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Women's Studies (Special Collections): Legal & Political Issues

This research guide identifies special collections materials related to women in East Tennessee from the late 18th century to the present.

Campaign for Suffrage

Sepia photograph of Virginia P. Moore.
Virginia P. Moore

Manuscript and Archive Resources

Office of the University Historian Collection, 1819-1996 (AR.0015)
This collection houses a wealth of papers, clippings, ephemera, photographs, and slides documenting the University of Tennessee system. Series ten of the collection contains records regarding women's issues on campus, including women's suffrage.

Virginia P. Moore Collection, 1907-1946 (MS.1546)
A pioneer of home demonstration work, this collection contains a large number of photographs from Virginia Moore's early years of home demonstration work in Tennessee as well as pamphlets regarding women's suffrage.

Harry T. Burn Scrapbook, 1920-1946 (MS.1539)
This scrapbook consists primarily of clippings from such Tennessee newspapers as the Chattanooga News, Knoxville Sentinel, Nashville Tennessean, and Memphis Press documenting Harry T. Burn's decisive vote to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many of these articles discuss the significant influence of Burn's mother and fiancée on his ultimate decision.

Alex Haley Research Regarding Tennessee Anecdotal History, circa 1986-1996 (AR.0420)
Alex Haley, Anne Klebenow, and a number of student researchers collected these anecdotes about Tennessee history during their work on 200 Years through 200 Stories: A Tennessee Bicentennial Collection (1996). Included among these topics is a book file regarding Harry Burn and women's suffrage.

Rare Books

A Vindication of the Rights of Women, with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects. 1794 (HQ 1596 .W6 1794)

Address in Favor of Universal Suffrage, for the Election of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Before the Judiciary Committees of the Legislature of New York, in the Assembly Chamber, January 23, 1867. 1867 (HQ1114 .M5)

Daughters of America. 1886-1894 (AN25 .A85 D38)

History of Woman Suffrage. 1887 (JK1896 .S8 1887)

The Elected Mother: A Story of Woman's Equal Rights. 1912 (PS3507 .A7118 E4 1912)

The History of the Case. undated (F436.5 .D42)

Women Politicians, Lobbyists, and Political Groups

Women's Christian Temperance Union in Bemis, Tennessee. photograph of women dressed in white on a horse and buggy style float
Women's Christian Temperance Union in Bemis, Tennessee. Image via Volunteer Voices.

Manuscript Resources

Eugene L. Joyce Papers, 1847-2003 (MS.2552)
This collection contains correspondence, clippings, minutes, memoranda, reports, publications, awards, contracts, and photographs documenting Eugene L. Joyce's life and involvement in the Oak Ridge community and political apparatus. He was involved in the League of Women Voters and spoke at many of their events.

Donald Paine Collection Regarding the White Caps of Sevierville, Tennessee, 1892-2000 (MS.2513)
This collection houses notes, correspondence, legal transcripts, supporting legal cases, newspaper clippings, and books documenting the White Cap organization and membership.

Estes Kefauver Papers, 1925-1967 (MPA.0144)
The Estes Kefauver papers contain the personal and political files of Senator Kefauver including information regarding proposed Equal Rights Amendments and several women's political groups.

Howard and Irene Baker Papers, 1933-1964 (MPA.0105)
The Baker collection is made up of legislative files, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, speeches, bills, and myriad associated items documenting their time in Congress. Following Howard Baker's death while in office in 1964, Irene was nominated and elected to serve the remainder of her late husband’s term.

National Organization for Women, Memphis Chapter, Newsletters, 1974 (MS.2890)
This collection houses two newsletters from the National Organization for Women's Memphis Chapter discussing NOW's fight for women's rights in Tennessee.

Rare Books

Ten Years in Washington: Life and Scenes in the National Capital as a Woman Sees Them. 1874 (F198 .A512)

Woman's Appeal. 1887 (AN48 .J65 W6)

Fifteen Reasons Why the Law of Tennessee Governing the Property Rights of Married Women Should Be Changed. 1912 (HQ1256 .T2 T4)

The W.C.T.U. in the Volunteer State. 1962 (HV5235 .T2 B4)

Ladies of Courage. 1954 (HQ1254 .R65)

Behind the Scenes in Politics: The Memoirs of Clara Shirpser. 1981 (HQ1391. U5 S49)

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM by appointment only. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials or make an appointment.