MS 139 - League of Women Voters (Bowling Green, Ohio)
|Title||MS 139 - League of Women Voters (Bowling Green, Ohio)|
The records of the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green date from 1952 to 2014. The history of the social and political organization is reflected in this collection, which consists of 9lf of proceedings, subject files, reports, financial records, correspondence, literary productions, printed materials, news clippings, photographs, and artifacts.
Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The early records of the League of Women Voters were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in July 1980 through the cooperation of Sally York, past President of the League, and Ann Bowers, Curator of Manuscripts. The register was prepared by Karen Snow, History
The League of Women Voters of Bowling Green is a part of the League of Women Voters of the United States and has as its purpose "to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government." The national League was established in 1920, the year that woman suffrage was incorporated into the Constitution of the United States. The organization originally was part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the group which led the 72 year drive for women's voting rights. The League was founded primarily to help the 20 million newly-enfranchised women carry out their new responsibilities.
The League is nonpartisan, in that it neither supports nor opposes candidates or political parties, although it does advocate on particular issues. The organization also encourages its members to work as individuals in the political party of their choice. The League is open to all citizens of voting age who believe in representative government. Others who are not of voting age or not citizens can be associate members. Men have been eligible to join as full members since 1974. Members work through their local league on local, state, and national governmental issues. Board members at all three levels are elected to carry out decisions made by members in local meetings, state conventions, and biennial national conventions.
The League of Women Voters is a non-profit volunteer organization. The local Leagues adopt budgets which include voluntary pledges for support of state and national work. Members of local leagues are automatically members of the state and national organizations, through a per-member assessment. About a third of the organization's income comes from dues assessed by local Leagues and two-thirds from contributions made by members and other civic-minded individuals.
The Bowling Green chapter of the League was formed in 1952. Its stated purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, to increase understanding of major public policy issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Current information about the League's activities and links to the national and state organizations can be found at their website: http://www.wcnet.org/~lwvbg/
|Scope and Content|
The records of the Bowling Green League of Women Voters date from 1953 to 2014 and document the history of the non-partisan political organization and its members. Consisting primarily of meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, subject files, and printed material, this collection provides several avenues of research.
Taken as a whole, the records of the League provide an excellent view of the organization's functioning within the Bowling Green community. The board, annual, and membership meeting minutes, printed material, and literary productions document the activities of the League such as charity projects, community development programs, and voter services. These records also show how the League of Women Voters has worked in cooperation with other area organizations through the years.
By far the most complete source for information on the League is the board meeting minutes, dating from 1952 to 2013 (although the records for some years are scattered). Committee reports included in the minutes are useful in studying the social and political issues of concern to League members. Newspaper clippings from the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune and other newspapers (1960s – 2010s) also offer a running commentary of the League's activities. Articles contained in the clippings include information on projects involving the League, letters to the editor concerning political and social issues, and an occasional column entitled "League Outlook" in which controversial issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment, services for the poor and elderly, and international relations are discussed. The local newsletters, the Monthly Bulletin (1956 – 1967) and the Voter (1967 – 2013) are also sources for this type of information. Though there are some gaps in the collections of these newsletters, later decades feature complete or nearly complete runs.
The records held within this collection are rich in their detail of the political sphere, especially at the local level. Through the “Voter’s Guide,” a special section in the Sentinel-Tribune, the League educated the public on the candidates and ballot issues in local, state, and federal elections. Information solicited from candidates included political affiliation, experience, and their own stances on important contemporary issues. Ballot issues were explained in detail with equal attention to both sides of relevant debates. While these guides are a valuable research tool, it should be noted that the collection does not contain a complete set of the publications. Additional news clippings supplement the Voter's Guide and provide background about other League activities.
Related to these clippings is the work of the Voter Services Committee, which coordinates candidate forums, registers voters, researches and compiles the newspaper guide, and sponsors voter education programs and activities. When the voting age was lowered to eighteen, the League sponsored an information program geared toward educating new voters, especially those of high school age, of their voting rights and responsibilities. Material related to the committee includes project files, reports, speech transcripts, and presentation visual aids.
The work of other committees is documented through subject files and committee information gathered in preparation for the League's public programs. Highlights include the files and reports of the Observer Corps, whose members attended and reported on the public meetings of local government agencies. These documents can assist in tracing the evolution of the local political landscape and local attitudes towards issues running the gamut from education to healthcare to water quality, as well as the services that the Bowling Green Community expected of and received from its government.
Summaries of the yearly expenditures and income for the League can be found in the annual reports to state and national League of Women Voters organizations (1954 – 2013). Financial records include summaries of financial transactions conducted by the League, the League's first ledger (1952), information on the annual Finance Drive (1958 – 2002), Budget Committee reports (1952 – 2012), and the Treasurer's monthly reports (1968 – 2012), and special funds maintained by the League.
Highlights of the printed materials include the informational publications produced by the League regarding local schools, Bowling Green and Wood County government, and guides to public officials and ballot issues. Most notable in this area of the collection is an official, signed copy of a Bowling Green Mayoral Proclamation of “League of Women’s Voters Day” (2002).
The photographs and 35mm slides in the collection depict the various activities, events, and people associated with the League, collected from the mid-1970s through the early 2010s. These activities and events include meetings, special programs, anniversary celebrations, and fundraisers.
The small amount of audio/visual and computer media found within the collection consists of two DVDs created and distributed by the national organization for a Washington DC Voting Rights education project, the files of former League president Roger Anderson on two DVD+R data discs, and instructional/informational information distributed by the state and national organizations on DVD-R and CD-R. The selection of artifacts in the collection is comprised of bumper stickers, vintage suffragette stamps, buttons/pins, and awards plaques.
ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES/AGENDA
MISCELLANEOUS MEETING MINUTES
LWV-BG BY-LAWS AND AMENDMENTS
POSITION AND POLICY STATEMENTS
WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
LWV-BG SUBJECT FILES
LWV-OH SUBJECT FILES
LWV-US SUBJECT FILES
OBSERVER CORPS REPORTS
AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORTS
BUDGET COMMITTEE REPORTS
BROCHURES AND PAMPHLETS
LWV-OH PRINTED MATERIAL
LWV-US PRINTED MATERIAL
LWV-BG – ROGER ANDERSON FILES
LWV-OH – INSTRUCTIONAL/INFORMATIONAL
Box 1: Proceedings
Box 2: Proceedings
Box 3: Proceedings
Box 4: Proceedings
Box 5: Correspondence
Box 6: Subject Files
Box 7: Subject Files
Box 8: Subject Files
Box 9: Subject Files
Box 10: Reports
Box 11: Reports
Box 12: Literary Productions
Box 13: Financial Documents
Box 14: Financial Documents
Box 15: Scrapbook Material/Printed Material
Box 16: Printed Material
Box 17: Printed Material
Box 18: Printed Material
Box 19: Printed Material
Box 20: Photographs, A/V, and Computer Media
Box 21: Artifacts