This League, founded in 1921, was the first local League of Women Voters in the state of Maryland. The administrative records of the League include annual reports, minutes, and photographs. In its early years the League was concerned with such issues as charter government, balanced local development, improvement of health services, and the establishment of juvenile correctional facilities. Over time its focus shifted to concern with busing; urban planning and zoning; transportation; housing; public health; public safety; voter services; and environmental quality.
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Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
36.50 Linear Feet (36.50 linear feet and 46 photographs)
36.50 Linear Feet
The League of Women Voters of Prince George's County records cover the period from the founding of the organization in 1921 to 1997, though the majority of the material in this collection was created between 1952 and 1988. The collection consists of minutes, annual reports, correspondence, publications, and newspaper clippings. Major topics represented in the files include busing, planning and zoning, transportation, housing, public health, public safety, charter government, voter services, and reapportionment. There is also material related to the League's withdrawal from sponsorship of the 1988 presidential debate.
The League of Women Voters of Prince George's County, Maryland, was founded in 1921, just one year after the national organization. It was the first local league in the state, but little is known of its early years. The names of the first presidents are unknown; the first recorded executive was Mrs. B. F. Wade, who served as acting chair of the board of directors in 1925. The organization died by attrition during the Depression, forcing a small core of interested women, including University of Maryland Dean of Women Adele H. Stamp, to travel to Baltimore to attend meetings. Stamp successfully re-established the county league in 1940, and it is still active sixty years later.
The Prince George's League is organized into local units presided over by a president and a board of directors. Each year, all units approve an agenda for the entire state league. Local units then prepare presentations of facts for topics on the current agenda. The topics usually deal with local government or issues of concern to the local voters. Some examples include busing, public health, environmental quality, and charter government. The League also prepares statements of support or opposition on local political questions. The Prince George's County League has supported the establishment of juvenile correctional facilities, charter government, open occupancy, balanced local development and improvement of health services. Other activities of the League include maintaining a Speakers Bureau to provide interested groups with speakers on important topics in local government, and educating voters on the electoral process as well as on the candidates in particular elections.
This collection is organized as five series:
Mary Foster donated the bulk of the records to the University of Maryland College Park Libraries in 1973. Additional materials were received in 1975 and 1977. Pat O'Dell donated further records in 1997. Gwen Turnbull contributed additional records in 2010.
The original grouping of records was divided into the first three of the series outlined above and refoldered into acid-free folders. Photographs were transferred to the photograph collection. All paper clips and staples were removed and a guide written. The addenda to the collection were incorporated into the extant series structure and refoldered as well. All duplicates were discarded and paper clips removed. When the additional materials were integrated the guide was expanded and reformatted.
When the 1997 accession was incorporated, the new material was refoldered into acid-free folders and interfiled with the existing collection. The Voter and Newsletter were separated from Series 1: Central Files to make a new Series 4: Newsletters, and the photographs were organized into a new Series 5: Photographs.
The 2011 accession was integrated into the previous holdings. All staples and paper clips were removed and new material was refoldered into acid-free folders. The bulk of new material was incorporated into Series 1. The folder list and dates were updated to reflect the incorporation of the new material.