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Winifred Barbour Simpson papers

Identifier: MS0332

Scope and Contents

The Winifred Barbour Simpson papers mostly contain materials that she produced and scrapbooks that she compiled in the 1930s and 1940s. Other materials found in this collection were produced or collected by Leonard W. Simpson (Winifred's future husband) during his service in the US Army from 1943 to 1945.

Winifred compiled two of her three scrapbooks while matriculating through Charlotte Technical High School in the early 1930s. These scrapbooks reveal that she was an active and popular student. She also had some creative ability, as she composed poetry and drew pictures. Most of her poetry is found in the last of her three scrapbooks--which she kept while working for the war effort in Washington, DC.

Winifred began dating Leonard W. Simpson in the early 1940s, and the two corresponded regularly during his years in the military. She used V-mail to correspond with Leonard (he normally responded with postcards), and many of her V-mail letters feature not only her writing, but also her art work--a very rare thing. Some of her V-mail drawings include self-portraits or portraits of Leonard.

Other papers and some of the photographs in the collection indicate that Winifred was a member of the Episcopal Church in Charlotte and she seems to have been an active member.

The collection also includes a small but significant series of materials that Leonard Simpson compiled or collected during WWII, including his induction notification, USO handbook for soldiers, the US Army songbook, a form letter from President Roosevelt (reminding service personnel of their duty toward advancing democracy), and other military materials. The collection also contains the postcards that Simpson wrote to Winifred during the war. The accumulation of these materials makes this collection an excellent primary source for World War II history and its impact on the American civilian population.


  • Creation: 1920-1961


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

According to her obituary, Winifred Whitlock Barbour Simpson was born to Leslie Larkin and Mary Ella Thompson Barbour on January 10, 1913. She and her family were members of the Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church, and Winifred later joined St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Charlotte. Winifred graudated from Charlotte Technical High School, in Charlotte, NC, in the spring of 1932.

During World War II she was employed with the federal government in Washington, DC. While there, she wrote poetry to support the war effort. Winifred was dating Leonard W. Simpson by the time the war started and the two correspondended reguarly throughout the war. A notable part of Simpson's collection is a series of V-mail letters (19 items) that she wrote to Leonard. Winifred had some artistic ability and several of her V-mail letters are embellished with her drawings--a very rare thing for V-mail.

After the war, she returned to Charlotte, and worked at the Circulation Desk at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library. She retired in 1978.

Simpson married Leonard Walker Simpson, but apprently had no children. She died on Thursday, April 24, 2003.


1.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection is a small assortment of papers and scrapbooks produced by Winifred Barbour Simpson, from 1931 to 1984. The most notable items in the collection are her scrapbooks (which mostly concern her attendance of Charlotte Technical High School) and the papers that she and her (future) husband produced during WWII.


The collection is divided into three series: Series I) the papers and scrapbooks of Winifred Barbour Simpson; Series II) the papers of Leonard W. Simpson; Series III) Photographs.

The materials within each series are arranged in a predominantly chronological fashion.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The UNC Charlotte Special Collections acquired the Winifred Barbour Simpson papers in two separate accessions from Stew Lillard in May of 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, August 2011.

Winifred Barbour Simpson papers
Robert A. McInnes
August 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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