Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents Note

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Personal papers, 1880-2018

Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-2018

Series 3: Notable correspondents, 1944-2012

Series 4: Artifacts and Audiovisual, 1989-2013

Southern Methodist University

Virginia Whitehill papers, 1880-2018



Overview

Creator: Whitehill, Virginia
Title: Virginia Whitehill papers
Dates: 1880-2018
Abstract: Virginia Whitehill (1928-2018) was a civic activist and champion of women’s reproductive rights in Dallas, Texas. The Virginia Whitehill papers comprise biographical materials, school records, photographs, awards, written materials, clippings, correspondence, artifacts including plaques, buttons, and t-shirts, as well as audiovisual materials. These materials document Virginia's childhood and education in New York, and her efforts as an activist for women's rights in Dallas, Texas.
Identification: MSS 0136
Quantity: 17 boxes (7.67 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Virginia Bulkley Whitehill was born July 9, 1928 in New Rochelle, NY to Harold Frush Bulkley, an executive with Union Carbide, and Myrtle Bales Bulkley, a community activist and early suffragette. She grew up in Pelham Manor, New York, and was the first member of her family to attend college. In 1950 Virginia graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in history. After her first marriage ended in 1957, Virginia moved home to her parents' house with her two young daughters, Patty and Margaret, and accepted a job at the Rockefeller Foundation. There she gained knowledge and experience of philanthropy and nonprofits. She married James F. Whitehill, a former acquaintance from high school, in 1960, and the couple moved to Dallas.

Upon her arrival to Dallas Virginia started volunteering as a clinic worker with Planned Parenthood. After giving a presentation on abortion to the Women’s Alliance of the Dallas Unitarian Church, she founded the Dallas Committee to Study Abortion in 1969. The group’s first meeting took place on February 11, 1970. On the agenda was discussion of Texas abortion law, Representative James Clark’s bill, and a review of the newly passed abortion legislation in New Mexico. Members spent the majority of the meeting debating the organization’s stance on abortion with part of the group in favor of reform and the other in favor of repeal. The latter faction won out. Members gave speeches, mailed out literature, lobbied in Austin, and organized a public forum.

While Virginia’s activist work centered heavily on women’s reproductive choice, she actively supported a number of other women’s rights and issues. Whitehill co-founded several women’s groups in Dallas including: the Dallas Women’s Coalition, Women’s Issues Network, Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Family Place, Women’s Issues Network, Dallas Summit, Dallas Women’s political caucus, Veteran Feminists of America (Dallas), and the Women’s Equity League.

Recognized as a leader in the women’s movement, Virginia’s civic and community work earned her a number of accolades including: Planned Parenthood’s Champion of Choice Award, the Women’s Center of Dallas Women Helping Women Maura Award, Texas Women of Courage Award from the Association of Women Journalists, and the Mount Holyoke College Distinguished Alumna award.

Virginia Whitehill died September 15, 2018 at the age of 90.

Sources:

Biographical, Box 1, Folder 2, Virginia Whitehill papers

Clippings and articles, Box 1, Folders 4-5, Virginia Whitehill papers

Faux, Marian. Roe v. Wade: the untold story of the landmark Supreme Court Decision that made abortion legal. New York: Mentor, 1988.

Garrow, David J. Liberty and sexuality: the right to privacy and the making of Roe v. Wade. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Virginia Whitehill papers comprise biographical materials, school records, photographs, awards, written materials, clippings, correspondence, artifacts including plaques, buttons, and t-shirts, as well as audiovisual materials. These materials document her childhood and education in New York, and her efforts as an activist for women's rights in Dallas, Texas. Notable correspondents include: James H. Clark Jr., David J. Garrow, Sarah Weddington, as well as various legislators, presidents, governors, and mayors. Major topics in the correspondence include the issue of abortion, and the case of Roe vs. Wade. Biographical information on Virginia Whitehill is located in Series 1 along with materials related to Whitehill's mother Myrtle Bales Bulkley who was an early suffragette.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 4 series:
Series 1: Personal papers, 1880-2018
Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-2018
Series 3: Notable Correspondents, 1944-2012
Series 4: Artifacts and audiovisual materials, 1989-2013

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Material Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which DeGolyer Library assumes no responsibility.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Subjects (Persons)
Whitehill, Virginia.
Subjects
Women's rights.
Reproductive rights.
Abortion.
Women -- Political activity -- Texas -- Dallas.
Women -- Texas -- Dallas.
Document Types
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Audiovisual materials.
Other Names
Weddington, Sarah Ragle -- correspondent.
Garrow, David J., 1953 -- correspondent
Titles
Archives of Women of the Southwest.

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Related Material

Virginia Whitehill clippings collection, http://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00357/smu-00357.html

Virginia Whitehill women's and children's rights collection, http://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00356/smu-00356.html

This is one of the collections in the Archives of Women of the Southwest.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Virginia Whitehill papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Margaret Whitehill, 2018.

Processing Information

This collection was processed and the finding aid written by Samantha Dodd in 2019.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal papers, 1880-2018
5 boxes

The first series comprises biographical materials, school records, photographs, awards, written materials, and clippings (by and about Virginia Whitehill). Box two includes materials related Myrtle Bales Bulkley, Virginia’s mother as well as other documents from Virginia’s childhood in Pelham, New York. Some of the photographs are unidentified and undated, but the majority of the photos are of Virginia and members of her family.
Box Folder
1 1 Awards, 1977-2018
2 Biographical, 1960-2018
3 Christmas card list, 1971
Includes typewritten Christmas letters written by Virginia.
4-6 Clippings and articles, 1928-2018
Includes articles written by and about Virginia Whitehill.
7 Dallas Museum of Art library donation, 1994-1995
8 Dallas Times Herald homemaker panel, 1970
9 Essays [Virginia Lee Bulkley school work], 1945-1950
10 Ginny's 60th birthday, 1988
Audio cassette tape
11 Huguenot Memorial Church Sunday school attendance certificates, 1935
12 Letterhead [Virginia Whitehill], undated
13 Letters and artwork from Virginia to her parents, 1934
14 Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Quarterly, 1994, 1999, 2011
Box Folder
2 1 Mount Holyoke College brochures, clippings, printed material, 1944-2000
2 Mount Holyoke correspondence, 1946-2016
3 Mount Holyoke reunion photographs, program, 1975, 2000
4 Mount Holyoke yearbook, 1950
5 Myrtle Bales Bulkley biographical, 1983-1990
6 Myrtle Bales Bulkley clippings, 1945-1983
7-9 Myrtle Bales Bulkley correspondence, 1973-1983, undated
10 Myrtle Bales Bulkley Florence Crittenton League correspondence, history, 1957, 1975
11 Myrtle Bales Bulkley journal, 1947
Box Folder
3 1-2 Myrtle Bales Bulkley Manor Club literature group, 1946-1948
3 Myrtle Bales Bulkley memorial, 1990 June 29
4 Myrtle Bales Bulkley notes, remarks, 1973-1975
5 Name tags and badges, undated
6 Pelham High School reunion, 1966-1988
7 Pelham public school report cards, class assignments, 1934-1955
8 Pelham Sun, 1987
9-11 Photographs, circa 1880-1920
12 Photographs, 1934-1969
Box Folder
4 1-11 Photographs, 1970-2011, undated
Photographs include: Julia Scott Reed, Judge Sarah T. Hughes, Gail Smith, Maura McNeil, Pat Greenwald, Emmie Baine, and Vivian Castleberry.
12 Speaking engagements, 1977-2009
13 Speech notes, 1971-2008
14 Speeches and other writings, 1975-2009
Box Folder
5 1 Teaching in West Virginia, 1957-1958
2-3 Travel to Vienna Embassy, 1999-2001

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Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-2018
4 boxes

Correspondence in this series includes campaign literature, greeting cards, letters, and invitations to various functions and events. The correspondence in box four primarily covers the issue of abortion, and women’s reproductive rights.
Box Folder
5 4 Campaign mailings A-L, 1991-2009
5 Campaign mailings M-P, 1991-2009
6 Campaign mailings R-Z, 1991-2009
7-12 Correspondence, 1971-1999
Box Folder
6 1-5 Correspondence, 2000-2018, undated
6 Correspondence with legislators, 1968-2003
7-9 Greeting cards [birthday], 2018
10-11 Greeting cards [thank you], 1965-2002
Box Folder
7 1-3 Greeting cards [thank you], 2003-2014, undated
4 Invitations and programs for awards and honors, 1989-2008
5 Invitations and programs for benefits, luncheons, 1985-2008
6 Invitations and programs for birthdays, holidays, 1994-2009
7 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [city/civic issues], 1971-2008
8 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [children and family issues], 1971-2001
9 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [women], 1991-2008
10 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [women and leadership], 1992-1997
11 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [women in business], 1994-2001
12 Invitations and programs for conferences, seminars, workshops [women's health], 1980-2008
Box Folder
8 1 Invitations and programs for dinners, galas, receptions, 1985-2008
2 Invitations and programs for memorials, 1995-2002
3 Invitations and programs for theatre arts [films, plays, dance], 1994-2001
4 Invitations and programs for visual arts, 1989-2008

