A Guide to Women's History Collections

at the State Archives of Florida

Personal Papers

The following collections consist of the papers of Florida's citizens, including the papers of public officials, prominent professionals and other leading women, as well as scrapbooks, diaries, letters and oral history interviews of private women. Taken together, these collections can provide a glimpse into women working as homemakers and in professional and social settings in Florida in the 19th through the early 21st century.

Roxcy Bolton, right, at the Miami rape treatment center

Roxcy Bolton (right) at Miami's Rape Treatment Center, 1974

Mary McLeod Bethune in front of White Hall

Mary McLeod Bethune in front of Bethune-Cookman College's White Hall, ca. 1940s

Frank Papy Woodward
Collection, 1844-1939
.5 cubic foot

The papers of Woodward, a prominent Tallahassee writer, include many poems and writings of his mother, Mary C. Woodward, and grandmother, Anna S. Bowers Woodward.

Edmund Cottle Weeks
Papers, 1854-1935
4 cubic feet, 11 volumes

Major Edmund Cottle Weeks commanded the 2nd Florida Cavalry during the Civil War and later became involved in Florida Republican politics. Among these papers is the personal and business correspondence of Weeks' wife, Elizabeth H. Weeks. Elizabeth Weeks' business interests included copper mines in New Mexico and property in Iowa inherited from her first husband, Gilbert D. Craft.

Sara Dillingham Alberson
Scrapbooks, 1946-1974
2 volumes

Sara Alberson was a home economist, editor, author and sportswoman who held several public positions in Florida, including Executive Secretary of the Eustis Chamber of Commerce and Florida's Home Economist. She encouraged the participation of women in organized sports and was an activist for the conservation of Florida's natural resources. Her scrapbooks contain clippings, photographs, recipes and correspondence.

Beth McCullough Johnson
Papers, 1957-1970
8 cubic feet

Beth McCullough Johnson was the first woman to serve in the Florida Senate. She held several other public positions over the course of her career and was a delegate to the 1952 Democratic National Convention. As a Senator, Johnson had a special interest in mental health issues and reapportionment. This collection consists of both business and personal papers from the beginning of her term as State Representative in 1957 until 1970.

William Dunnington Bloxham
Papers, 1896-1935
1.5 cubic feet

William D. Bloxham served as Florida's Secretary of State and Governor. Most of his collection postdates his last term as governor and includes photographs and personal and business correspondence (1907-1935) of his wife, Gertrude Norrell Bloxham.

Elizabeth Fisher Smith
Papers, 1898-1899, 1935-1977
1.5 cubic feet

Elizabeth Fisher Smith was the founder of the magazine Magnolia Monthly, which covered the history and news of Wakulla County and North Florida. Her papers include diaries, stories, scrapbooks, correspondence and essays. Her diaries reflect her early interest in writing, her personal views on social and political issues, and information on her early family life and the people close to her. Her scrapbooks reflect her academic life, participation in the war effort in Florida, the birth of her children, family history and tidbits on life in North Florida. Her correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters to family members and friends.

Nettie Clare Bowen
Oral History, 1972
1 cassette

Nettie Clare Bowen was active in political and civic affairs in Tallahassee. This interview concerns the history of buildings and families around historic Calhoun Street and life in that area at the turn of the century.

George H. Asbell
Papers, 1914-1967
1.5 cubic feet

George Asbell was an engineer whose work took him to various sites in Florida, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. He also served as the Director of the Florida Motor Vehicle Commission. The collection includes four diaries and incoming correspondence of his wife, Charlotte that document her experience abroad and at home.

Abby Crawford Milton
Oral History, 1982
1 videotape

One hundred years old at the time of this interview, Milton discusses her life in Florida with Governor Bob Graham, Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner, and Secretary of State George Firestone.

Juanita Forbes
Papers, 1931-1965
2.5 cubic feet

Juanita Forbes worked for the Florida Securities Commission and served as Secretary of the North American Securities Administrators during the 1950s and 1960s. This collection contains correspondence, minutes, photographs, financial reports, legislative materials and conference materials related to her duties as Secretary.

Thelma Ann Boltin
Papers, ca. 1894-1978
3 cubic feet

Thelma Ann Boltin, "The Queen of Florida Folklife," was a nationally recognized folklorist and director of the Stephen Foster Memorial Folk Festival in White Springs, Florida. The collection consists of Boltin's correspondence, memorabilia, clippings, poetry, plays and scrapbooks.

