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Collection Number: 04122

Collection Title: Adelaide Totten Papers, 1918-1973

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1000 items)
Abstract Adelaide Williams Totten was a leader in the garden club movement and served as organizer of the Chapel Hill Garden Club; president of the Garden Club of North Carolina, 1935-1937; and director of the South Atlantic District of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, 1942. She was also a certified flower show judge. Correspondence and other materials of Totten reflecting her interests and activities in gardening. Much correspondence is with members of garden clubs both in North Carolina and in other states, with garden club federation offcials, and with flower show judges and members of judging societies. Especially prominent among corrspondents are those representing the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc., and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. Most letters relate to flower and garden research, garden club organization and structure, organizing and judging flower shows, and other garden and flower topics. Also included are papers and notes from classes Totten took at the University of North Carolina in the 1930s; clippings, 1930s-1970s, relating to garden clubs in North Carolina and other parts of the country and to the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.; Totten's speeches and writings, 1930s-1970s, chiefly on gardening topics; and appointment, travel, and address books with largely nonsubstantive entries, 1918-1919 and 1934-1958. There are also two photographs of Totten and a few items relating to her husband, Henry Roland Totten (1892-1974), professor of botany at UNC.
Creator Totten, Adelaide, 1890-1974.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Adelaide Totten papers #4122, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Ken Moore of the Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, in June 1974.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Adelaide Williams Totten, daughter of E. P. Williams, was born in 1890 in Stedman, N.C. In 1923, she married Henry Roland Totten (1892-1974), professor of botany at the University of North Carolina, 1913-1963, and army reserve officer, who served in France during World War I. Except for their brief stay at Camp Blanding, Fla., during World War II, the Tottens lived in Chapel Hill until they both died in 1974.

Addie Totten attended Flora McDonald College and also took courses at UNC. She was a leader in the garden club movement and served as organizer of the Chapel Hill Garden Club; president of the Garden Club of North Carolina, 1935-1937; and director of the South Atlantic District of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, 1942. She was also a certified flower show judge.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence and other materials of Totten reflecting her interests and activities in gardening. Much correspondence is with members of garden clubs both in North Carolina and in other states, with garden club federation offcials, and with flower show judges and members of judging societies. Especially prominent among corrspondents are those representing the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc., and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. Most letters relate to flower and garden research, garden club organization and structure, organizing and judging flower shows, and other garden and flower topics. Also included are papers and notes from classes Totten took at the University of North Carolina in the 1930s; clippings, 1930s-1970s, relating to garden clubs in North Carolina and other parts of the country and to the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.; Totten's speeches and writings, 1930s-1970s, chiefly on gardening topics; and appointment, travel, and address books with largely nonsubstantive entries, 1918-1919 and 1934-1958. There are also two photographs of Totten and a few items relating to her husband, Henry Roland Totten (1892-1974), professor of botany at UNC.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated.

About 600 items.

Arrangement: roughly chronological.

Correspondence of Adelaide Williams Totten reflecting her interests and activities in gardening. Much correspondence is with members of garden clubs both in North Carolina and in other states, with garden club federation officials, and with flower show judges and members of judging societies. Especially prominent among correspondents are those representing the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc., and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. Most letters relate to flower and garden research, garden club organization and structure, organization and judging flower shows, and other garden and flower topics. There are also letters transmitting flower seeds and specimens, discussing lecture and meeting schedules, and containing inquiries about and responses to specific garden problems. Beginning with a 1952 letter in which the couple's activities from 1942 to 1952 were summarized, there are printed Christmas letters that offer an review the Tottens' activities each year through 1972.

Folder 1

1933-1939 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1940-1946 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1950-1953 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1954-1953 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1958 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1959 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7-8

Folder 7

Folder 8

1960 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 7-8

Folder 9

1961 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1962-1965 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1966-1969 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1970 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1971-1973 #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Undated #04122, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1933-1973 and undated." Folder 14

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973.

About 380 items.
Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

Class papers and notes, 1930s, written by Adelaide Totten in botany and other classes at the University of North Carolina. #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 15-16

Folder 17-19

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Clippings, 1930s-1970s, chiefly on gardening topics. #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 17-19

Folder 20

Financial papers, 1918-1970, consisting chiefly of bills for the purchase of flower bulbs and seeds. #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 20

Folder 21-27

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Garden club materials, 1930s-1970s, many relating to North Carolina clubs, but also to clubs in others sections of the United States and to the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. Included are four scrapbooks: #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 21-27

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

"History of the Garden Club of North Carolina, 1925-1946," containing copies of constitutions from 1934 and 1939; minutes and programs for annual meetings; reports of officers, executive board, committees, and constituent clubs; correspondence; scattered yearbooks; and brochures and other printed materials (volumes S-1 and S-2). #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 21-27

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Scrapbook with clippings, 1936-1940, relating chiefly to the Chapel Hill Garden Club and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. (volume S-3). #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 21-27

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Scrapbook with clippings, 1941, chiefly relating to the 1941 annual meeting of the National Convention of State Garden Clubs, Inc., held in Asheville, N.C. (volume S-4). #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 21-27

Folder 28

Notes, undated, chiefly on flowers and gardening. #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 28

Folder 29-30

Folder 29

Folder 30

Speeches and writings, 1930s-1970s, chiefly on gardening topics, either written by Adelaide Totten or written by others and used by Totten at speaking engagements. #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 29-30

Folder 31

Miscellaneous items, including unascribed poems on various topics and the Tottens' guest book, 1938-1939 (volume S-5). #04122, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1930s-1973." Folder 31

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Appointment, Travel, and Address Books, 1918-1919; 1934-1958.

20 items.

Books listing daily appointments, 1918-1919 and 1934-1958. Some of the books contain entries that discuss particular gardening or scheduling problems, but most simply list meetings. The 1958 travel book contains minimal entries from the Tottens' garden tour of the British Isles, and the address book is undated.

Box 4

Appointment, travel, and address books, 1918-1919 #04122, Series: "3. Appointment, Travel, and Address Books, 1918-1919; 1934-1958." Box 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Pictures, Undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, November 1992

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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