Local League of Women Voters Collection


Prepared by Dawn Morin
November, 2008

VOLUME: (1) One Linear Foot in one document box

DATES: About 1965 – mid 1990s.

ACCESS: Access to materials by appointment.

COPYRIGHT: Request for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Special Collections Librarian.


Historical Notes
Materials Description
Box and File Listings

Acquisition number key:
LWVNA = League of Women Voters of North Adams

Abbreviations key:
NAPL = North Adams Public Library
OPAC = Online Public Access Catalog
LWVNA = League of Women Voters of North Adams
USLWV = United States League of Women Voters
MA = Massachusetts



It appears that this is only a partial archive of the North Adams chapter of the League of Women Voters. While there are some files related to club activities, important items that are missing include group meeting minutes and agendas and membership information. This collection provides good insight into the group’s activities related to important political issues. Provenance of the collections is unknown; the collection was found in the library’s historical rooms.


According to the By-Laws of the League of Women Voters of North Adams, the local organization was formed in 1965. The local League was an integral part of the League of

Women Voters of the United States and of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. The stated purpose of the local League was to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.

According to the League’s “Purpose and Policy” statement, the League of Women Voters is an outgrowth of the original suffragette movement and was formed to teach the newly enfranchised female population what its rights and responsibilities would be. It is open to any woman citizen of the United States who is of voting age. The local Leagues must fulfill certain requirements before passing from a “provisional” stage to that of a full-fledged local League. The requirements include a complete study of the specific local government upon which the League is based. It then becomes a reference work for government officials, students, and other citizens in the area.

Local Leagues send members as individuals to a convention in each state which elects state officers and chooses state program items. Individuals are also sent to a national convention. Conventions which choose Local programs are known as Annual Meetings. State and National Conventions are held bi-annually.

The League’s integrity and effectiveness over the years has been achieved by scrupulous observance of certain basic policies, the most importance being their nonpartisanship. The Leagues only supports issues, never candidates.

It appears the North Adams League of Women Voters became defunct in the late 1990s.


The collection contains some materials related to the local league including their local newsletter and items regarding local program endeavors. The bulk of the collection is composed of materials relating to the political issues the League supported. Items include local newspaper clippings, state and national League of Women Voters pamphlets and newsletters.



“The Torch” – League of Women Voters of North Adams (LWVNA) Local Newsletter from 1973 to 1988.

President’s Information – including “The President’s Packet” published by the United States League of Women Voters (USLWV), dated July 1982; League of Women Voters (LWV) Membership Committee Handbook dated 1992; A Guide to Influencing Public Policy dated 1996, and Tips on Reaching the Public, 1962.

Purpose and Policy for the LWVNA – includes Articles of Organization and By-Laws.
Press Releases

Carol J. Hess Memorial (1972 – 1973)

Forums for LWVNA

Employment Information Center at the North Adams Public Library (NAPL)

Sound System

LWVNA Treasurer’s File


North Adams Needs Assessment Report dated 9/6/1984 – for the City of North Adams

Growth Policy for the City of North Adams 1976

The following files indicate the issues in which the LWVNA was active. They contain both general information and state and local information and news clippings.

Administration of Justice
Birth Control and Abortion
Budget Task Force
Campaign Financing
City Charter
Clean Air
Education (including collective bargaining and adult education)
Education (766)
Electoral College
Environmental Quality/Land Use
Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.)
Fiscal Policy
Graduated Income Tax
Gun Control
House Cut (Appropriations)
Human Resources (Employment)
Massachusetts Tomorrow Conference (Spring 1976)
Voter Service

Welfare in MA

Banner for the North Adams League of Women Voters