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Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Women's Manuscript Collections: UofL-Related Materials

The University of Louisville's Archives and Special Collections has many collections that shed light on women's lives in Louisville through history. This guide highlights these materials, and provides a starting place for research.

University of Louisville-related Papers and Records Relating to Women's History

American Home Economics Association Records, 1950-1976
.25 linear feet
These are records of the University of Louisville student chapter of the American Home Economics Association. The group's goal was to "promote understanding between school and home." The club hoped to help female students learn more about their majors. The records include clippings, photographs, a ledger, and publications.

Blake Beem Papers, 1935-1961
.5 linear feet
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Blake Beem worked at the University of Louisville's medical (later health sciences) library, and was a member of the Kentucky Library Association, the Medical Library Association, and the American Library Association. The collection includes material relating to Beem's retirement in 1961. There are also Kentucky Library and Medical Library Association certification materials, biographical materials, and photographs. There is additional material at Kornhauser Health Sciences Library.

Sherrill Brakemeier Papers, 1949-1971
.25 linear feet
Sherrill Brakemeier, University of Louisville cheerleading sponsor, donated a sports and cheerleading scrapbook. The scrapbook contains photographs and newspaper clippings of University athletics and cheerleading activities during 1949 and 1971. There are also articles from the campus newspaper covering related activities such as homecoming festivities.

Charlotte Wimp and Donald Butler Papers, 1911-1981 (bulk 1912-1917)
2.5 linear feet
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Charlotte Wimp Butler attended the University of Louisville from 1912 to 1917 and was a member of the women's basketball team. The collection consists of correspondence from friends serving in World War I, correspondence regarding Girls High School and the University of Louisville, and women's basketball memorabilia.

Ruth Wilson Cogshall Papers, 1918-1980 (bulk 1918-1949)
2.375 linear feet
Ruth Wilson Cogshall attended the University of Louisville. During her student days she was active with University of Louisville Players, a campus theater group. After graduation she continued participating in local amateur theater. The collection contains correspondence, literary productions, print material, photographs and a scrapbook reflecting her activity in the amateur theater.

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Davidson Family Papers, 1946-1972
Jane Foot Davidson was the wife of the University of Louisville's twelfth president, Philip G. Davidson. Jane Davidson was an active participant in her husband's administration, which spanned the years 1951 to 1968, and she was closely involved with the Dames Club and the Campus Newcomer's Club. Jane Davidson's papers within the family's collection consist of correspondence with family members, photographs, and clippings about her family.

Carol W. Dowell Papers, 1950-1987 (bulk 1966-1971)
4.25 linear feet
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Carol W. Dowell was the first female political science professor at the University of Louisville. Dowell's papers include correspondence, class outlines, departmental documents, and records of her professional activities.

Elizabeth Hall Papers, 1950-1952
.25 linear feet
Elizabeth Thompson Hall was a student at the University of Louisville in the 1950s and editor of The Cardinal student newspaper. The papers include programs from dances, concerts and theater, and newspaper clippings relating to the university, including a report of a 1951 student protest over a tuition increase. There are also photographs of campus buildings, student activities, and the Cardinal staff and facilities.

Sue Hall Papers, 1923-1986 (bulk 1940-1949)
1.5 linear feet
Sue Hall was a professor in the University of Louisville's Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The collection consists of scrapbooks about university personnel; programs, clippings, and university memorabilia, including the university's sesquicentennial anniversary program; and items relating to John Taylor's inauguration as university president.

Mary Jo Fink Herz Papers
6.25 linear feet
Mary Jo Fink Herz was born in Kenton, Ohio, in 1916 and received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She taught French at the University of Louisville from 1942 to 1979 and is believed to have been the first female tenured professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Known to her students as Dr. Fink, while at UofL, she founded the French Players, a group that produced plays by French playwrights. Fink died in 1995 at the age of 79 and was survived by her husband, professor emeritus of music history, Gerhard Herz, who died in 2000.

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Mariam Sidebottom Houchens Papers, 1938-1987
2.5 linear feet
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Mariam Sidebottoms Houchens was married to longtime University of Louisville administrator John Houchens. She actively participated in the university community and was a longtime member of the University of Louisville Women's Club. The materials include genealogical information, clippings, unpublished and published writings, and materials relating to various clubs and organizations to which she belonged.

Ruth Lee Koch Papers, 1923-1965 (bulk 1923-1937)
.25 linear feet
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Ruth Lee Koch served as assistant and secretary to the dean of the Speed Scientific School of the University of Louisville. Koch also held the post of head of the university's purchasing department from 1924 to 1935. She became UofL's cashier in 1935, remaining in that position until her retirement in 1964. The papers include a history of Speed School researched by Koch and other material she collected relating to the school.

