Women in North Carolina 20th Century History

About this collection

As part of the celebration of Women’s History Month, the State Archives of North Carolina launched “Women in North Carolina: 20th Century History.” This collection provides a glimpse into the lives of North Carolina women as they changed history in our state and the nation. It focuses on documents gathered from across the holdings of the State Archives, including Private Collections, Organization Records, and State Agency Records. While this collection provides an overview of the materials available, it is not an exhaustive survey of women's history materials at the State Archives.

Currently this collection includes:

  • Tiny Broadwick Papers [PC.1567] - Tiny Broadwick was a daring young woman who parachuted for the first time from a hot air balloon in 1908, when she was fifteen years old. During her lifetime she made over 1100 jumps from balloons and airplanes. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person to perform a “premeditated free-fall” and first women to parachute from an airplane into water. The online collection contains newspaper clippings, correspondence, and photographs.
  • Annie Laurie Burton Letters [PC.1771] - Annie Laurie Burton, a native of Prospect Hill, Caswell County, began her career as an elementary school teacher. When the United States entered World War II, Burton trained as a field officer in the American Red Cross military welfare service and served in several Australia and Europe. The letters chosen for this digital collection were primarily written from Australia and addressed to her mother and sisters in North Carolina. She describes her travels, Red Cross work, living conditions in Australia, and social life. Several photographs are also included.
  • Equal Suffrage Amendment Collection [PC.1618] - This collection pulls together documents pertaining to the Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina as well as the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.
  • North Carolina Women's Political Caucus [ORG.132] - Newsletters and reports documenting events such as the effort in the 1970s to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • North Carolina League of Women Voters-Wake County Chapter Records [ORG.113] - Meeting minutes from the early years of the chapter’s history in the 1920s, shortly after women received the right to vote. Also includes a summary of local programs and activities during the 1950s and 1960s.
  • North Carolina International Women's Year Coordinating Committee Records [ORG.109] - Materials date from 1977 and include meeting minutes, reports, summaries of “speakout” events, which raised awareness of issues related to women, and a brief history of prominent women in North Carolina history.

  • Gertrude Weil Collection [PC.1488] - The online collection includes a small part of the Gertrude Weil collection dealing with the Equal Suffrage Association, and her efforts as president of the Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina.
  • Women's Forum of North Carolina [ORG.72] - An organizational history detailing goals, objectives, and projects; proceedings from a conference on topics such as women in the work force, social structure, and public policy from the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and its Causes, Inc., Durham Chapter [ORG.195] - Meeting minutes, reports, and newsletters documenting the organization’s activities from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

To learn more about the role of women in North Carolina history, visit the Women's History Month website created by the State Library of North Carolina.