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Virgilia Williams Collection

Identifier: WV 0345

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, military papers, photographs, postcards, publications, and a scrapbook kept by Virgilia. The correspondence between Williams and her sisters and also with her WAVES friends documents her time in the military and her experiences being a woman in the U.S. Navy. The photographs contain not only images of Williams, but photographs of fellow WAVES as well. The largest portion of the collection consists of military publications.


  • 1942-1945


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical Note

Virgilia "Jill" Williams was born 16 October 1914, in Grandview, Iowa, the third child of Harold and Leila (Lieberknecht) Williams. She graduated with honors from Mount Vernon High School, and in 1936 received a bachelor of arts in history and education from Cornell College in Mount Vernon. She later earned certifications from Augustana College and Northwestern University and became a teacher of the deaf and hearing impaired.

Williams joined the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in May 1944 and was sent to the U.S. Naval Training School at Hunter College in the Bronx, New York. She attended hospital corps school at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and was then assigned to the hospital at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, where she served as a pharmacist's mate. In August 1945 she was transferred back to the Bronx, where she worked as an instructor of pharmacist's mates.

When Williams was honorably discharged from the Navy in December 1945, she returned to the Midwest where she taught elementary school for over forty years. Upon her death in 2003, she donated her body to the University of Iowa Medical School for scientific research.


0.40 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Virgilia "Jill" Williams (1914-2003) of Grandview, Iowa, served in the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) as a pharmacist's mate third class at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, and an instructor of pharmacist's mates at the U.S. Naval Training School in the Bronx, New York, during World War II.

The collection contains correspondence, military papers, photographs, postcards, publications, and a scrapbook kept by Williams.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material then chronologically within each type.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Priscilla Webster-Williams in March 2006.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Jennifer Motszko, June 2009.

Virgilia Williams Collection
Jennifer Motszko
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US