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International Alliance of Women records

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00313

Scope and Contents

Approximately half of the collection consists of programs and other material related to biennial conferences, in particular the 12th Congress held in Istanbul, 1935. Material from this Congress includes committee reports and resolutions, correspondence, programs, publicity, speeches, and memorabilia. Documentation for other congresses is more sparse, consisting mainly of programs. There are also official conference reports (1906-61) and general documents such as agendas, publicity, position papers, newsletters, and printed material. Major topics addressed include women's rights, women's suffrage, the international women's movement, peace, and the United Nations.

Dates of Materials

  • 1906 - 2009
  • Majority of material found within 1913 - 1973

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The International Alliance of Women Records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following exception: Electronic documents (on CD) and printouts, 1999-2007, are closed until January 1, 2023, per donor instructions.

Conditions Governing Use

The International Alliance of Women retains copyright ownership of their records. Copyright to unpublished materials created by others may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Biographical / Historical

At a 1902 meeting in Washington, D.C., delegates from ten countries, believing that a new international organization devoted to women's suffrage was needed, planned to meet in Berlin to form a permanent organization. Delegates from eight nations founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) in 1904 as an unconditionally pro-suffrage and explicitly feminist alternative to the International Council of Women, which had failed to take a clear pro-suffrage position. The Alliance established suffrage as its primary goal from the beginning and maintained votes for women as its sole concern until just before World War I. Beginning in 1913 the group began to address wider issues including prostitution, peace, equal pay, women's right to employment, the nationality of married women, and slavery. In 1915, individual members of IWSA from warring countries had met in the Hague and were instrumental in setting up what has become another highly regarded sister organization, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

By the 1920s the Alliance was divided into groups of enfranchised and disenfranchised women and, although it continued to press for woman suffrage in countries without it, the organization also adopted peace and equality as major goals. Changing its name to the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship in the late 1920s, the group, headed by Margery Corbett Ashby, maintained its commitment to peace throughout the inter-war period. Although it became increasingly similar to the International Council of Women after the 1910s it stubbornly maintained its separate structure and identity. Emerging intact out of the chaos of World War II the organization adopted a program of peace, democracy, women's rights, and support for the United Nations. In 1946 the name International Alliance of Women was adopted with the sub-title Equal Rights - Equal Responsibilities.

In its present-day work the IAW "affirms that full and equal enjoyment of human rights is due to all women and girls. The IAW maintains that a prerequisite to securing these rights is the universal ratification and implementation without reservation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The importance and value of women's contributions as equal partners has been acknowledged in numerous United Nations World Conferences held during the past decades." [Source: IAW Web site http://www.womenalliance.org/history.html]

Extent

7 boxes (2.75 linear feet)

0.195 Gigabytes

Language of Materials

English

French

Overview

Approximately half of the collection consists of programs and other material related to biennial conferences, in particular the 12th Congress held in Istanbul, 1935. Material from this Congress includes committee reports and resolutions, correspondence, programs, publicity, speeches, and memorabilia. Documentation for other conferences is more sparse, consisting mainly of programs. There are also official conference reports (1906-61) and general documents such as agendas, publicity, position papers, newsletters, and printed material. Major topics addressed include women's rights, women's suffrage, the international women's movement, peace, and the United Nations.

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

The International Alliance of Women records were given to the Sophia Smith Collection by Louisa Fast, Smith College Class of 1898.

Related Materials

The Sophia Smith Collection has a full run of IAW newsletters in the Periodicals Collection under the titles: International Women's Suffrage News (1906-13); Jus Suffragi (1913-24); and International Women's News (1906-2009). Issues from 1906-14 are also available on microfilm.

A larger collection of International Alliance of Women Records is held by The Women's Library at London Metropolitan University.

Processing Information

Processed by Carrie Baldwin, Fraenkel intern, 2008.

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.
Title
International Alliance of Women records
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Carrie Baldwin, Fraenkel Intern.
Date
2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-06-30: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063