Women in Southeast North Carolina

Summary

This guide identifies collections both by and about women. These mostly pertain to women’s organizations, family papers, artists’ work, and personal accounts of women in Southeast North Carolina, though some are from outside the region. Content speaks to women’s experiences from the 1800s through the present, particularly in the context of wars, political movements, and cultural upheavals, while also representing everyday life across several time periods. Material includes correspondence, business records, artwork, financial documents, photographs, memorabilia, news clippings, publications, professional and personal writings, education information, and oral histories. 

Manuscript Collections - Organizations

MS 050 Colonial Dames, Lord Craven Chapter Records

This collection includes the charter, minutes, reports, budgets, newspaper clippings and other documents related to the Lord Craven Chapter of the Colonial Dames for the years 1961-1985. Also included, in alphabetical order, are membership applications with genealogical information for chapter members.

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MS 142 James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Papers

These papers contain the association's records, photographs, brochures, and related memorabilia, as well as documents belonging to alumni from their time of attendance.

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MS 180 St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church Collection

This collection includes historical data on St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church, beginning in 1818 with the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, and continuing through the founding of the Second Presbyterian Church in 1858--renamed St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in 1888, the establishment of the Church of the Covenant in 1917, and the 1944 merging of St. Andrews Presbyterian and the Church of the Covenant.

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MS 285 Rotary International District 7730 Papers

This collection contains the papers of Rotary International District 7730 in southeastern North Carolina. These papers originate from and are mostly specific to John T. Capps III and his district involvement--especially his District Governorship from 1985-86--as well as his membership in the Morehead City-Noon, N.C. club from 1968 through the 2000s. Capps's father--John T. Capps, Jr., known by his middle name Talbot--served in Rotary International District 7730's Kinston club of North Carolina, and some of his papers from the 1950s-1970s are also found within the collection.

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MS 339 American Business Women's Association: Cape Fear Marbella Charter Chapter

This collection contains one folder of documents pertaining to the history of the Cape Fear Marbella Charter Chapter of the American Women's Business Association. It also contains six silver candlesticks and five chapter banners. This mission of the American Business Women's Association is to "bring together business women of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition."

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MS 351 League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear Records

This collections contains the records of the League of Women Voters of Lower Cape Fear from the early 1960s through present day, including meeting minutes, member rosters, informative guides, voter information, budget statements, publicity materials, and other business relevant to the every day operation of the organization. Based in Southeast North Carolina, of particular interest may be correspondence with government officials both in support of and in opposition to various existing and proposed legislation, as well as files specific to former League President, Jana Albritton.

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MS 379 Pearsall Memorial Presbyterian Church Collection

Contains church records, newsletters, histories, directories, event documents, architectural drawings, church bulletins, tapes, photographs, and CDs containing photos from the 1930s to the 2000s. A large amount focuses on The Women of the Church (WOC), a woman-focused group of the Church.

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UNCW Resources

Women's Studies and Resource Center

The Women's Studies and Resource Center provides students, faculty, staff, and those in the greater Wilmington community with opportunities to experience the diverse facets of women's lives, hopes and concerns from artistic, historical, and other perspectives. 

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University Archives

University Archives serves as the repository for official records of all divisions of the University of North Carolina Wilmington as well as other items related to the history of the University. We collect, preserve, arrange, describe, and make available these materials in accordance with the Records Retention and Dispositions Schedule for Institutions of the University of North Carolina System.

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Manuscript Collections - Personal

MS 008 Mary Barnett Gilson Private Papers

Mary Barnett Gilson was an American Economist. The first three letters in this collection were written by Ronald C. Davidson, a British economist. Both Gilson and Davidson wrote books and articles for technical publications about unemployment relief. These letters reveal the economic theories under consideration at the time of severe unemployment problems in both countries. There is also an envelope with a threppance ha'pney [three and a half pennies] stamp which was hand-stamped in Suffolk, England. Davidson’s letters were sent from England, one in 1929 and two in 1933.

