National Committee Against Repressive Legislation Records, 1948-2003

 
Container Title
Mss 475
Part 1 (Mss 475, PH 5031, PH 5032): Original Collection, 1920-1990
Physical Description: 8.0 c.f. (20 archives boxes) and photographs 
Scope and Content Note

The records of the Dane County League of Women Voters are divided into series that relate to each of the three represented organizations: the MADISON LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, the MIDDLETON LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, and the DANE COUNTY LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS. The documentation for each is similar, although varying in extent and depth. The records for each local league are also arranged similarly.

In addition to the records housed in the Archives, the Historical Society library holds microfilmed, but incomplete, runs of newsletters, which are an essential source for research, and the published candidate questionnaires of the three organizations. Photographs received with the collection are limited, with the largest group relating to an exhibit of photographs organized in 1965 to draw attention to the urban renewal issue.

Because of the inclusion of the earliest records about league activity in the Madison area and the presence of documentation about involvement in important community issues during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the records of the MADISON LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS are probably of greatest general research interest. These records consist of bylaws, administrative records, correspondence, financial records, files on committees and local units, membership records, and publications. In addition, there is documentation about ongoing activities and projects.

Grouped under the heading of administrative records are annual reports, files on annual meetings, and minutes. The annual reports are incomplete. Reports dating from the period 1955 to 1962 consist only of copies of the statistical data submitted to the state league office. Beginning in 1964 the reports were apparently prepared for the local membership, and they are as a result more useful narratives about activities and accomplishments. Documentation about the annual meetings, sometimes referred to as local conventions, varies considerably, but may include minutes, budgets and financial reports, and sometimes even speeches delivered by the president.

The minutes are very complete and provide the most important documentation in the collection about the organization's early years. Most useful are the minutes of the board, although there are separate files for regular membership meetings. (These meetings appear to have become less frequent over the years and to have ceased in 1950.)

The correspondence is subdivided into general files and subject files. The provenance and function of the general, chronologically-arranged files is uncertain, although the majority of the material consists of letters written by presidents and corresponding secretaries to national officers, other leagues, and elected officials. Unfortunately the early correspondence is scarce, and even the documentation of some later years appears incomplete. Most prominently noted among the represented league officers are Caryl Regan, Caroline Wilds, Clara Penniman, and Faith Mote. The subject correspondence includes two folders entitled “calls to action.” These are letters written by the Madison League in response to special requests from national league headquarters. Also here is a folder on the membership revolt of 1954 over the issue of non-partisanship and another containing letters to elected representatives. (Additional letters to politicians may also be found scattered throughout the general correspondence.)

The financial records include virtually complete runs of monthly financial reports, together with some annual reports and budgets. (Additional financial information may be found in the annual meeting records.)

Madison committees are primarily documented by chronologically-arranged files of annual reports. Unfortunately, these files are not complete, and the earliest years are most sparsely represented. A few committees are documented by separate files which contain other types of documentation in addition to the annual reports. These files are arranged alphabetically by name. Among the well documented committees are Public Relations (earlier known as the Radio Committee) and Urban Renewal. About the Public Relations Committee there are information and schedules about the public lecture series sponsored by the League for many years. Similar information relates to the series of radio talks that the League sponsored during the 1940s. A second, extensively-documented committee studied urban renewal, an important Continuing Responsibility of the 1960s (see below). This file includes discussion materials, minutes, photographs, and correspondence about Madison's response to the urban redevelopment problems of the 1950s and 1960s.

Records of the Madison local units also include chronologically-arranged files of annual reports, together with copies of form letters sent to unit leaders and information on training. Like the files on the committees, these primarily date from the 1950s and 1960s.

During the 1950s, the League of Women Voters began to use the term “continuing responsibilities” to refer to the national, state, and local topics which the league studied and on which it took action. This term has been used to alphabetically group all of the represented league activities that were of an ongoing nature; activities of short duration or those which predate the adoption of the continuing responsibilities terminology are arranged under the heading “projects.” The continuing responsibility files contain some of the most interesting documentation in the collection. Present are files on the city manager referenda, Madison's equal opportunities and fair housing ordinances, and Cherokee Marsh. In addition, some continuing responsibilities resulted in the formation of special league committees, and as a result additional information on Madison's continuing responsibilities may be found in that section of the collection. (The file on the Urban Renewal Committee is especially useful in that regard.) Important reports published as a result of these and other activities and studies are filed chronologically in the publication section below and also catalogued individually by the Historical Society Library.

Voter service was the league activity of longest duration. The files about this in the Archives are supplemented by the regularly-published candidate questionnaires that are available on microfilm in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin library. A highlight of the files are several brochures on the citizenship schools for women the Madison League sponsored during the 1920s and the annual candidate dinners which were a highlight of its early voter service work.

Madison League membership is well documented by lists and later published annual directories. Also useful are the annual calendars which contain lists of meetings, officers, as well as information about speakers who addressed the group. The 1951 membership questionnaires provide brief information about members' backgrounds, education, occupations, and occupations of their husbands.

The LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MIDDLETON is much less completely documented. Although there is a virtually complete file of minutes, other basic sources such as financial reports are scarce. Like the Madison League records, the material on Middleton's continuing responsibilities is of broad research interest, featuring files on the local library, the city recreation program, and the chapter's strong interest in regional planning. Several publications of the Middleton League are also included in the files.

The records of the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF DANE COUNTY chiefly date from the 1970s through the early 1980s, with some published material covering the period to 1990. Included with the background material which begins the series are earlier records of the Dane County Council. The minutes and general papers of this organization reflect the common interests that gradually developed between the Madison and the Middleton leagues and the planning that led to the merger in 1971.

The records include the basic documentation present for the two previously described organizations (minutes, annual reports, correspondence, and financial records), although other useful types of records such as the continuing responsibilities and committee files are only scantily represented here. Also the officers' correspondence in the collection covers only the period 1971 to 1978.

Within the administrative records the files of annual reports are complete from 1971 to 1986. These valuable resources list officers and summarize activities of committees. Also included is an incomplete file of the statistical annual reports to the national league. The annual meeting materials include agenda packets (containing information on budgets and financial reports, issues to be decided, and information about nominees for league office), and minutes of proceedings. Occasionally, there are also copies of the president's remarks to the membership. Regular reports of the treasurer are also complete for the documented period, 1971-1985.

