Main content

League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records


Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania was established in 1920 as a successor organization to the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association, with the purpose of providing "education to increase the effectiveness of women voters and to further better government."

At the time of its creation, the League of Women Voters was intended to be a temporary organization with the goal of "teaching all the new enfranchised women about the mechanics of registering and voting, nomination and election procedures … [and developing] certain 'needed legislation,'" (LWVP). Since then, the League has "evolved from an organization concerned with women's needs and with training women voters to one concerned with the nation's needs and with training all citizens" (LWVP).

In biennial conventions, the Pennsylvania League establishes its "Program," the issues selected for study, decision and action. State programs have been concerned with constitutional reform, legislative apportionment, election laws, education, welfare, the environment, and city and town planning.

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania has been active in the Education Fund, a non-profit trust established in 1970 for educating the public on government; Time for Action, a program to involve local leagues in state legislative issues; Pennsylvanian Assess Coal Today, a study on potential uses and environmental impact of coal on the state; local government and community projects; environmental projects; and other state and national issues.


"About the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWVPA)," League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania website,

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records document the history of this organization from 1867 to 1980, but the bulk of the material dates from 1959 to 1977. There is a small amount of earlier material, particularly relating to the suffrage movement. Of particular interest may be the photographs of the 1915 Women's Liberty Bell Tour in support of the vote.

Researchers will find state board and agenda minutes, 1920 to 1973; state and local annual reports, 1957 to 1973; miscellaneous organizational material and correspondence, 1957 to 1973; treasurer's reports and other financial records, 1933 to 1977; local league reports, 1923 to 1977; mailings, 1959 to 1974; state league convention minutes and reports, 1939 to 1977; political material, 1920 to 1976, particularly regarding to the reform of the state constitution; educational materials; local government and community projects, 1957 to 1978; environmental projects, 1958 to 1978; national issues, 1946 to 1971; state issues, 1934 to 1976; and scrapbooks, 1951 to 1969.

In using the records, a researcher should be aware that information on a particular subject may be found in several different locations.

This collection is arranged to the box level.

Gift of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, 1980 and 1990.

The first edition of this electronic guide was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

The second edition of this was created when the collection was rehoused in 2016.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Historical Society of Pennsylvania with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