Cora S. Morse
Papers, 1940-1980
8 cubic feet

Cora S. Morse was involved in the preservation of historic buildings in Tallahassee and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. These papers and scrapbooks consist of her correspondence, brochures, photographs and other memorabilia documenting her involvement with historic organizations and preservation.

Francis Arlington Rhodes
Papers, 1850-1980
3.25 cubic feet

Francis Arlington “Arlie” Rhodes was a prominent educator in Florida. This collection contains audiotapes of his lectures on the history of Leon County, including a talk titled, "Florida Women Get the Right to Vote."

William Tennent Stockton
Papers, 1845-1869
1.25 cubic feet

William Stockton served as mayor of Quincy, Florida. The collection includes the letters of Stockton and his wife Julia, most notably their correspondence during the Civil War, as well as genealogies, clippings and poems.

Elizabeth Ann Love Wilson
Papers, 1848-1892
8 items

Elizabeth Ann Love Wilson resided in Gadsden County, Florida. Her papers consist of a diary, prayer book, poems and letters, including correspondence with her brothers during their service in the Civil War.

Bobbie M. James
Records, 1923-1978
9 cubic feet

Bobbie James served as the first Historian of the Florida Republican State Committee. The collection documents her role as Historian as well as the activities and history of the Republican State Committee. It includes reports, clippings, correspondence, publications and scrapbooks.

Zabud Fletcher
Family Papers, 1835-1870
.25 cubic foot

The Fletchers resided in China Hill in Gadsden County, Florida. The collection includes the correspondence and poetry of Sarah Ann Monroe Fletcher, wife of Zabud Fletcher.

Anna Hahn
Diaries, 1897-1925
6 volumes

The diaries and papers of Anna Hahn of Chester, Pennsylvania, are of both a personal and business nature. Hahn owned several rental properties in Florida with her sister. The diaries reflect Hahn's travels between Pennsylvania and Florida, and her interest in the national and international events of the era.

Barbara L. Frye
Press Files, 1944-1981
8 cubic feet

Barbara L. Frye served as Tallahassee Bureau Manager for United Press International from 1944 to 1982. This collection contains her articles with background materials. They primarily concern national and local elections and the Florida Legislature.

Roxcy O’Neal Bolton
Papers, 1956-2019
67.25 cubic feet

Roxcy O'Neal Bolton was a leading advocate for women's rights in Florida. Included in her many projects was the organization of Florida's chapter of the National Organization for Women; the founding of Women in Distress, a program to assist women in personal crisis; and the development of the Rape Treatment Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. This collection contains her subject files, clippings, correspondence, photographs and videotapes. It documents Bolton's fight for the Equal Rights Amendment, the above-mentioned projects, her work in the struggle for women's rights, and her local and national recognition for this work.

Daniel M. Williams
Biographical Records on Mary McLeod Bethune, 1890-1960
1.25 cubic feet

Mary McLeod Bethune was a renowned educator and civil rights leader. She founded the National Council of Negro Women and the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls in Daytona Beach, which later merged with the Cookman Institute to become Bethune-Cookman College. Daniel M. Williams accumulated the materials in this collection while planning to write a biography of Bethune, and it consists of photographs, biographical pieces, interview transcripts, letters, and other materials related to Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women.

Eunice Liberty
Papers, 1967-1995
2 cubic feet

This collection consists of the papers of Eunice Liberty of Dade County, a leader in education and civil rights. She worked to educate people on Mary McLeod Bethune and African American history and was a leader in the National Council of Negro Women. The collection includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs and records relating to the National Council of Negro Women.

Louise Barcus
Journal, ca. 1895-1912
1 volume

Louise Barcus was born in 1865 or 1866. She lived in both Springfield, Ohio and Virginia, and attended college in Indiana. Sometime prior to 1910, Louise Barcus moved to Princeton in Dade County, where she filed a homestead claim and taught at the town school for three or four years. She also served as the Princeton postmistress and wrote fiction for the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal. Notes within her journal contain information on the pioneers of Flamingo and Cape Sable (births, deaths, occupations, etc.), and on area events (storms, settlements, etc.).

