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Women's History Collection

Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret M. Bryant

Facts about South Carolina Women

Did you know that women in South Carolina were instrumental in:
  • Securing state appropriations for public libraries?
  • Promoting legislation to establish the Children’s Bureau of South Carolina to provide for the regulation of child labor?
  • Helping establish the South Carolina Board of Social Services and the South Carolina Department of Labor?
  • Lobbying for legislation to establish compulsory school attendance and laws to establish governmental standards for the enrichment of bread and flour?

Why the Women’s History Collection?

Little effort has been made to document the activities and accomplishments of women in South Carolina. Yet women have actively influenced the political, economic and social development of the state. When materials have been collected, they have usually been those of famous personalities, prominent individuals, members of the suffragette movement, artists or wealthy civic leaders. While records of these types of individuals should be preserved, libraries, archives, and historical societies have not fully documented the wide range of women who have contributed to the state’s history.

The Archives and Special Collections attempts to supply this need by:

  • Making more material available for the study of women’s history.
  • Collecting records concerning the activities of South Carolina women.
  • Publishing resource guides on women’s history sources.

Women and the University Archives

Founded in 1886 as a teacher training institution for women, Winthrop University became fully coeducational in 1974. The Archives contains the records documenting Winthrop’s history including minutes, correspondence, yearbooks, catalogs, scrapbooks and photographs. Over 1,000 linear feet of boxed material and 1,400 bound volumes provide a valuable resource for the study of the history of women in higher education. A publication available from the Archives entitled, The Winthrop University Archives and Special Collections: A Guide to Records Relating to Winthrop University, describes the collection.

Women and the Manuscript Collection

Since 1975 the Winthrop Archives has been collecting the records of women’s organizations, societies and clubs in South Carolina and the papers of women who have made contributions to the state’s history. The department has more than 275 collections documenting the role and activities of women in various subject areas including religion, politics, business, art, community service and education. In addition to these types of records, the department also collects speeches, clippings, diaries, journals, genealogies, reminiscences and files of clubs and professional organizations.

Below is a partial list of some of the major women’s organizations which have deposited records with the Winthrop Archives. (The dates for each entry indicate the inclusive dates of the material.)

  • South Carolina Home Economics Association, 1914-1995
  • South Carolina Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, 1919-1980
  • South Carolina International Women’s Year Conference, 1976-2003
  • Women’s Club of Rock Hill, 1938-2004
  • League of Women Voters of York County, 1964-1977
  • Carolina Low Country Girl Scout Council, 1925-1981
  • ERA, South Carolina Coalition, 1970-1984
  • National Organization of Women, South Carolina Chapter, 1966-1985
  • South Carolina Federation of Republican Women, 1968-1979
  • South Carolina Association of Extension Home Economists, 1961-1978
  • Church Women United of South Carolina, 1966-1978

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