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Series 3: Notable correspondents, 1944-2012
8 boxes

This series comprises notable correspondents arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author. Included in this series are a number of copies of letters written by Virginia Whitehill addressing issues of women’s reproductive rights. Of note in this series are Representative James H. Clark Jr., Sarah Weddington, author David J. Garrow, as well as other noted journalists, activists, politicians.
Box Folder
8 5 Susan Abrahamson, 1999-2000
6-7 Suzanne Ahn, M.D., 2002-2003
8 Lloyd Bentsen [United States Senate], 1971-1976, 1992
9 Barbara Boxer, [United States Senate], 1991-2001
10 Bob Bullock [Lt. Governor], 1992
11 George Bush, 1970-1994
12-13 Vivian Castleberry, 1970-2016
14 James H. Clark Jr. [Texas House of Representatives], 1967 April 15
Box Folder
9 1-5 James H. Clark Jr. [Texas House of Representatives], 1969-1971
6 James H. Clark Jr. [House Bill 323], 1969
7 James H. Clark Jr. [petition], 1969
8 Tom Clawson, 1971-1974
9 Bill Clinton, 1994-2000
10 Hillary Clinton, 1998-2008
11 Regina Montoya Coggins [United States Congress], 1999-2000
12 Tom Creighton [Texas Senate], 1971
13 Helen Dana, 1950
14 Lee DeGolyer, 1944-2001
15 Harryette Erhardt [Texas House of Representatives], 1994-1998
16 Geraldine A. Ferraro, 1992
17 Lois Finkelman [City council], 1996-2001
18 Veletta Forsythe Lill [City council], 1996-1999
19 Hugh C. Fowler [Colorado Senate], 1971
20 Frito Lay, 1996
Box Folder
10 1 David J. Garrow biographical, undated
2 David J. Garrow clippings, 1989-2002
3 David J. Garrow correspondence, 1989-2005
4 David J. Garrow photographs, undated
5-7 David J. Garrow writings, 1993-2002
8 Helen Giddings [Texas House of Representatives], 2000-2009
9 Joe H. Golman [Texas House of Representatives], 1971
10 Laura Gonzalez, 2005-2006
11 Pat Greenwald, 1991-2006
12 Henry C. Grover [Texas Senate], 1971
13 Roy Gunn “Do I have a Choice?” sketches, undated
14 O.H. “Ike” Harris [Texas Senate], 1971
15 Helen LaKelly Hunt clippings, 1982-2004
16-17 Helen LaKelly Hunt correspondence, 1983-1995
Box Folder
11 1 Helen LaKelly Hunt correspondence, 1996-2012
2-3 Helen LaKelly Hunt dissertation, 2003
4 Helen LaKelly Hunt printed materials, 1983-1984
5 Helen LaKelly Hunt sister fund, 2000, undated
6 Kay Bailey Hutchison [United States Senate], 1993-1998
7 Eddie Bernice Johnson [United States Congress], 1986-2008
8 Sam Johnson [United States Congress], 1991-1993
9 Diane Kathryn Jones, 1999
10 Melba Joyce, 2002-2004
11 Miriam Kass [Houston post], 1970
12 Ron Kirk [Dallas Mayor], 1995-2002
13 Linda Kushner [Rhode Island Congress], 1994
14 Richard D. Lamm [Colorado Governor], 1971
15 Herbert H. Landau, 1974
16 Paula Larsen [Judge], 1994
Box Folder
12 1 Boyd De Wolf Lewis clippings, photograph, 1986-2011
2-3 Boyd De Wolf Lewis correspondence, 1974-2003
4 Boyd De Wolf Lewis writings, 1999
5 Victoria Mangram [actress], undated
6-7 Stanley Marcus, 1969-2002
8 Oscar H. Mauzy [Texas Senate], 1971
9-10 Maura McNeil, 1974-2011
11 Barbara A. Mikulski [United States Senate], undated
12 Laura Miller [City council], 1997-1998
13 Cynthia Salzman Mondell [Filmmaker] clippings, 1978-2007
14 Cynthia Salzman Mondell [Filmmaker] correspondence, 1978-2007
15 Cynthia Salzman Mondell [Filmmaker] programs, 1998-2007
16 Celia Morris, 2000
17 G.F. (Gus) Mutscher [Texas Congress], 1971
18 Diane F. Norwood, Esq., 1991 October
Box Folder
13 1 Bob Packwood [United State Senate], 1985-1992
2 Lori Palmer, 1994
3 Rena Pederson [Dallas Morning News], 1994-2002
4 Louise Raggio, 1967-2003
5 Dick Reed [Texas Congress], 1971-1972
6-9 Ann Richards, 1988-2010
10 Peggy Romberg [see also Sarah Weddington], 1973-1975
11 Barbara Rosenberg [Judge], 1992-1994
12 Therese Ruffing, 1992-2008
13 Max Sherman [Texas Senate], 1971-1972
14 Ellen Solendar [Professor SMU law], 1994
15 Judge Rose Spector, 1992
16 Preston Smith [Governor], 1971
17 Gloria Steinem, 1985-1994
18 Annette Strauss, 1987-1999
19 John Tower [United States Senate], 1971-1974
20 Eleanor Tufts, 1983-1991, 2009
Box Folder
14 1 Sarah Weddington biographical, 1979-1989
2-3 Sarah Weddington clippings, 1973-2013
4-9 Sarah Weddington correspondence, 1969-2006, undated
10 Sarah Weddington printed materials: flyers, newsletters, brochures, fact sheets, 1969-1980
11 Sarah Weddington publication People Weekly, 1978 September 18
12 Sarah Weddington publication The Texas Observer, 1970, 1973
13 Sarah Weddington publication Texas Woman, 1979 November
14 Sarah Weddington publication Townes Hall Notes, 1979 Winter
15 Sarah Weddington publication The Washington Post Magazine, 1979 February 11
16 Sarah Weddington Texas state legislature roster, 1977-1978
17 Sarah Weddington “White House News on Women", 1979-1980
18 Sarah Weddington women in the white house, 1979
Box Folder
15 1-4 Virginia Whitehill correspondence, 1970-2010
5 Virginia Whitehill correspondence to Jim Whitehill, 1989
6 Dorothy Wimberly [see also Sarah Weddington], 1973

