The League of Women Voters of Hampton Roads Records, 1956-1999 | Special Collections and University Archives
The collection is broken down into the following series: I: Business and Organization; II: Meetings and Conventions; III: Correspondence; IV: Newsletters; V: Programs and Projects; VI: Voter's Service; VII: Issues and Studies; VIII: Know Your Government, and IX: Artifacts.
Series I: Business and Organization: This series is divided into seven sub-series. Sub-series A: Structure and Organization; Sub-series B: Membership; Sub-series C: Budget and Financing; Sub-series D: Publicity and Public Relations; Sub-series E: Miscellaneous Business; Sub-series F: League History; and Sub-series G: Other Organizations.
Sub-series A: Structure and Organization. This sub-series includes papers, pamphlets, fact sheets, and manuals related to the structure and organization of the League of Women Voters --constitutions, by-laws, policies, and procedures for the years 1946-1989. Sub-series B: Membership. This sub-series consists of membership rosters and recruiting information for the years 1969-1996.
Sub-series C: Budget and Finance. This sub-series contains budgets and treasurer reports from 1957-1995. Also included are: receipts, tax forms, fundraising information and guidelines, information on dues, pledges, and per member payments, contributor lists and letters asking for contributions, and LWV Financing and Fundraising memos and newsletters. Please note that additional copies of treasurer's reports may also reside in Series II: Meetings and Conventions as part of the minutes for local board meetings.
Sub-series D: Publicity and Public Relations. This sub-series contains material from 1957 to 1995. Included are a few newspaper clippings about the League, letters to the editor, pamphlets on issues, correspondence related to publicity, listings of media and political contacts, press releases, topics for television spots, and LWV publications of tips and guidelines for public relations.
Sub-series E: Miscellaneous Business. This sub-series contains various LWV calendars, committee reports, information on community outreach, LWV self-study, the disbanding of the Portsmouth and Chesapeake Leagues, working with other Leagues, litigation, long range planning for the League, miscellaneous newspaper clippings, and other miscellaneous material related to LWV business.
Sub-series F: League History. This sub-series contains booklets, papers, articles, and newspaper clippings related to LWV history, and few profiles of women who were involved with the League.
Sub-series G: Other Organizations. This sub-series contains information on other organizations that the LWV or its members have been involved in, and services that the LWV provided for other organizations. Organizations include Common Cause of Virginia, the Princess Anne Women's Club, the Pro-Choice Alliance, and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Services include monitoring the City Employee Representative Election for Norfolk in 1989 and monitoring the Vietnam Veterans Election of Officers at their 1991 and 1993 national conventions.
Series II: Meetings and Conventions. This series is divided into five sub-series: Sub-series A: Annual Meetings; Sub-series B: Local Board; Sub-series C: State Board/Council; Sub-series D: National Board; and Sub-series E: Conventions.
Sub-series A: Annual Meetings. This sub-series contains information on the annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of Norfolk-Virginia Beach held each spring. This sub-series includes program booklets, agendas, meeting minutes, incidental correspondence related to the meetings, project proposals, committee reports, and annual treasurer's reports for the years 1966 to 1996. This sub-series also includes the annual reports following these meetings for the years 1965 to 1997.
Sub-series B: Local Board. This sub-series contains information on the local board of the League of Women Voters of Norfolk-Virginia Beach. In addition to meeting agendas and minutes for the years 1956 to 1998, this sub-series contains information on board policies and procedures, board orientation, board members from 1957 to 1996, and other materials related to the local board.
Sub-series C: State Board/Council. This sub-series contains minutes from the LWV State Board for the years 1978 to 1982, and program booklets for the State Council meetings for 1980, 1982, 1984, and 1986.
Sub-series D: National Board. This sub-series contains National Board Reports of the positions, programs, projects, budgets, policies, and actions of the National League of Women Voters for the years 1969 to 1998, as well as legislative updates. This sub-series also contains summaries of the National Board meetings for the years 1977 to 1989.
Sub-series E: Conventions. This sub-series contains program booklets for LWV state conventions for the years 1981, 1985, 1987, and 1989. These program booklets include information on State League positions, programs, projects, budgets, policies, and actions, as well as legislative reports. Also included are program booklets, flyers, and memos from the 1986 LWV National Convention.
Series III: Correspondence. This series includes general correspondence from 1956 to 1995. Correspondence relates mainly to LWV business, meetings, conventions, speakers, issues, voting, and elections. A few topics of note include: school integration, the Panama Canal Treaty, the construction of the Virginia Marine Science Museum, and the combining of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach local leagues into one area league. Mainly, folders are organized chronologically by year. However, a few folders stand-alone by topic. These folders contain correspondence related to the environment, National and State memos, the LWV consultant, publicity, and letters to congress (specifically G. William Whitehurst).
