Women’s History (Bibliographies / Subject Guides)

Selected Manuscript Collections

A guide prepared by Maria R. Estorino, March 2007

American Association of University Women Records
In 1916, a group in Tampa organized a branch of the Southern Association of College Women.  In 1921, this association merged with the Association of Collegiate Alumnae to form the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  Through the 1920s, branches sprang through the rest of Florida.  The Florida chapter was an active participant in the AAUW’s South Atlantic Region, working to improve educational standards through legislation and to secure broader educational and professional opportunities for women.  The records document the activities of the Florida chapter from 1929 to 1987.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.

Mary McDougal Axelson Papers
The Mary McDougal Axelson Papers document the family life and professional careers of several members of the McDougal and Axelson families. Materials relating to Mary McDougal Axelson document her life as a political activist in the women’s club movement, suffrage, Democratic Party politics, health reform, and the world peace campaign and as a poet, novelist, and dramatist.  The Axelsons were involved in a prolonged battle to protect their property rights in condemnation proceedings related to Everglades National Park. 

Mabel R. Blake Papers
The Mabel Blake Papers document the activities of Mabel Blake and her involvement with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) from 1967 to 1972. 

Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) Coral Gables Chapter Records Collection in process.  Please inquire with the Special Collections Department.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Papers
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Papers document the life and work of an extraordinary woman. Marjory Stoneman Douglas, author and environmental activist, is the author of River of Grass, the first scholarly treatise of the Everglades as a unique environmental ecosystem. This landmark book marks the beginning of her work devoted to the preservation and restoration of the Everglades. Douglas’s life in South Florida and her career of writing have had a deep and continuing impact on the community. She founded the Friends of the Library at the University of Miami and had close ties with the Friends of the Everglades, an organization working to promote public awareness and to gain state support toward the preservation of the Everglades.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.

Carrie Dunlap Collection
Carrie Dunlap was the daughter of Millard Fillmore Dunlap, banker in Jacksonville, Ill. and campaign treasurer for William Jennings Bryan. The Carrie Dunlap Papers consist of her correspondence with Ruth Bryan Owen, daughter of renowned lawyer and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. 

Laura Kalpakian Papers
Laura Kalpakian is the author of several novels and short story collections. Her papers contain correspondence and the various drafts and manuscripts of her stories, novels, and speeches. 

Evelyn Wilde Mayerson Papers
Evelyn Wilde Mayerson, Professor Emeritus of the University of Miami, is formerly a full professor in the Department of English, having taught MFA graduate students the form of the novel and the play. Dr. Mayerson is the author of three textbooks, eight novels, three plays and most recently, a performance art piece entitled Net Loss.  Collection in process.  Please inquire with the Special Collections Department.

Julia F. Morton Papers
Julia F. Morton was Research Professor of Biology and Director of the Morton Collectanea, University of Miami, a research and information center devoted to economic botany. She received her D.Sc. from Florida State University in 1973 and was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1974. She conducted extensive field studies for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, served as horticultural development consultant in Florida and tropical America, and was consultant for the Poison Control Centers in Florida. In 1978, she was selected as the First Distinguished Economic Botanist by the international Society for Economic Botany. She served as President of the Florida State Horticultural Society in 1979. She authored of 10 books and co-authored or contributed to 12 others.  She was a well known lecturer on toxic, edible and otherwise useful plants.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.

Helen Muir Papers
Born Helen Theresa Eucharia O’Flaherty Lennehan in Yonkers, New York in 1911, Helen Muir first visited South Florida in 1934 to do publicity for the Roney Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach.  She stayed in Miami and in 1936 married Bill Muir, a lawyer for Miami Beach developer Carl G. Fisher. She wrote for both the Miami News and the Miami Herald and contributed to publications such as theSaturday Evening Post and Women’s Day.  Among the many honors she received, Mrs. Muir was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984 and received several citations from the American Library Association for her advocacy of Florida’s libraries.  Additionally, Mrs. Muir authored several books including Miami, U.S.A.The Biltmore: Beacon for Miami, and Frost in Florida: A Memoir.  Mrs. Muir generously donated her personal papers to the University of Miami Libraries in 1995.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.

Ethel E. Murrell Papers
The Ethel E. Murrell Papers document the activities of the National Woman’s Party (NWP) under Murrell’s leadership from 1952-1953. The papers document the cooperative efforts of the NWP with other women’s organizations for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Ethel E. Murrell (1909-1991) graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and was one of Miami’s first woman lawyers. 

Margaret J. Mustard Papers
Margaret J. Mustard is renowned for her research and publications regarding tropical plants, specifically the mango.  She was a researcher in the University of Miami’s Tropical Food Research Laboratories.  Collection in process.  Please inquire with the Special Collections Department.

Melanie Rosborough Papers
Dr. Melanie Rosborough was a language professor and administrator for the University of Miami from the time she joined the faculty as Professor of German in 1927. The Melanie Rosborough Papers document her academic career, activities with professional academic organizations, and University of Miami religious organizations and activities. 

Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove Records
The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove was founded as the Housekeeper’s Club in 1891.  Flora McFarlane, the Grove’s school mistress, organized the Club for the purpose of providing women with sisterly friendships and opportunities for collective action to benefit the community, which was then essentially a frontier village.  Other pioneering members included Mary Barr Munroe, one of South Florida’s earliest environmentalists and the wife of children’s writer Kirk Munroe; and Dr. Eleanor Galt Simmons, the Grove’s first physician.  Collection in process.  Please inquire with the Special Collections Department.

Minnie Moore Willson Papers
Minnie Moore and James Mallory Willson proved instrumental in the passage of an act by the Florida Legislature in 1913,  setting apart 100,000 acres in the extreme southern portion of the state for use by the Seminoles.  The Willsons worked closely with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the resident Indian Agent, and the National Indian Association, and their efforts culminated with passage of the bill.  Mrs. Willson served as first president of the Kissimmee Women’s Club and thereafter was elected honorary president for life.  She was also a member of the American Pen Women and other literary groups.  Willson published The Seminoles of Florida in 1895.  The book contained a vocabulary of the language by James Willson and the volume achieved unusual success.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.

World Wings International Records
World Wings International is an organization of former stewardesses of Pan American World Airways.  Inventory available in the Special Collections Department.