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MS 065 Joseph J. Davis and Family Private Papers

This collection contains photocopies of letters and notes from Joseph Jonathan Davis to his wife Katherine Elizabeth Shaw. Many of the letters in this collection are referenced in T.H. Pearce’s, They Fought: The Story of Franklin County Men in the Years 1861-1865. Davis’s letters to his wife discuss his experience during the Civil War regarding soldiers, living conditions, weather, etc. Many of his letters include requests to his wife for supplies and also provide instructions for her regarding the management of their home.

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MS 067 Ellen Douglas Bellamy Journal

This collection consists entirely of photocopies of pages from a journal or school exercise book kept by Miss Ellen Douglas Bellamy during the Civil War. Some time later, probably in the 1870s, the journal was used as a scrapbook and printed clippings were pasted over the handwritten text. The collection includes copies of pages both before and after clippings were stripped away.

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MS 083 Kidder Award and Certificate Of Membership

This collection contains an award certificate presented to Florence Hill Kidder (Mrs. George W. Kidder) of Wilmington, NC for a colonial exhibit during the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois.

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MS 086 Anna Parsley Love Letter

A letter dated October 26, 1910, from Agnes MacRae Parsley to her daughter, Anna Parsley Love, notes the preparations made for moving into town from Masonboro Sound, a summer residence. It illustrates the housekeeping preparation for such a move for a family of comfortable means, and social interaction in an informal manner.

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MS 130 A Communication by Mrs. Roger Moore

In her four page letter, which appeared to be directed to the local newspaper, the Wilmington Messenger, Mrs. Roger Moore took issue with an earlier story in the Elm City Mirror which had claimed that the leader of the "revolution of 1898 in Wilmington" was Colonel Alfred M. Waddell (1834-1912). According to Moore, the leaders were in fact her husband, Colonel Roger Moore and Doctor J. E. Matthews, and that Waddell was not informed of the movement's plans until after his election as Mayor.

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MS 134 Back in the U.S.S.R., Travels of Sondra Claudine Langtry

In September 1976, Sondra Claudine Langtry had the opportunity to travel for a month in the former Soviet Union, visiting with her father's Russian relatives. This collection contains postcards, travel observations, and personal ephemera from her visit there, as well as to other international destinations, such as Egypt and Finland. Also included is Langtry's thesis on Soviet views of the Middle East.

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MS 141 Eloise Bethell Collection

The collection contains memorabilia from local poet Will Inman sent to his close friend Eloise Bethell, including articles, letters, news clippings, and an original pencil sketch by Bethell, to illustrate an Inman work. The time span is 1976 to 1994. Also included is a file of letters between Randall Library Director Sherman Hayes and Will Inman, 1999.

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MS 181 Hannah Soloman Block Collection

This collection consists of letters, cards, invitations, programs, news clippings and full length newspapers, magazines, postcards, notes, and a manuscript. Three albums of photos, political and pageant buttons, letters, and awards are included in these albums. Also included are WWII-era items such as Civil Defense ID cards, Red Cross membership materials, ration books for food and gasoline, V-mail, and information on USO dances.

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MS 185 The Dame Catherine C. Carpender Collection

This collection consists of letters, pictures, articles, and other memorabilia belonging to Dame Catherine C.

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MS 207 W. D. Sr. and Viola M. Jones Collection

This collection contains the personal papers of Wilbur D. Jones, Sr., (1892-1967), a Wilmington banker and World War I veteran, and his wife, Viola Murrell Jones (1903-1973). Materials include newspapers, biographical materials, World War I-era correspondence and memorabilia, reports cards, photographs, scrapbooks, programs, newspaper clippings, printed webpages, and realia, including two purses that belonged to Viola M. Jones. Major subjects include World War I and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, including the female branch of the organization known as the Daughters of Rebekah.

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MS 226 Willis and Amanda Wilson Family Papers

This collection contains the family papers of Willis Wilson (1807-1860) and Amanda Pollock Wilson (1813-1888), white landowners, farmers, and enslavers in Duplin County, North Carolina.

