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Idris Rossell Collection

Identifier: BC20-34

Collection Scope and Content Summary

Materials in this collection relate to several facets of Rossell’s life including her advocacy role for women’s labor equality and her leadership role as a Barnard College alumna. Also included in the collection are her father’s papers, speeches, and photographs. Memoranda, reports, pamphlets, research material, government publications, relate to the fight for women’s equality in the work place. Materials were produced by both government agencies and non-government organizations including the US Information Agency (USIA), Foreign Affairs Executive Seminar, Women’s Action Organization (WAO), National Organization for Women (NOW), and the organization established as a part of the UN’s International Women’s Year (IWY) in 1975. Reports survey the efficacy of labor equality legislation such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Amendment (EEO), passed in 1964, and the Affirmative Action Plan which sought to enforce it.


  • Creation: 1943-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1977



This collection has no restrictions.

Reproduction Restrictions

Single photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.


Idris Rossell was born in 1922 and graduated from Barnard College in 1944, serving as class president. Following in her father’s footsteps (James Rossell), who served as the Director of the US Civil Service, Rossell held several government positions which directly advocated for women’s equality in the work force. During the 1960s, Rossell worked for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and the Office of the Deputy under Secretary for Administration office of Fair Employment Practices. In the 1970s, she worked for the State Department in the Foreign Affairs Executive Seminar, served on the Ad Hoc Committee for the Improvement of the Status of Women in the Foreign Agencies, and served as a representative to the Women’s Action Organization (WAO). Rossell also worked with the National Organization for Women (NOW), and participated in the United Nations’ International Women’s Year (IWY) in 1975. In addition to her governmental roles and advocacy work, Rossell was an active alumna, contributing to the Alumnae Magazine, serving as president of the Barnard in Washington Club, 1974-75, and performing an integral role reunion planning.


2.71 Linear Feet (6 1/2 boxes)




This collection consists of Barnard alumna Idris Rossell's papers, correspondance, and research material from the government positions she held, which directly advocated for women’s equality in the work force.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged in six series, as follows:

Series 1, Labor Equality Materials, 1970-1977
Series 2, International Women's Year Materials, 1974-1976
Series 3, Government Publications, 1949-1976
Series 4, Administrative Papers and Correspondence, 1957-1993
Series 5, Barnard Alumnae Materials, 1965-1994
Series 6, James Rossell Papers and Photographs, 1943-1952

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Gift of Idris Rossell, 2014.


No additions are expected.

Processing History

This collection was processed and the finding aid written by Hilary Price in November 2014.

Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.

Finding aid written in English.

Guide to the Idris Rossell Collection
Hilary Price
© 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States