In 1993, Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections at Hale Library, Kansas State University, became the repository for the papers of Dorothy K. Willner through the cooperation of her husband, Sidney Willner. Originally educated and trained as an instructor of sociology and anthropology, Dorothy Willner served as the International Organization of Consumer Unions (IOCU) representative to the United Nations between 1974 and 1983. She contributed to the consumer movement's transition from a 1960 resource pool of product test data, legislation, and marketing practices to an international advocacy group for international consumer rights. Willner's efforts eventually led to the monitoring of transnational corporations for potentially abusive business practices and United Nation's recognition of several IOCU initiatives as international law.
The arrangements of these records reflect Willner's multi-tiered professional work on behalf of international consumers. They are organized in the following manner: 1) IOCU Files, 2) Publications, 3) United Nations (UN) Files, 4) Subject Files, 5) Oversized Material.
The Willner Papers provide an in-depth perspective on the relationship between local and national consumer causes and the process of crafting international law. While some documents cover the daily administrative paperwork and correspondence during Willner's tenure at IOCU, other sections examine the non-governmental organization's period initiatives and long-term goals on behalf of consumer rights organizations against international/transnational corporations. The collection includes a wide assortment of pamphlets and booklets in several languages, which describe consumer activities in Germany, Greece, Norway, the United States, and other countries. Similarly, the records emphasize the increased influence of Asian-based consumer union activities in the 1980s on the international community. Documents created by several organs of the United Nations are, likewise, prominently featured in the collection, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Science and Technology Commission, and the Industrial Development Organization. Finally, researchers will find of particular interest Willner's Subject Files, which illustrate the interconnectedness of different consumer issues between different local consumer issues with national unions and their international representation.
The Dorothy Willner Papers have been assigned Accession Number: P1993.11. Processing of the collection was completed by Paul A. Thomsen in January, 2010
1927 Born in New York, NY 1947 Graduates with a Ph.B from the University of Chicago 1950-1951 Awarded the Wenner-Gren for Ethnographic research in Ecuador on Technology and Social Organization of Highland Indians as part of the Heye Foundation of Museum of the American Indian 1952 Conducts Graduate Study at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies 1952 Marries Sidney Willner, a lawyer who aided in the denationalization of the German coal and steel industry after the Second World War and postwar Hilton International Inc. partner 1953 Awarded Masters of Arts from the University of Chicago 1953-1954 Studies at the University of Paris 1953 Becomes an Instructor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Chicago 1955-1958 Serves as an anthropologist for the Department of Land Settlement, Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, Israel 1958 Serves as a Technical Assistance Administration Expert in Community Development in Mexico 1959-1960 Becomes an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 1960 Publishes "Community Leadership" for the United Nations 1960 The International Organization of Consumer Unions is formed in The Hague, including members from Brussels, London and New York 1961 Awarded a PhD from the University of Chicago 1961-1962 Serves as a Research Association at Research Center in Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago, Illinois 1962-1963 Becomes an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1964-1965 Becomes an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY 1966-1970 Joins the faculty of University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, as an Associate Professor of Anthropology; Granted tenure in 1967 and promoted to full professor in 1970 1968 IOCU adopts a new constitution, expanding voting members of the organization from the original founders to the entire membership 1969 Publishes Nation-Building and Community in Israel 1970s IOCU creates a regional office in Asia, including an advisory committee comprising of member from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji and the Philippines 1973 Contributes to Ronald Yelin Cheng's essay collection The Sociology of Revolution 1974-1983 Serves as the representative of IOCU at the United Nations 1975 Attends the Trade and Development Conference on the control of restrictive business practices 1978 Manages the IOCU "A World in Crisis" Conference 1978 Attends the United Nations "The Decade of Women" conference 1979 IOCU hosts a dinner in honor of Colston Warne 1979 Participates in the World Health Assembly deliberations on the Code of Marketing Practices of Breast Milk Substitutes 1980s IOCU advises regional offices and the United Nations to ban Clioquinol and Chinoform, used in travel medication, for alleged adverse neurological and gastrointestinal side effects 1981 IOCU establishes a "Consumer Interpol," a global network of correspondents who monitor the marketing and sale of potentially hazardous products on local, national and regional levels 1981 Manages the IOCU Tenth World Congress on "The Food Crisis" and the "Consumer in a Shrinking World" 1981 Contributes to a World Health Organization Infant Formula Resolution 1982 With the assistance of IOCU's Consumer Interpol, the United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution for "protection against products harmful to health and the environment." 1985 After more than a decade of campaigning, the United Nations adopts IOCU protocols as the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection. 1990 Dismissed from the faculty of the University of Kansas for allegedly "failing to carry out academic responsibilities" 1993 Dies of cancer of the small intestine, leaving her husband and two daughters, Karen Ferguson and Denise Pavia, and a grandson 2005 Sidney Willner dies of pneumonia
The Dorothy Willner Papers (1974-1986) consists primarily of correspondence, reports, and conference material pertaining to Willner's fostering of a relationship between the International Organization of Consumer Unions (IOCU) and the United Nations. The papers have been arranged to reflect Willner's interaction between these two organizations and the issues their members faced during this transitional period in consumer advocacy.