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MS 241 Isabel M. Williams Papers

Contains bound volumes of the publication Thalian Hall, an unbound master copy of the publication with images, correspondence, copies of newspaper articles, notes, and a Star-News supplement from 1976; program from the re-opening of Thalian Hall; materials gathered from Isabel William’s travels around the world, including notebooks with typed observations of her experience and original watercolor map illustrations. Includes one publication written by Williams on the bicentennial of the American Revolution and events in Wilmington.

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MS 254 Anchram H. and Elizabeth K. Evans Civil War Letters

The majority of this collection consists of correspondence between Anchram Harris Evans, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War from Brunswick County, NC, and his wife Elizabeth Kelly Evans (she is referred to as either "Bettie" or "Lizzie" in the letters), with a few letters between Anchram and his sister. Typed transcripts of the letters from their grandson, Troy Henry, in 1956 are also included.

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MS 263 Rehder-Gerdes Family Papers

This collection contains materials relating to the Rehder family of Wilmington, North Carolina including family history and genealogy. Of note in the collection are letters between sisters Johanna Rehder and her sister, Katherine (Tat) Rehder while Katherine was a nurse in World War II.

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MS 294 Jean C. and Morris F. Powell Memorabilia

This collection contains the personal memorabilia of Jean C. and Morris F. Powell, including pharmaceutical advertisements, photographs and a diploma from James Walker Memorial Hospital Nursing School.

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MS 314 Rehder Family Papers

This collection contains papers relating to the history of the Rehder family in Wilmington, North Carolina. The collection includes original documents, photocopies of original documents, correspondence, and photographs that detail the lives and lineage of Johann and Johanna Rehder beginning in 1844. Rehder family history is represented through both oral history and visual materials including typescripts, genealogical documents, photographs and scrapbooks.

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MS 320 Ashe Family Papers

This collection contains the biographical documents, familiy histories, diaries, works of poetry, genealogical lists, and photographs of the Ashe family of North Carolina. Most of the materials in this collection consist of photocopies or typed transcripts, but it does contain original diaries, letters, and photographs.

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MS 341 Patricia O'Meara Robbins and Carroll Robbins Jones Collection

This collection features the photography of Patricia O'Meara Robbins and the family research her daughter, Carroll Robbins Jones, compiled with her husband, Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., to write their book about Patricia's life and career--"She 'Shot' Her Way to Success: How China's Empress Dowager Ci Xi Launched a Photographer's Trailblazing Career," published in 2016.

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MS 346 Zita Reitblatt Papers

This collection contains the personal files of Zita Reitblatt including postcards, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, printed articles, along with Rosenwald schools research files. The dates of the papers range from 1964 to 2017. The postcards in the collection document the locations of local places and other countries. The research conducted on the Rosenwald schools highlight the lasting impact of the Rosenwald School Fund in North Carolina. The photographs in the collection are of the Rosenwald Scotts' Hill Browntown School.

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MS 374 Lena Cromwell Papers

Contains Lena Cromwell's personal letters, notes, cards, and other papers.

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Manuscript Collections - General

MS 029 Wilmington, North Carolina Historic Buildings Survey

The Junior League of Wilmington began a survey of Wilmington’s historic buildings in 1974. The league extracted data from courthouse records and the Sanford Insurance maps and wrote on-site descriptions. This research was the basis of Old Wilmington Guidebook, which the Junior League published in 1978.

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MS 077 J.E.L. Wade Political Statement

This unpublished political statement by James E.L. Wade in May, 1967 to the New Hanover County Women League of Voters covers a wide spectrum of programs he was involved with on both a local level and as a member of the General Assembly of North Carolina. Mr. Wade outlines his vision for the future of a greater Wilmington, covering improvements in all major areas from roads to parks and waterfront re-development, a convention center, preservation, recreation, city drainage, a bridge over the Cape Fear River, and the revitalization of Downtown.

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MS 097 Fanny B. DeRosset Music Collection

Original sheet music, mostly of the the late nineteenth century, for voice and piano.

