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National Order of Women Legislators records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00357

Scope and Contents

The National Order of Women Legislators Records is a somewhat fragmented collection of minutes, reports, publications, and other administrative records. The bulk of the collection consists of scrapbooks of clippings, photographs, correspondence, and printed material, about individual legislators and NOWL meetings, mostly dated 1970s and 1980s.

NOTE: The container list for this collection is available in the Sophia Smith Collection. Please contact us to request a copy.

Dates of Materials

  • 1933-1988


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns.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

The National Order of Women Legislators was founded in 1938 when woman legislators from more than a dozen states assembled in Washington to establish a national group. The first meeting of the organization was a social one, a tea given by the organizing Connecticut group. This affair, attended by over thirty legislators, was followed by a business meeting at which participants formulated and approved by-laws and a constitution for a national organization. The group also chose an insignia of a small gold owl (prompting the nicknaming of "Owls" to the Order) to be worn only by those elected to state legislatures. The group had a private audience with the president followed by tea at the White House. The National Order of Women Legislators is a non-partisan organization. As outlined in its constitution, the group's members are interested in promoting "a spirit of helpfulness" among women members of state legislatures, acting as a "clearing house for information," and promoting the election of competent women to public office. All women who have ever served in either house of a state legislature are eligible to join.


5 boxes (3.75 linear feet)


Legislators' organization. The records include minutes, reports, publications, and other administrative records, as well as scrapbooks about individual legislators and NOWL meetings..


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.

Additions to the Collection

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.
National Order of Women Legislators records
Finding Aid
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.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063