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Series 4: Artifacts and Audiovisual, 1989-2013
3 boxes

Artifacts in this series include plaques, buttons, and t-shirts. Audiovisual materials comprise home movies on VHS cassette tapes.
Box Folder
15 7 Women’s Council of Dallas County “The Bev Award", 2013
8 TARAL honors Virginia Whitehill MVP plaque, 1997 October
9 Living Legends plaque, 2009
10 NARAL buttons, 2000
11 Prochoice buttons, undated
Box
16 Women's Council of Dallas County, Texas, Inc. distinguished service award, 1996
The Women's Museum celebrating the achievements of women SBC Communications Inc. award, undated
VHS Our Wedding Peter and Fabienne, 1995 July 3
VHS 70th birthday party for Virginia Whitehill benefiting Women’s Center of Dallas, 1998 June 27
VHS Jill dance recital, 1996 May 31
VHS to gammy with all our love Jillian Whitehill Abbey, the first five years, 1989-1994
VHS Jill includes Disney World, 1994 November-1995 April
VHS Jill 8th grade graduation St. Alcuin Montessori, 2004
VHS “Bye Bye Birdie” 3rd presentation Sunday 2pm, St. Alcuin Montessori school, 2003 November 23
VHS Bulkley home movies, undated
Christmas morning at 648 Ely-A Whitehill Family Production [audio cassette], 1964
Myrtle Bales Bulkley Aug. 5, 1899-June 26, 1990 [audio cassette], undated
Box
17 Ann Richards campaign plastic hat, undated
T-Shirt protect freedom of choice, 1989
T-Shirt Now is the Time for freedom of choice, 1989
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure pink “I am a Survivor” visor, 1997
The Women’s Center of Dallas Celebrating 20 years 1972-1992 plates [one inscribed to Virginia Whitehill], 1992
The Family Place groundbreaking ceremony founder plaque, 1999 May 21
Mount Holyoke Sesquicentennial Alumnae Association Award, 1987

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