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Guide to the League of Women Voters of Durham (N.C.) Papers, 1947-1991

Collection Overview

The papers of the League of Women Voters of Durham (LWVD) span the dates 1947-1991, with three main clusters of records: the mid-to-late 1950s, the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the late 1970s through the middle of the 1980s. The papers consist chiefly of newsletters, minutes of the Board and other meetings, administrative and financial records, publicity materials, newspaper clippings, and information related to the political work of the League. Most of the papers address the work of the Durham League, which was founded in 1946 and ceased operations in 1991. Scattered records document the activities of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina (LWVNC).

The League is best known as a non-partisan organization sponsoring voter registration and candidates' forums, and those activities are well-documented here. In addition, League members held meetings to discuss a broad range of other social and political issues, and from those debates formulated positions which the chapter lobbied for in the media and through various political channels. The issues discussed in depth and documented in the collection include school desegregation; the merger of the Durham city and county school systems; local bond issues; the Equal Rights Amendment; foreign trade; diplomatic relations between the United States and China; water and air quality; solid and toxic waste; and reproductive rights. The papers include some correspondence with local, state, and federal officials regarding these and other issues; however, correspondence in general comprises a small portion of the collection.

The papers document the League activities of various Durham women who became prominent in local and state politics. The papers also provide a window into racial politics in Durham, in particular through debates over school desegregation and the proposed merger of the city and county school systems. Voter registration materials and correspondence also shed light on this subject, including a few letters the League received condemning its attempts to register supposedly uneducated African Americans.

Descriptive Summary

Title
League of Women Voters of Durham (N.C.) papers, 1947-1991
Creator
League of Women Voters of Durham (LWVD)
Extent
7.9 Linear Feet, 4,300 Items
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

copyright interests in the papers of the League of Women Voters of Durham (N.C.) have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Chiefly the bulletins of the LWVD. Also includes scattered newsletters published by the LWVNC and materials relating to publishing the Durham bulletin.

Durham, 1953-1991
(15 folders)
Box 1
The Tarheel Voter, 1951-1974
(3 folders)
Box 1
The North Carolina Voter, 1984
Box 1
Assembly Assignment, 1969-1973
Box 1
General, 1975-1982
Box 1

General records pertaining to the operations of the League of Women Voters.

The administrative subseries includes annual reports, minutes of annual meetings, minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and the general membership, a list of presidents of the League, membership and officer records, bylaws and procedures, general League information, and other non-financial business records. The subseries also includes a scrapbook League members made to commemorate its victory in a local "Ugly Office" contest, as well as scattered papers of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

The financial subseries includes monthly treasurer's reports of League income and expenditures, annual financial reports and audits, notes and reports of the Finance and Budget Committees, records of League finance drives, ledgers, and scattered other paperwork documenting the financial affairs of the League.

The personal subseries consists of clippings, speeches, correspondence, press releases, and other materials spotlighting the activities of individual League members.

The photographs subseries consists of reprints of photographs of League members and events. Some photographs were taken by League members, while others are reprints of photographs originally appearing in Durham newspapers.

The publicity subseries includes meeting notes, pamphlets, speeches, and other materials publicizing the LWVD. For materials documenting work publicizing voter registration and other League activities, see the Political Series: Publicity Subseries.

