University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
February 24, 2010
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, (251) 460-6360
Junior League of Mobile Archives to be Preserved at USA
J.L. Bedsole Foundation Grant Underwrites Project
Carol Ellis, Scotty Kirkland, Ann Sirmon, Christy Gustin
Reviewing the Junior League of Mobile collection are, from left, USA Archivist Carol Ellis, USA Archives Assistant Scotty Kirkland, Junior League of Mobile President Ann Sirmon, and Junior League of Mobile General Archivist Chair Christy Gustin.

Through a grant by The J.L. Bedsole Foundation, the University of South Alabama Archives will house photographs and other materials that document the history of the Junior League of Mobile.

Junior League of Mobile President Ann Sirmon said, "Since 1931, Junior League of Mobile has made a significant contribution to the community. It is an honor to have our collection of photographs and documents be housed at USA Archives for perpetuity. We are thrilled to be recognized as an integral part of Mobile's rich history.

"This would not have been possible without the support of The J.L. Bedsole Foundation. The foundation's dedication to the preservation of Mobile's unique and varied history is recognized throughout Mobile. Through funding provided by a grant from the foundation, we are able to share with the community the many contributions Junior League of Mobile has made throughout Mobile's storied past."

Christopher Lee, executive director of The J.L. Bedsole Foundation, said, "The J.L. Bedsole Foundation is proud to support this project because it not only documents the history of an important civic organization, but also will provide insight into the innovative approach Junior League of Mobile is known for in community problem-solving."

USA Archivist Carol Ellis said of the collection, "Junior League of Mobile has played a crucial role in bringing attention to the need for improved public education, mental health, and historic development. The organization's long commitment to civic improvement and its record of volunteerism make it an invaluable component to the story of 20th century Mobile. The donation of Junior League of Mobile papers to the University of South Alabama Archives will preserve for posterity the long history of the organization and make those records available to broader historical study. The USA Archives wants to thank The J.L. Bedsole Foundation for its contribution toward our ability to preserve this collection for future generations."

Scotty E. Kirkland, an assistant at USA Archives, said, "The records of Junior League of Mobile will be an important addition to the archive's growing number of collections that document the social history of Mobile, particularly through women's groups, such as the Wisteria Study Club, Women's Clubhouse Association, the League of Women Voters of Mobile, and others."

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