Mohinder Jain
Papers, 1965-2015
.75 cubic foot, 2 disks (32.1 megabytes)

Dr. Mohinder "Mona" Jain is a Fulbright scholar, a National Science Foundation scholar, a medical doctor, and a health and science educator. This collection documents her personal life, professional career, interests and activities. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, press releases, news clippings, minutes, reports, and other materials concerning Dr. Jain's involvement with the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, the Governor's Commission on Education, Manatee County Head Start and other organizations and interests.

Leona H. Cooper
Papers, 1948-1996
2 cubic feet

Leona H. Cooper moved to Miami from the Bahamas at age 14, graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1949, and after receiving her certificate in Medical Technology, began a long and successful career as a microbiologist. This collection documents Cooper’s family, professional and religious life. The collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, publicity materials, and other materials documenting her activities and interests, including papers relating to the St. Martin De Porres Association, African Americans in the Catholic Church, women in the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Miami, defending the rights of Haitian immigrants and Haitian nationals, the visit of Pope John Paul II to America in 1987, honors and awards and the activities and achievements of her children.

Reminiscences about Aunt Memory Adams
ca. late 19th century 
2 items

Aunt Memory Adams arrived in Tallahassee at the hands of slave traders in the mid-19th century, and she remained there for the rest of her life. She was a bondwoman to the Argyle family until emancipation, and then earned her living as a house servant for some of Tallahassee's elite families and as a janitor for some downtown businesses. This manuscript collection is a reminiscence of Aunt Memory Adams and consists of handwritten anecdotes concerning Aunt Memory in Tallahassee.

Dorothy Lee Hamilton Page
Papers, 1935-1997
.25 cubic foot

Dorothy Lee Hamilton Page was active in community affairs, volunteer work and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale. After her son, Ricky, took his own life with a handgun in December 1974 at age 19, she began taking an interest in gun legislation and became a vocal advocate of gun control laws. This small collection of letters, newsletters, photographs and other items documents the life, career and activities of Page.

Mary Crozier
Tallahassee Interview Tapes and Transcripts, 1991-2000
6 items

This collection consists of audio cassette tapes and typed transcripts of Mary Crozier’s interviews with Ida Myrick and Adalaide Owens of Tallahassee, Florida. In the Myrick interview, Ms. Myrick discusses her childhood, early family life and schooling, Tallahassee schools and businesses, her teaching experiences, building her Myrick Road house, and starting the Covenant Church. In the Owens interview, Ms. Owens discusses Lake Jackson and the Indian Mounds, life with her husband, their church activities, and caring for her husband in his years of declining health until his death in 1999.

Molly Turner
Papers, 1949-1996
3 cubic feet

Molly Turner, a pioneering television broadcaster and feminist, was a living legend in Florida broadcasting history. She was among the first female television reporters and the first female broadcaster in Florida. This collection contains speeches, correspondence, scripts, newspaper articles, newsletters, magazine articles, awards, and photographs documenting the professional broadcasting career of Molly Turner from the beginning of her career in radio and television in the late 1940s, continuing through her retirement in 1989 and subsequent years.

Rosemary Barkett
Papers, 1970-1997
5 cubic feet

This collection contains the personal papers of Rosemary Barkett, primarily documenting her legal and judicial career. Governor Bob Graham appointed Barkett to the 15th Judicial Circuit Court in 1979. In 1983 she became the first elected female chief judge in Florida's history. In 1985 she became Florida's first female Supreme Court Justice, and in 1992 Florida's first female Supreme Court Chief Justice. In 1994 she was nominated and confirmed for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Included in these papers are correspondence, newspaper clippings and magazine articles, biographical information, investiture transcripts, photographs and awards.

Patricia Clements
Oral History Interviews, 1997-1998
8 compact disks

This collection consists of Dr. Patricia Clements’ oral history interviews with Florida women active in public life and/or community affairs: community activist Alicia Baro; microbiologist, and Catholic Church and community activist Leona Cooper; Seminole medicine woman Susie Jim Billie (possibly the oldest living Seminole at the time of the interview at approximately 100 years of age); radio talk show host and community activist Audrey Finkelstein; athlete, equity activist and lobbyist Barbara Palmer; Judge Rosemary Barkett; and Brigadier General Marianne Mathewson-Chapman, Persian Gulf War veteran and highest ranking woman in the Florida National Guard. The interviews discuss each woman's family background, education, career, home life and personal philosophies. Interviews with Alicia Baro and Susie Jim Billie lack interviewee release forms and are restricted until donor submits said forms.