The collection is organized into five series: 1) IOCU Files; 2) Publications; 3) United Nations Files; 4) Subject Files; 5) Oversized Material.
The IOCU Files Series consists of three boxes of correspondence, reports, and event material relating to the issues Dorothy Willner regularly managed as a representative of the IOCU. While the collector's name appears on few of these documents, the accumulated contents of letters addressed to her and Florence Mason as well as Willner's hand-written notes are the centerpiece of the collection, illustrating the service Willner and IOCU provided period grass roots organizations throughout the world with access to research, media attention, regional coordination with other consumer group, and representation on the international level. Some files include correspondence between leading consumer advocates Colston Warne and Esther Peterson. Other files include reports on the March 1979 World Health Organization (WHO) conference on the haphazard technical cooperation among developing countries in the field of health and the related 1981 WHO resolution on the quality and content of mass produced infant formula. Other files contain Willner's notes on correspondence with members, meetings with international representatives, and conference talks. The series also contains newspaper clippings and research, which likely served as briefing material for Willner.
The Publications Series spans two boxes and collects pamphlets, newsletters, digests, reports, and booklets. These imprints were produced by a wide of assortment of international groups in several languages and by the United Nations on business practices and consumer issues. Some of the periodicals collected by Willner include Que Choisir?, Utusan Konsumer, Warta Konsumen and Orientatcion de Consumidores y Usuarios. The series also contains a small assortment of publications produced by the United States Consumer Affairs Office, the Danish Government Home Economics Council, and the Australian Federation of Consumer Organization, Inc. Other files in this series also contain material related to the growth of international businesses and produced by different United Nations commissions, councils, and agencies, including the Center on Transnational Corporations, the Conference on Trade and Development, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The United Nations Series consists of five boxes of memoranda, correspondence, press releases, critiques, conference material, and drafts of committee reports created by the international organization. While some files relate to the "Decade for Women" events, the majority of this series is centered on the United Nation's response to IOCUs consumer protection lobbying efforts. One section of the series collects the administrative work of several notable 1970s conferences, which covered issues relating to the creation of model laws as guards against restrictive business practice and the application of technology on international businesses and their consumers. Other files demonstrate the increased visibility of consumer issues in the General Assembly and the ECOSOC. Still others feature different drafts of United Nations reports, discussing the formation of both legal protection for consumers and an international business code of conduct for transnational corporations. Finally, this series also features guidelines for non-government organizations (NGOs) within the United Nations, including the IOCU.
The Subject Files Series spans two boxes and consists of newspaper clippings, memos, reports from other consumer organizations and Willner's own background research on a wide assortment of topics relevant to both IOCU members and United Nations administration. Several of the files are relevant to the growth of consumer unions in Asia. Others relate to fair trade issues, the creation of standards for foods and drugs, and the formation of a "Consumer Interpol" to act as a watchdog against abusive international business practices, including the use of Third World nations as "dumping grounds" for allegedly defective or untested medical devices, drugs, pesticides unpassable by western standards." Another contains material from the IOCU's October 19, 1979 dinner for American Consumer leader and IOCU motivator Colston Warne. Finally, a few files also contain research relating to the changing shape of United States unions and consumer laws in the 1980s, including the Consumer Protection Act and the United Auto Workers.
The Oversized Material Series collects in one box large documents and bound matter. The majority of the series includes material relating to the creation and development of consumer education in the Philippines. Researchers may find of particular interest Dorothy Willner's Asean Consumer Protection seminar discussing the measures under development at the United Nations to curb abusive business practices of transnational corporations.
