Scope and Contents
The personal papers of Mills E. Godwin, Jr., dating from 1947 to 1978, consist of 24 boxes of correspondence, 1,100 copies of speeches, schedules and appointments. Also included are 40 scrapbooks of news clippings and photographs, 159 citations and plaques, and one box of audiovisual materials, all of which pertain largely to Godwin's personal involvement in the government, political life, activities, organizations and institutions of Virginia during the 30-year period. The majority of the items comprising this collection were microfilmed by the Virginia State Library.
It should be noted that all of the above referenced papers are identified as "personal" since the official executive correspondence of Godwin's two terms as governor of Virginia (1966-1970 and 1974-1978) has been placed by statute in the Archives Branch of the Virginia State Library. In connection with the personal papers, however, and available to researchers, are copies of the guide to the executive correspondence. The guide is on file with the Curator of Manuscripts at the Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
In addition to Godwin's personal papers, the collection includes a small quantity of Mrs. Godwin's correspondence and papers of their daughter, Becky, who was fatally struck by lightning in 1968, at the age of 15, at Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Included among these papers is correspondence of, or concerning, the following individuals: Watkins M. Abbitt, Harry Flood Byrd, Sr., Harry Flood Byrd, Jr., John N. Dalton, Henry E. Howell, Carter O. Lowance, Richard D. Obenshain, Julian Sargeant Reynolds, A. Willis Robertson, Howard W. Smith, William B. Spong, Thomas B. Stanley, A. E. S. Stephens, and William M. Tuck.
Among the many topics the papers cover are: the College of William and Mary, segregation, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, higher education, taxation, the contamination of the James River by kepone, the oystering industry and public mental health care.
Addition Acc. 1979.14 includes pamphlet, "Notes on the Mills Godwin Family of Isle of Wight County and Nansemond County, Virginia" prepared by Mills E. Godwin, Jr., 1979, a Daily Press article written at death of Mills Godwin, a typed copy of a paper entitled, "Biography of Mills Edwin Godwin, Jr." (author unknown) and a typed carbon copy of a speech by Mills E. Godwin to the Virginia Manufacturers Association in Williamsburg, Virginia on September 26, 1970.
Addition Acc. No. 1980.13 contains two small boxes of photographs, mostly official appearances of Governor Godwin.
Addition Acc. No. 1994.25 contains copies of eleven nineteenth century copies of eighteenth century Godwin family wills.
Conditions Governing Access:
Collection is open to all researchers. 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, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.