National League of American Pen Women, Baltimore Branch, 1921-1972, MS. 1892

National League of American Pen Women,
Baltimore Branch, 1921-1972

Maryland Historical Society


(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)

National League of American Pen Women,
Baltimore Branch, 1921-1972

Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
Fax: 410.385.2105


Descriptive Summary

National League of American Pen Women,
Baltimore Branch, 1921-1972

MS. 1892

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

Harriot Weiskittel

September 1978


Scope and Content

The National League of American Pen Women was formally organized in Washington, D.C. in June 1897 to conduct and promote creative and educational activities in Art, Letters and Music. The Baltimore Branch was established in 1921 (The framed copy of the Branch Certificate is included in the collection.) The organization is still active both nationally and locally.

Membership is restricted to any woman born or naturalized in the U.S.A.... provided that she has within three years preceding her application received pay in the open commercial market. Members were asked to submit annual reports of achievements - their publications, awards, exhibitions, sale of works of art, performances of musical compositions etc. In 1949-51 these records were collected in one Achievement Book (Box 4); later records may occasionally be found in the chronological set of scrapbooks.

This chronological set of Historian's Scrapbooks (Boxes 4-12) comprises the bulk of the collection. They contain a full and valuable record of the Branch's activities and of the recognition accorded its members in the fields of art, literature and music. The scrapbooks include lists of members and officers, programs of meetings, invitations to and notices of events sponsored by the Baltimore Branch (especially the Art Exhibition held annually at the Peale Museum) as well as photographs, articles written by or about members, reports of their exhibitions and/or awards, and numerous press clippings from local newspapers and journals. Of special interest here are many The Lively Arts columns written by R.P. Harriss of the Baltimore American.

The Historian's Scrapbook for 1928-45 was removed from the collection with the intention that it be donated later by Mrs. Blanche Ferguson to the Maryland Historical Society. (Mrs. Ferguson was President of the Baltimore Branch of the League in 1928-30 and 1938-40 and served as President of the National League 1944-46.) When Mrs. Ferguson died in 1974 the MHS received a small collection of letters and notebooks belonging to Mrs. Ferguson and her husband (MS.2070) and this was supplemented in 1977 by a scrapbook (MS.2070.1) dedicated To Blanche Smith Ferguson with love and admiration, 1940-42. This scrapbook contains numerous poems, drawings and sketches contributed by members of the Baltimore Branch in Mrs. Ferguson's honor. The MHS has not received the Historian's Scrapbook.

The Branch's Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations in 1971 are well-documented in the form of a large History Scrapbook (Box 3) which contains biographical notes of past officers, lists of members, notices and invitations, photographs, publications etc. collected over the years. This special scrapbook is a useful and informative addition to the chronological set.

The National League holds biennial conventions, usually in Washington, D.C., and publishes a journal The Pen Woman. The Baltimore Branch holds several regularly scheduled meetings each year and publishes The Pinion and The Baltimore Owl. Several convention programs and issues of these journals have been assembled in Box 1 but numerous other programs and issues may be found scattered throughout the various scrapbooks.

For additional material relating to the Baltimore Branch see also the Florence Ring Kahn Papers (MS.1518) which includes two scrapbooks documenting Mrs. Kahn's achievements as poetess and playwright and her active participation in the Branch's activities.



The papers of the Baltimore Branch of the National League of American Pen Women, MS.1892, span the years 1921-72, with two later volumes of the Roster and Bylaws for 1974-78.

The collection has been received over a period of years from Miss Margaret Coyne, a president of the Baltimore Branch, who made donations in 1971, 1972 and 1978. It is expected that additional material will be donated as and when it is no longer required by the Branch. At present (1978) the material occupies twelve boxes.

The collection's strongest feature is a chronological set of Historian's Scrapbooks which documents the activities of the Branch and of its members in the fields of art, literature and music.


Container List


Framed copy of certificate establishing Baltimore Branch, May 1921




Original membership cards, 1921-25




Loose-leaf notebook containing list of officers and committees, 1923-24




The Pinion, 1 issue, May-June 1948




The Baltimore Owl, 5 issues, November 1956-Spring 1958


transferred to Ref. Div. Pamphlet Collection




Momentoes of Fiftieth Anniversary Luncheon, Belvedere Hotel, Baltimore, May 22, 1971




Report on examination of financial records of National League by certified public accounting firm for the year ended April 30, 1970




Financial statements of the National League prepared by certified public accounting firm for the nine months ended January 31, 1971 and for the three months ended October 31, 1971




National League Biennial Convention programs, 1950, 1962, 1972




The Pen Woman, 2 issues, November 1971, March 1972




Miscellaneous pamphlets. Includes short history of the Baltimore Branch prepared in March 1955 by Anna Heubeck Knipp, Historian.





Minute book, May 1925 - May 1930




Minute book, October 1950 - December 1955




Minute book, October 1956 - May 1964




Minute book, August 1964 - May 1970




Roster and Bylaws, 1968-70

















Historical record of the Branch in the form of a scrapbook prepared on the occasion of its Fiftieth Anniversary, 1971





Achievements Book, 1949-51




Historian's Scrapbook, 1946-48





Historian's Scrapbook, 1948-50




Historian's Scrapbook, 1950-52





Historian's Scrapbook, 1952-54




Historian's Scrapbook, 1954-56





Historian's Scrapbook, 1956-58




Historian's Scrapbook, 1958-60





Historian's Scrapbook, 1960-62





Historian's Scrapbook, 1962-64





Historian's Scrapbook, 1964-66





Historian's Scrapbook, 1966-68





Historian's Scrapbook, 1968-70




Historian's Scrapbook, 1970-72