Administrative: Board minutes, 1954-1969
(7 folders)
Box 1
Board minutes, 1970-1990
(10 folders)
Box 2
Annual meetings and reports, 1954-1990
(3 folders)
Box 2
Annual meetings: Photographs, 1986
Box 2
Annual reports filed with LWVUS, 1968-1987
Box 2
Board policies and guidelines, 1966-1981
Box 2
Bylaws, 1952-1987
Box 2
Calendars, 1973-1982
Box 2
Copyrights, 1976-1977
Box 2
Correspondence, 1964-1974
Box 2
Evaluation,1977
Box 2
General meeting minutes, 1954-1971
(2 folders)
Box 2
History: Presidents' list, 1982
Box 2
General information,1940s-1980s
Box 2
Policies, 1980-1981
Box 2
League of Women Voters of North Carolina, 1965-1991
Box 2
Meetings: Miscellaneous, 1963-1991
Box 2
Officers, 1954-1991
Box 2
Board program and calendar information, 1967-1978
Box 2
Lists, 1953-1991
(2 folders)
Box 2
Information forms, 1985-1988
Box 2
General, undated
Box 2
Miscellaneous,1954
Box 2
State convention speeches,1973, 1985
Box 2
Ugly Office Contest scrapbook, 1980-1981
Box 2
Annual report, 1956-1957
Box 3
Audits, 1967-1976
(2 folders)
Box 3
Budget Committee notes, 1978-1982
Box 3
Correspondence, 1958-1959
Box 3
Education Fund, 1972-1989
Box 3
Finance Committee report,1957, 1977
(2 folders)
Box 3
Finance Committee notes and reports, 1987-1988
Box 3
Finance Drive, 1968-1991, undated
(11 folders)
Box 3
Ledger, 1979-1983(See also Oversize Material)
(2 folders)
Box 3
LWV visa card: Memos and reports, 1989-1990
Box 3
LWVNC memoranda, 1980-1982
Box 3
Per-member payment policies and records, 1979-1991
Box 3
Task forces on toxic waste, 1979-1981
Box 3
Budgets, 1954-1991(17)
Box 3
Memoranda, 1981-1989
Box 3
Bell, Marilyn Bryant, 1984
Box 3
Bradley, Gail, 1972-1982
Box 3
Grant, Elizabeth, 1983
Box 3
Meyer, Ruth Mary, 1979
Box 3
McCreary, Margaret Jane, 1984
Box 3
Ohlson, Grace, 1983
Box 3
Durham Street Arts Celebration: Voter registration booth, 1982-1983
Box 3
Eno River Festival registration, undated
Box 3
Luncheon, undated
Box 3
Meeting of old and new board members: 1620 University Dr., 1983, Apr. 21
Box 3
Newspaper photographs, 1954-1984, undated
Box 3
50th Anniversary LWVD profile,1969
Box 3
Membership recruitment, 1977-1990
Box 3
Pamphlets, 1967-1990, undated
Box 3
Planning and reports, 1957-1983
Box 3
Press releases, 1967-1968
Box 3
Speeches about LWVD, 1975-1982, undated
Box 3

The series consists of briefings and reports, correspondence, clippings, memoranda, position statements, planning notes, publicity materials advertising community forums sponsored by the League, and other papers documenting local, state, national, and international issues which the League took up for debate. The League maintained a strict policy of non-partisanship in local elections, and regularly sponsored candidates' forums and solicited candidates' answers to questions of local importance, answers reprinted in the Durham newspapers. However, the League's non-partisanship did not prevent it from taking stands on various issues (as distinct from backing candidates). Once League members reached consensus on an issue through extended study and debate, they frequently took vocal stands in support of their positions, including support for school desegregation in compliance with Brown v. Board of Education,free speech rights, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and legislation protecting the environment.

The series is organized into subseries according to the LWVNC program: Human Resources (education, the ERA, housing, social services), Natural Resources (planning and protection of air, land, and water resources), Government (procedural matters in government), Voters Services (registration, candidate questionnaires and forums, precint reporting), and General (primarily local and international issues not fitting into the state program).