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MS 098 Laura Harriss Howell Music Collection

This collection contains the personal music library of Laura Harriss Howell and includes opera librettos, music books, and sheet music meant to be sung and played on piano, organ or guitar by musicians in the home. Published primarily in the first half of the nineteenth century but including some Confederate imprints, the music reflects the parlor music tastes of the period and contains popular part-singing classics of the day.

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MS 109 The Cantwell Collection

The collection includes remarks of Alton A. Lennon of North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, requesting approval for an article from The Star News to be reprinted in The Congressional Record, Saturday, August 7, 1954. The article relates the origin of a salute to our flag with hand over heart first used by Wilmington-Wrightsville Beach resident Elizabeth Cantwell. Mrs. Cantwell describes how this idea germinated and its effect on others. Also included is a brief history of her husband's career as a Naval Aviator during two wars.

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MS 126 Elizabeth Catharine DeRosset Land Deed

This collection contains the Deeds of Lease and Release for 960 acres of land originally sold by John Watts to Edward Bridgen and later by Edward Bridgen to his sister, Elizabeth Catharine DeRosset. The land was located near near New Topsail sound and Barren inlet, bordering land owned by Job Howes.

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MS 135 Documents Relating to Public Education in New Hanover County

This collection consists of original documents, letters, financial records and printed material dealing with the establishment of free public schools in Wilmington, North Carolina after the Civil War. The correspondence details the financial support for school construction, teacher recruitment, and administration provided by the Massachusetts Soldiers Memorial Society, Mary Hemenway, Amy Bradley and the American Unitarian Association for what came to be known as Wilmington School District #2.

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MS 154 M.W. Godwin Linda Darnell Collection

This collection features M.W. Godwin's gathered material on old Hollywood actress, Linda Darnell. As an avid fan of the actress and her work, Godwin collected related photographs, film scripts, published articles, publicity papers and stills, posters, interviews, studio catalogues, magazine clippings, other collector and dealer correspondence, and all manner of memorabilia, including autographed material, artwork of Darnell, and a corset she once wore.

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MS 206 Ladeen Puddy Collection

This collection contains brass rubbings from various churches in England, information about those churches, and a map. Also included are publications and clippings that Mrs. Puddy acquired from various events around Wilmington, NC, such as for the Azalea Festival, a program at Thalian Hall for Riverfest, and for the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes.

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MS 272 Sociology of Aging: Women and Aging Life Histories

This collection contains Life History interviews, both audio and visual, of women in their 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's, of various educational, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, as well as regional culture. A few interviews were also done with men.

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Oral Histories

These are a sampling of oral histories with and related to women in Southeast North Carolina. To explore more interviews, please search the Oral History Collection.

Interview with Virginia Wright-Frierson (Oral History)

Interview with Virginia Wright-Frierson, artist and author/illustrator of such children's books as An Island Scrapbook and A North American Rainforest Scrapbook. Here, she discusses her arts education and aesthetic sense, her career as an illustrator, and specific projects she has completed, which includes creating a mural at Columbine High School.

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Interview with Fritzi Huber (Oral History)

Interview with Wilmington artist Fritzi Huber, in which she discusses her background, her mentors in the arts, the history and techniques of hand papermaking, and some of her projects for the local community.

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Interview with Gayle Tustin (Oral History)

In this interview, local ceramics artist Gayle Tustin discusses her craft, her education and training, her preferred techniques, and the individuals and life experiences that have inspired her as an artist.

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Interview with Jane Baldridge (Oral History)

Interview with artist Jane Baldridge in which she discusses her background and arts education, her aesthetic, current projects and highlights from her artistic career, and the local arts community in Wilmington.

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Interview with Tracy Wilkes (Oral History)

Interview with Tracy Wilkes, co-founder and Executive Director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a non-profit organization which provides a performance and visual arts-based youth development program to at-risk children and teenagers.

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Interview with Diane Smith Satterfield (Oral History)

In this interview, James Walker graduate and Wilmington native Diane Satterfield shares details regarding her training and experiences as a nursing student in the early 60's and her subsequent professional nursing career.

