Records of the National Organization for Women

NOW National Conference_1974_Photo by Bettye Lane_copyright Estate of Bettye Lane_Courtesy of Schlesinger Library

When the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed in 1966, its statement of purpose read “the time has come to confront, with concrete action, the conditions that now prevent women from enjoying the quality of opportunity and freedom of choice which is their right, as individual Americans, and as human beings.”

Since its founding, NOW has grown to become the largest organization of feminist activists in the US, with more than 500,000 members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates. Since 1972, when NOW chose the Schlesinger Library as the archives for its records, the collection has grown to be one of our largest (300 linear feet of manuscripts and growing) and most heavily used by researchers to explore a wide variety of topics.