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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Wiksell, Wesley A., 1906-1991. Wesley A. and Jean Starr Wiksell papers, 1920-1970 ca. (bulk 1950-1965). 39 linear ft. Unprocessed. Location: OS:W; Offsite, contact for details. Professor of speech and communication at LSU. Wesley and Jean Starr Wiksell were puppeteers. Papers include subject files, correspondence, photographs, and other items that document Wiksell's activities as a professor, puppeteer, and theater performer. Papers of Jean Starr Wiksell relate primarily to the theater and to her work as a puppeteer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4329.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, LSU

Wildbahn, Ann D. Letter, 1867 October 16. 1 item. Location: Misc:W. Letter written by Ann Wildbahn relating the effects of the Civil War on her neighbors and neighborhood; postwar conditions in Travis County, Texas; and the presence of military rule in Austin, Texas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Wilkerson, Helen C. Papers, 1920-1958. 706 items. Location: X:92-93, OS:W. Assistant dean of women at LSU. Papers contain professional papers and correspondence related to Wilkerson's tenure as dean. Material also reflects her involvement in Baton Rouge women's organizations, balls, and festivals. Also included is a program for 75th annual commencement of the Natchez Institute in Natchez, Mississippi (1920); addresses delivered by Charles W. Pipkin (1931-1936); and an address entitled "The strange case of Louisiana and Huey P. Long," presented by Harry Gamble of New Orleans to the Louisiana Legislature. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1606.

Wilkinson, Hugh M. Papers, 1953, 1954. 2 items. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, descendant of General James Wilkinson. Two sets of papers related to General James Wilkinson. The first is an address delivered by Hugh Wilkinson at the unveiling of a historical marker at Camp Sabine, La., by the Louisiana State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It discusses James Wilkinson's role in thwarting the Aaron Burr conspiracy . Other material relates to the dedication of the Wilkinson family cemetery in Calvert County, Md., designated an historical site by the Maryland State Chapter of the DAR. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1574.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Wilkinson, Micajah. Papers, 1853-1935 (bulk 1855-1880). .3 linear ft. (116 items, 33 printed vols.). Location: E:39. Farmer of Liberty, Amite County, Mississippi. Personal correspondence of Wilkinson and his wife. Letters from Nancy Willard and her granddaughter provide information about religion, the temperance movement, agriculture, race relations, and community events in Collinsburg, Bossier Parish, Louisiana. Civil War correspondence describes camp life in Mississippi, Confederate conscription, the battle at Shiloh, hardships on women, and the siege of Vicksburg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 707.

Willard, Irma Sompayrac. Papers, 1933, 1967, 1972, 1973, undated. 7 items. Location: MISC:W, OS:W. Louisiana artist. Papers include a genealogy of the Sompayrac family; histories of the founding and first days of the Natchitoches (Louisiana) Art Colony; a map of 'Historic Natchitoches and Cane River Country'; and a print of a drawing by Willard of New York skyscrapers. Mss. 2743.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Williams, Emma. Account book, circa 1850-1900. 1 vol. Location: J:7. Resident of Slaughter, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Account book of Williams listing names and payments made. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 449.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business

Williams, Thomas. Document, 1835 Sept. 26. 1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of New Orleans. Louisiana. Mortgage of a young female slave by Thomas Williams to John Kellar, both of New Orleans, La. Mortgage is attached to a certification signed by the recorder of mortgages for the city of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 451.

Williamson, F. B. T. Family correspondence, 1790-1881 (bulk 1812-1856). .75 linear ft. Location: C:70. Frances Bond Travis Williamson, wife of John G. A. Williamson. Correspondence of Frances Williamson, the John Travis family, the Cadwalader family of Philadelphia, and the Bond family of England, pertaining to family matters, travel in England and France, and social and economic conditions in England. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1302, 1325.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Williamson, Frederick and Lillian. Papers, 1922-1939. 2.3 linear ft. 78:75-77. Lillian Williamson was a librarian in Monroe and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her husband, Frederick Williamson, worked as a newspaper editor and as an associate editor for the Louisiana State University Agricultural Extension Service. Correspondence, writings, printed material, diaries, and photographs document their marriage and professional work in their respective fields. Mss. 817.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education

Wilsford, Inez Smith, 1855-1939. Reminiscence, circa 1900-1939. 1 item [typed copy]. Location: Misc.:W. Resident of Ringgold, Georgia. Memories of the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2671.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Wise, James Calvert. Papers, 1860-1917. 1.75 linear ft., 2 volumes. Locations: UU:154-155, K:37, OS:W, Vault:1. Native of Maryland who settled in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. During the Civil War he organized the Red River Rebels, which became part of the First Louisiana Regiment. Wise owned Grand Bend Plantation on the Red River. Collection contains Wise's personal, political, business, and military papers. Printed items include Confederate tax forms, currency, a notice to planters and freedmen from the U.S. Army, and papers related to the Republican party. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3239.

