The Roxanne Barton Conlin papers date from 1969 to 1996 and measure 45 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Personal, Professional, Political and Photographs.
The Personal series (1970-1996 and undated) includes biographical information, a few letters to Conlin from her father and her daughter Jacalyn Conlin, and material relating to Conlin's civic activism.
The Professional series (1969-1995 and undated) forms the second largest series. The series is further subdivided by subseries: Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), Appointment calendars, Assistant State Attorney General of Iowa, Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa (ATLI), Correspondence, Law practice, Newspaper clippings, Speeches, and United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Throughout the series, however, certain themes predominate; among them are sexual discrimination and harassment, women's rights, product liability, and civil rights.
The Association of Trial Lawyers of America subseries (1985-1993) shows how Conlin campaigned for elective offices within ATLA and how she rose through the ranks to become the organization's first female president. What she accomplished while president is illustrated through the interviews and profiles, the letters of appreciation she received, and the "President's Page" columns she wrote for ATLA's Trial magazine. Some audiocassettes and videocassettes of talks Conlin gave and courses she offered on ATLA's behalf are also included.
Conlin's work as an Assistant State Attorney General is documented in the Assistant State Attorney General of Iowa subseries (1969-1977). This subseries illustrates Conlin's efforts on behalf of women, minorities and the disabled. Included are several court briefs Conlin wrote as the attorney for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
The Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa (1973-1977) is a small subseries containing correspondence and some legislation the association wished to have enacted by the Iowa State Legislature.
The Correspondence subseries (1969-1990) is a chronological file of Conlin's professional communication between 1969 and 1990.
Conlin's Law practice (1976-1995) materials are extensive. There are many audiocassettes and videocassettes of news segments, talks, interviews, debates and panel discussions on specific legal issues and Conlin's work as a lawyer. (For Conlin's views on sexual harassment and on the Anita Hill testimony in the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings see Box 3, Professional, ATLA, Presidency, "President's Page" (Trial), letter to Julie Shoop dated March 22, 1993).
Also of note are the newspaper clippings which describe the 6.3 million-dollar sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit Conlin won on Linda Monohan's behalf (Box 23; Professional; Law practice; Issues; Sexual harassment). The Newspaper clippings subseries (1970-1990) includes articles about Conlin's fight as U.S. Attorney General against Star Coal Co. to end environmentally destructive strip mining where reclamation is not possible and a court case on Medicare and Medicaid fraud (see Box 28, Professional, Newspaper clippings, January 1980).
The Speeches (1971-1994) are extensive and are arranged by the following topics: civil justice system, commencement addresses, courtroom procedures and strategies, leadership, rape, sexual harassment and discrimination, women, and miscellaneous.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa subseries (1977-1981) documents Conlin's work in this appointed position. Included are minutes from Conlin's service on the Attorney General's Advisory Board and notes from various conferences she attended.
The Political series (1970-1990) comprises the bulk of the collection. Conlin's involvement in women's political causes, her service on state commissions and task forces, her campaign for Governor of Iowa and her political affiliations are reflected in this series. The series is subdivided into nine subseries: Civil rights, Democratic Party, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Gubernatorial election, International Women's Year, Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, Iowa Higher Education Task Force, National Organization for Women (NOW) and Women's political caucuses.
The Civil rights subseries contains more papers related to Conlin's work with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Of interest is an opinion written by Conlin on the commission's jurisdiction in police matters concerning public accommodation.
The Democratic Party subseries (1974-1990) contains documents from Conlin's participation at the Conference on Party Organization and Policy, a mini-convention held in 1974 in Kansas City, Missouri. The purpose of the conference was to draft a national charter for the Democratic Party, a first for major political parties in the United States (see box 45, Political, Democratic Party, Conference on Party Organization and Policy, letter to Conlin from Morris K. Udall, September 17, 1974).
The Equal Rights Amendment subseries (1972-1980) contains the transcript of a debate between Conlin and Phyllis Schlafly, the national head of Stop ERA, which aired on WHO talk radio in Des Moines in March 1978. Also included are three drafts of an article written by Conlin for the Winter 1975 Drake Law Review "Equal Protection vs. Equal Rights Amendment--Where Are We Now?"
The Gubernatorial election subseries (1978-1982) chronicles Conlin's unsuccessful bid as the democratic candidate for Governor of Iowa in 1982. The subseries is sorted into the following categories: fundraising records, campaign documents, audiovisual material, issues, correspondence and donation forms. Audiovisual materials include the following videocassettes: V60 - 9/17/1982. Conlin Campaign I; V62 - IPTV interview with Mary Jane O'Dell; V63 - 3/5/1987 "CNN Take Two, Roxanne Conlin Interview."; V64 - 10/26/1982- "Conlin Dub." produced by Db Productions; V65 - "Hear the Candidates" part 2.
The International Women's Year subseries (1975-1977) concerns Conlin's work on the coordinating committee in Iowa and her compilation of papers on the legal status of homemakers in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women subseries (1970-1981) contains annual reports and minutes of the commission during Conlin's tenure and studies of sex discrimination against women in employment, education and health insurance.
The Iowa Higher Education Task Force subseries (1973-1989) contains the administrative records of the task force and the testimony presented to the task force at six hearings held around the state in 1988.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) subseries (1972-1989) covers administrative records of Conlin's involvement on national NOW committees as well as position papers and materials connected to women's rights.
The Women's political caucuses subseries (1973-1986) is divided into two categories: Iowa Women's Political Caucus and National Women's Political Caucus. Included are papers illustrating Conlin's role as an activist for women's political causes and social problems. (A note from Ruth Bader Ginsburg dated December, 1974 regarding an article Conlin wrote that she had asked Ginsburg to review is in box 105, Political, Women's Political Caucuses, IWPC, Articles and letters first draft, undated, folder 1.)
The John Glenn Presidential Campaign subseries (1983-1984) covers Conlin's work as the chair of Glenn's National Policy Council in his unsuccessful bid for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. It also contains extensive press clippings related to the campaign, Glenn's position papers, and the text of many of his speeches. See also Box 45 for papers related to Conlin's work on the Glenn campaign.
The Photographs (1969-1982 and undated) are mostly professional publicity shots (including gubernatorial contact proofs) and snapshots of Conlin at conferences or in groups. The photographs have been removed from the various accessions to be filed together.