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Carole De Saram papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00794

Scope and Contents

The Carole De Saram papers document her role agitating for credit for women in the 1970s and 1980s as part of NYC Now, as well as her participation in International Women's Year in Mexico City. The collection is largely clippings, although original records are interspersed throughout.

The collection includes documents, legal information (FOI requests and responses, lawsuit information, ERA legal proceedings), NOW national conference packets, NOW New York chapter board of directors meeting minutes and protest information, as well as organizational information (membership lists, board meeting notes and proceedings, various referenda) about the National Organization for Women. The collection also includes photographs, correspondence, digital photos and documents related to the Women's Movement compiled by Carole De Saram, and personal documents of Carole De Saram. Also included are videotapes, books, and newspapers relevant to International Women's Year and other feminist issues.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1959 - 2018


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Carole De Saram has licensed her materials to be freely used, so long as the user attributes materials' original authorship to her. This agreement is governed by a CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International) license. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Carole De Saram, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Carole De Saram was a feminist activist in the 1970s, working as President of New York City National Organization for Women (NOW) for women's equality in all fields.

Born February 27, 1939 in Queens, New York, De Saram began her career in computing, working on Wall Street at the American Stock Exchange. Inspired by a Wall Street Journal article on women striking for equality, De Saram attended the 1970 March for Equality, and continued working for NOW from that day on. Among her achievements were the woman-led stock exchange takeover, the creation of a women's bank and the Feminist Credit Union, disruption of the US presentation at the 1975 International Women's Conference in Mexico City to protest their choice of US representatives, and numerous incendiary demonstrations against sexist practices of New York City businesses. She became President of NOW NY in 1974, serving two terms, and rose through the ranks at Chemical Bank to become Assistant Vice President while pioneering computer projects with IBM. Written about in "Glamour," investigated by the FBI, and still working in activism in the 2010s, Carole De Saram left her mark on the feminist movement as a whole.


15.022 linear feet (17 containers)

0.107 Gigabytes (76 files copied from one flash drive)

Language of Materials



Carole De Saram was a feminist activist in the 1970s, working as President of New York City National Organization for Women (NOW) for women's equality in all fields. Her papers include documents, legal information, conference and protest information, and organizational information about the National Organization for Women, as well as photographs, correspondence, and personal documents of Carole De Saram.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.”

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Initial accession donated by Carole De Saram in December 2017; subsequent accessions were donated over the course of 2018-2022.

Processing Information

Materials were sorted into similar categories, with original folders and order maintained when possible. Some subsequent accessions have been housed together. Open for use, with the caveat that this collection has not been processed, in the sense that archival arrangement and description beyond creating minimal box lists has not been done. The arrangement and description of materials may change in the future as iterative processing occurs. Researchers are encouraged to document their citations with this in mind.

Accession 2019-S-0046 was added to the finding aid by Althea Topek in 2020. Accession 2022-S-0008 was added to the finding aid by Althea Topek in 2022.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Carole De Saram papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-15: Added Accession 2019-S-0046 to finding aid
  • 2022-08-11: Added Accession 2022-S-0008

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063