Sara Landau Papers, 1893-1986 (bulk 1910-1986)
38 linear feet
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Sara Landau joined the faculty of the University of Louisville in the 1920s and became an associate professor of economics in 1927. She later held faculty positions at Roosevelt University and Berea College, retiring from Berea in 1964. After retirement she continued to participate in the projects of the American Association of Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the League of Women Voters. This large collection has been divided into eleven series: biographical and genealogical; diaries; financial; correspondence; literary production; teaching records; contract research; reference; scrapbook; photographs; and audio material.

Florence Daisy McCallum Papers, 1913-1916
.5 linear feet
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Florence Daisy McCallum was a member of the University of Louisville women's basketball team from 1915 to 1916. The collection includes a scrapbook relating to the team from 1913 to 1916, a journal written in 1913 and 1914, and a 1916 graduation book.

Althea Stephens Parmenter ([1900]-1997) Papers
2.50 linear feet
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Althea Stephens Parmenter was born in [1900] in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Agnes Scott College (Georgia) and a master's degree in English from the University of Louisville in 1962, studying creative writing under Dr. Harvey Curtis Webster. In 1963, her story "The Old Masters," won national honors and was published in Prize College Stories by Random House. She retired from teaching piano in 1980 after sixty years of instructing, including teaching at Logan College (Russellville, KY) and National Park Seminary (Maryland). The collection includes some correspondence, miscellaneous personal and printed material, along with photographs and artwork. The bulk of the collection is made up of manuscript materials from her writings, including several revisions of a novel, The Voyage of the Golden Plover, some short stories, and poetry.

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Mary Katherine Bonsteel Tachau Papers, 1950-1990 (bulk 1965-1990)
25.5 linear feet
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Mary Katherine Bonsteel Tachau was a noted constitutional historian, professor of history, feminist, and civil rights activist. She taught at the University of Louisville from 1958 until her retirement in 1990. During her tenure she served as university ombudsman, chair of the university's committee on the Status of Women, first female chair of the Department of History, first female chair of the university faculty senate, and a member of the university's Board of Trustees. She also served as historical advisor to the United States Senate Watergate Committee and worked with the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. The papers document her career as a historian, educator and activist.

Eleanor Turner Papers, 1972-1972
.5 linear feet
Eleanor Turner was employed by the University of Louisville from 1932 to 1972. She served as administrative assistant to UofL presidents Philip Davidson (1951-1968) and Woodrow Strickler (1968-1972). The collection consists of memorabilia relating to her retirement in 1972.

University of Louisville Department of Athletics, Women's Basketball Records, 1975-1989
1.75 linear feet
Women's basketball is one of the oldest intercollegiate sports at the University of Louisville. In the 1910-1911 season, the U of L women played their first intercollegiate game against Transylvania University. This collection documents the women's basketball team in the years 1975 through 1989. The collection includes yearbooks, media guides, scorebook, and videotapes of UofL women's basketball program and games.

University of Louisville School of Nursing Records, 1920-1989
43.05 linear feet
The University of Louisville School of Nursing was fully accredited in 1979. Before that it had been subordinate to the School of Medicine. While not limited to women, historically, the majority of the students have been women. The records contained in the collection include student papers, The Main Vein newsletter, faculty minutes, T.G.I.F. newsletter, course outlines, grade roster books, and catalogs.

University of Louisville Women's Club Records, 1932-ongoing
7.5 linear feet
The University of Louisville Women's Club is a social and charitable organization composed of faculty wives, female faculty members and supporters of the university. The collection includes the club's bylaws and constitution, minutes, scrapbooks, photograph albums, membership lists, financial records, and publications.

Women Who Write
.25 linear feet
A women's writing group was organized at the University of Louisville in May 1972 to read and respond to each other's work. The group eventually disbanded, but in August 1993, a member of the original group agreed to revive the organization. Within a year they produced a collection of poetry and prose entitled Women Who Write. By 1995 the group was based out of the Women's Center at the university. In 1997 the organization held its first annual poetry and short story contest, with the winning entries being published in the annual edition of Women Who Write. This collection consists of the nine published volumes of Women Who Write, beginning with Volume I in 1994.

Bonnie Magruder Zeiser Papers, 1916-1981 (bulk 1916-1955)
.3 linear feet
Bonnie Magruder Zeiser graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Louisville in 1921. Zeiser created this scrapbook, which contains material dealing with her membership in the U of L players in the late 1910s, and miscellaneous letters and clippings on the Little Theater Company and the Macauley Picture Collection. Also included is a brief reminiscence, written about 1981, of her years in amateur theater in the University's Playhouse from 1914 to 1938.