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Tish Sommers Papers, 1970-1985 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Tish Sommers Papers, 1970-1985Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Sommers, Tish

Extent: 62.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

I. Pre-1973 Issues

II. Pre-1972 Projects

    1. Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP)

    2. School for Community Action (SCA)

    3. Join Hands

    4. Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)

III. NOW and NOW Task Force on Older Women, 1971-78

IV. Women's Action Training Center (WATC) and Jobs for Older Women (JOW), 1974-76

     1. WATC Correspondence

     2. WATC Topical Folders

     3. JOW

V. Alliance for Displaced Homemakers, 1975-78

1. Displaced Homemakers (DH) Center, Oakland

2. Alliance for DH / NOW Task Force

3. DH Network, Washington D.C.

4. ADH Hearing Transcripts, Congressional Records

5. Donahue and Family Weekly Responses, 1976-77

6. Women's Day Article Responses, 1978

7. Over Easy Responses, 1978

VI. Older Women's League Education Fund (OWLEF), 1978-

1. Correspondence

2. Topical Files

VII. Older Women's League (OWL), 1980-

1. Correspondence

2. Board of Directors

3. Executive Committee

4. Financial

5. Public Relations

6. Topical Files

7. Social Security

VIII. Newspaper Clippings, 1973-88

IX. Coalition Organizations

1. California Commission on Aging

2. Gray Panthers

3. Western Gerontology Society

X. Conference Packages

1. California State House Conference on Aging

2. Gray Panthers

3. National Council on Aging

4. OWL National Convention, Louisville, 1982

5. OWL National Convention, Washington D.C., 1984

6. OWL

7. Western Gerontological Society

XI. Research

1. Track Record

2. Speeches, Testimonies, Course Material, Radio Commentaries

3. Articles, Papers, Outlines for Book Proposals

4. The Not-so-Helpless Female Publication Files

5. Growing Older Female Project & Interview Files

6. China Study Tour, 1978

7. Generations-Older Women's Issue, Spring 1980

XII. Personal

1. Birthday Celebrations

2. River Trips

3. Cancer Support Group

4. Sommers' Death

5. Financial, Will, Properties

XIII. Audio-Visual

1. Photographs

2. Slides

3. Cassette Tapes

4. Film and Videotapes

XIV. Publications

1. Books

2. Periodicals

Date Acquired: 05/30/1986. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Feminists--United States, Older women--United States, Older Women’s League (U.S.), Social reformers--United States, Sommers, Tish--Archives, Women's rights--United States

Forms of Material: Audio Recordings, Personal Papers, Photographs, Slides, Video Recordings

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Tish Sommers Papers include speeches and working papers, extensive correspondence with legislators and women's movement activists from 1970 to 1985. It also includes: photographs, drafts of published and unpublished manuscripts and research papers, newspaper clippings and publicity materials, organizational papers (correspondence, reports, fund raising and financial records), audio-visual material, awards, personal items, books and periodicals, and other miscellaneous items.

Biographical Note

Tish Sommers was most known as an advocate of women's rights, especially older women's rights. She chaired NOW's Task Force on Older women in the 1970s, and in 1980 founded the Older Women's League (OWL). OWL is an advocacy organization with chapters across the country which has had political influence on many issues of importance to older women such as Social Security, pensions, health care and health insurance.

Sommers spent the majority of her life as a homemaker, though she was always active in volunteer work which involved a cause, such as poverty, or civil rights. After her divorce at the age of 57 she worked primarily for the rights of older women. She was influential in the founding of the Alliance for Displaced Homemakers which was responsible for taking many older women's issues to the White House, and for establishing a federal program for "displaced homemakers," a term she coined which describes the status of women who have lost their financial support through divorce or illness, and whose skills are not easily marketable.

Subject/Index Terms

Feminists--United States
Older women--United States
Older Women’s League (U.S.)
Social reformers--United States
Sommers, Tish--Archives
Women's rights--United States

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 1988, 1990, 1991

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Laurie Shields

Related Materials: Older Women's League Collection

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Tish Sommers Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Other Note: The Shirley Sandage Papers (1927-2007) located at the IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES, IOWA CITY, IOWA  http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/SandageShirley.htm

Other URL: http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/SandageShirley.htm


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Pre-1973 Issues],
[Series 2: Pre-1972 Projects],
[Series 3: National Organization for Women (NOW) and NOW Task Force on Older Women, 1971-78],
[Series 4: Women's Action Training Center (WATC) and Jobs for Older Women (JOW), 1974-76],
[Series 5: Alliance for Displaced Homemakers (ADH), 1975-78],
[Series 6: Older Women's League Education Fund (OWLEF), 1978-],
[Series 7: Older Women's League (OWL), 1980-],
[Series 8: Newspaper Clippings, 1973-88],
[Series 9: Coalition Organizations],
[Series 10: Conference Packages],
[Series 11: Research],
[Series 12: Personal],
[Series 13: Audio-Visual],
[Series 14: Publications],
[All]

