[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch01297View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
MC 631; T-185; Vt-24; Phon-11

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. Additional records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, 1918-2001 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

[link]


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1945, and with funding from the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 631; T-185; Vt-24; Phon-11
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
Title: Additional records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, 1918-2001 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk)
Date(s): 1918-2001
Date(s): 1960-1990
Quantity: 96.33 linear feet (232 file boxes) plus 1 folio box, 5 folio+ boxes, 9 photograph folders, and electronic records)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Additional records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts include program research files, local League files, and administrative and financial records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 79-M200, 85-M279, 89-M180, 94-M95, 95-M63, 96-M44, 2003-M35, 2005-M60, 2005-M180, 2008-M73
These additional records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts were given to the library by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, Mary Adelstein, and Linda Morrison between 1979 and 2008.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 2010
By: Stacey Flatt

Access Restrictions:

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

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts 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.

Preferred Citation:

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Additional records, 1918-2001; item description, dates. MC 631, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see the Records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, 1920-1975 (MC 274).

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors: LWV of Massachusetts
Accession number: 96-M44
Processed by: Stacey Flatt
The following items have been removed from the collection:

HISTORY

The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 during the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention, just months before the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. Maud Wood Park of Massachusetts was elected the League's first president. This strictly non-partisan political organization was established to help women carry out their responsibilities as voters, interest people in their government by encouraging them to participate in shaping public policy, and take a more active part in government functions. From its inception, the League has supported or opposed specific policies, but never political candidates. A grassroots organization, the League has state and local chapters in addition to the national body.
Many founding delegates were from Massachusetts, and participated in local suffrage organizations. These suffrage groups promptly reformed as chapters of the League of Women Voters after passage of the 19th Amendment. Originally incorporated in 1893, the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association dissolved and regrouped in May 1920 as the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, stating that its purpose was to promote education in citizenship, and to co-operate in carrying out the program of the national League by doing any or all lawful things that would tend to further these ends. To honor the Association's former leader, the newly-formed League designated Alice Stone Blackwell the permanent honorary president.
The Massachusetts League began its legislative campaign by approving the principle of maternity legislation; endorsing what would prove to be the unsuccessful efforts to enact the Smith-Towner bill and to elevate the federal Office of Education to a cabinet-level agency; urging Congress to take steps to relieve the terrible conditions of starvation existing in Europe at the time; and calling upon all the legislatures of the states that had not yet ratified the 19th Amendment to do so. In the following years, women joined not as single-minded crusaders, but as citizens interested in many phases of social welfare and good government. The present organization is still set up similarly, with two major components: 1) action, to study issues, survey opinions of members, and act to implement the members' consensus (also known as "programs"), and 2) voters service, to provide people with information on elections through educational events and services. In 1948, the group changed its name to the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVM).

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in nine series:

