Descriptive inventory for the Illinois Women's Agenda records, 1973-1977, 1983-1986, processed portion (partially processed collection)

Illinois Women's Agenda records

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Descriptive inventory for the Illinois Women's Agenda records, 1973-1977, 1983-1986, processed portion (partially processed collection)

Prepared by Naomi Wilkin, 2015, ed. by Julie Wroblewski, 2015
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Illinois Women's Agenda records, 1973-1977, 1983-1986 (inclusive), circa 1974-1976 (bulk)
Creators: Rebecca Sive
Illinois Women's Agenda
Dates: 1973-1977, 1983-1986 (inclusive), 1974-1976 (bulk)
Accession number: 1992.0355
Bib number: 00065856
Call numbers: MSS Lot I
MSS Oversize I
Size:4.25 linear feet (10 boxes)
3 oversize folders
Language of material:Collection is written in English, and Spanish.

Provenance statement:

Gift of the Illinois Women's Agenda (accession #: 1992.0355)

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.


This collection is open for research use.

Please cite this collection as:

Illinois Women's Agenda records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description date, and box/folder.

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at the Chicago History Museum Research Center include the Midwest Women's Center records, E.R.A. Central records, and the Chicago Women's Directory.

Collection Summary +/-

Minutes, outreach, correspondence, finance, distribution records, event planning, publication drafting, resource/data collecting, other administrative records of the Illinois Women's Agenda, newspaper clippings, and two photographs. The majority of the records are written in English, with some resources for women in Spanish. Topics include the Chicago Women's Directory, the Women's Studies Survey, planning for International Women's Year events, National Women's Agenda Day materials, and the Illinois Women's Lobby Corporation. The majority of correspondence is to or from Rebecca Sive, who led the IWA during the 1970s and was involved with many sponsors and organizations affiliated with IWA at this time. Also included are drafts of the Chicago Women's Directory and research for each section, information on the women's studies programs in America during that time, planning for national events at a state and local level, and organizing to promote women's rights in government.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

The Illinois Women's Agenda was created in 1975 as a branch of the National Women's Agenda, which came about in response to the United Nation's call for 1975 to be an International Women's Year. The National Women's Agenda was the more conservative feminist organization at the time, backed by President Ford. The Illinois Women's Agenda's goal was to advocate for women's rights on a state and local level by providing resources for women who did not have access to such aid. They were, essentially, a statewide coalition of women's organizations working together to provide the best possible support for women in this area. In 1976, they actively participated in the Illinois Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Ratification Campaign. The Illinois Women's Agenda lasted throughout the 70s and, in 1983, created the Illinois Women's Lobby Corporation, a non-profit organization whose purpose was to lobby the General Assembly on women's equality issues. Their main focus was women's health/reproductive rights and the appointment of women to state boards and commissions.

The Illinois Women's Agenda creator, Rebecca Sive (also known as Rebecca Sive-Tomachevsky), was an active advocate for women's rights in Chicago in the early 1970s. Prior to creating the Illinois Women's Agenda, Sive headed projects that contributed to the organization's goals. These projects included Inforwomen (1973-1975), the Chicago Women's Directory (1973-1975), the Women's Studies Survey (1973-1975), and the Midwest Women's Center (1973-1993). In its early years, the Illinois Women's Agenda was active in the Illinois women's community, advocating for the ERA in particular. In addition to these projects, Sive held a key position in the Institute on Pluralism and Group Identity, an organization that sponsored the Illinois Women's Agenda between 1975 and 1977. (Other sponsors of the Illinois Women's Agenda over its lifespan include the Midwest Women's Center and Hull House Association.) As part of the organization's observance of International Women's Year, they created an exhibit of the history of women in Illinois for the Institute on Pluralism and Group Identity in 1976. The Illinois Women's Agenda also participated in the National Women's Agenda Day on December 2 in 1975 and 1976. The National Women's Agenda Day was created by the more liberal coalition of women's organizations, which included the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Women's Action Alliance (WAA), and the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), among others. For both years, they held meetings and conferences throughout the day to collaborate on solutions for intersectional women's rights issues nationally, statewide, and locally.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Women - Illinois - Societies and clubs
Women - Legal status, laws, etc. - Illinois
Women - Political Activity - Illinois - 20th century
Women's rights - Illinois - 20th century
Sive, Rebecca
Illinois Women's Agenda
Financial records
Mailing lists
Illinois - Politics and government - 20th century

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in four series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Chicago Women's Directory, 1973-1975 (box 1-3)
Subseries 1. Production, 1973-1975 (box 1)
Subseries 2. Women's Yellow Pages, 1973-1974 (box 2)
Subseries 3. Distribution, 1974-1975 (box 3)
Series 2. Women's Studies Survey, 1973-1975 (box 3-5)
Series 3. Illinois Women's Agenda, 1974-1977, 1983-1986 (box 5-9, 3 oversize folders)
Series 4. National Women's Agenda Day, 1975-1976 (box 9-10)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Naomi Wilkin using Oxygen editor, 2015.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to Explore Chicago Collections portal.
Processing Note:This collection is partially processed and this finding aid describes only the processed portion. Additional portions of the collection will be added as processing is completed.
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