Series IV: Newsletters. This series contains newsletters for the local, state, and U.S. Leagues of Virginia Voters, as well as legislative and community bulletins.
The Norfolk-Virginia Beach "Voter" includes information on local League business, officers, meetings, board members, conventions, calendars, voting information, legislative issues, speakers, finance reports, programs and projects, and other information geared toward local members for the years 1956, 1967, 1970-1975, 1978, 1980-1983, 1986-1990, 1994-1996, and 1998-1999.
The Virginia Voter includes election calendars, voter information, legislative records, budget information, legislative issues, information on workshops, conventions, speakers, and events, and other information related to the LWV of Virginia for the years 1977-1987, 1989-1990, and 1993-1995.
The National Voter, produced by the League of Women Voters of the United States, contains a variety of articles on voting, politics, and League news.
Swap Shop, the LWV of the U.S. newsletter, includes ideas, information on what various Leagues were doing, and articles on voting for the years 1957-1965.
The League of Women Voters South Hampton Roads Reports to the Community contains information on the LWV of Hampton Roads, what it is, its accomplishments, and contact information for 1994 and 1995.
The LWV Community Guide is a publication of the LWV Education Fund. Articles deal mainly with community and environmental awareness.
The LWV of Virginia Legislative Newsletter includes Virginia General Assembly summaries, bills, proposals, and resolutions, LWV stances on the issues, and information on writing legislators for the years 1980-1987.
This series also contains a newsletter for the LWV of Loudoun County for October 1995; and newsletters for Virginian's for Returnables, a coalition seeking a Virginia Deposit - Refund law on cans and bottles to promote recycling; the AERS News newsletter for the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society; and The Virginia Scientists newsletter for the Virginia Academy of Science.
Series V: Programs and Projects. This series relates the various programs and projects of the League of Women Voters. It is divided into the following sub-series: Sub-series A: General Program Information, Sub-series B: Action, Sub-series C: Education Fund, and Sub-series D: Speakers Bureau. It should be noted that although Voters Service and LWV research studies also qualify as programs and projects, they have been made into separate series due to the intricacy and extent of their subject matter.
Sub-series A: General Program Information. This sub-series contains general information related to LWV programs. Included are program proposals, information on program development and management, program guidelines, program calendars, flyers and materials for programs and workshops, and incidental correspondence related to LWV programs.
Sub-series B: Action. This sub-series contains information about LWV action on political issues. Included are Action guides, pamphlets, tips on lobbying and writing legislators, correspondence and memos, newspaper clippings, letters to newspaper editors, committee reports and updates, LWV positions to act on, action alerts, and various testimonies and other presentations made by League members on issues from 1957 to 1997. A variety of issues are covered in this section, including the 1968 Bond Issue, the Civil Rights Restoration Act, the preservation of Assateague, the Equal Rights Amendment, Motor Voter, the Superfund program to clean up waste sites, and the Bill of Rights.
Sub-series C: Education Fund. This sub-series contains information about the LWV Education Fund. Included are LWV Education Fund grants and grant guidelines, project proposals and request forms, committee reports, memos and incidental correspondence, brochures, the Education Fund newsletter for 1965-1966, Education Fund expense vouchers, and information on the LWV overseas education fund.
Sub-series D: Speakers Bureau. This sub-series contains speeches, pamphlets, guidelines, and directories of speakers. Speech topics include LWV history, criminal justice, the Equal Rights Amendment, and the Voting Rights Act amendments of 1981.
Sub-series E: Workshops. This sub-series contains information on workshops hosted by the League of Women Voters. Included are workshops on affordable housing and on crime.
Series VI: Voters Service. This series is divided into twelve sub-series: Sub-series A: Voter Registration; Sub-series B: Election Laws; Sub-series C: Voting Information; Sub-series D: Voter Guides; Sub-series E: Candidate Questionnaires; Sub-series F: Political Accountability and Voting Records; Sub-series G: Election Results and Reporting; Sub-series H: Congressional/Legislative Interviews; Sub-series I: Candidate Debates and Forums; Sub-series J: WHRO Interviews; Sub-series K: Articles and News Clippings; Sub-series L: Voters Service Publications; and Sub-series M: Voters Service Miscellaneous.
