Frances M. Crater Papers

Identifier: MSS.0665

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

Most of these papers are records of Fran Crater’s work with the women’s movement in the first half of the 1970’s when the growth of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was countrywide, and when the work for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment was a major movement throughout the United States. Fran Crater, along with her mother-in-law Flora Trimmer Crater, whose work is also represented in these papers, were important organizers in the women’s movement and in NOW and ERA.

The papers measure 6.96 linear feet and comprise 5 series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Personal and Biographical - Information about Fran Crater and with information on the work and political career of her mother-in-law Flora Crater
  3. Writings - Student papers by Fran Crater and with articles and papers by others
  4. Subject Files - Abortion, Employment, ERA, NOW, and others. These files contain newspaper articles, correspondence, and general information
  5. Publications - NOW Newsletters from Nashville and other chapters, and many other newsletters, newspapers, and government publications that came out of the Women’s movement.

In addition Box 16 is a small collection of memorabilia.


  • multiple

Biographical Note

Frances Mae Kubitz Crater was born July 12, 1941. She graduated in 1963 from the College of William and Mary (A.B) with a major in Greek language and history. In 1974 she received a Master of Management degree from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Throughout her school career she was an advocate for women’s rights, an avocation she carried into her adulthood with her participation in organizations that worked for equality.

From 1969 until 1974 she worked for NOW, a civil rights organization dedicated to bringing women into the mainstream of society. She founded the Nashville Chapter of NOW in 1971, published the monthly newsletter, served as public spokesperson, and held responsibilities for lobbying the State Legislature for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. These papers contain materials on NOW Nashville’s creation and document Crater’s important and dedicated longtime participation in the group.

Fran Crater’s professional life has included being a mental health administrator, Director of Disability Determination Services (DDS) for the state of Tennessee, and more recently a grant writing consultant and coordinator for Centerstone Community Mental Health Centers in Nashville. She is married and has two children.


6.96 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Frances M. Crater Papers
Molly Dohrmann
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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