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Women's History Collections

at California State University, Dominguez Hills

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Collection Descriptions

Diaries, letters, autograph books, scrapbooks, and photo albums were among the private spaces available to women in the first half of the 20th century. The CSUDH Archives & Special Collections has several diaries and other material that focus on the lives of women, their families, and their jobs.

  • The Sidney A. Ball Policewoman Daily Calendars Collection (1934-1955) contains seven daily diaries kept by Sidney A. Ball, a Los Angeles Policewoman from 1929-1965, one of the first policewomen on the force. Entries within these calendars include: brief summaries of interactions and observations from Ball’s time as a policewoman as well as a record of addresses; birthdays; lunch and dinner engagements; and outings in the Los Angeles area, in addition to trips to Canada and other parts of the United States. Also included are comments and notes from possible courses Ball took regarding leadership, child development, and education.
  • The Lynch Family Letters Collection (1926-1980) consists primarily of the personal letters of Dorothy Lynch to her older sister, Faye Bell. The letters chronicle the lives of Dorothy Lynch and of her immediate family in Long Beach, California from 1926 to 1980. In addition to correspondence, the collection also contains photographs and newspaper clippings.
  • The Tazu Kawamoto Photo Album (1939-1943) contains one album of mostly photographs compiled by Tazuko "Tazu" Kawamoto that document various people, events, and activities. Included are photographs, flyers, invitations, and business cards relating to Tazu Kawamoto’s personal life, with a focus on events during the World’s Fair on San Francisco’s Treasure Island in 1939. This collection also has photographs most likely taken inside the Gila River incarceration camp in Arizona.
  • The Emma Smith Diaries (1935-1967) comprises 23 diaries of Emma Lena Smith. These diaries reflect upon the daily life of a housewife from California's Central Valley, her husband Andrew, other family members and neighbors as they go about their day-to-day life of work, church and community events. Emma wrote daily information about the weather, her role of taking care of the house, which included canning fruits and vegetables and her husband's various jobs which included farming his own land, working at the city plant and working odd jobs for pay or in exchange for goods or services.
  • The Women's Suffrage Movement Materials Collection (January 1909-1990, undated) includes materials related to the Women's Suffrage Movement. Pamphlets, surveys, magazines, a speech, an essay, a flyer, a letter, an article as well as a short story document the struggles and efforts made in order for women to win the right to vote in early twentieth century United States.
  • The Feminist Resources Collection (1911-1912; 1945; 1964-2013, undated) contains four boxes of mostly publications, as well as pamphlets, essays, speeches, and other documents related to feminism and the anti-women's liberation movement; and feature topics centered around women's rights, women's liberation, abortion, art, communities, and events.
  • The Mary Nolf Diaries and Correspondence Collection (1831-1939) contains diaries kept by Mary Nolf written between 1889-1912; as well as letters mostly written to Mary by her sisters, brother, friends, and other relatives. Also included in this collection are autograph books; a calendar book; postcards; letters written to Angie, Margaret, William and more; and other ephemera.

Other collections featuring material created by women include the Glenn Dumke Papers (1935-1989):  Dorothy Robison Dumke Scrapbooks & Diaries; Ina Lee Freer (Robison) Autograph Book; and the Marjorie Schroeder Diary.