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Sonia B. Swanson papers

 Collection — Box: 1-12, 13+, 14+
Identifier: MS-0036

Scope and Contents

The Sonia B. Swanson papers, 1971-1981, with a few earlier papers document the activities of the National, New York State, Buffalo Chapter and the Erie County Suburban Chapter of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), and Sonia Swanson's involvement as a member and an officer. The papers include mimeographed conference materials and handwritten notes form State, Regional and National conventions attended by Swanson during the years 1971-1878; Erie County Suburban Chapter organizational notes including some informal minutes, agendas, financial records, membership lists and clippings, also Chapter correspondence between Swanson and other members of N.O.W.; significant runs of local, State and National N.O.W. newsletters, and fragmentary runs of single issues of women's movement serials; as well as a number of pamphlets and reprints published by small feminist presses including New England Free Press and Bread and Roses. The papers do not include significant amounts of material regarding the Buffalo Chapter of N.O.W.; some documentation of the Buffalo Chapter may be obtained through newsletters and clippings.


  • 1971-1981


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Sonia B. Swanson papers, 1971-1981 are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Sonia Swanson was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1924. She attended Brown University where she received a B.A. in English in 1945. She later attended the University of Buffalo where she received a master's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. Swanson worked for several years as a teacher. In 1967 she joined the New York State Employment Service and later transferred to its Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Swanson was also deeply committed to the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.); she was a long-standing active member and officer of the group.

A member of the Buffalo Chapter of N.O.W., she became President in 1972. In late 1973 an offshoot of the Buffalo Chapter formed, called the Erie County Suburban Chapter. Swanson appears to have been instrumental in the founding of this group; she became the first treasurer as well as editor of Notes, the Chapter newsletter. Swanson also served as convener of the New York State Committee on Marriage and Divorce (1974). She also held the position of New York State N.O.W. secretary for 1977/1978. The papers end abruptly a few months prior to her untimely death on October 7, 1978.


6.09 Linear Feet (12 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes)


Collection documents the activities of the National, New York State, Buffalo Chapter and the Erie County Suburban Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and Sonia Swanson's involvement as a member and an officer.


This collection is arranged in nine series: I. National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), II. New York State N.O.W., III. Local N.O.W., IV. Marriage and Divorce, V. Equal Rights Amendment, VI. Equal Employment Activities, VII. Conferences, VIII. Informational files, and IX. Serials.
The content and arrangement of the individual folders created by Sonia Swanson were not disturbed.

Acquisition Information

Papers were donated by Ms. Swanson's daughter, Hedwig Swanson, on April 26, 1979.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

MS 37, Joanne L. Schweik papers, 1972-1980
MS 60, National Organization for Women, Buffalo Chapter records, 1973-1986
MS 86, Pro-Choice Network of Western New York, 1988-2004
35/5/1012, Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy papers, 1961-1993

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff.


Finding Aid for the Sonia B. Swanson papers
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)