Sub-series A: Voter Registration. This sub-series contains information about the League of Women Voters voter registration efforts. Included are a listing of organizations active in Voter Registration and Voter Education information in 1971; the "Get Out and Vote" handbook to encourage voter participation; pamphlets on registering and voting in Virginia including election dates and registration sites; information and correspondence regarding the March 1974 "Voter Registration Month", July 1976 "Voter Registration Drive Poster Contest", 1976 Bicentennial Voter Registration Effort, the 1976 "Votingest City" contest, the September 9, 1988 Voter Registration Day, the 1988 "Your Vote Counts" video tapes, the September 1992 Voter Registration Week at Walmart, and the 1992 "Take Back the System" campaign; 1989 Election Center Reports, the National Voter Registration Act of 1989; and newspaper clippings related to voter registration in 1976.
Sub-series B: Election Laws. This sub-series covers the time period from 1965 to 1986. The League of Women Voters' primary interest in election laws relates to increasing voter participation by decreasing the legal obstacles that prevent citizens from registering to vote, voting, and otherwise taking part in the election process. Included are articles, pamphlets, booklets, letters, surveys, reports, fact sheets, registration and voting statistics, and summaries of legislative bills, resolutions, and proposals related to elections. Specific themes include the poll tax and literacy requirements, reapportionment and redistricting, voter registration and postcard registration, absentee voting, and campaign financing. Specific topics include the Civil Rights Act, the 1965 "Liberty Amendment", the "Freeholder Amendment" of 1960 and 1962, the 1973 "Omnibus Bill", and the League of Women Voter's Voting Rights Act Monitoring Project.
Sub-series C: Voting Information. This sub-series contains logistic information of value to voters and spans the years from 1954 to 1997. This section consists mainly of voting flyers and calendars, and information on registering to vote, absentee voting, and voting procedures.
Sub-series D: Voter Guides. This sub-series contains voter information guides prepared by the League of Women Voters and other organizations for the years 1970 to 1996. Voter guides provide information on the candidates, background information and League positions on ballot questions, 1984 party platforms, and information on how to prepare voter guides.
Sub-series E: Candidate Questionnaires. This sub-series contains surveys of the opinions and background of local and state candidates for the years 1970 to 1992. Also included are copies of cover letters sent with the questionnaires, and publications containing the candidates' answers to the questions.
Sub-series F: Political Accountability and Voting Records. This sub-series contains political accountability ratings for the 92nd to the 97th congress, 1985 Congressional Voting Records, LWV Political Accountability Ratings 1973 to 1979, Reports from the Hill 1970 and 1994, fact sheets on votes for women's issues 1976 to 1985 and 1995, and a couple of newspaper clippings related to rating political accountability.
Sub-series G: Election Results and Reporting. This sub-series contains information on League involvement in election reporting for various years (mainly in the 1980's) and results for the 1992 election.
Sub-series H: Congressional/Legislative Interviews. This sub-series contains information on legislative interview tips, questions and summaries for LWV interviews with their congressmen for the years 1965 to 1992, and information on the LWV 1993 Candidate Watcher Program.
Sub-series I: Candidate Debates and Forums. This sub-series contains tips and guides on holding debates and forums, and logistic information on various debates and forums sponsored by the League. Debates and forums include the 1984 and 1987 Senatorial debates, 1986 and 1988 Congressional debates, Presidential debates for 1976, 1980, and 1988, Virginia Beach City Council forum in 1992, and information on the 1979 Candidates forum in Fredericksburg. It should be noted that the League of Women Voters U.S. decided to pull out of the 1988 Presidential Debates because of perceived fraud in the debate format. Information about this is included as well.
Sub-series J: WHRO Interviews. This sub-series contains radio transcripts and an audiocassette tape of interviews with senators, delegates, and other public officials on a variety of topics and issues, and actions taken in the Virginia General Assembly for the years 1985 and 1986.
Sub-series K: Articles and News Clippings. This sub-series includes articles and newspaper clippings related to Voters Service from the 1960s to the 1990s. Topics include voting machine instructions, candidate profiles, candidate advertisements, absentee voting laws, voter turnout, voter registration, newspaper clippings of election results, and ballot questions.
Sub-series L: Voters Service Publications. This sub-series includes booklets, brochures, flyers, and pamphlets related to voting produced by the LWV of Norfolk - Virginia Beach and other Leagues.
Sub-series M: Voters Service Miscellaneous. This sub-series includes reports, correspondence, notes, schedules, and other assorted material related to the Voters Service program.
Series VII: Issues and Studies. The bulk of this series consists of various research and studies undertaken by the League of Women Voters as part of their League Program. This series is divided into two sub-series: Sub-series A: Summaries and Positions and Sub-series B: Research, Studies, and Publications.
