 1975

Board Minutes, 1976

Board Minutes, 1977

Board Minutes, 1979

Board Minutes, 1986

Board Minutes, 1987


Business Meeting Minutes, 1972

Business Meeting Minutes, 1973

Business Meeting Minutes, 1974

Business Meeting Minutes, 1975

Business Meeting Minutes, 1976

Business Meeting Minutes, 1977

Business Meeting Minutes, 1978

Business Meeting Minutes, 1979

Business Meeting Minutes, 1980

Business Meeting Minutes, 1981

Business Meeting Minutes, 1982

Business Meeting Minutes, 1983

Business Meeting Minutes, 1987


Financial Records, 1972

Financial Records, 1973

Financial Records, 1974

Financial Records, 1975

Financial Records, 1976

Financial Records, 1978-1982

Financial Records, 1983-1990


Membership Records, 1972-1976

Membership Records, 1977-1978

Membership Records, 1979-1980

Membership Records, 1981-1982

Membership Records, 1983

Membership Records, 1984-1985

Membership Records, 1986-1987

Membership Records, undated

Membership Records, undated

Membership Records, undated


Subseries II. Contact Lists, undated

At-large Members, undated

Former Members, undated

General, undated

General, undated

General, undated

General, undated

Legislators, undated

Media, undated

Members, undated

Prospective Members, undated


Subseries III. Newsletters, 1970-2000 and undated

Newsletter, 1970

Newsletter, 1971

Newsletter, 1972

Newsletter, 1973

Newsletter, 1974

Newsletter, 1975

Newsletter, 1976

Newsletter, 1977

Newsletter, 1978

Newsletter, 1979

Newsletter, 1980


Newsletter, 1981

Newsletter, 1982

Newsletter, 1983

Newsletter, 1985

Newsletter, 1986

Newsletter, 1987

Newsletter, 1988

Newsletter, 1989

Newsletter, 1990

Newsletter, 1991

Newsletter, 1992

Newsletter, 1993

Newsletter, 1994

Newsletter, 1995

Newsletter, 1997

Newsletter, 1999/2000

Newsletter, undated


Subseries IV. Miscellaneous Chapter Documents, 1970-1994, and undated

25th Anneversary Meeting

August 26 Celebration, 1974

By-laws, 1992 and undated

Calendars, 1979-1985

Committees, 1974-1994, and undated

Correspondence, 1974-1989

Events, 1974-circa 2003

Historical Information, 1970-1976, and undated


Membership Drive, 1983

Miscellaneous, 1973-1984 and undated

Notes, 1978-1983

Notes, 1973 and 1979

Notes, undated

Officers and Elections, 1970-1985, and undated

Pledge Book

Press Releases, 1977-1998

Skits and Songs, 1971-1977

Volunteers, 1982

Welcome Packet, 1983

Yearbooks, 1978-1981

Yearbooks (Herstory), 1981

BOX 10

Subseries V. Subject Files, 1971-2004, and undated

Abortion, 1976-1978

Abortion, 1980-1993

Abortion, undated

Abortion, Advertisement Signatures, 1983

Abortion, Correspondence with Congress, 1979-1982

Abortion, Pamphlets, undated

Affordable housing


Conferences, 1975-2004

Education, Non-Sexist Textbooks, 1973-1974

Education, Sexism in Schools, 1971-1974

Elections, Illinois State Legislature, 1984-1992

Elections, Presidential, 1980-1984

Employment, 1972-1978, and undated

Employment, Correspondence, 1974-1978

Feminist Bibliography, undated

Medical Care

Miscellaneous, undated

O'Connor, Sandra Day, 1981

Quad Cities Women's Center, 1978

Women and Religion, undated

Women's Counseling Service, undated

Youth, 1986

BOX 11

Subseries VI. Press Clippings, 1970-2000, and undated

Abortion, 1970-2000

Abortion, undated

AIDS, 1985-1987, and undated

Education, 1971-1979, and undated

Employment, 1978-1986, undated

Feminism, 1971-1999, and undated

Founding Mothers Series, 1976

Miscellaneous, 1975-1979, and undated

Politics, 1972-1992, and undated

Quad Cities NOW, 1970-2000

Women and the Military, 1978-1981

Women in the News, 1976-1979, and undated

Youth, 1986-2000

BOX 12

Subseries VII. Photographs, 1976-1981



Negatives and Contact Sheets, 1978

May Fundraiser, 1978

May Fundraiser, 1978

May Fundraiser, Negatives and Contact Sheets, 1978



Banquet, 1981

Fall Protest, 1981

Springfield March, 1981



BOX 13

Subseries VIII. Artifacts, undated

Buttons, undated

BOX 14

Miscellaneous, undated

Prints, undated

Sashes, undated

Stationery and Cards, undated

Stickers, undated

Tote Bag, undated

Banner, undated [housed in oversize folder OPF-310/1]

