Women's Guild of Arts records, 1902-1949 and undated 0.2 Linear Feet — 88 items
Collection comprises primarily 81 letters from 29 members of the Women's Guild of Arts between 1902 and 1949. There are 7 additional documents, including draft resolutions, certificates, lists, and notes. Three letters predate the founding of the organization in 1907. The primary topic of the letters is the crisis within the Guild regarding its women-only status, an argument regarding how restrictive the Guild should be. Pamela Colman Smith wrote to May Morris (22 January 1913) that the reason she joined the Guild was that it made a point of asking its members not to exhibit at women-only shows, as it lowered the standard of work and that the Guild was never intended to be a purely woman's affair. Other letters on the subject come from Evelyn de Morgan, Feodora Gleichen, and Ethel Sandell. Gleichen's letter was circulated to members, and the collection contains a list of those who agreed with her; several letters are marked up to indicate a position on the matter. There is also a draft resolution welcoming any move to widen the scope of the Guild "such as stimulating and interesting lectures not only from our own members but from men and women outside....It is with this in view that we supported the resolution passed at the recent Annual Meeting, inviting as Honorary Associates a few people with whose work we are in sympathy..." (22 January 1913). Other topics in the letters include the role of the president, exhibitions, lectures, and the work of the organization, along with the William Morris Centenary Commemoration in 1934.
"Woman: the World Over": a lecture to accompany a series of 54 photographic transparencies for the optical lantern, 1901 49 items — 1 box; 1 pamphlet binder — 48 glass lantern slides; one printed booklet — Slides measure 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches — 48 glass slides; 1 printed booklet.
Collection consists of a nearly complete lecture set of 48 hand-colored glass lantern slides published in England. The original printed booklet accompanying the set bears the full title, "Woman: the world over. A lecture to accompany a series of 54 photographic transparencies for the optical lantern." The price appearing on the booklet is sixpence.
The booklet lists 53 slides in this set, and contains detailed lecture-format captions which would be read aloud as the slides were projected. The series is incomplete: numbers 28, 47, 48, 51, 53, and 54 are not present. Titles are also printed along the mount edges of each slide but are obscured in a few cases by black repair tape. All titles are original, as is the slide order. The titles and lecture script contain historical terms and language that may be offensive to modern-day audiences. The slides measure 3 1/4 inches square (83 x 83 mm).
The slides and lecture notes were originally arranged in six series, retained in this description: Woman in Society; The Domestic Woman; Woman in Subjection; Emancipated Woman; Woman the Breadwinner; and Angelic Woman.
The women in the portraits represent races, cultures and nations around the world, among which British Guiana, China, Iceland, India, Japan, Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Tonga, Tunisia, and the U.S. There are portraits of women with high social status, married women, and women in courtship; there are women depicted in their homes, women with children, and in roles of subjugation which the lecture suggests are little more than slaves. A few images include men.
The series "Woman the Breadwinner" includes agricultural, craft, and industrial scenes, and a slide of women nurses attending to patients. The "Emancipated Woman" series includes an actress, a group of nurses, and women mountaineering. There is one slide of the Women's Temple in Chigago, headquarters for the Women's Christian Temperance Union from 1892 to 1926. Titles are present on the edges of most of the glass slide mounts, and are listed in full in the booklet.
The booklet's lecture notes refer to problematic social conditions for women, particularly regarding marriage, as well as changing social norms as the 20th century begins. The series ends with romantic images of ideal women, chiefly through the lens of courtship and beauty. Most of the missing slides are from this group.
The set held by the Rubenstein is numbered 1239 in the lecture booklet. There is no date on either the slides or the booklet, but the Women's Temple in Chigago, completed in 1892, provides the earliest date. A slide entitled "Wife of the Khedive" helps provide the latest date: the Egyptian title "Khedive" was last used in 1914. The Lucerna Magic Lantern Web Resource (viewed online November 8 2017) gives the publisher as the Riley Brothers of Bradford, Yorkshire, England, and the publication date as 1901.
Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection at Duke University.
Collection comprises 43 woman's suffrage movement buttons, pins, pencil, and badges, along with a contemporary hair pins tin used to hold 32 of the items. There are materials from suffrage movements in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Organizations present include the Woman's Peace Party, Catholic Women's Suffrage Society, Women's Freedom League, National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, Cymeric Suffrage Union, Men's League for Women's Suffrage, Women's Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U.), and the Woman's Suffrage National Aid Corps, an organization for which there is a badge as well. One pin advocates "Votes for Women, 1915," another, "Votes for Women, Patriotism." Includes a pencil from the Women's Freedom League, which was intended to be worn on a necklace. There are several anti-suffrage buttons and pins from the United States, as well, along with buttons featuring portraits of women suffragists, and a Woman's Christian Temperance Union Liberty Bell pin. Includes a badge to the 37th annual convention of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, held in Rochester, October 24-27, 1905. Consists of a yellow ribbon with pin at top and a medallion portrait of Susan B. Anthony attached at bottom of ribbon. Also present is a "Votes for Women" enamel flag pin that was worn by supporters in both countries.
