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Politics & Social Activism in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant politics and social activism collections. Links are provided whenever online inventories exist.

Related Guides

Teaching with Primary Source Materials

Our collections exist to be used. When students work directly with primary source materials, historic photographs, and documents that are old or unique, they discover an excitement and passion not generated by textbooks.

Primary source documents can inspire, but they also teach about learning to verify sources, tracking down connections, finding evidence from content and from physical clues.

Political and Social Activists | SCUA Collections Documenting Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Special Collections and University Archives collects in the topical area Women, Gender, and Sexuality, including Women’s Back to the Land movement, women linguists focusing on gender issues in language, women who have affected the political process and cultural landscape.

Avent, Enid

In Townsend Plan Records, Van Nuys chapter. 1961-1977. 0.5 cu. ft.
Enid Avent was the second vice-president of the California State Townsend Plan Organization. The records contain correspondence from members of Congress, publications, conference packets, and minutes from 1963 to 1977.
(Coll. 110)

Crain, Lucille Cardin. (1901-1983).

Papers. 1920-1978. 8 ft.
In 1948, this Canadian-born author became editor and publisher of The Education Reviewer, published by William F. Buckley, Sr. Her papers contain correspondence with conservative individuals and organizations, speeches, subject files, and biographical material.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Oregon.

Correspondence. 1917-1936. 2 folders.
This collection contains the correspondence, from L through Z only, of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Oregon Chapter. The correspondence is from the files of Anne M. Lang of The Dalles, Oregon, sometime vice president general and state regent of the Oregon DAR.
(A 227)

Democratic Party of Oregon.

Records. 1952-1968. 6 ft.
This collection contains correspondence, county organization files, and financial records of the Democratic Party in Oregon which were collected by Caroline Wilkins, state chair.
(Bx 168)

Dunbar, Saidie Orr (1889-1960).

Diaries. 1923-1958. 42 volumes.
Sadie Orr Dunbar, a social worker, served on many regional and national health and welfare committees. She was especially active in the Oregon Tuberculosis Association, in the Oregon Federation of Women\'s clubs, and the public nursing movement in Oregon. The diaries detail meetings attended, people seen, and general observations.
(Ax 026)

Duniway, Abigail Scott (1834-1915).

In the Duniway Family Papers. 1853-1992. 9 ft.
Abigail Scott Duniway was a pioneer, suffrage leader, feminist, journalist, and editor. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, and journals.
(Coll. 232 Series B).

Erickson, Ruth (d. 1970)

Papers of Ruth Erickson and Eleanor Stevenson. 1910-1970. 3 ft.
Ruth Erickson and Eleanor Stevenson were radical political activists who lived together in Connecticut from 1930 to 1970. Their papers include correspondence; manuscripts; broadsides; pamphlets; newsletters; 500 pages of self-published poems, 1920-1955; and Erickson\'s early papers.
(Ax 763)

Florence Crittenton Refuge Home, Portland, Oregon.

Minutes of the Board of Managers. 1903-1906. 1 volume.
The Florence Crittenton Homes were established for the solace an salvage of delinquent females. This collection consists of the minutes of meetings of the Board of Managers.
(B 090)

Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Oregon, Women\'s Relief Corps, Meade Corps no. 18.

Records. 1889-1916. 5 volumes.
The volumes are minutes, a ledger, and cash book of this patriotic organization.
(B 071)

Grant, Jane (1892-1972).

Papers. 1911-1972. 12 cubic feet.
Jane Grant was a journalist and feminist, who, with her husband, Harold Ross, founded The New Yorker. In 1921 with Ruth Hale she founded the Lucy Stone League, and organization devoted to women\'s rights. Jane Grant was also a member of The Algonquin Hotel "Round Table," an informal group of artists, writers, and journalists in New York in the 1920s. The Jane C. Grant collection contains correspondence; manuscripts, material relating to The New Yorker; and records of the Lucy Stone League, primarily from 1950 to 1960. A complete description of this collection and a bibliography of Jane C. Grant will be available on this web site.
(Coll. 041)

Hayward, Nancy (b. 1922)

Papers. 1966-1977. 1.5 cubic feet.
Nancy Hayward was a Eugene city councilwoman who became the first woman county commissioner in Lane County, Oregon in 1970. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, committee work, and printed material.
(Coll. 007)

Honeyman, Nan Wood (1881-1970).

Political Correspondence. 1932-1950. 114 letters.
Nan Wood Honeyman was the U.S. Democratic Representative to Congress for Oregon\'s Third District from 1937 to 1939. The letters discuss political campaigns, the Sandy River improvement, and other district improvement projects. The collection contains two personal notes from Eleanor Roosevelt.
(A 053)

Hutchins, Grace (1885-1969).

Papers. 1898-1954. 1.5 ft.
Grace Hutchins was the principal of St. Hilda\'s School in Wuchang, China from 1915 to 1916. In 1927, with Anna Rochester and others, she founded the Labor Research Association. She wrote books and articles about labor issues related to working women. The collection includes material about St. Hilda\'s School, correspondence, notebooks, poems, biographical data, and photographs.
(Ax 625)

James, Cheryl D.

In Cheryl D. James Defense Committee, Portland, Oregon. Notes on the Cheryl D. James Legal Case.
Cheryl D. James was convicted of assaulting an FBI agent. Her conviction was appealed by interested Portland groups who accused the court and the FBI of racism. The collection includes copies of clippings, brochures, and newsletters from the Women\'s International League for Peace and Freedom.
(A 307)

Jensen, Gertrude Glutsch (1899?-1973).

Papers. 1951-1970. 3 ft.
Gertrude Glutsch Jensen was a Portland, Oregon conservation activist. The collection includes 40 letters, 1951 to 1957 from Kathleen Eloisa Rockwell, "Klondike Kate"; minutes; organizational material; and material from the Columbia River Gorges Commission, 1951 to 1970, and the Oregon Roadside Council, 1960 to 1970.
(Ax 658)

League of Women Voters of Oregon.

Records. 1920-1973. 54 ft.
Records of the League of Women Voters of Oregon include national and state league administrative materials and some material from Oregon\'s local leagues.
(Bx 173)

McFarland, Edna.

Townsend Plan Records. 1965-1977. 1 box.
Edna McFarland was the secretary-treasurer of the regional chapter of the Greater Los Angeles Advisory Council of Townsend Clubs of Southern California. The records are the files of this regional organization kept by McFarland when she was secretary-treasurer. See also Avent, Enid.
(Coll. 109)

McMinnville Ladies Sanitary Aid Society, Oregon.

Records. 1864-1865. 2 volumes and other items.
The McMinnville Ladies Sanitary Aid Society was founded in 1864 to assist the U.S. Sanitary Commission and the U.S. Christian Commission and disbanded in 1865. The records include correspondence, the secretary\'s book containing organizational records and meeting minutes, and the treasurer\'s book.
(B 152)

Martin, Hannah (b. 1894).

Legislative Correspondence. 1933, 1935. 1 box.
Hannah Martin was the Republican representative from Marion County in the 37th and 38th sessions of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. The collection contains her official correspondence as a representative.
(Ax 671)

Nathan, Dorothy Goldeen (d. 1966)

Papers. 1961-1966. 1 box
Dorothy Goldeen Nathan was an Oregon-born social worker and teacher before she began writing books for young people. The papers include correspondence about her books Women of Courage (New York, 1964) and The Shy One (New York, 1966), an unpublished manuscript, and published works.
(Ax 414)

Rochester, Anna (1880-1966)

Papers. 1880-1965. 2 ft.
Anna Rochester was a social worker, Marxist economist, and historian. In 1920 she, with Grace Hutchins and four other women, established a commune in New York City that operated for two years and in 1927, she helped found the Labor Research Association. The collection contains correspondence, which includes letters from Ella R. Bloor, Edith McGrath, and Vida Scudder; a journal, 1880 to 1918, and miscellaneous papers. A file of letters by Rochester is in the Grace Hutchins papers.
(Ax 624)

Shearon, Marjorie O'Connell (1890-1974).

Papers. 1917-1973. 7.5 ft.
Marjorie O\'Connell Shearon and her husband published an analytical legislative weekly from 1947 to 1966, opposing the nationalization of medicine. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, and some subject, and source files.
(Coll. 131)

Soule, Isobel Walker (1898-1972).

Papers. 1860-1972. 4.5 ft.
Isobel Walker Soule was a social worker, editor, and journalist active in the social causes of the 1930s. The collection includes manuscripts, material from committees and unions, correspondence, and memorabilia.
(Ax 774)

Spears, C. Eleanor (b. 1876)

Papers. 1915-1951. 1 cubic ft.
Eleanor C. Spears was a writer, suffragist, and a member of the Women\'s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The collection includes correspondence; manuscripts; a 1938 diary; WCTU materials, 1918 to 1947; suffrage material, 1915 to 1930; and pamphlets and tracts.
(Coll. 96)

Sterne, Emma Gelders (1894-1971).

Papers. 1927-1971. 9 ft.
Emma Gelders Sterne was a writer, editor, and pacifist who was involved in the movements for women\'s suffrage, civil rights, and peace in Vietnam. The collection contains correspondence and letters from 1967 when Sterne was interned in California for participation in an antidraft demonstration manuscripts, files on civil rights organizations and black history, published work, and memorabilia.
(Ax 391)

Women's Christian Temperance Union, Gardiner, Oregon.

Treasurer\'s Book, 1889-1910.

Women's Emergency Corps, Portland, Oregon.

Records. 1898. 1 volume.
This volume contains daily membership and activity records of this group that was organized to help Spanish-American War soldiers.
(B 072)

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Preferred Citation Format for SCUA Materials

[Identification of item], Date (if known), Collection Title, Collection Number, Box and Folder number [or photo ID number], Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Mission | Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives is the primary repository for the University of Oregon’s archives, rare books, historic photographs, and one of the largest historical manuscripts collections in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to acquire, preserve, and make available a clearly defined set of primary sources and rare books, reflecting the written, visual, and audio history and culture of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and selected aspects of American and world history. Our diverse collections support all types of research, from K–12 education to international scholarship. We strive to play an active and creative role in the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

Historical Collection Strengths

  • Oregon history, politics, culture
  • Authors and illustrators of children’s books
  • The conservative and libertarian movement in the last half of the twentieth century
  • Popular literature, with an emphasis on Western fiction
  • Missionaries to foreign countries, especially in the Far East
  • Labor History
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Photographs of the Northwest, including the Major Lee Moorhouse and Angelus Studio collections
  • Environmental history
  • Northwest literature, including fiction by Ken Kesey, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, and William Stafford
  • Doris Ulmann photograph archives of Appalachia
  • Utopian and intentional communities
  • Northwest architecture
  • Northwest economic history