State board minutes and state agenda minutes, 1920-1973.
Box 1-3
Annual state reports (1952-1976) and annual local league reports, A-P (1959-1965), 1952-1976.
Box 4-7
Annual local league reports A-N (N-Z is missing), 1965-1967.
Box 8-10
Annual local league reports, 1968-1972.
Box 11-13
Annual local league reports A-M, 1972-1975.
Box 14-17
Annual local league reports, 1975 N-S; 1976 A-L, 1975-1976.
Box 18-22
Correspondence (1974-1975), consultants' reports (1963-1970), by-laws and constitution (1977), blueprints for regionals (1970-1974), testimony and news releases (1971-1974 and 1977-1979), 1963-1978.
Box 23-25
Daily Record (1969-1978), state budget (1933-1961), auditor's reports (1941), treasurer's reports (1954-1975) and taxes (1951-1957), 1933-1978.
Box 26-28
Finance and budget (1963-1977) and vouchers (1968), 1963-1977.
Box 29-31
Vouchers, income and expenditures, 1971-1973.
Box 32-34
Receipts, disbursements and income, 1973-1974.
Box 35-38
Purchase orders, receipts and bank statements, 1974-1976.
Box 39-41
Local League Reports: Abington-Altoona, 1923-1975.
Box 42-45
Local League Reports: Beaver-Bethlehem, 1948-1972.
Box 46-49
Local League Reports: Bloomsbury-Chester County, 1937-1969.
Box 50-53
Local League Reports: Chester-Easton, 1921-1969.
Box 54-56
Local League Reports: Erie-Hatboro, 1943-1975.
Box 57-59
Local League Reports: Hatboro-Johnstown, 1945-1977.
Box 60-64
Local League Reports: Lancaster-Lower Merion, 1944-1975.
Box 65-67
Local League Reports: Lower Merion-Media, 1937-1974.
Box 68-71
Local League Reports: Monroeville-Nether Providence, 1943-1974.
Box 72-75
Local League Reports: New Castle-North Penn, undated.
Box 75-78
Local League Reports: Newtown-Middletown--Pittsburgh, 1948-1973.
Box 78-82
Local League Reports: Pittsburgh-Scranton, 1945-1979.
Box 82-85
Local League Reports: Scranton-State College, 1946-1972.
Box 85-88
Local League Reports: State College-Swarthmore, 1946-1968.
Box 89-92
Local League Reports: Thornbury-Upper Providence, 1946-1975.
Box 93-95
Local League Reports: Upper St. Clair-Whitemarsh, 1946-1977.
Box 95-99
Local League Reports: Whitemarsh-York, 1946-1977.
Box 99-102
Mailings, 1959-1963 May.
Box 102-105
Mailings, 1963 May-1967.
Box 106-109
Mailings, 1967 June-1969 August.
Box 109-111
Mailings, 1969 September-1972 March.
Box 112-114
Mailings, 1972 March-1974 October.
Box 115-118
Council/Convention, 1939-1974.
Box 118-121
National Convention (5 cassettes and 9 open-reel tapes), 1966.
Box 122
Photographs, largely of conventions (1959-1980 and undated) and reproductions of Women's Liberty Bell Tour (1915); also includes a photograph of Carrie Chapman Catts (1923), 2 photographs of Clean Streams (1970) and a photograph of calling for a constitutional convention (1963), 1915-1980, undated.
Box 123
Glass plate negatives of 1915 Liberty Bell tour (positives are in Box 31), 1915.
Box 124-126
Council/convention (1975) and election material, including voter service, published election material and election laws (1920-1976), 1920-1976.
Box 121, 127-130
Election material: Constitutional convention revision (1953-1969) and review of study (1953-1966), 1953-1969.
Box 130-133
Election material: review of study (1953-1966 and 1971), journals (1967-1968), League of Women Voters information (1967-1968), Convention reporter (1967-1968), Bucknell University summer workshop (1958), State Constitution workshop (1960), inventory of work on constitutional revision (1960), evaluation reports of Constitutional Convention Campaign (1960s), Constitutional Action fund (1965), and Constitutional Convention candidates-questionnaires (1967-1968), 1953-1971.
Box 133-135
Election material: comparison of proposed new constitutional provisions with Pennsylvania's present constitution (1965), miscellaneous folder on constitutional convention (1968), constitutional campaign-merit selection of judges (1969), Pennsylvania Plan (1949-1955), Philadelphia home rule (1949-1953), and constitutional convention publications (1949-1968), 1949-1969.
Box 136-139
Election material: non-election material (1959-1974), absentee voting, election night reporting (1959-1968), election of 1976 and municipal election of 1979; Education material: committee minutes, correspondence and Education Fund (1942-1947), 1942-1979.
Box 139-142
Education material: Education Fund grant, budgets, tax returns, treasurer's reports, expenditures, disbursements, checks, and income, 1969-1972.
Box 142-145
Education material: Education Fund material, 1972-1976.
Box 145-148
Times for Action (TFA), 1969-1976.
Box 148-151
