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National League of American Pen Women, Minnesota Branch Records

Identifier: M/A 0033

Description of Contents

The collection includes officer lists, and member's achievement records (1940s-1950s), correspondence, clippings, annual reports, obituaries, artistic works by members, profiles of members, newsletters and scrapbooks.


  • Creation: 1928 - 2020


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


The National League of American Pen Women was founded in 1897. Marian Longfellow O'Donohue, niece of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, decided to found an organization for women journalists. Assisted by Margaret Sullivan Burke and Anna Sanborne Hamilton, Marian Longfellow O'Donohue made plans for "bringing together women journalists, authors, and illustrators for mutual benefits and the strength that comes of union."

The first meeting was on June 26, 1897. The three founders brought together seventeen writers, novelists, newspaper women, a teacher, a poet, and an artist for the first meeting. Alice R. Morgan, an illustrator for New York publishers, designed the League insignia, the owl, symbolic of wisdom, placed in a triangle formed by a red pen, a blue pencil, and a white brush, colors of the American flag.

The first National Convention was held in Washington, D. C., in April 1921, and the 300 members in attendance were received by President Warren G. and Mrs. Florence Kling Harding. Mrs. Harding was a distinguished member of the League, she helped Mr. Harding turn the Marion(OH)Daily Star into a profitable newspaper. Eleanor Roosevelt was also a member.

The Minnesota branch was organized with twelve charter members in 1927. This organization of women included artists in many creative fields. Besides those who wrote novels, poetry, drama, radio scripts, etc., there were artists in every medium, designers, composers of music, lecturers and research workers in many fields.


5 Linear Feet (7 boxes and 5 volumes)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

Lorraine Jolian Cazin, Historian, donated materials from 1998 to 2000. Barbara Geisert donated materials beginning November 2, 2004. Additional materials were donated in 2019 and 2020 as accessions 2019.16 and 2020.22.

Processing Information

Accruals processed by Jenna Jacobs in November 2021.

National League of American Pen Women, Minnesota Branch Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.