Guide to the Winifred Gail Soules Bradley Papers, 1952-1982
Women's rights activist. Correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, speeches and writings, newsletters, financial reports, pamphlets, clippings, flyers, and printed materials, primarily focusing on women's organizations in which Mrs. Bradley held leadership positions. The majority of the materials pertain to the League of Women Voters of the United States, particularly as they relate to her chairing its Foreign Policy Committee. The collection also documents efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment through the North Carolina State Legislature in the 1970s. Other organizations highlighted are the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, the Women's Equity Action League of North Carolina, and the Women's Forum of North Carolina. Also includes copies of the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, (DURHAM, N.C.) BULLETIN. A common goal which runs through many of the papers was her effort to improve the condition of women legally, economically, and politically.
- Collection Number
- Winifred Gail Soules Bradley papers
- Bradley, Winifred Gail Soules
- 4.6 Linear Feet, Approximately 2,760 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The papers of Winifred Gail Soules Bradley span the period 1952 to 1982 with the bulk of the material dating from 1965 through the 1970s. The focus of the collection is the various women's organizations to which Bradley belonged and in which she held leadership positions.
The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, speeches and writings, newsletters, financial reports, pamphlets, clippings, flyers, and printed materials. It is organized chiefly alphabetically by name of organization, committee, or concern.
The organization primarily represented is the League of Women Voters in which Bradley held local, state, and national office. Files pertaining to the League are subdivided by the League of Women Voters, Durham, N.C., League of Women Voters, N.C., and the League of Women Voters, United States. These files are further subdivided by committees, conferences, and issues in which Bradley held an office or was involved. Within these subgroups, the papers are arranged in chronological order. The majority of materials in this file pertains to her offices at the national level, in particular her service as chair of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) Foreign Policy Committee from 1967 to 1970 and her tenure as First Vice President from 1970 to 1974.
Papers relating to the Foreign Policy Committee include memos from Bradley to state league presidents, handwritten notes, reports and speeches (some of these made by Bradley), position papers, and newsletters. Among the topics addressed while she was Foreign Policy committee chairman were foreign aid, biological and chemical warfare, and United States trade policies.
Bradley's positions as First Vice President of the LWVUS and Chair of the Foreign Policy Committee gave her several opportunities to have a highly visible role in the League's activities, some of which are reflected in the collection. They include speeches she made before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of foreign economic aid in 1968 and before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding U.S. trade policy and the Trade Expansion Act of 1968. She also represented the League on a fact-finding mission to Japan in 1972 and at the Hemispheric Conference for Women in Miami in 1976. Documentation and papers relating to both trips are included in the collection.
In 1971, Bradley was appointed by President Nixon to serve as a member of the board of the National Institute for Consumer Justice. The board's report provided findings and recommendations concerning the adequacy of existing procedures for resolving disputes arising out of consumer transactions, particularly as they related to small claims courts.
Bradley's involvement with the Overseas Education Fund (OEF) also added an international component to her work with the LWVUS. She became a life trustee of the organization. The mission of the OEF was to help women of the third world become integrated into the socioeconomic development of their societies, as well as to further understanding in the United States of issues as they related to women in development. Bradley also represented the LWVUS on the United States National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). Papers related to this organization contain reports by Bradley to the LWVUS about the group and to her activities as chair of its Status of Women Committee. One of these involvements was a Mid-Decade World Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1980, which grew out of the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-1985). The papers indicate that Bradley contributed to the development of this conference by devising a basic plan to involve nongovernmental organizations in the conference.
The collection contains several speeches Bradley made before League groups both while she was President of the North Carolina League of Women Voters and also when she was First Vice-President of the LWVUS. However, there is not very much material relating to her tenure as president of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina from 1962 to 1965. Some of this material has been donated to the North Carolina State Division of Archives and History and to the state league office in Raleigh, North Carolina. What material there is primarily concerns the League's efforts to revise the structure and operations of the Judicial Department of North Carolina, particularly the North Carolina court system.
The League of Women Voters of Durham, N.C. Bulletin forms the bulk of the material relating to the local league with which Bradley was involved. The Bulletin spans the years 1952 to 1982 and offers insight into League activities at the local level. Bradley was President of the Durham League from 1957 to 1959. Other materials from the Durham League include information about local workshops, general information pertaining to Durham and local issues in the areas of housing, transportation, and law enforcement.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) File (1971-1982) chiefly relates to efforts to ratify passage of the ERA in the North Carolina State Legislature. These papers particularly reflect those attempts which were made in the state from 1974 to 1979. The organization most prominently represented is North Carolinians United for ERA (NCUERA) which was comprised of a coalition of forty-three groups in North Carolina. NCUERA was apparently referred to by several names, including ERA United Inc., N. C. Coalition for Passage of the ERA, and the North Carolina Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Coalition. Offices Bradley held include Public Relations Coordinator for ERA United, 1974-1975 and lst Vice-President of NCUERA, 1978-1979. The files contain handwritten notes, speeches made by Bradley, correspondence, minutes, and printed materials generated to garner support for the ERA amendment. They also include personal testimonies from persons, who were surveyed by Bradley during her tenure as Public Relations Coordinator, regarding why they were working for passage of the ERA as well as samples of quotes from persons representing different groups who were against passage of the ERA.
