RG 17: Records of the Organized Women Voters
Collection NumberRG 17
HistoryThe Organized Women Voters of Arlington County was founded in 1923 as the Arlington County League of Women Voters, and later that same year changed its name to the Organized Women Voters in order to remain clearly independent of the now nationally known League of Women Voters. As of 2017, the organization was still active in Arlington County.
The objectives of the organization were "to collect and disseminate political and civic information; to be non partisan; and to be free to take action on any County problem." The Organized Women Voters has been active in educating Arlington County voters on voting procedures and political candidates, as well as actively supporting women candidates for County Board positions. The organization also sponsored two yearly local events for a number of years the Woman of the Year Award and the annual Birthday Luncheon.
Scope and ContentRecord Group 17 houses the scattered records of the Organized Women Voters of Arlington County. The collection measures 9.2 linear feet, and ranges from 1923 to 2015. Found in this group are scattered meeting minutes, membership lists, meeting announcements, by laws and constitution, financial documentation, memorabilia, and newsclippings. Of particular interest are the early meeting minutes and correspondence for the 1923 through 1925 period. The collection also houses several photographs of members at their various functions.
Series 18 and 19 are binders put together by Nancy Renfro and Mimi Simms as a sort of yearbook for the club. These contain meeting agendas, minutes, Treasurer’s Reports, correspondence (usually related to organizing OWV meetings and special events), and published material that supported meeting speakers. Some binders contained materials for multiple years, and cover the 1960s through the 1990s.
Series 20 are materials collected and organized by longtime member Nancy Renfro, and contain meeting minutes, correspondence, and published material documenting the OWV’s activities from the 1990s through 2015. There are committee reports, supporting material for invited meeting speakers, membership directories, OWV’s constitution and bylaws, and detailed reports on larger events such as Candidate’s Night.
Series 21 are materials created and collected by Sue Renfro, Nancy’s mother and another longtime member of OWV. This series mostly deals with issues surrounding school integration and public housing, but also touches on other school issues such as appointment of School Board members and school curriculum and a Virginia state sales tax. There are clippings, drafts of speeches and correspondence, meeting minutes and other published material with notations made by Mrs. Renfro, and occasional personal papers scattered throughout. Series 20 and especially Series 21 show conservative viewpoints to local, state, and national issues, and contain published materials that support these viewpoints.
Arrangement and DescriptionRecord Group 17 is arranged into series by either type of material or organizational event. Most of the series are incomplete and scattered.
Series 18 and 19 are organized chronologically by binder. Series 20 is organized by binder; the creator, Nancy Renfro, placed selected materials in plastic sleeves (some labeled), so each folder is the contents of one sleeve. Series 21, Sue Renfro’s materials, were originally filed in several accordion folders, many of which were labeled, and with some smaller mailing envelopes inside. Each subseries reflects one of those accordion folders, and Renfro’s titles of the larger folders or mailing envelopes are in quotes [“”]. The last subseries contains the smaller accordion folders.
ProvenanceThese records were collected by one of the members of the Organized Women Voters and donated to the Arlington County Historical Society. The group was donated to the Library as part of a larger donation from the Arlington Historical Society. Further donations were made by Nancy Renfro.
RestrictionsThere are no research restrictions on this collection.