Valley of Virginia Pen Women Records
Scope and Content
The Valley of Virginia Branch Records include organization and administrative records and League scrapbooks. Types of material include documentation of policies and bylaws, meeting minutes and newsletters, Pens and Pallets newsletters, exhibitions and contests documents, correspondence, treasurer reports, lists of branch officers and members, photographs, documentation of organization functions and branch meetings, and information regarding community women involved in the arts.
Series 1: Organizational Records is arranged alphabetically. This series contains administrative and branch records. Part of this series arrived in three binders. Binders were kept in original order and were dis-bound and items within were removed and rehoused. Other administrative records not included in the binders are also included in this series.
Series 2: Scrapbooks is arranged chronologically. This series contains eleven scrapbooks that were dis-bound and items within removed and rehoused for long-term preservation. Scrapbook pages with written captions or complete glue failure were photocopied to preserve order and arrangement. Acid-free paper was interwoven between photograph pages to prevent acidification. Pages are numbered in brackets to preserve order.
Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) is an organization of professional women in the arts, including artists, writers, and musical composers who celebrate and share creative work. The League’s activities include national conventions, biennial conventions, exhibitions and contests, and branch meetings. Application to the organization must be completed with examples of applicant’s work, including publications and/or juried artist shows.
When first founded in 1897, the organization was called the League of American Pen Women. Marian Longfellow O’Donohue began the organization with fellow professional press women Margaret Sullivan Burke and Anna Sanborne Hamilton. All three women were involved in the press: O’Donohue, niece of poet and literary artist Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was a poet and writer for the Boston Transcript, the Boston Herald, and The Washington Post; Burke was a capital correspondent; and Hamilton was a Social Editor for The Washington Post and special proof reader for the United States government. These women wanted a literary and press organization for women, since other clubs were reserved for men. In June 1897, they met with seventeen professional women for the organization’s first meeting. Artist/illustrator and member, Alice R. Morgan designed the official owl insignia.
The League’s popularity and membership grew and is popular among women artists, writers, and musical composers still today. The League was incorporated in 1918, began its chartered local branches in 1921, and was renamed The National League of American Pen Women in 1926. Its headquarters is in Washington, D.C. and the organization consists of local branches. The Valley of Virginia Branch was organized and officially certified in 1950 for the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia.
4.1 Cubic Feet (3 Hollinger boxes, 1 half-Hollinger box, 3 oversize Hollinger boxes, 2 flat oversize boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection contains the administrative and organizational records and scrapbooks of the Valley of Virginia Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. Materials related to procedural policies and bylaws, branch meeting minutes, newsletters, exhibitions and contests, branch members, photographs, and community women in the arts are included.
This collection is arranged in two series:
- Organizational Records, 1950-2012
- Scrapbooks, 1950-2013
Donated to James Madison University Special Collections by the Valley of Virginia Branch in October 2014.
Issues of The Pen Woman national newsletter are housed with serials. Loose items within these newsletters were removed and rehoused in the collection. See inventory below for file listing.
- The National League of American Pen Women brochures.
Materials originally housed in binders were dis-bound and rehoused; scrapbooks received similar treatment. Scrapbook pages with written captions or complete glue failure were photocopied to preserve order and arrangement. Acid-free paper was interwoven between photograph pages to prevent acidification. Pages are numbered in brackets to preserve order.
- A Guide to the Valley of Virginia Pen Women Records, 1950-2013
- Lindsey Wood
- July 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description