Two other North Carolina women's groups in which she held leadership positions were WEAL (Women's Equity Action League) and Women's Forum (WF) of North Carolina. Correspondence, minutes, and newsletters relating to both groups are located in the collection and cover the years 1977 to 1982. Both organizations were affiliated with national organizations. Bradley was President of the North Carolina division of WEAL in 1976 and Vice-President of WF of North Carolina in 1979. WEAL was interested in promoting economic opportunity and pressing for enforcement of anti-discrimination laws against women. It was one of the forty-three groups that joined together to form North Carolinians United for the ERA.
The WF of North Carolina was comprised of women deemed to be high achievers and leaders. Papers indicate that in order to become eligible for membership women had to have influence in the community, have a constituency or make achievements in and beyond their fields. Additionally, members were to have made a commitment to changing the status of women. The papers document considerable debate about eligibility requirements and lengthy discussions about whether or not proposed members should be accepted. Some of the membership proposals are included in the collection.
While most of the collection pertains to volunteer organizations with which Bradley was involved, two other groups are represented in which Bradley held paid positions. She worked as a fundraising consultant for the N. C. Rape Crisis Association, Inc. and as a staff member of the Older Americans Volunteer Program Training Project (OAVP). OAVP was housed in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development in the Duke University Medical Center. There are two folders of miscellaneous items, including the work by Bradley, ABC's of Fundraising for Volunteer Organizations, speeches she gave (but it is unclear for which organizations they were made), and pamphlets and bibliographies concerning legal, insurance, and child care issues affecting women.
There is very little personal material relating to Mrs. Bradley or to her family in the collection. Some of the papers indicate she and her husband, Dr. David Bradley, worked together for the passage of the ERA in North Carolina and that they traveled abroad to conferences sponsored by the Wilton Park organization. [Wilton Park is described as a British organization to promote greater cooperation in Europe and the West and to offer those influencing opinion in their own countries an opportunity to exchange views on political, economic, and social questions.] Dr. Bradley was for many years on the faculty of the Duke University Religion Department.
A common goal which characterizes the various organizations and committees in which Bradley established herself as a leader was to improve the condition of women legally, economically, and politically. Through her many efforts she worked toward this goal at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Winifred Gail Soules Bradley Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
|1917, April 8||
B.A. Sociology, University of California at Los Angeles
M.A. Northwestern University (Philosophy of Religion)
Certificate of Religious Education, Garrett Theological Seminary
Visiting Instructor of psychology at Western Maryland College
Member of the League of Women Voters of the Durham Board of Directors
President, League of Women Voters of Durham
Research Assistant, Duke Center for the Study of Aging
Treasurer, League of Women Voters of North Carolina
President of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina
Trustee of the Overseas Education Fund of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS)
Foreign Policy Chairman, LWVUS
First Vice-President LWVUS, headed League's Education Fund
Member of the Board of the National Institute for Consumer Justice, appointed by President Nixon
Testified on League positions before the Republican and Democratic National platform committees
Consultant in Community Organization, Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Member, United States National Commission for UNESCO
Staff member, Duke Center for the Study of Aging
President, North Carolina Women's Equity Action League
Vice-Chair, United States National Commission for UNESCO
Delegate, National Women's Conference in Houston
1st Vice-President North Carolinians United for ERA
Member of the Planning Committee of the 20th UNESCO General Conference Session, Paris, France and Technical Advisor to the United States Delegation
Chair, Status of Women Committee of the United States National Commission for UNESCO
Vice-President, Women's Forum of North Carolina
|1982 Nov. 29||
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Bradley, Winifred Gail Soules
- League of Women Voters (U.S.)
- League of Women Voters (U.S.) -- Foreign Policy Committee
- League of Women Voters of Durham (Durham, N.C.) -- Bulletin
- North Carolinians United for ERA
- U.S. National Commission for UNESCO
- Women's Forum of North Carolina
- Women's Equity Action League of North Carolina
The Bradley Papers were given to the Rubenstein Library in 1972 and 1983. Copyright interests in the papers have been reserved.
Processed by Janie C. Morris
Completed November 27, 1989
Encoded by Alvin Pollock
Processing Note: The papers were weeded for duplicate materials as well as for printed material of various types including runs of periodicals (with an exception being made for the Bulletin published by the League of Women Voters of Durham, N.C.), published works, reprints from some journals, and newsclippings.
Some League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS), UNESCO, and Women's Bureau materials were removed from the collection because they exist elsewhere in the archives of the organizations. Some LWVUS materials are located at the Library of Congress and at the League of Women Voters national office. Records of the Women's Bureau are housed at the National Archives, while records of UNESCO are located at the United Nations. Some of these materials were kept with the collection, however, if they were deemed necessary for documenting Bradley's role in the organization.
Some ephemeral printed materials were also retained if it was not obvious that they would be maintained by other repositories.