Wolford, Ella White Stroube, 1902- Dance cards and invitation, 1920-1922. 11 items. Location: Misc:W. Student at LSU. Dance cards and an invitation to LSU fraternity and sorority functions held at the Community Club, University Pavilion, and Golf and Country Club in Baton Rouge, La. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4312.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, LSU

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. State of New York. Items, 1883-1949. 53 items. Location: U:107. History and convention programs of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Oswego County, New York, and related broadsides and pictures of the national organization. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1813.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Womble-Abell-Norman family. Papers, 1859-2011 (bulk 1900-1955). 4.3 linear ft. Location: 103:40-44, OS:W. Womble-Abell-Norman family papers document five generations of personal activities, family life, and the genealogy of the Womble-Abell-Norman family and the related Buie family. Collection is comprised of correspondence, photographs, personal family papers, and professional papers of Evelyn Abell Norman. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4879.

Women's Social Industrial Association. Record books, 1881-1899. 8 items, 6 vols. Location: H:13, Misc.:W. Association in New Orleans organized for the mutual benefit of its members and to promote the industries of women. Collection contains minute books, a journal of expenses for the charity committee, and a printed constitution and bylaws. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 32. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2137.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-

Wood, Letitia L. Papers, 1927. 7 items. Location: Misc.:W. Materials relating to a speedwriting course given by the School of Brief English Systems of New York City. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2140.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education

Wood, Sarah Knox. Genealogical notes, 1901. 1 item (186 pages, typewritten copy). Location: U:121. Genealogical materials collected from original records and other sources for Sarah Knox Wood for her application for membership in the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1237.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Woodruff, Clark, 1791-1851. Letter, 1834 Oct. 21. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Clark Woodruff was a state representative for West Feliciana Parish (1826-28), judge of the eighth judicial district court (1828-36), and manager of the Myrtles Plantation. Clark Woodruff writes from Madisonville, La., to Morris Woodruff in Litchfield, Conn., regarding his sending of a check to pay off a note, the education of his daughter Mary Octavia under Morris' care, his own poor health, his being cheated out of an election, and Whig Party presidential politics. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4021.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Education

Wright family. Sketch, 1957. 1 item. Location: MISC:W. Sketch of Dr. Jesse Durastus Wright and Dr. Wright's wife, Sarah Robert Grimball, together with a list of their children and their birth and death dates. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1434.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Wright, Jesse D. Papers, 1831-1906 (bulk 1835-1882). 1.2 linear ft. Location: OS:W, UU:248-249. The Wright family owned lands in Louisiana and Texas. Jesse practiced medicine in Rapides Parish, Louisiana and also managed several business concerns, including a store and plantations, and was active in civic and church affairs. Correspondence mostly reflects the business concerns of the Wright family. Topics include land acquisition, property management, division of property, settling wills, and financial and legal concerns. Other items include Ester Wright Boyd's memoirs. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 99.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Business, Medicine, LSU

Wright, Sophie B. Papers and scrapbooks, 1893-1927 (bulk 1892-1900). 0.15 linear ft., 3 volumes. Location: U:91, M:25. Educator and charity activist of New Orleans, Louisiana; principal of the Home Institute, a day and boarding school for young ladies, and organizer of the Free Night School for working men and boys. Items removed from scrapbooks include letters of appreciation, programs, invitations, and other materials documenting Wright's career as an educator and philanthropist. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 33. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1134.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Education

Wright-Boyd Family. Papers, 1812-1914. 2.5 linear ft. Location: R:23-24, OS:W, 65:61. The Wright family owned plantations in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Esther Gertrude Wright married David French Boyd, president of the Louisiana State Seminary, later LSU. Papers include correspondence, diaries, journals, memoirs, and photographs. The papers mainly document the lives of the women members of the Wright and Boyd families. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3362.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, LSU

Wurtele, Mildred Orkney. Scrapbook, 1910-1912. 1 ms. vol. Location: M:18. 'A Theatre-Goer's Record' of entertainment in Chicago and New Orleans. Scrapbook contains clipped programs for plays, operas, ballets, concerts, vaudeville, and motion pictures, lengthy comments by Wurtele, and photographs of the artists. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2306.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, New Orleans 1866-

Wyckoff, Elias. Correspondence, 1862-1863. 11 items. Location: MISC:W. Farmer from Jasper, Steuben County, New York, and a member of the 161st New York Volunteers in the Civil War, serving with an ambulance corps. Exchange of letters between Wyckoff and his wife refers to the military situation in Baton Rouge and Port Hudson, Louisiana. Wyckoff comments on his duties as an ambulance driver. His wife writes of money scarcity, farm problems, and life in Jasper. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1396, 1428, 1437.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Yarbrough, Cornelia. Papers, 1963-2004 (bulk 1973-2004). 5 linear feet. Location: 8:66-68. Professional papers of Cornelia Yarbrough, professor of music education and researcher at Louisiana State University. Papers include academic and literary correspondence, research, writings, printed materials and audio recordings. In addition to writings and research, most materials are the product of Yarbrough's time spent in music education at Syracuse University and Louisiana State University. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4921.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, Education, LSU

Young, Robert Thomas, 1812-1890. Family Papers, 1793-1927 (bulk 1830-1890). 0.5 linear ft. Location: E:35, OS:Y. Cotton planter of the Plains in upper East Baton Rouge Parish. Correspondence, legal documents, financial papers, slave lists and bill of sale, personal papers, and printed items document the lives of the Young family. Included are letters written during the Civil War by Robert's sister-in-law, Julia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4548.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Zacharie, Carrie. Composition book, 1862-1864. 1 item. Location: Misc:Z. Student's composition book written at the Convent of Mercy, New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4524.

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