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Betty Newcomb papers

Identifier: MSS-119

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of materials dealing with the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the League of Women Voters, including by-laws, correspondence, newsletters, and related materials for all three organizations.


  • 1951-1985

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Betty Newcomb, a Maryland native, moved to Muncie with her husband Robert and their three sons in 1958. She taught English at Southside High School in 1963 and 1964. Newcomb left Southside in 1964 to travel to Europe with her husband, a Ball State University English professor, who taught several months in London. In 1965, the Newcombs returned to Muncie where Mrs. Newcomb taught English at Ball State University. In October of 1973, Betty Newcomb was offered a position as director of Affirmative Action on the Ball State campus, fulfilling a requirement wherein all higher education and public institutions receiving federal contracts had to appoint a high level administrator to oversee an affirmative action program. It was the director’s responsibility to analyze the institution’s employment records to ensure that the percentages of women and minorities in the workforce matched national levels. They also were required to monitor all employment decisions within the institution and investigate all sexual harassment charges.

Ms Newcomb had a long involvement with women’s and minorities’ rights. She joined the League of Women Voters in 1959, soon after the Muncie League was formed. She also helped organize NOW (the National Organization of Women) and was in on the beginning of the pro-ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) locally. She counts as one of the milestones of her life getting to share a committee with Alice Paul, the author of the Equal Rights Amendment. Ms. Newcomb and her family moved from Muncie back to her native Maryland in 1987.

Betty passed away in January 2013.


4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Betty Newcomb papers, bylaws douments and other subject files, 1968-1975

Series 2: Betty Newcomb papers, subject files, 1966-1984

Series 3: Betty Newcomb papers, equal rights amendment (ERA), 1968-1975e

Series 4: Betty Newcomb papers, equal rights league documents, HERA, and conference material, 1969-1975

Series 5: Betty Newcomb papers, league of women voters material and other documents, 1951-1975

Series 6: Betty Newcomb papers, National Organization of Women (NOW), 1966-1984

Series 7: Betty Newcomb papers, bylaws douments and other subject files, 1967-1974

Series 8: Betty Newcomb papers, tenth district and women's studies documents, 1969-1975

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing revised 2007/07 by M. Read. EAD finding aid created 2012/10/05 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid modified 2013/10/28 by Rebecca Marangelli.

Betty Newcomb papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA