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MC89. Illinois National Organization for Women, 1974-2000

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-89

Scope and Contents

The Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women was founded in 1971. The first organizational meeting was held in the Chicago area and Irene Bennet was elected State Coordinator; the chapter's by-laws were passed in 1974.  The purpose of NOW is "to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men."  This collection was compiled by Luellen Laurenti (1939-2000), a professor of Foreign Languages and Women's Studies at Illinois State University in Normal. She served as president of the Bloomington-Normal chapter of NOW and served as Illinois NOW president from 1985-87.  Laurenti served in various other Illinois NOW positions including treasurer (1983-1985) and lobbyist (1988-2000).

The collection consists of records, audio-visual material, photographs, publications and artifacts relating to Illinois NOW, the McLean County Women's Political Caucus and other feminist organizations.  The Illinois NOW records contain national and state initiative or action plans, 1986-1998, correspondence, newspaper articles pertaining to feminist issues, legislative materials, conference and meeting programs and agendas, 1982-1999, state and local NOW newsletters, 1986-1995, and a national and state timeline of  NOW activities.  Also included are buttons, banners, posters, signs, songbooks and bumper stickers promoting the Equal Rights Amendment campaign in Illinois, "IS IT FAIR?" protesting the 3/5ths vote needed to pass the ERA in the Illinois legislature and the "WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER" campaign used to gather support for the Stevenson/Stern gubernatorial ticket in 1982.

This collection also contains information about the founding and activities of the McLean County Women's Political Caucus, 1974-1979, the 1999 Citizen ACTION/Illinois Convention  and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform


  • Created: 1974 - 2000
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/16/2001


Conditions Governing Access



8.00 Cubic Feet



Arrangement Note

By subject

Source of Acquisition

Luellen Laurenti

Accruals and Additions

Surplus buttons, stickers, and small signs added to artifacts in box 5. Chris Schnell 8/14/17.

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Other Unmapped
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Repository Details

Part of the UIS Archives/Special Collections Repository

Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407 US