Manuscript Resources on Women's History

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting women's history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of women, women's organizations, family papers with significant bodies of women's papers in them, and other collections that document women's history in one way or another.

LSU is fortunate because it collected women's papers very early, perhaps without systematically trying to do so. Women's voices, often buried in plantation collections and Civil War papers, have emerged from obscurity only in recent decades. Researchers coming to LSU can study the letters and diaries of plantation mistresses and teachers, the papers of women writers, and the papers of black women, among other sources. A number of our women's collections have been recently microfilmed by University Publications of America in its series on Southern Women and their Families, making these collections more widely accessible. 

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Webb, Maria Stuart, ca. 1786-1846. Succession documents, 1846, 1848. 4 items. Location: Misc. These four documents concern the death of Maria Stuart Webb, a native of London, England, who died in Lafayette, Jefferson Parish, La., on October 25, 1846. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4346.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Webb, William, Sr. Papers, 1835. 2 items. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Mortgage of slaves of William Webb, Sr. to William Porter, to whom Webb was indebted, and certification of the mortgage by the bureau of mortgages in New Orleans. The mortgage indicates that the slaves mortgaged were Effy, aged 30, Lucinda, aged 26, and Lucinda's two children, Mississippi and Janus, aged ten and six respectively. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 443.

Weigel, Henry S. and family. Letters, 1942-1944. 1.5 linear ft. Location: 5:26. Officer in the U.S. Army Infantry Corps in World War II, and resident of Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Weigel's letters pertain to his military training; his wartime service in England; the progress of the war in Europe and Africa; and reactions to the Allied invasion of France in 1944. Letters of his wife, Merle Elizabeth Morrison Weigel, concern civilian life in Amite, rationing, wartime civilian service activities, social life, and child rearing. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3012.

Referenced in Guides: Women, 20th Century Wars

Welty, Eudora. Letter, 1960 January 18. 1 item. Location: Misc:W. Mississippi writer. Typewritten letter from Eudora Welty to N.M. Caffee, chair of a committee of the College of Arts and Sciences at Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, La., declining Caffee's invitation to participate in the committee's symposium. Welty explains that her mother's poor health makes it impossible for her to leave home. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Women, LSU, Literature

Welty, Eudora. Papers, 1951-1957 (bulk 1951-1952). Location: 7:28, VAULT:25, VAULT MRDF 17. A native of Mississippi, Welty (1909-2001) was a 20th-century writer. Thirty-nine letters, two postcards, and three greeting cards written primarily by Eudora Welty to John F. Robinson, her long-time friend and fellow author, relating primarily to their respective writing careers and mutual friends. Several letters chronicle her stay in Ireland with writer Elizabeth Bowen and the experiences of her time there upon her work. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4919.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Literature

West Indies land and property records, 1798-1883. 14 items. Location: Map Cage: Map Case 14, Drawers 5-6. Selected public documents reflecting land tenure mainly in the Parish of Vere, Jamaica, principally for George Radcliff, a sugar planter (1809-1839). Other documents pertain to lands in the West Indies and include a conveyance (1798) for the sale of a plantation, slaves, and livestock on the island of Antigua and a mortgage and lease for two coffee plantations in the colony of Berbice, British Guiana (1813). Additionally, one item documents the surrender of the charter of the Levant Company (1825), a group of British merchants trading in the eastern Mediterranean area, particularly with Turkey. Part of the West Indies Collection. Mss. 622.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business

West, Elizabeth Howard, 1873-1948. Papers, [1783-1825], 1924-1942. 3 linear ft. (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:W Librarian Emeritus of Texas Technological College. Research materials prepared for a project to be published with a historical introduction and explanatory notes. The papers consist of correspondence together with official documents of the history of the period. Spanish transcriptions and English translations. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2403.

Referenced in Guides: Spanish, Women, Education

West, William Hansberry. Document, circa 1945-1955..1 item [photostat]. Location: Misc.:W. Notarized document signed by William Hansberry West's daughter, Lydia Ann West, aged 83. In it she testifies that her father was the pilot of the steamboat Robert E. Lee during its much-publicized race with the steamboat Natchez from St. Louis, Mo., to New Orleans, La., in 1870. The document includes a photograph of a medal presented in 1871 in New Orleans, La., to West by "Daily" Roper (possibly Daniel J. Roper, a steamboat mate) in honor of his service as pilot of the steamer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1615.

Weydemeyer, Luise, Family correspondence, 1849-1869. 100 items. Location: A:67. German immigrant living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Letters from relatives and friends concern personal and business matters and discuss Union army recruitment and training during the Civil War. Letters from Union general Franz Sigel's wife describe her husband's military activities and civilian career. Primarily in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Civil War, German

Whitaker, Lily C. Poem, circa 1916. 1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Copy of her poem 'Shakespeare,' presented before the Shakespearean Anniversary Association at the Tulane Theater, New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1284.