Series 13: Audio-VisualAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Box 31: Personal scrapbooks and loose photos: Tish as a dancer; familyAdd to your cart.
Box 32: Work photographs, snapshots, negatives: NOW, OWL, DHC, etc. Many unidentified, not organized.Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: SlidesAdd to your cart.
Box 33: "Three Stories"; "Off our Rockers: Senior Organizing in the 80's"Add to your cart.
One set in carousel tray, one set boxed. 1986-Celebration. Tish Sommers, 1914-1985. One set in carousel tray, with cassette tape of Ronnie Gilbert; One set boxed, without tape. Two carousel trays unidentified program: Slides of men and women ,families in magazine ads.
Sub-Series 3: Cassette TapesAdd to your cart.
Box 34: Cassette taped interviews of Tish Sommers by Patricia Huckle [Index and transcriptions follow in next two boxes], 1982-1986Add to your cart.
Box 35: Cassette taped interviews of Tish Sommers by Patricia Huckle [Index and transcriptions follow in next two boxes], 1982-1986Add to your cart.
Box 36: Cassette taped interviews of Tish Sommers by Patricia Huckle [Index and transcriptions follow in next two boxes], 1982-1986Add to your cart.
Box 37: Indexes and Transcriptions of Patricia Huckle Interviews with Tish Sommers, 1982-1986Add to your cart.
Box 38: Indexes and Transcriptions of Patricia Huckle Interviews with Tish Sommers, 1982-1986Add to your cart.
Box 39: Cassettes tapes: Interviews with and by Tish Sommers, recordings of radio programs, book reviews, conferences. Arranged chronologically, list of tapes included in box.Add to your cart.

Transcriptions of four tapes only:

1) Tish Sommers at Sacramento NOW Focus Series, December 13, 1980

2) Tish Sommers, the OWL's Nest, 1982

3) Lou Glasse, history of OWL, March 24, 1990

4) OWL Board staffers recollections of Tish Sommers, Laurie Shields, history of OWL, 1990

Box 40: Cassette tapes: Interviews with and by Tish Sommers, recodings of radio programs, book reviews, conferences.Add to your cart.
Arranged topically, list of tapes included in box. Categories are: Conferences/Conventions, Interviews/Speakers, Music, Radio Broadcasts, Miscellaneous. Transcription of one tape only: (continued) Cindy Marano, history of OWL.
Box 41: Duplicate Cassette Tapes of Patricia Huckle interviews with Tish Sommers.Add to your cart.
Refer to Boxes 34, 35, 36 for original tapes, and boxes 37 and 38 for index and transcriptions.
Sub-Series 4: Film and VideotapesAdd to your cart.
Box 42Add to your cart.
Item 1: Film Roll: Tish and Billy at public pool; Children in backyard of home, on lawn and in kiddie pool. Wisconsin, 1950sAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Film Roll: Tish, Joe, Billy and other friends and relatives. Picnic outdoors, Tish's birthday party. Wisconsin, circa 1958Add to your cart.
Item 3: Film Roll: Camp Shalom and Tish's Dance Class (Tish leading class.) Wisconsin, circa 1961Add to your cart.
Item 4: Film Roll: Tish's birthday party, "Fine '59", September 8, 1973Add to your cart.
Item 5: Film Roll: Tish's birthday party, "Fine '59", September 8, 1973Add to your cart.
Item 6: Film Roll: Tish's birthday party, "Fine '59", September 8, 1973Add to your cart.
Item 7: 1/2" VHS Videotape: "A Matter of Life and Death, " Older Women's LeagueAdd to your cart.
Item 8: 1/2" VHS Videotape: Tish Sommers and V. Jaycox followed by interview of Sommers by Rosie Chu, KTVU_TV, September 26, 1985Add to your cart.
Item 9: 1/2" VHS Videotape: Three items on one tape: a. Sommers September 1985 for December 1985 OWL Meeting b. UCLA Interview for Medical Students, circa 1984 c. Sommers convention message, October 10, 1985Add to your cart.
Item 10: 1/2" VHS Videotape: "The Self Concept of the Aged," Tish Sommers speaker, Spokane Conference. (The original videotape is a 1/2" reel to reel-do not use; use VHS copy instead.), 1974Add to your cart.
Item 11: 1/2" VHS Videotape: "Working Together-Creating Change: A Tribute to PWL Co-Founders, Tish Sommers and Lauri Shields", 1990Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Pre-1973 Issues],
[Series 2: Pre-1972 Projects],
[Series 3: National Organization for Women (NOW) and NOW Task Force on Older Women, 1971-78],
[Series 4: Women's Action Training Center (WATC) and Jobs for Older Women (JOW), 1974-76],
[Series 5: Alliance for Displaced Homemakers (ADH), 1975-78],
[Series 6: Older Women's League Education Fund (OWLEF), 1978-],
[Series 7: Older Women's League (OWL), 1980-],
[Series 8: Newspaper Clippings, 1973-88],
[Series 9: Coalition Organizations],
[Series 10: Conference Packages],
[Series 11: Research],
[Series 12: Personal],
[Series 13: Audio-Visual],
[Series 14: Publications],
[All]


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