To: Women’s and Gender Studies faculty
From: Deborah Davis, Director, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections
Subject: Resources for Teaching and Research: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I’d like to take a minute and introduce you to the rich resources that the Archives and Special Collections has for teaching women’s studies. Primary sources, with the voices of the people who witnessed and made history are much more immediate and potentially effective than reading about a time period can be. Since this school was founded in 1906 as a woman’s college, and only became co-ed in 1950, quite a lot of our early collections, from scrapbooks, literary magazines, newspapers, annuals, bulletins to photographs and letters relate to the special circumstances of women in education. You may browse our collections here: and on our website:

We are happy to teach a class on archives research or a class specific to any of our collections or a group of collections. We regularly host Women’s Studies Interns here. They engage in indexing our run of Equal Rights Newsletter (1920’s-1950’s); this is a project that has been written about frequently in the Valdosta Daily Times and in the Valdosta Scene magazine. The partial index is here: For information about archives instruction, please see

Women’s studies have been partnering with the archives since the 1990’s, and we have all the digitized video of the Woman’s Studies Oral History Program, (a few on you-tube-- as well as video from the Women’s Studies conference VSU used to host. We also have the research and records of Catherine Oglesby, past head of Women’s Studies.

We have deliberately collected in this area and digitized in it. We have three generations of letters and photographs from a family of Georgia Women in the Leona Strickland Hudson collection: (see our online exhibit). We have scrapbooks of the Valdosta Business and Professional Women, the Valdosta Women’s club, Wymodysis, scrapbooks of students and student organizations from the time of Georgia State Woman’s College. We have the papers of noted civil rights journalist Margaret Long, whose letters reveal the struggles of a single mother in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Her novels and letters are a treasure trove.

We have the papers of noted African American and Women’s studies scholar, Joyce Ann Joyce: (and exhibit: A unique and large collection we hold is the New Age Movements, Occultism, and Spiritualism Research Library (NAMOSRL), which has quite a lot on witchcraft. These are just a small example of the many collections that touch on women’s issues we have in the Archives.

We have an active digitization program and have digitized 10 years of Demorest Family Magazine from the 1890’s on Vtext. This women’s magazine features travel, stories, women’s issues, and fashion plates and patterns: Numerous topics of interest to women’s history are on our Vtext site, from yearbooks, campus newspapers, early bulletins, scrapbooks, and much more:

In the Archives, we currently have an exhibit “Georgia Suffrage, through a racial lens.” And in the fall, we will be exhibiting the 28 panel “Lynching of Mary Turner” art piece. It’s powerful and moving.

In addition to women’s studies history, we have lately been trying to collect information relating to the LGBTQ community in the area. We have the papers of the Gay-Lesbian Alliance, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Gay and Lesbian Association, as well as the marriage certificate of the first LGBTQ couple married in Lowndes County. Last year, we hosted a large exhibit, “Aids at 40” with Georgia Equality. We hope to expand our collections in this area, and we would appreciate your help.

We would love to help you plan projects or introduce women’s topics to your students or help you with your personal research. Please call the archives at 229 259 7756, or email at

Thank you,

Deborah S. Davis, CA
Archivist, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections