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MC 00226 Guide to the Ellen Black Winston Papers, 1928 - 1982

The collection is arranged in seven series. Correspondence contains personal correspondence to and from Winston, sympathy letters and cards she received following her husband's death, and correspondence about the establishment of the S. R. Winston Music Collection at North Carolina State University. The Family series contains correspondence written by members of Winston's family, as well as geneological information for both the Black and Lake families, and photographs and negatives, many of which are undated. The Education series contains Winston's 1928 dissertation, written toward her Master's degree in Sociology, as well as her diploma from Converse College. The Career series contains correspondence regarding work matters, and a large number of newspaper and magazine clippings collected throughout Winston's career at the local, state, and federal level. The Postcard Collection series features postcards that Winston collected during her travels. Many have no writing on them, and are undated. The sixth series contains Oversize Materials, and the seventh contains an Artifact, Winston's Watauga Medal from 1979.
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The Correspondence series contains personal correspondence to and from Ellen Black Winston. The majority of the documents pertain to the death of Winston's husband, Sanford R. Winston. Many friends and colleagues sent sympathy letters and cards following Mr. Winston's death in 1969. Also included in this series is correspondence regarding the establishment of the S.R. Winston Music Collection at D.H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University.
[Box 1, Folder 1] Personal[no date], 1946 - 1973,
Sympathy, 1969 - 1971
[Box 1, Folder 2] A - C
[Box 1, Folder 3] D - K
[Box 1, Folder 4] L - S
[Box 1, Folder 5] T - Z
Sympathy Cards, 1969
[Box 1, Folder 6] A - L
[Box 1, Folder 7] M - Z
[Box 1, Folder 8] From Organizations
S.R. Winston Music Collection, 1969 - 1972
[Box 1, Folder 9] 1969
[Box 1, Folder 10] 1970 - 1972
The Family series includes correspondence sent and received by various family members (not necessarily Ellen Black Winston). Several documents pertain to Winston's father, Stanley W. Black, a prominent businessman in Bryson City, North Carolina. His handwritten, uncompleted autobiography, as well as clippings collected following his death, attest to the importance of Black in his community. Other materials in this series are genealogical information and photographs and negatives ranging from Winston's childhood to late in her career. One photograph from the mid-1960s features Winston with then-Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
[Box 1, Folder 11] Correspondence of Black Family, 1936 - 1969
Stanley W. Black
[Box 1, Folder 12] Autobiography Notes, [no date]
[Box 1, Folder 13] Autobiography Text, 1953
[Box 1, Folder 14] Tributes, 1965
[Box 1, Folder 15] Clippings[no date], 1933 - 1970,
[Box 1, Folder 16] Black Family[no date], 1959,
[Box 1, Folder 17] Lake Family, [no date]
[Card Box 2, Folder 1] Photographs[no date], 1963,
[Card Box 2, Folder 2] Negatives, [no date]
The Education Series contains Winston's Master of Arts Dissertation from the University of Chicago, and her diploma from Converse College.
[Card Box 2, Folder 3] Master of Arts Dissertation, "A Study of the Diffusion of Culture in a Relatively Isolated Mountain Community,", 1928
The Career series consists primarily of correspondence and clippings collected over Winston's long career. The correspondence is mainly invitations for Winston to speak at various events, as well as notes of congratulations. Numerous clippings from both North Carolina and national newspapers follow Winston's career from Meredith College to Commissioner of Welfare in North Carolina, and finally to her federal post. Also in this series are materials related to Winston's service for the Friends of University Network Television.
[Card Box 2, Folder 4] 1943 - 1962
[Card Box 2, Folder 5] 1963 - 1967
[Card Box 2, Folder 6] 1940 - 1945
[Card Box 2, Folder 7] 1946 - 1951
[Card Box 2, Folder 8] 1952 - 1958
[Card Box 2, Folder 9] 1960 - 1962
[Card Box 2, Folder 10] 1963 - 1965
[Card Box 2, Folder 11] 1966 - 1972
[Card Box 2, Folder 12] [no date]
[Card Box 2, Folder 13] Friends of University Network Television, 1979
The Postcard Collection series contains postcards collected by Winston and her husband throughout their marriage. Included are postcards from the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Washington D.C., Wyoming. Also included are postcards from Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Greece, and Holland.
[Card Box 3, Folder 1] Postcards, [no date]
[Flat Folder 1] Certificate from the University Cadets, 1893
[Flat Folder 1] Photograph, [no date]
[Flat Folder 1] Diploma from Converse College, 1924
[Flat Folder 1] Certificate from Governor of Oklahoma, 1982
[Box 4] Watauga Medal, 1979


Winston, Ellen Black, 1903-1984


2.2 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

4 archival storage boxes and 1 flatfolder


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Donated by William Joslin, Executor for the Estate of Ellen Black Winston, September 13, 1996; donated by Hermann J. Trojanowski March 31, 2006 (Watauga Medal)


Processed by: Valerie Gillispie; machine-readable finding aid created by: Valerie Gillispie; updated by: Kelly Clark Policelli, April 2009


2014 April, <date calendar="gregorian" normal="2005" era="ce">2005</date><item>Converted to EAD 2002</item>; Finding aid updated by Cathy Dorin-Black, 2014 April

Scope and Content Note

The Ellen Black Winston Papers documents Winston's personal and public life. Included is correspondence written by members of Winston's family, and many letters and cards of sympathy written after the death of Winston's husband, Sanford. Other personal materials include genealogical information and photographs, Winston's masters' dissertation, and a collection of postcards collected during her travels with Mr. Winston. The collection also includes newspaper and magazine clippings covering nearly forty years of Winston's career and Winston's Watauga Medal given by North Carolina State University in 1979.

Biographical Note

Ellen Black Winston was born in Bryson City, North Carolina, on August 15, 1903. She received an A.B. from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1924, an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1928, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1930. She held honorary doctoral degrees from the Women's College of the University of North Carolina (UNC-G), Converse College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Springfield College.

Winston taught social science in the Raleigh high schools and was editor of technical publications on public relief in the Division of Research of the Works Progress Administration. She then became the Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Economics at Meredith College from 1940 - 1944.

In 1944 Winston became the North Carolina Commissioner of Public Welfare, a position she held until 1963. In that year she was appointed the U.S. Commissioner of Welfare in the Department of Health Education and Welfare. She resigned in 1967. Among her many career highlights, Winston served as President of the National Conference on Social Welfare (1965 - 1966), Vice-President of the Child Welfare League of America (1966 - 1972), President of the Friends of the Library at North Carolina State University (1971 - 1973), State Legislative Chairman of the American Association of University Women (1975 - 1979), and President of the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild (1976 - 1978).

She was the American editor of "Nation and Family" (1941) and coauthor of "Seven Lean Years" (1939), "The Plantation South" (1940), and "Foundations of American Population Policy" (1940), as well as numerous professional articles. Winston's husband was Sanford R. Winston, a professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. Mr. Winston died in 1969, and Mrs. Winston passed away in 1984.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Ellen Black Winston Papers, MC 00226, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Access to Collection

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

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