Monday, April 16, 2012

Athens League of Women Voters Records Collection Now Open!

The Russell Library is pleased to announce the opening of The Athens League of Women Voters Records collection.

The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Created as a non-partisan political organization, the League was dedicated to empowering citizens to play an active role in government through education and advocacy. The Athens League became an official chapter of the national organization in 1948, and its members worked tirelessly over the years to promote voter education and increase awareness of public policy issues.

Members of the Athens League studied and distributed information on a wide range of local issues, such as city-county consolidation for Athens-Clarke County, housing, juvenile justice, desegregation, and water quality. Former members include Heidi Davison, former mayor of Athens; Phyllis Jenkins Barrow, wife of Judge James Barrow; and Janice Mathis, former president of the Athens League of Women Voters and former director of the National League of Women Voters. The final meeting of the Athens League of Women Voters was held on March 23, 2006.

“With the opening the records of the Athens League of Women Voters, we are happy to call attention to the Russell Library’s commitment to documenting the experience and engagement of women in Georgia’s modern political history,” said Sheryl Vogt, Director of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

Further reflecting on the Library’s current collecting interests, she noted that the Russell Library is “…steadfastly building a group of collections from women who are elected or appointed to public office, who are reporters of the political and policy process, and those who are significantly engaged in civic and political organizations or grass-roots groups in their communities. Just as important to us are those women who appear secondarily in our collections but often play important roles in the careers of others or work behind-the-scenes to effect change to improve their livelihood or the lives of their family and friends.”

The Athens League of Women Voters Records Collection includes copies of the Athens Voter, the Georgia Voter, and the National Voter, as well as administrative files, correspondence, membership directories and handbooks. Also included are scrapbooks containing clippings and photographs from league events, and artifacts such as League of Women Voters campaign buttons, banners, and posters.

For more information on this collection, please visit us online at, call (706) 542-5788, or email The Russell Library is open for research Monday through Friday, from 8:30-4:30. The Russell Library Galleries are open and free to visitors Monday through Friday, 8:00-5:00 and Saturdays from 1-5PM.

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