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Interview with Lillian Dixon Newton (Oral History)

This interview with Mrs. Newton spans her training as a nurse at James Walker School of Nursing. The brunt of this interview was looking through her collection of artifacts remaining from the school. This serves as a video catalog of objects with her narrative.

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Interview with Rosa Chadwick Handley (Oral History)

In this interview, Rosa Chadwick Handley recalls her experience as a student at Williston Junior High and High School in the 60's, including academics and extracurriculars, the faculty-student dynamic, and the character, atmosphere, and significance of the Williston environment.

 
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Interview with Lethia S. Hankins (Oral History)

Interview with Lethia Hankins in which she discusses her long association with education, particularly with Williston. She was a student at Williston Elementary, Williston Industrial High School, and Williston High School. After college, she returned to Williston High School as an English Teacher. When Williston was closed for integration, she became a teacher at Hoggard High School and later at Laney High School. Included is a brief mention of the Wilmington 10 incident.

 
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Manuscript Collections - Professional

Collections that contain material largely related to the donor or subject's education and/or career.

MS 035 Johnston Avery and Virginia Hall Avery Private Papers

The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence written or received by Johnston Avery, including holograph, typewritten and typewritten carbon copy letters. Important correspondents include William V.S. Tubman, President of Liberia from 1944 to 1971, and other Liberian government officials; Robert R. Reynolds, U.S. Senator from North Carolina from 1933 to 1945; J.C.B. Ehringhaus, North Carolina governor from 1933 to 1937; and various businessmen involved in the LAMCO Joint Venture.

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MS 068 Jessie Rehder Collection

This collection contains papers relating to Jessie Clifford Rehder's career as a writer and academic. The collection includes the manuscripts, drafts, and edits of Rehder's writings that varied in genre from poems to novels. In addition, the collection includes documents, correspondence, journals, and newspaper clippings of Rehder's time as a lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill.

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MS 116 Quelch Nursing Memorabilia

This collection consists of nursing memorabilia that belonged to Dorothea Quelch, R.N. Items include a small Manual of The Guild of St. Barnabas for Nurses containing the Constitution and By-Laws, as well as various prayers for the sick and dying or the dead; booklet of Constitution and By-Laws for the Alumnae Association of the Tucker Sanatorium Training School for Nurses in Richmond, Virginia; Constitution and By-Laws of District No. 11 Registered Nurses Association in Wilmington, North Carolina; and a graduation announcement dated 1920.

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MS 144 Virginia Wright-Frierson Collection

The bulk of this collections follows the birth of an idea for books on flora and fauna, the living desert, rainforest, and waters around an island, from first thoughts and art doodles, to finished product. Most of these notes focus on A North American Rain Forest Scrapbook, which can be found in its complete form in the library's general collection. The remainder of the collection includes newspaper clippings, correspondence with publishers, and biographical information about Wright-Frierson.

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MS 162 Helen Bayley Davis Collection

This collection contains eight books of poetry by Helen Bayley Davis. Notes included indicate where poems have been published. The poetry ranges from 1911-1958. The collection also contains correspondence.

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MS 182 Janet Seapker Collection

As Executive Director of The Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina, Janet Seapker was involved in cultural and historical events during the 1980's and 1990's, and was an influence in all aspects of historic preservation from environment to zoning and urban design. Included are committee reports from the North Carolina Museum Council, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, National Trust For Historic Preservation, and Historic Wilmington Preservation Network, along with maps of Historic District showing which properties were to be demolished, and which to be rescued.

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MS 199 Sara Mildred Strauss Newman Collection

This collection consists of memorabilia from the career of Sara Mildred Strauss Newman, including outlines of dance, manuscripts of techniques, photos, news articles and reviews.

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MS 213 Fritzi Huber Collection

This collection contains original artwork created by local Wilmington artist, Hester Claire Donnelly (1904-1992). Included are a series of informal sketches and finished works, ranging in topics. Most of the artwork was created on rough or semi-tooth drawing paper using watercolor paints, pencils, colored pencils, and markers.

