Daughters of the American Revolution. Henry Walton Chapter (Madison, Ga.).
Talmadge, May Erwin
May Erwin Talmadge papers
21.4 Linear feet
(36 boxes, 1 oversized volume)
Correspondence, business papers, receipts, appointment books, printed material, and photos, chiefly relating to Talmadge's years of service with the Daughters of the American Revolution including her term as president general and with Georgia State Board of Education; together with family material. Includes extensive correspondence pertaining to the controversy which arose from DAR racial policies in the wake of the Marian Anderson incident and material relating to issues facing the Georgia Board of Education during the 1950s including banning of textbooks and integration.
The University of Georgia Libraries Special Collections Department acquired the May Erwin Talmadge Papers in December of 1980. The papers were given to the university by Lee Epting, who at that time was the owner of the Talmadge house on Prince Avenue in Athens. Mrs. Talmadge, wife of Julius Talmadge of Athens, was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution for over fifty years (serving as President General from 1944 through 1948), and worked with the Georgia State Board of Education in the 1950's. The collection consists of correspondence, business papers, receipts, photographs, and print material. The bulk of the material centers on Mrs. Talmadge's work with the D.A.R. and Board of Education, but the collection also includes personal correspondence and material relating to the Talmadge and Erwin families. An attempt was made to organize the collection chronologically whenever possible but, as the papers were in disarray upon arrival, there remains a good deal of miscellaneous material, undated correspondence, unidentified photographs, etc.
The first fifteen boxes In the collection contain correspondence filed chronologically. Most of this material relates to D.A.R. business and activities, but personal and family correspondence is included as well. The series begins with Erwin family letters which date from the 1860's, followed by Mrs. Talmadge's own letters dating from 1901. Materials of note in this section include correspondence relating to political problems encountered by the D.A.R. as a result of their racial policies (in the wake of the much publicized Marion Anderson Incident). Boxes sixteen through twenty-seven contain Mrs. Talmadge's business receipts. This section is also filed chronologically.
Mrs. Talmadge's work with the Georgia State Board of Education is documented in boxes twenty-eight through thirty-five. This section contains her business papers (reports, legal briefs, policy statements, budgets, minutes of meetings, etc.) relating to Board of Education matters. Each folder in this series is labeled with its particular subject heading. The researcher is advised to check the inventory listing carefully to avoid overlooking any of the many topics in this section. Materials of note include correspondence relating to Mrs. Talmadge's involvement in efforts to ban certain school textbooks. For further information concerning Mrs. Talmadge's own activity in Board of Education proceedings, refer back to the dated correspondence in boxes one through fifteen.
Boxes thirty-six through thirty-eight contain Mrs. Talmadge's appointment books. This material dates from 1944 and runs consecutively through 1959. The remaining sections of the collection consist of miscellaneous photographs (boxes thirty-nine through forty-one), business papers (boxes forty-two through forty-four), and print material (boxes forty-seven through fifty).