Title IX in the Indiana State Library’s Manuscript Collections

June 23 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 passing of Title IX, a crucial section of the Education Amendment of 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education for institutions receiving federal funding. Hoosiers, of course, have a special connection to the law as it was formally introduced in Congress by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. Born in Terre Haute in 1928, he served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1954-62 and the U.S. Senate from 1963-81 and his work during this time had a powerful and lasting impact on this country. Remembered also for authoring the 25th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution – which laid out presidential succession and lowered the voting age to 18 – as well as the Bayh-Dole Trademark act, he is best known for his work on equal rights for women. His support went beyond his role as co-author of Title IX, which was co-authored by Representatives Patsy Mink and Edith Green.

The collections at the Indiana State Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Division provide a number of contemporary artifacts that help make the culture that led to the passing of Title IX more tangible 50 years on.

Senator Bayh
The State Library’s holdings include both the Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083) and photographs of him in the General Photograph Collection (P000). Though the collection does not include materials directly related to the passing of Title IX, the Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083) contains campaign materials from 1975-76 that emphasize his continued commitment to equal rights for women, declaring “No other member of Congress can equal Bayh’s active and effective support for women’s rights legislation.”

1975 campaign materials, Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083)

1975 campaign materials, Birch E. Bayh, Jr. collection (S0083)

The photographs of Bayh in the General Photograph Collection mirror Bayh’s commitment to family, which has always informed the way he viewed women. He has said that commitment to equal rights was strengthened by his wife Marvella Hern Bayh.

He said of her:

“From time to time, she would remind me what it was like to be a woman in a man’s world. Without her, I would not have been in a leadership role.”

After Marvella died of breast cancer in 1979, Bayh married another formidable woman: Katherine “Kitty” Halpin, an ABC news executive, who continues her husband’s work to educate the public on the importance of Title IX in his absence.

Marvella and Birch Bayh in the 1970s, General Photograph collection (P000)

Reactions
First-hand reactions to Title IX survive among the Indiana State Library’s manuscript collections and provide insight into the number of misconceptions there were about the law. The Earl F. Landgrebe papers (L625) contain numerous letters from concerned constituents. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969-74, Landgrebe received correspondence from organizations and private citizens on the subject. They provide an interesting snapshot of fears which time has proven false. One such letter, for example, states: “one of the apparent effects of the Title IX requirement is that athletic departments will not be able to spend as much money as they previously had on athletic programs offered to men.” This was a common cry from detractors of the law, which also went further to suggest that Title IX would destroy college sports altogether. Yet, 50 years on the business of college sports continues to thrive.

Earl F. Landgrebe letter to constituent, Earl F. Landgrebe collection (L625)

Fears about sharing equal funds between athletes are expected; less obvious were fears that Title IX would prohibit all manner of programs frequently separated by sex: sororities and fraternities, men’s choruses, women’s clubs, scholarships and other programs created explicitly to aid women, and even separate sex education for young boys and girls. This reflected a basic misconception of how the law would be applied and, like college sports, Greek life and sex-based organizations continue today unharmed.

Letter from constituent to Earl F. Landgrebe, Earl F. Landgrebe collection (L625)

Impact
Most people have grown accustomed to a post-Title IX America and many are not old enough to remember education before its passing. It is difficult to talk about the impact because no statistics truly reflect the way in which it has changed the day-to-day reality of education and subsequently high school and collegiate sports. In remarks published in the Fordham Law Review, Katherine Bayh said “Title IX grew out of listening,” listening to stories of women’s struggles for sometimes basic access to education.

Christopher, Katherine and Birch Bayh at the dedication of the newly-named Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse, Oct. 24, 2003.

She recalls that he was touched by a story from a constituent whose daughter was rejected from Purdue Veterinary School on the basis of sex. It’s something that is unthinkable now, but even after American universities began admitting women, many instituted limitations on how many could be in a given class. What’s more, even once women were admitted, the expectations for them were lower and women lived with the stereotype that higher education was merely a place to find a husband.