Box Folder Series I International Organization of Consumer Union Files International Organization of Consumer Unions Administrative Files 01 01 Address List 02 Agenda 03 Conference, 1981 04 Constitution and Membership 05 Consumer Education Program 06-07 Consumer Movement 08 Consumer Protection, General 09-10 Correspondence, 1974-1978 11 Correspondence, 1976 12-13 Correspondence, 1976-1978 14 Correspondence, 1978 15 Correspondence, 1978-1979 16 Correspondence, 1979-1980 17 Correspondence, 1981-1982 18 Correspondence, 1982 19 Correspondence, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), 1977-1982 20 1983 21 Correspondence, Miscellaneous 22 Correspondence, Non-Government Organization IOCU Event Material and Reports 02 01 33rd Meeting Agenda 02 ECOSOC Memoranda, 1978-1981 03 Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Consultation 04 Executive Meeting, April, 1976 05 Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) 06 International Consumer Representation 07 International Working Group (IWG) on Transnational Corporations, 1978-1979 08 Florence Mason Correspondence, 1974-1975 09 1975-1980 10 1977-1980 11 Memoranda, 1975-1978 12 Meeting Notes 13 Notes and Clippings, 1976-1981 14 Notes and Clippings, 1977-1979 15 Notes, Miscellaneous 16 Register of Complaints 17 United Nations NGO Status 18 Research, Miscellaneous 19 Transnational Corporations 20 Annual Report, 1979 21 Booklets 22 Conference, Mediterranean Consumer Proceedings, 1977 23 Conference, Briefing Book, Ninth World Congress, London, 1978 24 Conference, Report, "The Energy Crisis" Ninth World Congress, London, 1978 IOCU Event Material and Reports 03 01 Conference, "A World Crisis" 1978 02 Conference, Report, "The Food Crisis" 03 Bibliography 04 Program, Consumer in a Shrinking World, Tenth World Congress, 1981 05 Background Reader, Tenth World Congress, 1981 06 Conference, 1981 07 Conference, Aging, Vienna, July-August, 1982 08 "Energy Crisis" Bibliography 09 Council Meeting, 29, June 25, 1981 10 Digest, 1-8 11 Guide Books, General 12 Information Kit 13 Model Environmental Regulation Report 14 Report, "Comparative Testing Guide" 15 "Consumer Interpol" Draft 16 International Consumer, 1976 17 "Multinationalists and the Consumer Interest", Peter Goldman 18 1978-1981 19 "Forty-Four Problem Drugs" 20 "Joint Testing Guidelines" 21 "Library Review" 22 "Model Environmental Regulations" 23 Seminar "The Law and the Consumer" 24 Seminar Papers 25 Seminar, Asean Consumerism 26 Seminar, Asia and Pacific Region, 1978 27 Seminar, Program, Asean Consumer Protection, 1980 28 Program, Madrid, 1979 29 Seminar Report, Consumer Testing and Research Training Course, 1980 30 Seminar 31 Notes 32 UNECOSOC 34th Executive Meeting Packet, 1981 33 Women's Year Conference Series II Publications General Publications 04 01 ABC del Consumidor 02 Australian Consumers Association 03 Australian Federation of Consumer Organization, Inc. 04 Boletin del Consumidor 05 Bureau of European Consumer Unions 06 Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection Journal 07 Consommateurs Actualite, 1979 08 Consumer 09 Consumer Association Testing and Research 10 Consumer Council 11 Commission of the European Communities 12 Journal of Consumer Policy 13 Contacts 14 Danish Government Home Economics Council 15 Don Consumidon 16 Forbruker Rapporten 17 Greek Language Publications 18 Instituto Nacional del Consumidor 19 International Organization for Standardization 20 Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Means of Consumer Protection, 1975 21-22 Miscellaneous Booklets 23 Miscellaneous Newsletters 24 New York State Consumer Protection Board 25 Norway Consumer Reports 27 Orientatcion de Consumidores y Usuarios 28-29 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 30 Que Choisir? 