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The additional records of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts include histories; Board minutes and committee files; administration and financial records; program and policy files; publications; and extensive files on local Leagues. See also the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Records, MC 274, for earlier records. Overlapping material between the two collections does exist, especially in the State Board of Directors files. Most files arrived at the library in folders in relatively good order; folder titles were retained, and archivist's notes appear in brackets within the inventory. The archivist created the file arrangement. Audiotapes (T-185), videotapes (Vt-24), and phonograph records (Phon-011) were removed and cataloged separately.
Series I, HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION, 1918-1994 (#1.1-1.11, 235F+B.1, PD.1, E.1), contains historical documents from the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, the precursor to the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts; League of Women Voters of Massachusetts incorporation papers, meetings, and reports; notes and publications from League of Women Voters of Massachusetts's fiftieth, sixtieth, and seventieth anniversaries; 1994 oral history transcripts from member Florence Rubin; and honors and awards. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts's web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2010.
Series II, STATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 1922-1991 (#1.12-14.8, PD.2), contains minutes, committee files, reports to the national League and local chapters, etc. The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Board of Directors oversees committees and reports regularly to local chapters and their presidents and the national League. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles within each of the four subseries. See also MC 274 for overlapping Board materials in this series (1920-1975).
Subseries A, Minutes/agendas, 1922-1988 (#1.12-7.6), contains minutes and agendas for the State Board of Directors.
Subseries B, Committees and related, 1930-1991 (#7.7-9.8), includes memos, agendas, Board member lists, and reports. Program and issue-related committees are filed in Series V and VI.
Subseries C, Reports, 1928-1985 (#9.9-12.7), contains local League, post-Board, and State Board reports.
Subseries D, By-laws, Board member lists, and related, 1926-1991 (#12.8-14.8, PD.2), includes Board member biographies and lists, by-laws with additions and edits, long range planning files, and member lists.
Series III, ADMINISTRATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND MEMBERSHIP, 1926-1993 (#14.9-19.2, PD.3), includes general operating files, policies and procedures, and development and membership material. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles within each of the four subseries.
Subseries A, Administration, 1930-1990 (#14.9-16.5, PD.3), includes files related to the operation of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts office, office space, event calendars, staff lists and directories, and timecards with breakdown of activities.
Subseries B, Policies and procedures, 1929-1992 (#16.6-17.6), includes guides for local League presidents, information on dealing with verbal and written attacks on the League, and the League's non-partisan stand.
Subseries C, Development, 1966-1990 (#17.7-17.11), contains marketing letters sent requesting support for the organization.
Subseries D, Membership, 1926-1993 (#18.1-19.2), contains forms, applications, and statistics related to cultivating membership for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.
Series IV, FINANCE, 1927-1995 (#19.3-41.14, 235F+B.2-235F+B.6, 236F+B.1-236F+B.3), includes budgets, financial statements/treasurer's reports, check and deposits registers, general ledgers, and tax-related files. Unless specifically noted, files contain information on both the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund finances. This series contains six subseries, arranged in alphabetical order within each subseries by their original folder titles.
Subseries A, Budgets and related, 1927-1991 (#19.3-20.10), contains yearly assessment reports to discern dues from local League chapters to the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, budgets, and balance sheets.
Subseries B, Financial statements, treasurer's reports, and related, 1930-1990 (#20.11-24.10), contains financial statements, treasurer's reports, and related correspondence for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund.
Subseries C, Check registries/journals, 1972-1991 (#24.11-28.8), contains check registries and journals for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund.
Subseries D, General ledgers, balance sheets, and related, 1968-1991 (#29.1-37.4, 235F+B.2-235F+B.6, 236F+B.1-236F+B.3), includes League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund general ledgers, balance sheets and other ledgers. Folders include information on both the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund unless one or the other is specifically noted.
Subseries E, Tax-related material, 1950-1990 (#37.5-38.12), includes reports, filing papers, exemption forms, etc.
Subseries F, General, 1938-1995 (#39.1-41.14), includes financial records referring to League of Women Voters of Massachusetts events, fund information, grant applications, investments, and correspondence.
Series V, CITIZEN EDUCATION AND VOTERS SERVICE, 1922-1991 (#42.1-56.2, 237F+B.1, PD.4sl), documents a program that exists to serve the public, both individuals and organizations, by providing advice and training on how to make the government responsive and accessible, as well as educating members on how to be better informed citizens and voters. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles within each of the four subseries.
Subseries A, General, 1952-1990 (#42.1-45.6, 237F+B.1), includes communications to chairmen of local League voters service committees; League of Women Voters of Massachusetts-sponsored events and programs including debates, election night reporting, voter registration, the VIP (Voter Information Phone) service, and voters' guides published in Boston papers.
Subseries B, Educational programs, 1922-1990 (#45.7-48.8), includes records for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts citizenship schools on government and political techniques, and education in citizenship, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts in cooperation with colleges and universities. The first school held at Radcliffe College in October 1922 was initially known as the Foreign Affairs School and later, the School of International Relations.