Competency test, 1978-1979
Box 4
Drop-out Prevention programs, 1977
Box 4
Durham School System merger,1950s-1990
(4 folders)
Box 4
Financing, bond issues, budgets, 1964-1982, undated
Box 4
General, 1953-1987, undated
(4 folders)
Box 4
North Carolina education system reports, 1967-1968
Box 4
Publications, 1967-1978
Box 4
Reading, 1975-1978
Box 4
Textbooks,1974
Box 4
Equal Rights Amendment, 1973-1982
Box 4
General, 1966-1975
Box 4
Health Care, 1967
Box 4
Housing: Durham study,1971
Box 4
International Women's Year, 1975-1977
Box 4
Title XX (Social Services), 1975-1976
Box 4
Acid Rain Foundation, 1981-1982
Box 4
Clean Air legislation, 1976-1984
Box 4
Durham Quality of Life Survey, 1974
Box 4
Energy, 1977-1979
Box 4
General,1981
Box 4
Land Use: Policy and planning, 1971-1985, undated
Box 4
Solid Waste: Bottle Bill, 1973-1977
Box 4
Solid Waste Management, 1983
Box 4
Toxic Waste: Task Forces on Toxic Waste, 1979-1982
Box 4
Utility companies, 1979-1985, undated
Box 4
Water and Sewer Facilities, 1963-1974
Box 4
Water Quality: Region 208 Project, 1976-1978
Box 4
Water quality, waste and sewage, 1981-1984
Box 4
Water resources, 1959
Box 4
Watershed protection, 1984-1990
Box 4
Gubernatorial veto, 1990
Box 4
Gubernatorial succession, 1977
Box 4
Reproductive Rights: Concurrence, 1982
Box 4
Candidates forums, 1964-1990
(3 folders)
Box 5
Candidate questionnaires, 1952-1989
(3 folders)
Box 5
Legislative breakfasts, 1975-1989, undated
(3 folders)
Box 5
Library registration, 1975-1976
Box 5
News releases, 1981-1983
Box 5
Photographs: Parade, 1956
Box 5
Precinct reporting, 1980s
Box 5
President's coffee, 1981-1989
Box 5
Publications, 1966-1980s
Box 5
Registration, 1972-1984, undated
Box 5
Reports, 1957-1982
Box 5
Women's Vote Project, 1984-1985(See also Oversize Material)
Box 5
Action Committee: Reports and correspondence, 1980-1985
Box 5
Campaign Finance Reform, 1974
Box 5
Court watchers, undated
Box 5
Durham Bond Campaign, 1990
Box 5
Durham committers, 1960s
Box 5
Durham Library, 1963-1980, undated
Box 5
Durham property values, 1956
Box 5
Durham roads, 1953
Box 5
Foreign trade, 1950s
Box 5
The Government story, 1969-1970
Box 5
Here is Durham brochure, 1954-1979
Box 5
League of Women Voters of North Carolina, 1953-1996
Box 5
Meeting announcements: Miscellaneous, 1957-1988, undated
Box 5
Miscellaneous,1950s
Box 5
Monitor programs,1977, 1983
Box 5
Panama Canal Treaty, 1978-1979
Box 5
Position statements, 1981-1990
Box 5
1947-1983
Box 5
Newsletter inserts, 1961-1969
Box 5
Speakers bureau, 1956
Box 5
State tax study, 1968-1985, undated
Box 5
Talent bank, 1979
Box 5
UNICEF program, 1963-1983
Box 5
Valentine, Tim: Interviews, 1983-1985
Box 5
Women's Equality Day, 1990
Box 5
Correspondence, 1955-1984
Box 5
Television,1957, undated
Box 5
Radio, 1956-1968, undated
Box 5
Newspaper and press releases, 1953-1962, undated
Box 5
Press releases, 1967-1968
Box 5
Press releases and related information, 1970-1972
Box 5
Voter information, 1977-1979
Box 5
Voter registration, 1971-1972
Box 5

The series consists of photocopies made from League scrapbooks and from loose newspaper clippings collected by League members. Most of the clippings are of articles appearing in the Durham Morning Herald and the Durham Sun.

Scrapbook, 1954-1973
(7 folders)
Box 6
1953-1991
(7 folders)
Box 6
Office Series: Financial: Ledger: Cash: misc.,1977-78 - 1981-82
Ovsz. Box 132
Office Series: Financial: Ledger: Cash Disbursements,1982-83 - 1986-87
Ovsz. Box 132
Office Series: Financial: Ledger: Cash Receipts,1982-83 - 1986-87
Ovsz. Box 132
Political Series: Women's Vote Project,1984
Ovsz. Box 132

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], League of Women Voters of Durham (N.C.) Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The bulk of the papers of the League of Women Voters of Durham (N.C.) was acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Duke University as a gift from the League after ceasing operations in 1991. This donation followed the gift of a small collection of League papers from Dr. I.B. Holley of the Duke University History Department in 1975.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ian K. Lekus

Completed February 2, 1997

Encoded by Stephen D. Miller

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.

The League papers included several scrapbooks, primarily consisting of newspaper clippings. Those clippings have been photocopied and are housed in the Scrapbook section of the Clippings Series. For that section, care should be taken by researchers to maintain the order of the clippings in those folders, which maintain the original order of scrapbook pages.

Board minutes, bulletins, financial records (particularly monthly treasurer's reports in the 1970s and 1980s), issue briefings and other papers were sometimes stapled together and sometimes kept unstapled in looseleaf binders before coming to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Researchers unable to find financial records, political materials, or other papers for a given date are advised to check the Board minutes and bulletins for that date, where they may be housed.