Sub-series A: Summaries and Positions. This sub-series contains summaries of legislative issues and the League of Women Voter's positions on these issues. Also included is information on how to conduct a study and publish the information.
Sub-series B: Research, Studies, and Publications. This sub-series contains research, studies, and booklets on issues broken down by topic. The following topics are a part of this collection: Adult Domestic Violence, American Association for the Advancement of Science Project, Campaign Financing, Child Day Care and Children at Risk, City Planning in 1971, Clean Air, the Dillon Rule, Early Voting, Electoral College and the Presidency, Education and Education Funding, Employment, Energy, Environmental Issues, Equal Rights Amendment, Family Building Act of 1990, Federalist Papers Reexamined, Finance Issues and Financing the Federal Government, Garbage, Great Dismal Swamp, Green America, Green Space, Gun Control and Gun Violence, Hampton Roads Regional Cooperation, Hazardous Waste, Health Care, Housing, HOV, Human Resources and Employment, Hunger, Intergovernmental Relations, International Relations, International Relations -- China Study, International Relations -- National Security, International Relations -- Trade, International Relations -- United Nations, Jail Study and Study for a Regional Jail, Juvenile Justice, Land Use, MacArthur Center, Mental Health, Motor Voter, Natural Resources, Norfolk and Local Schools, Nuclear Waste, Pay Equity, Pesticides, Poverty, Pro-Choice Information, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Recycling, Religious Freedom, School Desegregation, Social Policy, Transportation, Uranium, Urban Crisis, the Virginia Court System, Waste, Water (conservation, resources, pollution), Welfare, Wetlands, "Who should elect the President of the United States" (LWV US publication on the electoral process), and Women's Rights and Issues.
Series VIII: Know Your Government. This series includes city guides for Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Hampton, and general information, reports, booklets, newsletters, and articles on local and state government and history. City guides include information on voting; city profiles and problems; city government; public safety, health, and welfare; schools; city finances; public works; recreation; and city directories.
Series IX: Artifacts. This series includes "Campaign for Election" board games, "Your Vote Counts" posters, a "Vote! Democracy is NOT a Spectator Sport" bumper sticker, and a "Vote America" advertisement on a paper Winn Dixie Bag.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) was established in 1920, the year that women's suffrage was finally incorporated into the Constitution of the United States. The League was originally part of the National American Women's Suffrage Association, which led the 72-year drive for full and equal suffrage for women of the United States. The League was founded primarily to help 20 million newly enfranchised women carry out their new responsibilities as voters.
The Norfolk League of Women Voters was begun in the fall of 1955. Mrs. Clement Kester was elected president of the Provisional League. In the 1930s a League had been active in Norfolk, but was disbanded at the beginning of World War II. In March 1957, Norfolk was recognized as an official League. Mrs. Hugh Fortescue was elected the first president with a membership of 85. This was the 11th Virginia League.
The Virginia Beach membership in the League became stronger after the merger of old Princess Anne County and the city of Virginia Beach in 1962. A unit of the Norfolk League began to meet regularly there in the winter of 1963. In 1964, the State Board Organizational Committee agreed that Norfolk and Virginia Beach should become an area League.
The modern day League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, volunteer organization, established to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League holds regular monthly meetings to informally discuss common concerns and periodic full membership meetings with speakers on topics of interest. Members include teachers, housewives, and women of various backgrounds, who are interested in good government. Some members are well informed in certain areas because of special interest or training.
The League cannot work for candidates or political parties as a group, though it encourages each member to work for the candidate of her choice. The League does take stands on issues, once they have studied the issues thoroughly and achieved a consensus among members, or when the issue is pertinent to the statement of principles of the national League.
League action includes testifying at public hearings, the use of television, radio, and newspapers, public forums and panel discussions to inform voters, and letters to local, state, and national officials. The League's two most prominent programs are the Voters Service and the League Program.
The primary concern of the League is service to the voter. The Voters Service program serves this purpose by informing the public about registration, voting procedures, and voting calendars; urging citizens to vote, explaining proposed amendments and referenda appearing on the ballot; giving factual information about the candidates based on their records and opinions on important issues; holding candidate meetings, forums, and debates; and publishing candidate questionnaires and voting records.
In the League Program, members select an issue of interest from local, state, and national levels of government. Two national, two state, and two local issues are selected for study each year at the League of Women Voters Annual Meeting and at State and National Conventions. Committees throughout the year study these items and the committees prepare information to keep members informed on the issues.
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