Graduation postcard, Agnes E. Hinkle Ostrom collection (L692)

The nature of archives is that they provide primary sources that can be used to better understand history. These snapshots of the past are only a small part of the story. For more information, the Indiana Historical Bureau will be celebrating a whole week of Title IX facts spanning the June 23 anniversary date. Don’t miss it! Follow IHB on Facebook and Twitter @in_bureau.

References:
Bayh, K. (2020). Remarks. Fordham Law Review, 89, 13-20. http://fordhamlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Bayh_October-.pdf

This post was written by Victoria Duncan, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor. 

Indiana Union of Literary Clubs

The Indiana Union of Literary Clubs was started after the Indianapolis Woman’s Club was established at the Indianapolis Propylaeum. The Propylaeum, founded in 1888, was the central meeting place for many different women’s clubs in Indianapolis. At that time, there were already several different women’s literary clubs in Indianapolis alone. Although a rare men’s club is listed in the 1905 “Manual for the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs” (ISLO 374.2 NO. 7), the Union mostly consisted of women’s literary groups.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were the height of popularity for literary clubs. By 1894, there were 175 organizations in the Union of Literary Clubs around the state of Indiana, according to “Literary Clubs of Indiana” (ISLI 810.6 M 153) by Martha Nicholson McKay. Of these, there were roughly five times as many women’s clubs than men’s clubs. Of the twenty men’s clubs, half were existing organized college literary societies (McKay, p 33).

The popularity of literary clubs among women seemed to point to a growing sense of intellectual curiosity. This could have been due to women seeking to improve so that “when the day of larger social and political freedoms dawns, they will be prepared for the new duties the wider field may disclose” (McKay, p.33). The boom in literary clubs also coincided with the suffragist movement in the United States.

To organize the numerous literary clubs around the state in the early 1890s, the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs became the first state organization of clubs. In 1892, the third convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs was held in Lafayette.

Here is the cover of the Bulletin from the 1892 convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs from the Indiana Pamphlet Collection (Ip 374.2 no. 49.)

“The Bulletin,” (Ip 374.2 no. 49), a publication from the convention, provides a transcript of the inaugural address, “The Value of An Intellectual Life” by Miss Elizabeth Nicholson of the College Corner Club of Indianapolis. She indicated that there was a need for women to have intellectual pursuits in addition to their roles as homemakers. A common criticism of women’s clubs during that time period was that they took too much time and energy away from home and family responsibilities. Miss Mercia Hoagland, a representative of the Fort Wayne Women’s Reading Club responds to this type of criticism (Convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs 1892 : Lafayette, p 3):

Other speeches and discussions at the convention included, “The Moral Power of the Novel” and “Woman as a Factor in the World’s Progress.” “The Bulletin” also recounted news from literary clubs around the state.

At the end of “The Bulletin,” there is a transcript of a discussion as to whether the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs should take an exhibit to the Columbian World Exposition in Chicago the following year. It was brought up that if they did take an exhibit, it would need to represent all the various literary clubs around the state.

Ultimately, the Union did take an exhibit to the Columbian Exposition. The Indiana State Library has the item, “Exhibit of Work at Columbian Exposition,” in the Indiana oversize collection ([q] ISLI 374.2 I385E). These pages are examples of how each club contributed a program or leaflet that represented them.

This is the page representing the Ladies’ Literary Society from Brazil, Indiana. All participating clubs had a two-page entry in the book.

In 1906, the Indiana Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs were consolidated and were renamed the Indiana State Federation of Clubs so that they could apply to become a chapter of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Some of these literary clubs still exist today. For example, the Fortnightly Literary Club, established in 1885 is still active in Indianapolis. Hopefully, the love of knowledge, books and the pursuit of intellectual curiosity will never fade.

This blog post was written by Leigh Anne Johnson, Indiana Division Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” Ask-A-Librarian.