O. Kathryn Bell Meyer
Papers, 1937-1993
.75 cubic foot

This collection documents Kathryn Bell Meyer's career as a banker with Barnett National Bank of Jacksonville and her efforts to direct attention to the progress of women in the banking profession. The collection consists of her speech drafts about women in banking, how people handle their money/finances and the banking business, minutes of the Jacksonville Clearing Association from 1965 to 1993 when she was secretary, and news clippings and publications about her role in the banking field and her opinions on the bank industry.

Marjorie Turnbull
Papers, 1979-1980
.5 cubic foot

This collection consists of the personal papers of Marjorie Turnbull, including correspondence, memoranda, notes, meeting summaries and reports that represent Turnbull's service as a commission staff member for the Joint Legislative and Executive Commission on Postsecondary Education from 1979-1980.

Patricia Clements
Florida First Ladies Collection Development and Exhibit Records, 1999-2001
.25 cubic foot

Dr. Patricia Clements was appointed to Florida's Commission on the Status of Women in 1996 as the Commission's Women's History Liaison with the Florida Department of State. Her activities in this volunteer capacity included initiating contacts between prominent Florida women and the Florida State Archives or the Museum of Florida History to facilitate discussions with these women and encourage potential donations of materials with historical value. This collection documents Dr. Clements' efforts to preserve and bring attention to the historical contributions of Florida women, particularly through her efforts to create a collection of inauguration gowns of Florida's First Ladies for the Museum of Florida History. The records include background and collection development information, color photographs of the gowns, correspondence with First Ladies and others involved with the project, news clippings, pamphlets and other related records.

Nikki Beare
Women's Rights and Public Service
Papers and Tapes, 1971-1994
.5 cubic foot

This collection consists of audio cassettes, video tapes and news clippings documenting the debate in Florida over women's rights and the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, as well as the political career of State Representative and women's and children's advocate, Elaine Gordon.

Virginia Daire
Florida Supreme Court's Gender Bias Study Commission
Reports and Correspondence, 1987-1990
.75 cubic foot

In 1987, the Supreme Court of Florida created a 27-member panel of judges and lawyers in response to a Florida State University study concluding that gender bias was pervasive in the state's courts. This collection consists primarily of reports compiled by the Florida Supreme Court's Gender Bias Study Commission. The reports study gender bias in Florida courts, the legal profession, and law enforcement through an examination of issues such as prostitution, sexual harassment and discrimination.

Ruth Bryan Owen
Papers, 1901-2008
1.5 cubic feet

This collection contains correspondence, news clippings, subject files and photographs documenting Ruth Bryan Owen's career as a legislator, diplomat, educator and public speaker. Materials of interest include clippings and correspondence from her work as a Representative from Florida in Washington, D.C., clippings of her career in the Foreign Service to Denmark and the United Nations, and biographical information.

Gertrude Petersen Winnie
Torry Island, Everglades Pioneering Reminiscences, ca. 1950s
.25 cubic foot

This collection consists of 11 slim handwritten volumes in which Gertrude Winne recounts her experiences as a Torry Island pioneer with her husband and baby son. She discusses her train travels from her native Ohio to Jacksonville, and then Fort Myers in late 1911; traveling by boat to Torry Island; clearing land for their tent and later their house; the challenges of travel, weather, isolation and illness; encounters with settlers on neighboring islands; and their daily work and family life.

Beatrice Swain Szumanski
Riddle Field Pilot Training Papers, ca. 1943-1945
.1 cubic foot

Riddle Field, near Clewiston, Florida, was a training field for military pilots and during World War II was used for training U.S. Army Air Corps/Army Air Forces cadets and British Royal Air Force cadets. This collection consists of photographs and papers from Beatrice Swain Szumanski's time assisting at Riddle Field for British Royal Air Force cadet pilot training. Among the papers are images of Ms. Swain's friend and RAF cadet Alan Davidson in the cockpit and with Ms. Swain; a certificate of appreciation to "Bertha Swain" for her assistance "to the British Mission in North America;" and an invitation to the graduation ceremony for the cadets of Course 23 on June 16, 1943.

Louise Webber
Letter Regarding 1926 Hurricanes, 1926
1 item (12 pages)

This collection consists of a single letter describing the hurricanes that hit Southeastern Florida on September 18 and October 21, 1926. Written by "Kaye" from the Floridian Hotel, Miami Beach, to Louise Webber of Bangor, Maine, the 12-page letter gives a detailed account of Kaye's activities, both during and in the aftermath of the storms. She begins with a brief account of the October 21st storm, before plunging into the events of September 18th and the days that followed.