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MS 221 Gayle Tustin Collection

This collection contains papers and media related to the career of local Wilmington artist Gayle Tustin. The collection includes sketchbooks, preliminary plans, interviews, magazine articles, applications, records, artists' biography, consignment forms, material lists, photographs, postcards, and brochures that map Tustin's artistic career from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. The collection ranges in terms of the size and scope of projects, including local commissions and plans for international galleries.

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MS 257 Billie Ruth Sudduth Collection

Scrapbooks, newspaper articles, brochures, catalogs, announcements, videotapes, photographs and slides relating to career of artist Billie Ruth Sudduth.

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MS 278 Pam Toll Papers

This collection documents Pam Toll's work with Acme Studios and as a working artist in the community. Included are personal correspondence, event announcements, certificates, planning and promotional materials for exhibits, news articles and cards. The majority of the material dates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Noteable projects represented in the collection include Toll's work with No Boundaries (inspiration for), Paint a Future and Acme Art Studios.

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MS 290 Consuelo Berkman Papers

Consuelo "Connie" Berkman was an artist and photographer in Wilmington, North Carolina and the adopted daughter of well-known artist, Jack Berkman. The Consuelo Berkman Papers contain artwork, correspondence, personal journals, photographs, yearbooks, and other materials dating from 1968 to her death in 1996. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Berkman's photography and includes thousands of prints, slides, negatives, and contact sheets documenting daily life in and around the Wilmington area.

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MS 301 Hester Donnelly Prints

Contains prints of artist Hester Donnelly, mostly depicting men, women, and children in various situations.

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MS 310 Jane Baldrige Papers

The collection consists of Baldridge's diaries, journals, personal correspondence, clippings, and slides of artwork. Most of the material in this collection is original.

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MS 311 Frances Guthrie Collection

Personal collection of Ms. Frances Guthrie. Includes scrapbooks, photographs, and correspondence from time spent in Puerto Rico and Japan working for the United States Department of Defense in the 1940s and 1950s.

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MS 334 Karen Swenson Collection

Karen Swenson's book projects focused on Greta Garbo, Barbra Streisand, Deanna Durbin, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Stevie Nicks, and US Gymnasts. Her research material spans items such as personal correspondence, fan mail, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, audio visual material, related books and essays, and manuscript drafts.

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MS 335 John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel Rosenwald School Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, and memorabilia form the careers of John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel. John T. Daniel was Principal of Pender County Training School in Rocky Point, NC for 30 years. Leona B Daniel taught at Pender County Training School before serving as a supervisor of Pender County and Wake County Schools.

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MS 341 Patricia O'Meara Robbins and Carroll Robbins Jones Collection

This collection features the photography of Patricia O'Meara Robbins and the family research her daughter, Carroll Robbins Jones, compiled with her husband, Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., to write their book about Patricia's life and career--"She 'Shot' Her Way to Success: How China's Empress Dowager Ci Xi Launched a Photographer's Trailblazing Career," published in 2016.

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MS 361 Lena Ritter Papers

This collection contains the work of North Carolina shell fisher turned environmental activist, Lena Ritter. Along with studies, court records that document Ritter and company’s disputes with the development firms--specifically the Onslow County Board of Commissioners, and her rewards and achievements, this collection also includes correspondence between Lena Ritter and her associates. Some of the letters also include thank you notes that were written to Mrs. Ritter from school children, which includes Duke Action: A Science Camp for Young Women.

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MS 364 Diane Satterfield Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, photos, pamphlets, and printed documents related to nurse Diane Satterfield and her education at the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, NC.

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MS 371 Blanche Ambrose Scrapbook Collection

The collection contains five scrapbooks and a few loose documents and photographs depicting Blanche Ambrose's life in Wilmington, NC and her education as a nurse.

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MS 381 Annie Mavis Brady Nursing Collection

This collection contains digital photographs, diplomas, a nursing cape, and a log of surgeries observed by Annie Mavis Brady during her time at James Walker Memorial Nursing School in the 1940s.

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Special Collections Librarian
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