Bibliography
“Convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs 1892 : Lafayette, I.” (1892). The bulletin: a collection of addresses, papers and discussions of the third convention of the Indiana Union of Literary Clubs, held at Lafayette, May 18, 19 and 20, 1892. In M. E. Hoagland (Ed.). 1, p. 18. Lafayette: Indiana : Indiana Union of Literary Clubs, 1892. (Ip 374.2 no. 49)

“Indiana union of literary clubs – Reciprocity bureau.” (1905). Manual. unknown: unknown(ISLO 374.2 NO. 7).

McKay, M. N.-1. (1894). “Literary clubs of Indiana.” Indianapolis, Ind. United States: Indianapolis : Bowen-Merrill Co., 1894. (ISLI 810.6 M153).

The Indianapolis Fortnightly Literary Club. (May 11, 2022). Retrieved from https://fortnightly.org/

Indiana Union of Literary Clubs. Exhibit of work at Columbian exposition. [Place of publication not  identified], [publisher not identified], [date of publication not identified] ([q] ISLI 374.2 I385E).

Celebrating Women’s History Month

National Women’s History Month traces its roots to March 8, 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor working conditions. The first Women’s Day celebration in the United States was in 1909, also in New York City. In 1981 Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated annually the second week of March. Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed resolutions requesting and authorizing the president to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating March as Women’s History Month. Many federal agencies celebrate and recognize the importance of Women’s History month.

As Women’s History Month is celebrated in 2021, many will reflect upon advances women have made over the last decade. Women have increased their earnings, education and fields of occupation and have continued to live longer than men. View stats from Census Bureau surveys highlighting how women’s employment has changed over the years here.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Services, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

The Agriculture Department has a Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network where women can connect, share stories and share experiences with fellow women in agriculture. The goal is to promote the image, role and leadership of women, not only on the farm, but in youth organizations; at cutting edge research facilities at universities across the country; and in the boardrooms of global corporations.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva had a conservation which they called “The Age of Womenomics.” They discussed gender inclusion, especially in economics and finance, their respective career journeys, challenges and role models and the impact of this current COVID-19 economic crisis on women.

The U.S. Secretary of State recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice with the Women of Courage Award. Learn more about the 2021 honorees here.

This blog post was written by Marcia Caudell, supervisor of the Reference and Government Services Division at the Indiana State Library.

March is Women’s History Month

In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week with this message:

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

“Careers for Women,” published in 1922, describes 30 career fields where women can obtain work. While there were many avenues in the business field for employment, most of those were for office work. In almost all of these fields under “preparations necessary,” the authors recommend learning typing and shorthand. In the essay on advertising, the author states, “a knowledge of stenography often enables a college girl to be placed quickly.” The editors do describe some scientific fields, such as geologist. However, under “opportunities for advancement” the book states teaching positions for women geologist offer the usual opportunity for advancement, but the women in the mining office will suffer from the handicap that she is not available for active field work.

Today, 58.1 percent of women age 16 and older are in the labor force and in all occupations. Women hold 43.5 percent of all management, business and financial positions. However, in mining (construction and extraction), we still only hold 2.6 percent of jobs. 72.5 percent of healthcare practitioner and technical occupation positions are held by women.1

Women have been an integral part of the American labor force since first coming to these shores. Unfortunately, as President Carter stated, too often their contributions have went unnoticed and unrecorded. The Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Bureau, the Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology of the Department of Natural Resources and our partners and sponsors from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Indiana Women’s History Association are attempting to highlight the work accomplishments of Hoosier women. On April 6, 2018, we are holding the third annual Hoosier Women at Work History Conference. This year’s theme is Hoosier Women in the Arts. Our program includes sessions on noted women poets, musicians, artists and a panel discussion “How Indiana Artists are Using History in Their Work.” Keynote speaker Abbey Chambers, art historian and research assistant at IUPUI, will speak on “Art, Women & Gentrification.”

For more information about attending this exciting conference, visit here.

This blog post was written by Marcia Caudell, supervisor of the Reference and Government Services Division at the Indiana State Library. Contact the reference desk at (317) 232-3678 for more information. 

1. Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016.

Hoosier Women at Work Conference recap

April 1, 2017 marked another successful Hoosier Women’s History Conference at the Indiana State Library. This year’s theme was “Hoosier Women in Science, Technology and Medicine.” The attendees heard talks about Indiana native Melba Phillips, who pioneered physics theories, studied under the famous J. Robert Oppenheimer and advocated for women’s place in science research. We listened to talks about Gene Stratton Porter, author and naturalist, and learned how Hoosier women continued to be at the forefront in one of the first public ecology movements, removing phosphates from laundry detergent.

Jill Weiss of the Indiana Historical Bureau speaks about Melba Phillips

In a fascinating lunch time presentation about the ways women’s bodies are ignored by science and industry in making products designed solely for women’s use, Dr. Sharra Vostral presented “Toxic Shock Syndrome, Tampon Technology, and Absorbency Standards.”

Keynote speaker, Sharra Vostral

There were sessions on women pioneers Dr. Edna Gertrude Henry, founding director of the Indiana University (IU) School of Social Work, and Dr. Emma Culbertson, surgeon and physician. The presentations covered how they overcame gender discrimination to practice and teach in the field of medicine. Speakers also told us about the many women who broke barriers at IU that had long blocked them from pursuing careers in medicine and public health. Dr. Vivian Deno, Purdue University, talked about Dr. Kenosha Sessions, the long-serving head of the Indiana Girl’s School and her mission to use scientific methods to retrain young women and Dr. Elizabeth Nelson, from the Indiana Medical History Museum, discussed how using technology in making a patient newspaper provided a forum for self-expression and promoted patient literacy and self-confidence.

Elizabeth Nelson of the Indiana Medical History Museum

Jessica Jenkins, from Minnetrista in Muncie, Ind., gave an interesting talk on the Ball family women and their fight for improvements in improving sanitation, hygiene and medical access, while Rachel Fulk told about the discrimination that African-American women faced in 1940s Indianapolis in obtaining medical information about birth control. Nancy Brown reminded us of Jeanne White’s fight to educate others about AIDS so her son Ryan could attend school while a group of women in Kokomo were also searching for scientific information about the disease to keep their own children safe. There were talks about the 19th and 20th century and “Scientific Motherhood,” using scientific and medical advice to raise children healthfully.

Kelsey Emmons of the Indiana State University Glenn Black Laboratory

Sessions also highlighted the fight of many to enter the fields of scientific study at Purdue University and the many unrecognized women in in the field of archaeology. Dr. Alan Kaiser, University of Evansville, gave an engrossing talk on how a noted archaeologist “stole” the work of Mary Ross Ellingson and published it as his own.

Alan Kaiser, University of Evansville

To cap the day off The Indiana Women’s History Association President Jill Chambers, presented IUPUI student Annette Scherber with a $500 prize for the best student paper presented at the conference, “Clean Clothes Vs Clean Water, Hoosier Women and the Rise of Ecological Consumption.”

Women’s History Association President Jill Chambers presents Annette Scherber with a $500 prize for the best student paper

Look for the third annual Hoosier Women at Work, Women’s History Conference next spring. The topic will be Hoosier Women in the Arts!

This blog post is by Reference and Government Services Division. For more information, contact us at (317) 232-3678 or send us a question through Ask-a-Librarian.

It’s Our War, Too!: The WAC at Camp Atterbury during WWII

Ever wonder when women were first allowed to serve in the U.S. Army (besides nurses)? The answer is 1942!

Technician 5th grade Norma Boudreau and Master Sergeant Louis Dovilla with posters of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms, July 12, 1943

Technician 5th grade Norma Boudreau and Master Sergeant Louis Dovilla with posters of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms, July 12, 1943

With the United States embroiled in World War II, the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was established on May 15, 1942 as a noncombatant auxiliary to the army. The corps was renamed the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) upon its full incorporation into the army on July 1, 1943, enlisting each new recruit with the goal of “releasing a man from service.” Continue reading