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Alice McDonald Collection

 Collection
Identifier: COU:1049

Dates

  • 1973 - 1986

Biographical Note

Alice McDonald, the granddaughter of Andrew (1845-1913) and Anna (1864-1912) Holmberg, who were Swedish immigrants that moved into New Castle, CO in 1891. Andrew and Anna had three daughters; in 1894 Alva (1894-1983) was born, and then in 1900, their second daughter, Helen, and finally the third daughter, who died at birth was born in 1908. Alva attended Colorado State Teacher College in Greeley, CO and graduated when she was 18. With her teaching degree, Alva received a job position out of Colorado and moved to Soda Springs, Idaho. In June 1924, Alva married Walter James Oelwein (1893-1983).

Alice Oelwein was born on June 15, 1934 in Pocatello, Idaho. She graduated from Pocatello High School in 1952 and then received a BA in Home Economics from Idaho State College in 1956. After graduating, Oelwein taught at White Pine High School in Ely, Nevada until she moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1958. While in Madison, Oelwein attended University of Wisconsin and completed her master’s degree in 1960 and taught in Monona Grove High School for two years. In Wisconsin, Alice Oelwein married Donald G. McDonald on August 21, 1960.

While Donald G. McDonald was finishing his service in the Air Force, the McDonalds’ moved to Pasadena, California where Donald G. McDonald finished his work in a Jet Propulsion Lab. In Pasadena, Alice and Donald had their first child, Heather on August 22, 1963. After Donald finished his military service in the Air Force, the McDonalds moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1962 and had their second child, Donald Alan, on December 22, 1966.

As a community member of Boulder, Alice McDonald developed an interest in the unequal treatment of women in schools when her daughter, Heather was marked down for improper use of gender reference, which at that time Alice viewed as improper. In addition, her daughter’s high school classes were not provided literature written by female authors. During the feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, McDonald focused in on the unequal treatment of girls and male-orientation in public education. The collection demonstrates McDonald’s interest in equal rights for women after 1975 through her collection of newspaper clippings on the topic, which extended through 1986. To support her interest in equality in education, McDonald attended several conferences and workshops, joined several organizations, and followed legal actions concerning gender inequality in education. With the passage of Title IX, a section of the Education Amendments of 1972, McDonald joined the Project on Equal Education Rights (PEER), which was an organization that monitored the government’s progress with enforcing the federal laws against sex discrimination in schools and school athletic programs. McDonald remained interested in the Equal Rights movement and continued to collect newspaper articles, attend conferences, and correspond on this issue until 1986.

From the early 1980’s, McDonald became involved in Boulder’s public libraries. While volunteering, in 1979, McDonald was appointed by City Council to the Library Commission and served six years. In 1985 McDonald was elected as Chair of the Library Commission and in 1987 was elected as the Co-Chair. After her term as Co-Chair, McDonald became a member of the Boulder Library Foundation. From McDonald’s involvement in different committees and organizations, McDonald helped raise $14 million dollars that expanded Boulder’s library system.

Extent

1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Alice McDonald was community volunteer and an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) activist in Boulder, Colorado from the 1970s through the 1990s. The Alice McDonald Collection includes materials that focus on equal rights in women’s education. This collection contains decades of newspaper clippings and articles and information on government policies and programs aimed at promoting gender rights in the workplace. There is also material from several conferences and organizations that pursued equal rights in education. The collection also includes McDonald’s personal correspondence from 1973-1986 regarding equal rights and material from McDonald’s work with the Boulder Public Library.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series: I. CLIPPINGS II. CONFERENCES III. CORRESPONDENCE IV. EDWARD DE BONO V. EDUCATION VI. LAW VII. ORGANIZATIONS VIII. STEROTYPING/SEXISM IX. TITLE IX X. GENERAL MATERAL XI. BOULDER PUBLIC LIBRARY XII. OVERSIZE
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Tina Bailey, 1990 Re-Edited and Amended by: Justin Easterday, 2014
Date
January 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Repository

Contact:
1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States