Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Guide to the Julia Allen Collection, Series I - IV

Accession Number: RG 9.Allen, Julia
Julia Allen Collection, 1945-1974
.4 linear ft.

Series Description
Series I - Biographical Documents
Series II
- Social and Political Activities
Series III
- Historical Setting of Allen's pre-Civil Rights Liberalism
Series IV
- Speeches

Access and Use

Provenance: Materials in this collection were donated by Professor Dorothy Tredennick or preserved as part of the faculty records of Berea College.

Preferred Citation: Julia Allen Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

Related Archives

  • RG 7 YWCA Records
  • HC 23 Fellowship of Reconciliation

Series Description
1 Manuscript Box

Series I Biographical Documents Box 1

Clippings and correspondence in this series describe the personal qualities and public achievements for which Allen was honored in her lifetime and at her death. Her career and some of her activities are documented through Berea College records, and her wide personal acquaintance is evident in the correspondence.

  1. Clippings/Articles by or about Julia Allen.
  2. The Julia Allen Fund (a scholarship established in her honor).
  3. Letters to/from Allen. Correspondents include: Norman Cousins, The Hon. John Sherman Cooper, Barry Bingham, President William J. Hutchins, Dean Katharine Bowersox, and Dean Louis Smith.
  4. "And I Was There" - brief YWCA memoirs, 1953-54, including one by Allen.
  5. The First Annual Women's Day: The Hunting Hall Awards, April 22, 1965.
  6. Letters about Allen following her death, 1974.
Series II Social and Political Activities Box 1, cont.

Documents in this series record Allen's support of integration, voting rights, unions, and pacifism. Early in her career she led an integrated team of students to survey conditions in Arkansas as guests of the Southern Farmers Tenant Union. The students were able to document a paucity of health care and decent housing, the context of racial prejudice, and the resilience and solidarity of the union members. Years later, when President Francis Hutchins refused Berea's campus as a training base for students preparing to register voters in Missippippi, Julia Allen notified a long list of Berea alumni, with a request that they protest President Hutchins' decision. Some of those letters are in this series.

  1. Southern Conference for Human Welfare correspondence (efforts to eliminate the poll tax).
  2. Correspondence re: Southern Farmers Tenant Union Student Project, 1938-39.
  3. Letters protesting Berea College's cancellation of a program for voter registration volunteers, 1964.
  4. Documents re: Thomas Rodd, a Vietnam -era conscientious objector who attended Berea College.
Series III Historical Setting of Allen's Pre-Civil Rights Liberalism Box 1, cont.

Historian Carolyn Bashaw, in the two papers in this series, placed Allen's actions opposing segregation as a Southern woman in the context of white liberal activism prior to the Civil Rights Movement.

  1. Carolyn Terry Bashaw. "'The Witness We Tried to Make': Julia F. Allen and Racial Injustice at Berea College, 1935-1974," in Essays in Twentieth Century Education: Exceptionalism and Its Limits, ed Wayne J. Urban. Garland Publishing: 1999: 129-162.
  2. Carolyn Terry Bashaw. "'One Kind of Pioneer Project': Julia F. Allen and the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union College Student Project, 1938." Paper presented to the Southern Historical Association in Orlando, FL 1993.
Series IV Speeches Box 1, cont.

Julia Allen said she could talk about issues better than she could write about them. Yet several speeches in this series were written out and typed, so they may have been more than ordinarily important to her. Her talks for the YWCA, however, were organized in detail on note cards, and several sets are included in this series.

  1. Presentation to the General Faculty: "Some Industrial Trends in Our Region." Berea College, Nov. 29, 1940.
  2. Talks and speeches within the Berea community between 1939 and 1969.
  3. Handwritten notes for speeches, primarily for the YWCA.

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