Posters, undated [housed in oversize folder OPF-310/1]

VHS, 1995

Subseries IX. Texts, 1968-1980

Title Pages, 1968-1980

OVERSIZE BOX 1[Formerly BOX 15]

Subseries X. Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks [oversize]

BOX 16
Series II. State and Regional NOW (1976-1987)

Illinois NOW Leadership Conference, 1986

Illinois NOW Miscellany, 1974-1981, and undated

Illinois NOW State Conference, 1987

Illinois NOW State Convention, 1979

Illinois NOW State Convention, 1981

Illinois NOW State Convention, 1982

Illinois NOW State Convention, 1987

Illinois NOW State Council, 1978

Illinois NOW State Council, 1979

Illinois NOW State Council, 1981

Illinois NOW State Council, 1982

Illinois NOW Times, 1978-1989

Iowa NOW, 1979

Iowa NOW, 1980

Iowa NOW Legislative Affairs Newsletter, 1977

Midwest and Iowa NOW Convention, 1978

Midwest and Iowa NOW Convention, 1978

Midwest and Iowa NOW Convention, 1978

Midwest State Coordinators Meeting, 1976

BOX 17
Series III. National NOW, 1966-1995, and undated

Subseries I. Administrative, 1966-1993, and undated

By-laws Amendments, 1987

Financial Reports, 1975

Historical Information, undated

Membership Recruitment, 1983

Misc. Chapter Newsletters, 1974-1987

Misc. National Documents, 1979, and undated

National Archive, 1971

National Office Miscellany, 1974-1985

National Task Forces, 1972-1975, and undated

Policies, 1972-1975

Position Papers, 1980

Project on Equal Education Rights, 1978

Projects, 1975

Sears Subcommittee, 1974

Statement of Purpose, 1966

Women's Truth Squad on Reagan, 1984

Uniform Child Support Enforcement Act, 1993

BOX 18

Subseries II. National Conferences, 1972-1995

Candidate Information, 1972

Report of Legal V.P., 1973

Board Meeting, 1977

Board Meeting, 1978

Board Meeting, 1979

National Conference, 1981

National Conference, 1982

National Conference, 1982

National Conference, 1990

National Conference, 1993

National Conference, 1994

National Conference, 1995

BOX 19  

Subseries III. National NOW Times, 1974-1989










BOX 20












BOX 21

Subseries IV. ERA Campaign, 1972-1985, and undated

Sub-subseries I. ERA Subject Files, 1972-1985, and undated

Anti-ERA Literature, 1972-1983, and undated

COngressional Report, 1983

Correspondence, 1978-1984

Countdown Campaign, 1981-1982

Countdown Campaign Illinois Capitol March, 1982

Education, undated

Extension, 1977-1978

Homemakers and ERA, 1978, and undated

Illinois, 1977-1982

Illinois ERA Support Conference, 1979

Impact Project, undated

Iowa, 1977-1980, and undated

Lobbying Kit, 1978, and undated

BOX 22

Message Brigade, undated

Military and the ERA, undated

Minorities and the ERA, 1975-1980

Miscellaneous, 1974-1985, and undated

National Campaign, 1978-1982, and undated

National Campaign, 1978, and undated

National NOW, 1979-1983, and undated

Pamphlets, undated

Pamphlets, undated

Politicians, 1975-1984

BOX 23

Quad Cities NOW, 1978-1983, and undated

Quad Cities NOW Canvassing Records, 1981-1982

Quad Cities NOW ERA Committee, 1977-1981

Quad Cities NOW PACs and Politicians, 1979-1982, and undated

Ratification Project, 1979

Ratification Project, 1980, and undated

Religion and the ERA, 1975-1980, and undated

Reports, 1971-1982, and undated

Songs and Skits, 1975-1980, and undated

Speeches, undated

Students and the ERA, 1982, and undated

Walkathon, 1978

BOX 24

Sub-subseries II. Press Clippings, 1972-1983, and undated














Miscellaneous Articles, undated

Series IV. Video Recordings, 1995

VT-0310/1: P.S.A.’s, “Affirmative Action” and “Violence Against Women”, July 21, 1995

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