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League of Women Voters of Oregon records

Identifier: Bx 173

Scope and Contents

The League of Women Voters of Oregon Collection is an extensive set of papers which includes both national and state League administrative materials (reports, minutes, memos, correspondence), League projects and study files and some material from Oregon's local Leagues. The League of Women of Oregon voters is still in operation with eighteen local Leagues statewide and over 1500 members.

Most of the material has been filed by subject and date. The national administrative papers begin the collection (boxes1-3), followed by state administrative material (boxes 4-10), League projects (11-19), Voters Service research and materials (boxes 23-35). An index of headings for the League projects section is available on page 3.

The national and state administrative materials sections offer a wealth of information on the policies, processes and practices of the League at national, state, and local levels. The correspondence sections (see State League correspondence, box 9) reveal internal problems and conflicts with which the League members had to cope. Box 10 contains correspondence between the state and national League.

Researchers investigating local Leagues should check the Local Leagues Annual Reports section (boxes 5 and 6) as well as the Local Leagues section of the inventory. The annual reports contain summaries and statements of local League objectives and programs. Advisors' reports, when available, may yield valuable insights into a particular league's functions and/or malfunctions.

The League projects section may be used by persons wishing to research specific social or political issues of that time, but complete analysis of any issue should not be expected. Projects files generally contain League correspondence and publications in regard to a particular topic, plus publications and brochures distributed by other groups or agencies on the issue. The projects files do provide some insight into controversial aspects of social and political issues, as the League was careful to include pertinent right-wing literature in their files in order to counter balance the more liberal viewpoints.

Researchers may also wish to examine the excellent study of the League of Women Voters of the United States, conducted by the University of Michigan in the mid 1950's. Although it is over forty years old, the study included a detailed analysis of the membership on the League, noting that it was not generally attractive to members of the working classes or ethnic minorities, a situation which is probably still true.


  • 1958-1975

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The League of Women Voters of Oregon's history dates back to 1920. In February 1920, at its Victory Convention in Chicago, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) voted to reconstitute itself as the National League of Women Voters. Its mission was the political education of new women voters. It was NAWSA President Carrie Chapman Catt who first proposed a League of Women Voters "to finish the fight" and "aid in the reconstruction of the nation." According to Nancy Newman, "the fight to be finished was winning national woman suffrage and eliminating other forms of political and legal discrimination against women. Reconstruction of the nation meant educating citizens with the goal of strengthening American democracy in a chaotic post-war-period." (The League of Women Voters in Perspective: 1920-1924).

It wasn't until the 1946 convention that the name was changed to the League of Women Voters of the United States to emphasize the shift from being a federation of state Leagues to being a member-based organization.

Source: Information obtained from the League of Women Voters of Oregon website: <> accessed on December 4, 2003.)


55.5 linear feet (39 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the state, national, and local records for chapters of the League of Women Voters of Oregon. The records include individual files for many projects at the national, state, and local levels. The collection also includes publicity materials and newspaper clippings regarding the local activities of the league.


Collection is organized into series pertaining to national League material, state League material, projects and studies material, environment and land planning material, social issues/problems and human resource material, voters and service material, and local League material.

Guide to the League of Women Voters of Oregon Records
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Finding aid prepared by Cheryl Roffe
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA