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Using Women's History Sources in the Archives at the Library of Virginia

Personal Papers

The personal papers collection includes diaries, letters, and travelers' accounts dating from the eighteenth century to the twentieth. Some diaries, like that of Mary L. Simpson of Petersburg, describe travel abroad, while others, like the 1850 diary of Alexandria resident Ella H. Fowle, document events closer to home. Civil War diarists Harriette Cary and Margaret Muse Pennybacker describe the grim realities of Union occupation. Other women's papers record family visits (Hannah Moffett King), recipes (Martha Burke Jones Eppes), religious life (Anna Maria Weisiger), civic involvement (Mary-Cooke Branch Munford), and political activism (Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger and Carroll Kem Shackelford). Student life is documented in workbooks (Elizabeth Harris Callaway and Emily Columbia Covington). Other women left behind scrapbooks filled with newspapers, poetry, and letters (Mary L. Armistead and Ellen Mordecai).