Local government reports and correspondence, 1969-1978.
Box 152-153
Local government and community projects, including local politics, education, housing, finance, taxes, real estate, and work projects Allegheny-Radnor, 1957-1975.
Box 154-156
Local government and community projects: Springfield-Zelienople statewide education projects and studies, including Project 18 environmental projects and reports: environmental quality and water resources, 1966-1978.
Box 157-160
Environmental projects and reports: Delaware River/Basin Area, 1958-1975.
Box 160-163
Box 163-165
Box 166-169
Environmental projects and reports: Ohio River, Potomac River, strip mining and Tocks Island Dam (1957-1971); health projects; and national-political involvement (1946-1971), 1946-1971.
Box 169-172
National-political involvement, state-level involvement (1934-1976), State Publications Catalogs (1970-1976), Britannica and Christian Science Monitor subscription material (1974), and League of Women Voters publications including Action (1944-1950) and The Bulletin of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters (1923-1925), 1923-1976.
Box 172-175
League of Women Voters publications including Issue (1945), Legislative Letter (1959-1968), The Pennsylvania Voter (1923-1976), and Trends (1946); suffrage movement material (1867-1924); and Legislative Center (1969-1971), 1867-1976.
Box 175-178
50th Anniversary of the League of Women Voters material: Fifty Years Old and proud of It, budget brochure, board kit, anniversary celebration newsletter, and resolution marking fiftieth anniversary (1969); and glass plates of suffrage movement moment - Women's Liberty Bell Tour (1915), 1915, 1969.
Box 178
Oversized: scrapbooks, 1951, 1952-1956, 1960.
Box 179
Oversized: scrapbooks (1967 volume regarding the Constitutional Campaign), 1952-1956, 1955-1956, 1956-1965, 1965, 1967.
Box 180
Oversized: scrapbooks (1969 volume includes four 1928 editions of The Woman's Journal published by the Woman Citizen Corporation), 1954-1956, 1961-1963, 1964, 1969.
Box 181
Scrapbooks, 1963, 1964-1965.
Box 183-184
Oversized: financial material: ledger records, 1948-1972.
Box 185
Oversized: election posters, 1960, undated.
Box 186
Consumer protection files, 1975-1979.
Box 187-188
Receipts and disbursements, 1977 January-1978 February.
Box 188-191
Receipts and disbursements, 1978 March-October.
Box 191-194
Receipts and disbursements, 1978 November-1979 July.
Box 194-197
Receipts and disbursements, 1980 August-March.
Box 197-199
Receipts and disbursements, 1980 April-October.
Box 199-201
Receipts and disbursements, 1980 November-1981 March.
Box 201-203
Receipts and disbursements, 1981 April-1982 March.
Box 203-206
Receipts and disbursements, 1982 April-1983 March.
Box 206-208
Receipts and disbursements, 1983 April-1984 March.
Box 208-211
Financial records - including ledgers, journals, sales tax and income tax, 1977-1982.
Box 211-213, 214
Local League files: Abington-Cheltenham-Jenkintown-Beaver, 1975-1986.
Box 213, 215-216
Local League files: Berks-Bethlehem, 1975-1986.
Box 216-220
Local League files: Blair - Central Chester County, 1975-1986.
Box 220-223
Local League files: Clarion - Erie, 1975-1986.
Box 223-226
Local League files: Greater Hazelton - Haverford, 1975-1986.
Box 226-228
Local League files: Hershey - Indiana- Lancaster - New Hope, 1975-1986.
Box 228-231
Local League files: Lebanon - Media, 1975-1986.
Box 231-234
Local League files: Monroe - Newtown-Middletown, 1975-1986.
Box 235-237
Local League files: North Hills - Northeaster Montgomery County, 1975-1986.
Box 237-240
Local League files: Philadelphia - Radnor, 1975-1986.
Box 240-243
Local League files: Shenango Valley - State College, 1975-1986.
Box 243-247
Local League files: Swarthmore - Upper Main Line, 1975-1986.
Box 247-249
Local League files: Upper St. Clair - Warren, 1975-1986.
Box 249-252
Local League files: Washington County - Yardley, 1975-1986.
Box 252-255
Inter-League Organization and County Council files - Allegheny County ILO - SEPR, 1975-1986.
Box 255-258
Local League annual reports, 1975-1979.
Box 259-261
Local League annual reports, 1980-1982.
Box 262-265
Local League files- Abington-Cheltenham-Jenkintown - Lycoming: Post Annual meeting (1986) and Post Annual meeting (1988), 1986, 1988.
Box 266-269
Local League, Inter-league Organization and County Council files Meadville - Southeastern PA Region: Post Annual meeting (1986) and Post Annual meeting (1988), 1986, 1988.
Box 270-273
Local League voters' guides, 1978-1979.
Box 274-276
Voters Service files: Debates (1980-1982), Forecast VS/VG (March 1977 to the Primary in 1981) and ABC Election Night reporting (1969-1978), 1969-1982.
Box 277-279
ARCO Education Project - car maintenance and repair, 1980.
Box 280-281
Special project files: "Coal - The Burning Question," background on publication, Pennsylvanians Assess Coal Today (PACT) (1977-1980), Coastal Zone Management (CZM) (1980-1981), Displaced Homemakers (1983), election publications (1985), Environmental Mediation Conference (1985-1986), Flood Plain Conference (1974), Hazardous Waste project (1985), Inspection & Maintenance Program (I & M), vehicular emission (1979), Juvenile Justice projects (1979, 1983-1984); Laws for Kids (1982), low-level radioactive waste (1984), Nuclear Energy project (1981), Primary project (1973), Project VOTE (1984), solid waste management (1985), Tax Assessment Workshop (1983-1984), trade (1983), and waste reduction, 1973-1986.
Box 282-284
Special project files: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRCP) - Transportation and Air Quality, Hazardous Waste Management workshops, and Sex Equity/Vocational Education; Program files: Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) (1976-1981), human resources (1965-1981), legislative action (1974-1979), low level radioactive waste publication information and distribution (1984), debates for League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and League of Women Voters of the United States (1980-1982), and Women's Legislative Exchange (1977-1981), 1965-1984.
Box 285-288
Program files: air quality, Hazardous Waste Workshop, health care, human resources testimony letter, international relations/national security, Lake Erie Basin, land use/ILC, libraries, PA Legislature, the Political Accountability Rating System (PARS), reproductive issues, taxes, transportation, the urban crisis, and women's issues, 1977-1983.
Box 289-292
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Council and Convention Files, 1973-1984.
Box 293-296
Program files: 18 year old vote, COAL - Pennsylvanians Assess Coal Today (PACT), constitution, Constitutional Convention, General Assembly bills and agendas, legislation, and the Liberty Amendment, undated.
Box 297-299
Local Leagues' miscellaneous files: Cherry forms (1987); MTS annual reports (1987); treasurer's reports, budget (1984-1986); bylaws amendments (1979 and 1983-1987); local program (1983-1985 and 1987); Allegheny County; a case study; Disaffiliated County Council; and Local League annual reports (1983), 1979-1987.
Box 300-302
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania mail books (1979 August-1982 December), League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Board Meeting minutes (1973 September-1982 November), and League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania yearly budget books (fiscal year 1968-1969-fiscal year 1985-1986), 1968-1986.
Box 303-305
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania mail books, 1974 November-1979 July.
Box 306-308
Mixed administrative files, 1969-1980.
Box 309-311
Mixed administrative files, circa 1970-circa 1987.
Box 312-314
Mixed administrative files, circa 1970-circa 1987.
Box 315-317
Mixed administrative files, circa 1970-1987.
Box 318-322
Mixed administrative files, circa 1970-circa 1987.
Box 323-326
Disbanded leagues files - Bradford area to Marple-Newtown, circa 1980s.
Box 327-329
Disbanded leagues files - Monroeville to Warminster, circa 1980s.
Box 330-333
President's files - low level radioactive waste; Chesapeake Bay; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission; Nuclear power, Three Mile Island; Environmental quality; Household hazardous waste project, 1978-1991.
Box 334-336
President's files - Social policy; Public Utilities Commission; Emergency Medical Services; Economic development; Reapportionment; PennVEST; Farmland bond issue; Land use; Property tax reform; LVWPA tax study; Voter service; Polling site accessibility study; Handicapped Voter Week; Project VOTE; Judicial reform/merit selection; education curriculum; education; education update; Selection of women/minorities hearing, circa 1970s-1990s.
Box 338-340
President's files - Nominating committee; Action letters; Where We Stand; Project proposals; Key to the Keystone State revisions; Budget committee; Agriculture project; District justice study; Fiscal policy revision, 1979-1990.
Box 340-341
President's files - Debates; resumes; PennChoice; Day care; Family medical leave; Homeless Coalition; Gender-based insurance; Juvenile justice; WIC Coalition; Women's issues; Women's Agenda, 1979-1991.
Box 342-344

Print, Suggest