Illinois College archives receives League of Women Voters collection
A collection covering nearly 100 years of women’s political activism in Jacksonville was donated to the Illinois College Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives last month.
The collection includes artifacts spanning the League of Women Voters of Morgan County’s existence, from January 1923 until the chapter’s disbandment in 2019, and was donated by Fran and Jim Ringle.
Samantha Sauer, archivist, curator and assistant professor of history, said it is an exciting campus community collection with rich and meaningful ties to Jacksonville and the Illinois College community, and uniquely complements existing historic campus collections.
“There are many connections between Illinois College and the league's history, and there is much teaching and research potential for this collection, especially to support curricular activities with civic engagement, political science, history and hands-on learning at IC,” she said. “Illinois College is honored to be a steward of this campus and community collection.”
The collection — of meeting minutes, scrapbooks, photographs, voter registration and community resources material, buttons, detail-driven documentation of league activities and events — comes to the College well-organized and well-cared for, clearly showing decades of care and preservation to maintain the chapter’s history and impact.
The collection has already created a special hands-on experience for McKenna Servis ’22, who is researching the history of student and campus civic engagement at Illinois College with Director of Community-Engaged Learning Ryan Flynn ’15. Servis assisted Sauer and Emily Pursley ’24 with moving the collection to campus from its temporary home at the Jacksonville Municipal building and had the opportunity to meet the Ringles.
“The donation means both a lot to the history of the College and the history of the Jacksonville community,” Servis said. “As a history and political science major, I value the connection that the College provides to the community. Being able to meet the donors and help with the donation process was also a valuable and unique hands-on experience for myself, and the research opportunities will provide that to future students, as well."
“Being able to meet the donors and help with the donation process was also a valuable and unique hands-on experience for myself, and the research opportunities will provide that to future students, as well."