National League of American Pen Women, Western New York Branch records
Scope and Contents
The collection, 1920-2002, includes minutes, reports, correspondence, financial and membership records, scrapbooks and albums, and other materials that document the history and activities of the Western New York Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. The records also include the branch's newsletter Pen Whims, 1950-2000.
The president's records, 1952-1998, provide documentation for the organization's activities not covered due to gaps in the minutes and the annual reports. Additional documentation can also be found in the scrapbooks and albums, circa 1921-1997 that not only document the activities of the organization but also document the activities of its members.
The records also contain two written histories of the branch (1959, 1963) and a tape-recorded history by Virginia Cummings dated May 1986.
Language of Materials
Collection material in English.
Terms of Access
National League of American Pen Women, Western New York Branch Records, 1920-2002 are open for research.
Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
The National League of American Pen Women was founded in 1897 with the purpose of encouraging and promoting women artists and writers. The impetus for establishing the National League of American Pen Women came after the Washington, D.C. Press Club refused to admit women into its membership. A group of women artists and writers, headed by Marion Longfellow O'Donohue, niece of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, realized the need to establish a club to support women writers and artists. On June 26, 1897, the group met in Washington, D.C. and formed the National League of American Pen Women. Since its founding, the National League of American Pen Women has grown into an organization of over 5,000 members - artists, authors, poets, composers, musicians and lecturers - with its headquarters located in Washington, D.C.
The Western New York Branch of the National League of American Pen Women was established in 1919 by Effie Farnham Burns, a Buffalo teacher and an ardent suffragette. Burns first learned about the National League of American Pen Women when she met a group of members while attending a conference in Washington, D.C. Inspired by the encounter, Burns became a member and vowed to establish a branch in Western New York. The Western New York Branch was formally brought into existence in the fall of 1919. On November 27, 1920, Mrs. William Atherton Du Puv, the national president of the National League of American Pen Women, presented the Western New York Branch with its charter at a gala celebrating the first anniversary of the branch's formation.
Over the years the branch has devoted itself to encouraging and promoting women artists and writers in western New York through activities, lectures, seminars, workshops, art festivals and poetry readings. A monthly radio program was hosted for a brief period from 1929 to about 1942. The branch has hosted a variety of art and literature competitions, such as the Play Contest, which ran from 1948 to about 1953, and was sponsored by Lewis Fisher of the Lake Shore Play House.
Taken from background information compiled by Rodney Obien, June 1997.
7 Linear Feet (9 manuscript boxes, 1 flat box, 1 over-sized box)
Collection of materials from the Western New York branch of the National League of American Pen Women. The collection includes scrapbooks, administrative and member files, and samples of works by members.
This collection is arranged in four series: I. Administration, II. Member Files, III. Poetry Publications, and IV. Scrapbooks and Clippings.
Donated to the University Archives, The State University of New York at Buffalo, by DJD and KD on behalf of the Western New York branch of the National League of American Pen Women in 1997.
Accruals and Additions
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
Removed to Archives Book Collection, Local History: Lindberg, Olga. Family Life in Early Buffalo. Adventures in Western New York History, vol. XXIII. Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 1975.
Ulrich, Helen Mueller. The School on the Hill: A Brief History of Fosdick-Masten Park High School Buffalo, N.Y. circa 1984.
Removed to The Poetry Collection:
Pen Woman, 1993, 1995-2002 and an issue of ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum.
Partially processed by archives staff, 1997. Processed by Sheryl Saxby, October 2005.
- Finding Aid for the National League of American Pen Women, Western New York Branch records
- Finding aid prepared by Sheryl Saxby.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Box: 1 (Mixed Materials)
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- Box: 6B (Mixed Materials)
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- Box: 9 (Mixed Materials)
- Oversize-box: 10 (Mixed Materials)
- Oversize-box: 12 (Mixed Materials)