Corpus Christi League of Women Voters Donates Historical Records to Island University

Published: May 08, 2018

Corpus Christi League of Women Voters Donates Historical Records to Island University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The League of Women Voters of Corpus Christi (LWV-CC) found a permanent home for more than 70 years of its historical material in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. LWV-CC members delivered 35 boxes to the Bell Library on April 26, and signed a deed of gift, transferring the historical records to the archives. Island University researchers and the community now have easy access to LWV-CC records, which document its participation in the sociopolitical issues of Corpus Christi and nation since the local organization’s founding in 1945.

“The LWV-CC donation includes some of the best organized records I ever seen donated,” said Ann Hodges, special collections librarian and university archivist. “We are excited to acquire these records because it reflects the important service the group provides to the community in encouraging civic responsibility. It also strengthens the unique resources we offer to researchers.”

LWV-CC’s historical records bounced around numerous locations including member’s garages, temporary storages units, and most recently, a small closet at the local YWCA. The collection, which was donated after LWV-CC’s board members approval, contains hundreds of documents including historical scrapbooks, monthly newsletters, voters’ guides, digital media books, administrative records, LWV-CC former presidents’ files, notebooks and other historical materials.

“We want to keep our history alive,” said Chris Garcia, LWV-CC president. “To tell how women and men have created an environment of awareness about their community, nation and laws.”

Along with the donation came a check for $200 to help the Island University purchase high-quality supplies to maintain the collection. Hodges plans to purchase, acid free boxes, folders and enclosures to preserve the material. The LWV-CC plans to raise a total of $1,200 to fully sponsor the preservation rehousing process.

“The check was a huge surprise and something we don’t often see, but it is gratefully appreciated,” said Hodges. “This check is helpful because it prioritizes our work in preserving the collection.”

LWV-CC is one of 22 chapters in Texas and has 105 members. It is a non-partisan political organization that encourages citizens to be advocates for public policy issues. The local league’s main efforts are voter registration and community issues like public transportation, bayfront development, environmental pollution, gun violence, student education, rights of women and the protection of minorities. 

“We hope this collection opens people’s mind by making our history accessible to the community, students and researchers, and others who study women’s history and civic engagement,” said Garcia.

LWV-CC records will be available to the community and anyone interested in political science, voting, policy issue, civic engagement and the history of women voters in Corpus Christi this summer. For more information, contact the Special Collections and Archives Department at specialcollections@tamucc.edu or 361.825.4500.