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Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER)

Identifier: Ms 167

Scope and Content

The collection, dated 1963 to 2001, includes correspondence, meeting minutes, and newsletters; documents related to the Home and School (HANDS) education program; and records from the GWER/ACLU Court Observer Program. A video of a 2001 panel discussion and recognition reception hosted by the Central Gainesville/Judy Levy chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women) includes personal anecdotes from GWER members.


  • Creation: 1963-2001



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Gainesville Women for Equal Rights formed in 1963 in conjunction with the Student Group for Equal Rights. The women first made their presence known in October 1963 during protests against segregation at the College Inn; they replaced students on the picket lines who faced expulsion from the University of Florida due to continued absence from class. Members of GWER continued their work in Gainesville for over a decade, sponsoring education and employment programs, protesting discriminatory legal actions, and otherwise striving to improve the quality of life of African-American citizens in Gainesville and surrounding areas. GWER was the driving force behind desegregation at the Boys' Club, the Library, Alachua General Hospital, and other institutions.

Notable individuals: Jean Chalmers, Shirley Conroy, Vivian Filer, Jane Hiers, June Littler, Ann McGhee, Cora Roberson, Rosa Williams, Bobbi Zeman.


1.5 Linear feet (4 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights including correspondence, meeting minutes, and newsletters.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Materials

A Guide to the Records of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER)
Finding aid prepared by Dina Benson
August 2004
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America