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International Women's Tribune Centre records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00373

Scope and Contents

The International Women's Tribune Centre Records (1970-96) consist of project files; correspondence with funding agencies and project participants; and board minutes and agendas. This includes records for all four International Women's Year Tribunes, held in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980, Nairobi in 1985, Beijing in 1995, and "Beijing +5" conference in 2000. The IWTC records include the records of the NGO Planning Committees.

Dates of Materials

  • 1970 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

This collection will be processed starting on August 17, 2022. During that time, all contents of the finding aid are subject to change and researcher access may be limited. Contact Special Collections for details.

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

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

The International Women's Tribune Centre (previously known as the International Women's Year Tribune Project) was established by the NGO Forum Planning Committees to continue the work begun at the 1975 International Women's Year Tribune. This first Tribune, which resulted from an initiative submitted by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to the Commission on the Status of Women, was part of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). (The U.N. had admitted NGOs to consultative status in the late 1940s. The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC (CONGO) was originally comprised of 200 member organizations.) CONGO's function was to facilitate consultation with U.N. bodies and to bring together other NGOs with common interests, for exchange of information and action.

Following the 1975 IWY Tribune, CONGO created the NGO Forum Planning Committees to prepare activities relating to future International Women's Year Tribunes, to be held in 1980, 1985, and 1995. The Committees' responsibilities included arranging for facilities in host countries, organizing the program, fundraising, and collaborating with the U.N. Secretariat on publicizing the Tribunes and activities of NGO Forums. The NGO Forums Planning Committees also offered workshops; film screenings; demonstrations; informal meetings in the areas of education, appropriate technology, and health; and other topics of concern to women in the Third World.

In addition to these activities, the NGO Forum Planning Committees also created the International Women's Tribune Centre. The IWTC has evolved into a flexible "women's development support resource," the purpose of which is two-fold: 1) To maintain the momentum generated during the conferences of International Women's Year in 1975, which some termed the "largest consciousness-raising sessions ever held"; and 2) To encourage and assist women and women's projects, particularly in developing countries, in their efforts to achieve the objectives of the International women's Year World Plan of Action.

IWTC activities include providing resource, information and liason services, as well as technical assistance in the area of materials development to Third World women's groups. The Tribune Centre publishes a bi-monthly newsletter that is distributed gratis to individuals living outside the U.S. as a means of disseminating development-related information pertaining to women, and to encourage dialogue among women around the world.


155.093 linear feet (156 containers)

0.0121 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



International women's organization. Records consist of administrative and project files; correspondence with funding agencies and project participants; board minutes and agendas; and the records of the NGO Planning Committees. These include documentation of all four International Women's Year Tribunes, held in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985), Beijing (1995), and the "Beijing +5" conference in 2000.


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. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

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.

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Additions to the Collection

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

International Women's Year Tribune/NGO Forums on Women Organizing Committees was formerly a separate collection record, but was combined with IWTC database record in 2001. 89S-27 forum files were partially processed by Anke Voss-Hubbard.

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

Finding Aid to the International Women's Tribune Centre records
Amy Hague
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-04-09: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063