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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Wideman-Mothershead land documents, 1806-1930, undated 33 items. Location: S:127, OS:W. Residents of Jefferson County, Missouri. Land documents, including titles and deeds, pertain to tracts of land acquired by Mark Wideman, his widow Meredith Wideman, and Isaac Sylvester Mothershead. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3246.

Referenced in Guides: Women

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