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Sharing Stories from 1977: Putting the National Women’s Conference on the Map


"Sharing Stories from 1977" is an award-winning digital humanities project committed to documenting and preserving the participant experiences and legacy of the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, November 18-21, 1977. It makes important interventions in the historiography of women and politics by showing the range of political engagement from grassroots organizing to the halls of Congress. Americans in the 1970s, this project reveals, were much more civic and politically minded and much more committed to the expansion of American democracy than the literature currently suggests.

Our initial open-access website debuts in March 2022, and our fully-featured website will be near complete by 2027, the NWC’s 50th anniversary. Ambitiously, we aim to collect 150,000+ NWC participant stories from delegates to observers, journalists to torch relay race runners. 

Former IWY Commissioner Gloria Steinem—who calls the NWC “the most important event no one knows about” in her memoir Life on the Road—challenged the University of Houston to launch a social media initiative to collect participant memories during a 40th anniversary conference to commemorate the NWC held at University of Houston in 2017. The seed for our DH project was planted in Steinem’s public memory campaign.   

Sharing Stories from 1977 will have five main components in its first development phase reflecting research conducted by students at University of Houston and around the nation.
  • Home Page: showcasing the riches of our holdings at UH Special Collections and our local history through an interactive map of key conference sites in neighborhoods across Houston.
  • Why NWC Matters: featuring a historical timeline, archival sights and sounds from 1977, and interpretive essays on topics pertaining to the NWC.
  • Discover NWC Stories: showcasing biographies and oral histories of NWC participants.
  • Mapping the NWC: presenting searchable demographic data on the lives, advocacy work, and careers of NWC participants.
  • How to Contribute: featuring resources for our targeted site users: NWC participants, students, researchers, archivists, educators, and the wider interested public.

 Please follow us on social media to watch this site grow and learn more about how to contribute.

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Learn More

40th Anniversary Conference Support & GiveHouston History MagazineSocial MediaSharing Stories Audio / VideoCenter for Public History