Series: League of Women Voters of Madison
Box   1
Folder   1
Bylaws and constitutions, 1921-1969
Administrative records
Box   1
Folder   2-3
Annual reports, 1955-1970
Box   1
Folder   4-7
Annual meetings, 1921-1970
Minutes
Board of Directors
Box   1
Folder   8-9
1921-1942
Box   2
Folder   1-8
1943-1967
Box   3
Folder   1
1968-1971
Box   3
Folder   2-4
General meetings, 1920-1950
Correspondence
General
Box   3
Folder   5-9
1920-1959
Box   4
Folder   1-6
1960-1971
Subject files
Box   4
Folder   7-8
“Calls to action,” 1962-1970
Box   4
Folder   9
Membership revolt, 1954
Box   4
Folder   10
Politicians, 1934-1955
Financial records
Box   5
Folder   1-5
Annual and monthly reports, 1920-1971
Box   5
Folder   6
Audits, 1959-1971
Box   5
Folder   7
Budget summaries, 1957-1967
Box   5
Folder   8
Ogg estate, 1962
Box   5
Folder   9
Trust fund
Committees
Annual reports
Box   5
Folder   10-11
1922-1951
Box   6
Folder   1-10
1951 (continued)-1971, undated
Box   6
Folder   11
Finance Committee, 1946-1966
Box   6
Folder   12
Non-partisanship Committee, 1950-1969
Box   6
Folder   13
Policy Committee, 1950-1968
Box   7
Folder   1-2
Public Relations (and Radio) Committee, 1939-1958
Box   7
Folder   3
Transportation, 1968-1970
Box   7
Folder   4-5
Urban Renewal, 1963-1967
Local Units
Box   7
Folder   6
Annual reports, 1943-1971
Box   7
Folder   7-8
Correspondence, circa 1943-1970
Box   7
Folder   9
Discussion group suggestions, undated
Box   7
Folder   10
Forms, Miscellaneous, undated
Box   7
Folder   11
Leader lists, 1946?-1968
Box   8
Folder   1
Training, 1950-1970
Continuing Responsibilities
Box   8
Folder   2
General materials, 1959-1967
Box   8
Folder   3-4
City manager, 1942-1953, undated
Box   8
Folder   5
Notebook of Mrs. Russell Morris, circa 1946
Box   8
Folder   6
Cherokee Marsh, 1962-1963, undated
Box   8
Folder   7
Equal Opportunities Ordinance, 1963-1969
Box   8
Folder   8
Fair housing, 1965-1969
Box   8
Folder   9
Foreign aid, 1963
Box   8
Folder   10
Human rights, 1962-1963, undated
Box   8
Folder   11
Inflation, circa 1950
Box   8
Folder   12
Jail study, 1970
Box   8
Folder   13
Local program, 1956-1964
Box   8
Folder   14
Reapportionment, 1959-1964, undated
Box   9
Folder   1
Redistricting of wards, 1961-1972
Box   9
Folder   2
Regional planning, undated
Box   9
Folder   3
Schools, 1964-1969
Box   9
Folder   4
Taxation, 1952-1958, undated
Voters' service
Box   9
Folder   5
General, 1950-1971
Box   9
Folder   7
Vote-in, 1969
Box   9
Folder   8
Your Vote Is the Key, film, undated
Box   9
Folder   9
Water resources, 1958-1966
Box   9
Folder   10
Welfare, 1954, 1966-1969
Box   9
Folder   11
Zoning, 1958-1966
Box   9
Folder   12
Zoo, 1965-1967
Projects
Box   9
Folder   13
Anniversaries, 1958, 1969, undated
Box   9
Folder   6
Candidates' dinners, 1938-1952
Box   9
Folder   14
Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial, 1961
Box   9
Folder   15
Citizenship schools, 1926-1930
Box   9
Folder   16
Dane County survey, 1933
Government in Action
Box   9
Folder   17
1965
Box   10
Folder   1
1966
Box   10
Folder   2
House tours, 1954-1956
Box   10
Folder   3
Overseas education, 1970
Box   10
Folder   3a
“Visual Impact of Madison” exhibit, 1965
PH 5032
Original photographs
Mss 475
Membership
Box   10
Folder   4-7
Lists and directories, 1929-1971
Box   10
Folder   8
Miscellaneous material
Box   10
Folder   9
Handbook, undated
Box   10
Folder   10
Officers lists (and calendars of activities), 1920-1971
Box   10
Folder   11
Questionnaires, 1951
PH 5031
Photographs
Mss 475
Publications
Box   11
Folder   1
General, 1955-1968
Box   11
Folder   2-30
Catalogued publications, 1955-1971
News clippings
Box   12
1937-1940
Box   13
Folder   1-3
1941-1946
Box   13
Folder   4
“Battle of Production,” 1941
Box   13
Folder   5
City government referendum, 1950
Box   13
Folder   6
Position papers, 1970
Series: League of Women Voters of Middleton
Box   14
Folder   1
Bylaws, 1958-1970
Administrative records
Box   14
Folder   2
Annual reports, 1959-1970
Box   14
Folder   3
Annual meetings, 1959-1970
Box   14
Folder   4-7
Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1958-1971
Correspondence
Box   14
Folder   8
General, 1958-1964
Box   14
Folder   9
State issues, 1961-1969
Box   14
Folder   10-11
National issues, 1960-1970
Financial records
Box   15
Folder   1
Fundraising miscellany, 1968-1970
Box   15
Folder   2
Income tax forms, 1968-1969
Continuing Responsibilities
Box   15
Folder   3
General issues, 1962-1971
Box   15
Folder   4
Community Service Award entry, 1960
Box   15
Folder   5
Development plan, 1964-1965
Box   15
Folder   6
Land use, 1970
Box   15
Folder   7
Library, 1966
Box   15
Folder   8
Recreation, 1965-1970
Box   15
Folder   9
Regional planning, 1959-1961
Box   15
Folder   10
School reorganization, 1962-1966
Voters' service
Box   15
Folder   11-12
General, 1957-1971
Box   15
Folder   13
Congressional interviews, 1961-1971
Membership
Box   15
Folder   14
Board of Directors lists
Box   15
Folder   15
Membership lists
Publications
Box   15
Folder   16
General
Box   15
Folder   17-22
Catalogued publications, 1959, 1966-1971
Series: League of Women Voters of Dane County
Background material (Dane County Council)
Box   16
Folder   1
Minutes, 1959-1971
Box   16
Folder   2
General papers and formation of League of Women Voters of Dane County (LWVDC), 1956-1971
Box   16
Folder   3
Bylaws and policy statements, 1971-1977
Administrative records
Box   16
Folder   4-6
Annual reports, 1971-1986
Box   16
Folder   7
Annual reports to national LWV, 1980-1987
Annual meetings
Box   16
Folder   8
1975-1979
Box   17
Folder   1
1980-1986
Box   17
Folder   2-6
Board of Directors' minutes, 1971-1984, undated
Correspondence
Box   17
Folder   7
1971-1972
Box   18
Folder   1-3
1973-1978
Financial records
Box   18
Folder   4-7
Annual and monthly reports, 1971-1985
Box   18
Folder   8
Audits, 1971-1986
Box   18
Folder   9
Fundraising drive, 1971-1976
Box   18
Folder   10
Humanities grants, 1975-1976
Box   18
Folder   11
Memorial trust fund, 1973-1974
Box   18
Folder   12
Committees, Political Action Committee, 1976-1985
Local units
Box   18
Folder   13
Correspondence, 1971-1978
Box   18
Folder   14
Leaders lists, 1971-1977
Continuing Responsibilities
Box   18
Folder   15
County issues, 1971-1978
Box   19
Folder   1
Education, 1971-1977
Box   19
Folder   2
Solid waste management, 1973
Box   19
Folder   3
Transportation, 1973-1974
Box   19
Folder   4
Urban renewal, 1971-1972
Voters' service
Box   19
Folder   5
Correspondence, 1976
Box   19
Folder   6
Candidates schedules and scripts, 1976
Box   19
Folder   7
Election systems project, 1971-1972
Box   19
Folder   8
Poll watching reports, 1972
Box   19
Folder   9
TV forums, 1974-1978, undated
Box   19
Folder   10
Vote-in, 1972
Box   19
Folder   11
Zoo, 1973
Projects
Box   19
Folder   12-14
Bicentennial project
Box   19
Folder   15
Citizens Participation Project, 1975
Membership
Box   19
Folder   16
General material, 1972-1976
Box   19
Folder   17
Directories, 1971-1986
Publications
Box   20
Folder   1
Calendars, 1971-1977
Box   20
Folder   2
Member handbook, undated
Box   20
Folder   3
General publications
Box   20
Folder   4-23
Catalogued publications, 1971-1990
Box   20
Folder   24
Position papers, 1973
Box   20
Folder   25
Press releases and form letters, 1971-1977
PH 5031
Photographs