Subseries C, Conferences and special events, 1926-1989 (#49.1-54.6, PD.4sl), includes programs, invitations, correspondence, planning meeting minutes, speeches, etc., on League events including the Fall Conference and State Convention.
Subseries D, Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund, 1969-1991 (#54.7-56.2), documents the educational trust established in 1971 after Scharfman's death in 1970, while she was serving as President of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. The Fund is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit fund whose mission is to encourage informed and active citizen participation in government through citizen education and voters service projects, including the Voters Information Phone (VIP) and publications. The Fund supplements and complements the voter service function of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, but goes further by offering direct assistance to individuals and organizations in the metropolitan area. This subseries contains correspondence, meeting files, and donor lists related to the establishment and operation of the Fund.
Series VI, POLICY PROGRAMS/POSITIONS/ACTIONS, 1923-1995 (#56.3-118.7), contains research files, lobby reports, and yearly reports on positions officially supported by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts for the coming year. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles, within each of the two subseries.
Subseries A, Program research, 1924-1995 (#56.3-113.14), contains research files with memos, reports, booklets, press/informational releases (See also Series VI, Subseries A), and correspondence. National League programs were the inspiration for state League programming, with emphasis on local needs and opportunities. In-depth investigations of issues ranging from local water and sewer plans to state-wide tax reform were carried out by the state and local Leagues. Once the issue study was complete, exhaustive information packets, including a series of questions, were given to membership for discussion. Each local chapter then reported to the state League, and once a consensus was reached, a new plan was added to the official program list. Subject-specific issues of League of Women Voters of Massachusetts publications are found throughout, including News, Statement, and Time For Action!.
Subseries B, Reports and related, 1923-1992 (#114.1-118.7), includes lobby reports, files generated by Mary Adelstein (Newton League member and League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Referendum Coordinator), program skits, radio scripts, committee meeting files, and yearly program priority reports. These reports were initially called Program of Work, and later Where We Stand and State Program, to convey the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts's position on issues, present the program, describe how positions were reached and implemented, and highlight current areas of study and action for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.
Series VII, COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLICATIONS, 1920-1995 (#118.8-129.3, 120FB.1v-120FB.6, 121F+B.1v, 122F+B.1v, 237F+B.2-237F+B.12, PD.5), includes public relations, historical and anniversary material, brochures, flyers, handbooks and newsletters. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles within each of the four subseries.
Subseries A, Public relations, 1932-1995 (#118.8-123.5, 120FB.1v, 121F+B.1v, 122F+B.1v), contains clippings, radio and television scripts, etc.
Subseries B, Brochures, booklets, and related, 1920-1994 (#123.6-125.6, PD.5), includes informational booklets, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts brochures, publication catalog listings, and correspondence.
Subseries C, Handbooks, 1945-1993 (#125.7-126.9), includes handbooks and guidelines on how members can reach the public; Board and local unit positions; a guide to annual meetings; voters service; membership; Bulletin editor; etc. Handbooks are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries D, Newsletters/bulletins, 1923-1995 (#126.10-129.3, 120FB.2-120FB.6, 237F+B.2-237F+B.12), contains member bulletins (see also Series V, Subseries A) and newsletters: The Beacon, a legislative bulletin published by League of Women Voters of Massachusetts; Legislative News Letter; Bulletin of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (later became LWV Bulletin); The Massachusetts Voter (changed in July 1985 to The Voter, then changed back to The Massachusetts Voter in November 1990); and State House Reporter. See MC 274 for most of the pre-1975 newsletters.
Series VIII, LOCAL LEAGUES, 1924-2001 (#129.4-234.12, PD.6-PD.9), includes individual files on local League chapters and material distributed by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts to the chapters. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by original folder titles within the two subseries.
Subseries A, Local League chapters, 1924-2001 (#129.4-232.3, PD.6-PD.9), includes timelines, membership lists, handbooks, publications, applications for recognition, annual reports to League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, meeting minutes, and correspondence. Files are arranged in alphabetical order by town name.
Subseries B, General, 1929-1989 (#232.4-234.12), includes meeting files, training, local program files, information on area and city Leagues, local President's Institute, and chapter skits.
Series IX, OVERSIZED, 1923-1995 (#120FB.1v-120FB.6, 121F+B.1v, 122F+B.1v, 235F+B.1-235F+B.6, 236F+B.1-236F+B.3, 237F+B.1-237F+B.12), serves as the shelflist for the oversized items listed in preceding series.
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 [*].

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Account books
Audiotapes
Bulletins
By-laws
Civil service--Massachusetts
Criminal justice, Administration of--Massachusetts
Education--Massachusetts
Electronic records
Environmental policy--United States
Financial records
Fiscal policy--United States
International relations
Land use--Massachusetts
Local government--Massachusetts
Massachusetts -- Economic policy
Massachusetts--Politics and government
Massachusetts--Social policy
Minutes
Newsletters
Phonograph records
Politics, Practical--Massachusetts
Regional planning--Massachusetts
Videotapes
Voting
Web sites
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.
Women--Political activity--Massachusetts
Women--Societies and clubs
Women's rights--Massachusetts
League of Women Voters (U.S.)
League of Women Voters (U.S.). Lotte E. Scharfman Memorial Fund
Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association
Morrison, Linda, interviewer
Radcliffe College
Rubin, Florence, interviewee

sch01297