31 Revisita del Consumidor 32 Transnational Perspective 33 United States Consumer Affairs Office 34 United States Food and Drug Administration Rules and Regulations 35 Utusan Konsumer 36 Valve 37 Warta Konsumen (Digest) 38 Warta Konsumen (Newletters) United Nations Publications/United Nations General Files 05 01 United Nations Center on Transnational Corporations 02 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 03 Decade for Women Conference 04 Economic and Social Council Reports 05 Report on Transnational Corporations 06 "Rural Water Supply Hand Pumps Project", World Bank 07 Miscellaneous Booklets 08 Miscellaneous Publications 09 Model Law on Restrictive Business Practices 10 "Transnational Corporations in South Africa and Namibia" Volume I Series III United Nations Files 11 Agendas, 1974-1978 12 Correspondence, 1976-1977 13 Coordination 14 Consumer Protection 15 Decade for Women 16 Consumer Protection United Nations General Files 06 01 Conference, Model Law on Restrictive Business Practices 02 Conference, Role of Industrial Property System in the Transfer of Technology 03 Conference, Trade and Development, Control of Restrictive Business Practices, 1975 04 Conference, Trade and Development Reports and Memos, 1976, 1978 05 General Assembly, Lima Programne for Mutual Assistance and Solidarity 06 General Assembly Preparations for Science and Technology Conference, 1978 07 Multinational Charters 08 Press Releases, 1977-1978 09 1978 10 Reports and Critiques, 1985 11 Restrictive Business Practices 12 Science and Technology Report Drafts and Notes, 1978-1979 13 Preparation Committee United Nations ECOSOC 07 01 ECOSOC Committee Reports, 1981 02 Consumer Protection Activities 3 Consumer Protection, International Cooperation Memos, 1981 4 Consumer Protection Draft Report, 1981 5 Consumer Protection Reports 6 Consumer Protection Legal Measures 7 Consumer Unions and Codes of Conduct for Transnational Corporations 8 Journal of the Economic and Social Council, Meeting Program 9 Meeting Summaries, 1977 10 Non-governmental Organization, 1975-1977 11 Notes 12 Reports, 1971-1972 13 1977 14 1982 12 1982-1983 15 Restrictive Business Practices 16 ESCAP Consumer Protection Conference Preparations Reports and Agendas 15 Transnational Corporations Agenda, 1976-1979 16 Code of Conduct Clippings 08 01 Transnational Corporations Code of Conduct, Drafts and Memos 02 Code of Conduct , Miscellaneous 03 Code of Conduct Report, 1976 04 Committee Memos, 1976 05 Drafts, 1978 06 Information Systems Creation 07 Meeting Records, 1977-1985 08 Report, 1980 09 Report Drafts 10 Report, "International Code of Conduct on Transfer of Technology," 1975 11 Reports and Comments, 1980 12 Reports and Press Releases, 1979 13 Region Specific Memos, 1974-1984 14 Supplement Reports, 1980-1983 15 Notes United Nations General Files/Subject Files 09 01 Women, Conference Reports, Foreign Languages, 1978 02 Women's Status Memos, 1978 03 Women's Decade Memos, 1978 04 Work of the Council, Reports Series IV Subject Files 05 Asian Consumer Product Research 06 Bangkok, Members Reference Material, 1978 07 Bureau Europ‚en des Unions de Consommateurs 08 Colston Warne 09 Consumidor Clippings, 1980 10 Consumer Education Study (Spanish) 11 "Consumer Interpol" Draft 12 Consumer Protection Notes and Clippings 13 Consumer Testing Seminar, 1976 14 Economic Commission for Europe 15 Fair Trade Practices 16 Federal Consumer Protection Law 17 Food and Nutrition Consumer Education 18 Housing 19 International Chamber of Commerce Research Pamphlets 20 Industry and Trade 21 Initiatives 22 IOCU-United Nations Industrial Development Organization 23 International Consumer Seminar Programs Subject Files 10 01 International Standards Organization 02 Korea 03 Marketing, the Consumer, and the Law 04 Miscellaneous 05 National Consumers Institute Organization 06 National Consumer's Institute Overview, 1980 07 NGO Forum, Kenya Nairobi, 1985 08 Norway Consumer Report, 1985 09 Philippines Consumer Code 10 Policy and Research analysis on Translational Corporations, 1984 11 Testing Committee Agenda 12 United Auto Workers 13 US Consumer Protection Act 14 Women's Decade Conference Research 15 Women and Food Research 16 Women's International Council 17 Women's International Year 18 Women's Year 19 World Health Organization Food Standards Conference Series V Oversized Material Oversized Material 11 01 Bonner, Raymond, Testimony, 1975 02 Consumer Education 03 Consumer Education in Food Nutrition 04 Philippine Project Case Study on Consumer Education in Food and Nutrition 05 Philippine Research 06 Philippine Reports 07 Willner, Dorothy, Asean Consumer Protection Seminar "Transnational Corporations: 08 Work in Progress at the United Nations" 08 Yayason Limbaya Konsemen Summaries