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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.


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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


Processing Information

Processed by Julie Garling.
Helene Lawrence Collection
Julie Garling
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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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