Alma Curry Timmons
Papers, 1918-1978
8.25 cubic feet

Alma Curry Timmons graduated from Florida State College for Women in 1934 and later worked as a professional dietician and supervisor of lunchrooms for the Leon and Hendry County School Districts from 1952 to 1970. This collection contains a variety of materials documenting her personal and professional life.

Patricia Stephens Due
Papers, ca. 1946-2011
14.25 cubic feet

Patricia Stephens Due was a renowned African American civil rights leader, educator and public speaker. This collection documents Due’s personal life and public activities and her relationships with family and friends. Most prominent in the collection are letters between Due and her family members, friends, fellow civil rights activists, and supporters and opponents of her civil rights efforts. The collection also includes programs and itineraries from public appearances and events, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) newsletters, field reports and promotional materials.

Bernyce Clausell
Family Papers, 1932-2015
8 cubic feet

Bernyce Clausell was the first female minister in Florida, a civil rights activist, and founder of Calvary Baptist Church in Tallahassee. She participated in the 1956 Tallahassee bus boycott, worked with the poor in the Big Bend and conducted prison ministries at Florida State Prison. This collection documents the public life and activities of Clausell through her personal files, home videos, day planners and other materials that commemorate her career.

Nancy Benda
Papers, 1930-2006
3.25 cubic feet

Nancy Tribble Benda was one of the first mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs when it opened in 1947. In the 1950s, Nancy attended Florida State University. She later left Weeki Wachee to pursue a career in education and became an advocate of educational television for children at home and in schools, even starring in "Miss Nancy's Store," produced by WFSU. This collection documents Nancy Tribble Benda's life and varied personal and career interests.

N2017- 3
Susie May S. Woodberry
Papers, ca. 1925-1943
4.50 cubic feet

Susie May Scarborough Woodberry graduated from Chattahoochee High School in 1930 and then studied education at Florida State College for Women. From 1934 to 1944, she taught at schools in Mount Pleasant and Quincy, Florida, then worked as a visiting teacher and social worker for Gadsden County Schools until the 1980s. In this collection are two scrapbooks that document Woodberry's experience at Chattahoochee High School and her first semester at Florida State College for Women.

N2017- 19
Sarah "Sallie" Jane Galphin Burroughs
Letters, 1857-1865
0.25 cubic foot

Sarah "Sallie" Jane Burroughs was a member of the prominent Galphin family in Tallahassee. This collection includes letters sent to Burroughs from her family members discussing family matters and local affairs. Of interest are the letters from Sarah's stepmother, Virginia Galphin, discussing the remarriage and unity of the family after the passing of Sarah's mother.

N2017- 60
Parkhill Family
Letter and poem, 1833 and 1859
0.66 cubic foot

The Parkhills were a prominent family of Springwood Plantation in Leon County, Florida. This collection consists of a letter from Martha Ann Parkhill to her mother in Virginia that discusses family matters, including comparing living in Florida to living in Virginia. Also included in this collection is a poem written in remembrance of Martha Ann Parkhill's son.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Letters, 1930
1 folder

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a journalist, advocate for women's rights, and environmental conservationist dedicated to protecting the Everglades. This collection includes two letters from Douglas to State Librarian William Thomas Cash responding to Cash’s inquiry regarding her life history. She writes about her education and career, including her column in the Miami Herald, relief efforts with the American Red Cross, her freelance writing and other works.

N2019- 2
Juanita Greene
Papers, 1937-2012
3 cubic feet, 150.987 megabytes (5 Files)

Juanita Greene worked for the Miami Herald beginning in 1956, becoming the Herald's first environmental writer in 1969 and continuing until her retirement in 1987. During her career, Greene was instrumental in the creation of Biscayne National Park and she received many awards for her writing on the environment as well as Miami's local government, race relations, the Cuban Revolution, and the Cuban refugee influx. This collection contains clippings of newspaper articles that Greene wrote; photographs of her, her family, and reporting subjects; correspondence regarding her writings and accomplishments; a series of oral history responses regarding her relationship with Marjory Stoneman Douglas; and other materials that document her prolific career as an outspoken female journalist and environmental activist.