Skip to main content

Helene Lawrence Collection

Identifier: WV 0457

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal correspondence, newsletters, photographs, newspaper clippings, event programs and a graduation invitation. This collection primarily focuses on Lawrence's achievements practicing law in the Coast Guard and Navy, and as a civilian practicing Immigration Law. The photographs not only contain pictures of Lawrence, but also with her husband, with other SPARS or military personnel, and another person who is unnamed. Most of the collection consists of photographs, newspaper and newsletter copies.


  • 1939-1965
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/04/2009


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

Helene Poland Lawrence was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on 9 September 1913 to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Poland. She graduated from Quincy High School in February 1931, attended Northeastern Law School and graduated from Portia Law School in Boston, Massachusetts on 7 June 1939.

During World War II, she served as a lieutenant in the SPARS (U.S. Coast Guard women's reserve), and offciated at the first all-women's court martial in while stationed in Washington, D.C. After World War II she practiced law in Washington and Boston, before studying French at the University of Paris, graduating in 1949. Upon returning to the U.S. she joined the U.S. Naval Researve, and in 1950 spent at least two years in Germany serving as a federal attorney. Upon returning home she completed training in military and federal law at the Naval Research at the Pentagon, before leaving for Stuttgart, Germany for another two years.

After returning to the United States, Lawrence practiced law as an Immigration and Naturalization Service attorney in California and Washington, D.C. In 1958, she appeared on a television program about citizenship for Los Angeles' Channel 7 KABC TV News. She died in San Mateo, California on 24 May 2002.


0.04 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Helene Poland Lawrence (1913-2002) of Quincy, Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve (SPARS) as a lieutenant stationed in Washington, D.C., where she began her career in criminal law. After World War II, she obtained a degree in French from the University of Paris before resuming law practice with the U.S. Naval Reserve and as a civilian.

This collection contains personal correspondence, newsletters, photographs, newspaper cpies, event programs and a graduation invitation.

Source of Acquisition


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

Processed by Julie Garling.

Helene Lawrence Collection
Julie Garling
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