Also includes two "Votes for Women" souvenir and program paper napkins for a march and a demonstration in London. The napkins feature decorative borders.
Warren G. Harding letter to Harriet Taylor Upton, 1917 February 11, 1917 February 11 0.1 Linear Feet — 1 item
The collection consists of a single autograph typescript letter on Senator Warren G. Harding's United States Senate letterhead dated 1917 February 11. Senator Harding writes to suffragist Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton of Warren, Ohio, "I beg to acknowledge your telegram of February 4. By reason of my former experience as a member of the Senate of Ohio General Assembly, I would be reluctant to advise Senator Murrell of Clinton County as to his ultimate action on the suffrage matter." Murrell was a member of the Ohio General Assembly. By 1917, Senator Harding was prepared to vote in the affirmative on the issue of women's suffrage. Harriet Upton was was hoping to leverage his influence to generate similar support in their home state of Ohio.
Vita Sackville-West papers, 1953-1961 and undated 0.1 Linear Feet — 7 items
The collection consists of five typescript letters, one photocopied Encyclopedia Britannica article regarding Sackville-West's book "Afara Behn" in the "Representative Women" series, along with a poem. The first letter, one page addressed to Sackville-West, dated 1953 May 22, signed "A. Purvis," discusses the birthplace and date of Aphra Behn. A photocopy of the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Behn is included. A typescript note dated 18 July, 1961, signed V. Sackville-West on Sissinghurst letterhead, was written in response to a letter from Sylvia Haymon about Aphra Behn, and Sackville-West's article on Behn in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Included are copies of three letters, all dated 1961, sent to Sylvia Haymon, two to Sackville-West, and one to Miss J. Parfitt, Acting Editor of the Women's Page of The Times in London. The topics of the undated, one-page "Diary-Poem" have to do with Sackville-West's loss of her given name upon her marriage to Harold Nicolson in 1913, and the loss of Knole, her family's estate in Kent, in 1928 because of patriarchal inheritance laws.
Virginia Woolf's oak writing desk, between 1904-1907 2.5 Linear Feet — 67.4 x 126 x 87.7 cm; 26.5 x 49.5 x 34.5 inches
Writing desk at which one would stand, designed and owned by Virginia Woolf. The sloping top of the desk features a central panel in two pieces, with hinges at the top. The panel lifts to reveal a storage compartment underneath.Two drawers are located below the storage area, one on each side of the desk. There are metal pulls on each drawer. The left-hand drawer pull surrounds a flower medalion; the medalion on the right-hand drawer is missing. The drawers and desk top each feature a metal lock, but no keys are present. Quentin Bell painted the figure of Cleo holding a trumpet on the top of the desk. He painted the rest of the desk, except the back, in grays with black accents. There are random spatters of paint present on all surfaces.
Vera Brittain letter to John Middleton Murry, 1946 September 13 0.1 Linear Feet — 1 item
Consists of a single typescript letter from Brittain to the critic and editor John Middleton Murry dated September 13, 1946. Single-page, with text on front and back written on letterhead reading "2 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea S.W.3." Brittain comments on the revival of Murry's The Adelphi, and on strategies to finance such literary magazines. The second part of the letter discusses her opinions on methods of pacifist activism, particuarly as related to nuclear war. The postscript discusses the forthcoming publication of John Hersey's 1946 book Hiroshima. She comments, "If only the world could read it, the 'next war' would move much further off." It is signed "Vera."
Thomas Smith deed of manumission, 1803 July 19 1.0 Linear Foot — 1 item
Deed of manumission of "negro Sue," more commonly known as Susannah Mallory, former property of Charles King Mallory, of Elizabeth City County, [Va.?], by Thomas Smith in the Court of Norfolk County, Va., on 1803 July 19. In the document Smith makes it clear that the sixty dollars he paid for her purchase from Charles King Mallory was advanced entirely by Sue and that he acted only as her "Friendly agent" in the matter, with no interest in holding her as a slave. The deed is witnessed by Richard Henry Lee and R. C. Archer.
Sybil Thorndike letter to Elizabeth Robins, 1922 September 21 0.1 Linear Feet — 1 item
The collection consists of a single autograph typescript letter from Sybil Thorndike to Elizabeth Robins at Rounton Grange, Northallerton in North Yorkshire. In the letter, Thorndike thanks Robins for sending her a piece of heather from Rounton Grange. Thorndike writes, "I am sure it is going to bring us luck, and I love having something from Rounton on my dressing table. How lovely to think of you up there among the peacocks and the glorious moors! I really think the play is going to be a success." The letter is signed "yours affectionately, Sybil" with a manuscript postscript asking Robins to give her love to Lady Bell, and to thank Lady Bell for her support. The letter is composed on Thorndike's own letterhead stationery, "Miss Sybil Thorndike" at the address of the New Theater, London and listing her husband, Lewis Casson, as Director. The play in production Thorndike refers to is Shelley's The Cenci, in which she played the lead, Beatrice. With stamped, postmarked envelope.