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Elizabeth Smith collection of Virginia ERA Ratification Council records

Identifier: M 425

Content Description

This collection consists of materials acquired by Elizabeth Smith and includes a large quantity of materials created by or concerning the Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council. Also included within this collection are items from a number of other organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Homemakers for the ERA (HERA), the National Women’s Party (NWP) and many other pro-ERA organizations of the time. The collection also holds materials documenting the anti-ERA voice of the same era. Materials found in the collection include reports, correspondence, minutes, agendas, printed materials, educational materials, lobbying materials, event ephemera, speeches, and a substantial quantity of clippings. The collection's contents illuminate the efforts of the Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council and other organizations to advocate for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment during the latter decades of the twentieth century.


  • 1970-2002


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical / Historical Information

Elizabeth Smith served as executive director the Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council, and she continued to collect materials pertaining to the amendment throughout her time with the Council and in the years following.

The Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council was a coalition of multiple Virginia organizations brought together by the shared goal of advocating for the ratification of the amendment by Virginia’s legislature. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” It was approved by the House of Representatives and the US Senate, and then submitted to the states for ratification in 1972. As of October 2018, the Virginia legislature has yet to ratify the ERA.


8.42 Linear Feet (17 document cases, 1 newspaper box, 1 print box, 1 small CD box)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in four series: Series 1: Organizational records, 1972-1996; Series 2: Pro-ERA Organizations, 1971-2002; Series 3: Subject Files, 1970-1996; Series 4: Clippings, 1971-1996.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Elizabeth Smith in 2009.


A Guide to the Elizabeth Smith collection of Virginia ERA Ratification Council records, 1970-2002
Special Collections and Archives staff
2018 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108