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Virginia Heim George papers, 1925-1981
0.625 linear feet (2 containers)
Collection number: SSC.MS.00221

Abstract:
Virginia Heim George was a YWCA executive, YWCA overseas secretary, and USO official. Most material in the George papers pertains to her foreign secretary work in South America and Czechoslovakia and her USO work in the Caribbean. Personal letters and travel diaries include descriptions of life in Brazil and the Caribbean and in post-war Czechoslovakia and West Germany. Material also includes speeches, clippings and photographs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Virginia Heim George has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Virginia Heim George, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Sophia Smith Collection

Biographical / Historical

1908Born in St. Joseph, Missouri
1929University of Wisconsin, major in economics
1929-40
Program Director, YWCA, working with industrial workers, Kansas City, Utica, Pittsburgh
Camp Director, YWCA
1937Carnegie Institute of Technology, graduate study in group work
1940-43Executive Director, YWCA, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
1943-45Regional Assistant Director of USO, Brazil, Caribbean Area
1946-48Program Consultant, YWCA, Czechoslovakia, with two-week special
1948-51National staff, YWCA, Community Division, working with business
1951-53Group work and recreational director, YWCA, Oakland, California
1953-56Executive Director, YWCA, Yakima, Washington
1956-66Executive Director, YWCA, Utica, New York
1962-64Advisor, YWCA, Taipei, Taiwan
1966-71Advisor, YWCA, Colombia, with three short periods in Lima, Peru
1971Executive Director, YWCA, Omaha, Nebraska
2003?Virginia Heim George died circa 2003

Scope and Contents

The Virginia Heim George papers consist of correspondence, diaries, clippings, and photographs. A major portion of the material dates from 1940 to 1948 and is related to her foreign secretary work for the YWCA in South America and Czechoslovakia and her USO work in the Caribbean.

The papers are divided into two series, PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL. The PERSONAL material contains correspondence and diaries, both ranging from 1940 to 1981. The correspondence consists of letters to her family, mostly to her mother, with a small amount of incoming correspondence from family and friends, 1945-50. The nine diaries consist of six written between 1940 and 1948, plus three travel accounts from 1953, 1965, and 1981. Both the letters and diaries provide a detailed description of George's life while working for the YWCA and the USO. She was an eager and enthusiastic participant in her work and also took advantage of the opportunities it provided to travel extensively. She was a keen observer of the countries she visited and the people she met. Her wartime letters as well and those from postwar Czechoslovakia reflect the mail censorship of the times. As a result the diaries and the occasional letters that she was able to write freely are more candid. The diaries written from her two trips to Czechoslovakia in 1965 and 1981 contain particularly interesting accounts of life there, and the 1965 account reports earlier arrests and trials, particularly an incident involving the YWCA in 1948.

The PROFESSIONAL material consists of clippings and articles about George and her work, 1925-1975, three reports from her Czechoslovakia and Germany experiences, 1948, and a nine-page speech on the USO, ca. 1945. In this series are also fifteen photographs, five of the USO, six related to the YWCA, and four of women in Puerto Rico.

This collection is organized into two series:

  1. I. Personal
  2. II. Professional

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Virginia Heim George has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Virginia Heim George, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Virginia Heim George papers, Sophia Smith Collection, SSC-MS-00221, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Additional Formats

Selections from the Virginia Heim George papers can be viewed in the Web exhibit "An Ever-Widening Circle of Friendship": YWCA Overseas Secretaries from China to Liberia.

History of the Collection

The Virginia Heim George Papers were a gift of Mrs. George in 1989.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. PERSONAL



Correspondence



Outgoing to family



1940

Box 1: folder 1
1941

Box 1: folder 2
1943

Box 1: folder 3
1944 Feb-Jun

Box 1: folder 4
1944 Jul-Dec

Box 1: folder 5
1945 Jan-Jun

Box 1: folder 6
1945 Jul-Dec

Box 1: folder 7
1946 Jan-Jun

Box 1: folder 8
1946 Jul-Dec

Box 1: folder 9
1947

Box 2: folder 10
1948

Box 2: folder 11
1951-81

Box 2: folder 12
Incoming



Mildred Heim Gumm (sister)
1945-50

Box 2: folder 13
Friends
1945-46 undated

Box 2: folder 14
Miscellaneous


Box 2: folder 15
Diaries



Jul-Nov 1940 (Brazil)

Box 2: folder 16
Jan-Feb 1941 (Brazil)

Box 2
Jan-Feb 1943 (Brazil-San Francisco River trip)

Box 2: folder 17
1945-46 (Puerto Rico Czechoslovakia)

Box 2
1946-47 (Czechoslovakia)

Box 2: folder 18
ca.1947-48 (Scandinavia Czechoslovakia Switzerland)

Box 2
1959? (U.S. trip itinerary)

Box 2: folder 19
1965 (Czechoslovakia)

Box 2
1981 (Czechoslovakia)

Box 2
SERIES II. PROFESSIONAL



Clippings, articles
1925-75

Box 2: folder 20
Reports, speech
1945 1948

Box 2: folder 21
Photographs



YWCA
1940-1943, 1960's

Box 2: folder 22
USO
1943-1945

Box 2: folder 23
Brazil, n.d.


Box 2: folder 24

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Brazil--History--20th century--Sources
  • Caribbean area--History--20th century--Sources
  • Czechoslovakia--History--1945-1992--Sources
  • George, Virginia Heim
  • George, Virginia Heim, 1908-
  • United Service Organizations (U.S.)--History--Sources
  • Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.--History--Sources
  • Young Women's Christian Association--South America--History--Sources
  • Young Women's Christian Association--World War, 1939-1945--War Work

Genre terms
  • clippings
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • photographs


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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