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Inventory of the Ordination of Women in The Episcopal Church Collection, 1963 -1977
GTU 95-3-01  
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This collection was put together in 1977 at the Graduate Theological Union Library by then Acting Librarian David Green. He published a letter in Episcopal diocesan newspapers stating that the Library was collecting on this important subject, and requesting any material (i.e., news articles, ordination worship programs, sermons, etc.) be sent to him. Material was received from individuals who either had an interest in the events, or from individual women who were being ordained. The material was arranged chronologically by item and placed in three 3-ring binders, Volumes 1-3. Newspaper articles were stapled to pieces of white paper. These articles have been photocopied; the originals, badly acidified and bleeding through to surrounding papers, have been discarded.
Episcopal women began, in the 1960's, to seek ordination to the priesthood. This was denied by the church, the proposal being voted down at both the 1970 and 1973 General Conventions. As a result of this, the Episcopal Women's Caucus formed in 1971, and two later organizations: the National Coalition for the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood and Episcopacy; and Women's Ordination Now. On July 29, 1974 an irregular ordination of eleven women was held at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia. This action caused both controversy and movement in the process toward the acceptance of the ordination of women. On September 16, 1976, the General Convention voted "to affirm the right of women to be priests." (For a full discussion, see To Celebrate a Whole Priesthood: The History of Women's Ordination in the Episcopal Church, Heather Ann Huyck: GTU Library, BV676 .H83 1981a)
Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.