University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Norma Lee Feminist Correspondence

Overview of the Collection

Creator Lee, Norma
Collection Title Norma Lee Feminist Correspondence
Dates 1975-1979
Identification 2008-006
Physical Description 0.50 Linear Feet
Repository University of Houston Libraries
M.D. Anderson Library, 4333 University Drive, Houston, TX, 77204-2000, URL:, Phone: 713-743-9750

Biographical Information:

Norma Lee was a Houston Area feminist activist born June 1, 1936 in Beeville, TX to Nell and Marvin Lee. Norma was a graduate of Lamar High School and The University of Colorado at Boulder and received her Master's degree from the University of Houston. After teaching for the U.S. Department of defense in Germany and Okinawa, Norma spent 38 years as a school librarian for the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Ms. Lee was very active in her community. She served as a National Organization of Women (NOW) member beginning in 1973, and she also assisted in various activities during the national meeting of NOW in 1974. In 1976, she ran for the position of Democratic Judge for Precinct 32 of the city of Houston and served in that capacity for many years. In addition, Norma was an avid proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, a Lector, Acolyte, a member of the Altar Guild and New Women’s Group of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, a founding member of the Houston Episcopal Women's Caucus Chapter and a delegate from the St. Stephen's to the Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Notably, Norma played a role in facilitating the International Women’s Year (IWY) National Women’s Conference of 1977, which was the first and only national women's conference to be sponsored by the federal government. From November 18 to 21, 1977, over 20,000 people gathered in Houston, Texas to celebrate International Women's Year and identify goals for women for the next decade. Prominent women such as Billie Jean King, Maya Angelou, and Betty Friedan were in attendance. First ladies Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson attended the event as well.

Ms. Lee passed away on March 28, 2001 and is survived by her partner of 32 years, Ann Robinson.

Scope and Contents

This small collection is housed in 1 box and consists of one series that documents Norma Lee’s correspondence concerning activist and feminist activities in the mid to late 1970’s. Most notably, the collection contains correspondence from well-known political figures such as Rep. Barbara Jordan. Additionally, you can find correspondence regarding high profile issues and events such the Equal Rights Amendment and the International Women’s Year (IWY) National Women’s Conference, 1977.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
University of Houston -- Alumni and alumnae
Genre/Form of Material:
Personal Name:
Lee, Norma
Topical Term:
Women's rights -- Texas -- Houston

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Norma Lee Feminist Correspondence, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Ann Robinson, 2008

Detailed List of Contents


Box Folder
1 1 Regarding Houston Area National Organization of Women (NOW) 1975
2 Regarding Facilitating at the International Women’s Year (IWY) National Women’s Conference 1977
3 Regarding Presiding Judge of Election Position 1978
4 Regarding the Equal Rights Amendment 1978
5 Miscellaneous Activist Correspondence 1975, 1977