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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 739

Additional records of League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.), ca.1919-1977 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk)

Additional records of the League of Women Voters of Cambridge include board of director minutes and committee reports; annual meeting files; budgets; fundraising campaign files; committee subject files; and documentation of local Cambridge issues of interest to the League.

Dates

  • 1919-1977
  • Majority of material found within 1925-1950

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.) is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Extent

8.97 linear feet ((20 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 card box, 1 folio folder, 2 folio+ folders, 10 photograph folders)

The Additional records of the League of Women Voters of Cambridge include board of director minutes and reports; annual meeting material; budgets; fundraising campaign files; committee subject files; and local Cambridge issues followed by the League. Most folders arrived at the library in relatively good order; original folder titles were retained when possible, and appear in quotation marks within the inventory. The archivist created the file arrangement.

Series I, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 1931-1976 (#1.1-3.9), includes regular (monthly) and special meeting minutes, by-laws, board lists, committee reports and member lists, correspondence, and notices. Executive board (also called the Executive committee) meeting material is interfiled with general board meeting material. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by topic and chronologically within. Original folder titles are in quotations.

Series II, ADMINISTRATION AND MEMBERSHIP, 1925-1977 (#3.10-5.21, 22CB, PD.1), includes annual meeting officer lists, ballots, committee reports and minutes; clippings; membership directories and lists. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by topic and chronologically within. Original folder titles are in quotations.

Series III, FINANCE, 1921-1976 (#5.22-10.5, F+D.1), includes material related to the responsibilities of the finance committee such as financial files on advertising for the League and its newsletter; fundraising events (called "money raising" here after League's original folder heading); budgets; financial statements; fundraising campaigns; and treasurer reports. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by topic and chronologically within. Original folder titles are in quotations. See finance committee reports in Series II.

Series IV, POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, ca.1919-1971 (#10.6-21.5, FD.1, F+D.2, PD.2-PD.10), includes League committee subject files; events (see also "money raising event" files in Series III); foreign affairs school; Plan E/proportional representation in Cambridge; unit discussion subject files (a unit is a group of League members interested in studying League activities at all levels-local, state, and national); urban renewal; voter service; etc. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by topic and chronologically within. Original folder titles are in quotations.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

HISTORY

The League of Women Voters is an American political organization founded on February 14, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, by Carrie Chapman Catt during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association approximately six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. The organization's vision was to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Originally, only women could join the league; but in 1973 the charter was modified to include men. The League operates at national, state and local levels through more than 800 state and local Leagues, in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hong Kong. Its official position is strictly nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates for office at any level of government. At the same time, the League is wholeheartedly political and works to influence policy through advocacy, as well as through political lobbying of Congress.

The Cambridge League of Women Voters evolved from the Cambridge Political Equality Association (CPEA), organized in February 1896 by women who believed "that the exercise of the suffrage on the part of the women citizens is not only just but will promote a better civic life, the true development of the home, and the welfare of the family...." In 1916 the CPEA was reorganized as the Third Middlesex Representative District Organization of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. In 1920 it became the League of Women Voters of Cambridge, and held its first meeting as such on December 1, 1920. The organization's activities were taken over by the Boston area League of Women Voters after the 1980s.

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in four series:
  1. Series I. Board of Directors, 1931-1976 (#1.1-3.9)
  2. Series II. Administration and membership, 1925-1977 (#3.10-5.21, 22CB, PD.1)
  3. Series III. Finance, 1921-1976 (#5.22-10.5, F+D.1)
  4. Series IV. Policies and programs, ca.1919-1971 (#10.6-21.5, FD.1, F+D.2, PD.2-PD.10)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1211; 1240; 1376; 1396; 1683; 69-32; 70-48; 72-127; 74-259; 78-M190; 84-M168; 2010-M207

The additional records of the League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.) were given to the Schlesinger Library by Emily Sibley in 1978, by past League president Louise (Fletcher) Chase and League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.) between 1967 and 1984. Some records were transferred from the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts additional records (MC 631) during processing of that collection in 2010.

Related Materials:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see League records for the years 1896 to 1916 in the Woman's Rights Collection (WRC, folders 1070-1081af, volumes 106-110); the Grace A. Johnson papers in the Woman's Rights Collection (Jo-161--Jo-164); the Maud Wood Park papers in the Woman's Rights Collection (Pa-155); and League of Women Voters of Cambridge Records (MC 264).

SEPARATION RECORD

Accession numbers: 1211--84-M168

Processed by: Stacey Flatt

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Books and Printed Materials Division:
  1. Items, 1928-1931, 1935-1964, 1968-1977
  2. Monthly Gazette, City news service by City Affairs Committee of Cambridge League of Women Voters, 1944-1945
The following items were transferred to the Cambridge Historical Society:
  1. Three printing blocks of local Cambridge houses, used in League house tour publicity
  2. Photographs of Cambridge houses (10)

Processing Information

Processed: January 2013

By: Stacey Flatt, with assistance from Emily Underwood.
Link to catalog
Title
League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.). Additional records of League of Women Voters (Cambridge, Mass.), ca.1919-1977 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch01421

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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