Irene McCoy Gaines papers, 1893-1968 (bulk 1940-1959)
Descriptive Inventory for the Collection at Chicago History Museum, Research Center
By Lucy F. West, April 1970; rev. 2009
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
© Copyright 2009, Chicago Historical Society
Title: Irene McCoy Gaines papers, 1893-1968 (bulk 1940-1959)
Main entry: Gaines, Irene M. (Irene McCoy), 1896?-1964
Inclusive dates: 1893-1968 (bulk 1940-1959)
ca. 5 linear ft. (9 boxes, 1 scrapbook)
1 oversize folder (posters).
8 sound discs.
1 microfilm reel : neg. ; 35 mm. (Camera negative of George W. Ellis papers)
Restriction: For sound recordings, it is necessary to use a copy, not the original (and to have a use copy made if one is not available).
Accession numbers: M1969.0044; M1969.0056
Provenance statement: Received from Mrs. Gaines' son, Harry B. Gaines, beginning in 1969 (M1969.0044; M1969.0056).
Terms governing use: Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.
Please cite this collection as: Irene McCoy Gaines papers (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.
This descriptive inventory contains the following sections:
Summary description of the collection,
Description of some material related to the collection,
List of online catalog headings about the collection,
Arrangement of the collection,
Detailed description of archival series in the collection,
List of contents of the collection.
Irene McCoy Gaines was a Chicago community and civil rights leader, a Republican Party activist, and an African American club woman of national standing. She was born in Ocala, Florida, on Oct. 1, 1896?, the daughter of Charles B. McCoy and Mamie McCoy. She came to Chicago as an infant, attended Chicago public schools, and enrolled at Fisk University at an unusually early age.
After graduation from Fisk, she was employed as a stenographer until the First World War opened opportunities to advance into full-time social work. After receiving special training from the War Camp Community Service and the Community Service of Chicago, she undertook additional training in social work in the YWCA Training School and at the University of Chicago and Loyola University. Thereafter until 1947, when she retired to devote herself to volunteer activities, Mrs. Gaines worked as a full-time social worker in a variety of positions, including service with the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare, the Juvenile Court, the Cook County Hospital, and the Veterans Bureau, and as Industrial and General Secretary of the YWCA. Mrs. Gaines also was a caseworker consultant and the Director of the Women’s Division of the Chicago Urban League.
Married to Harris B. Gaines, a Chicago lawyer and member of the Illinois General Assembly (1928-1936), Irene McCoy Gaines developed a life-long loyalty to the Republican Party although this was somewhat tempered by her appreciation of the civil rights positions of the Democratic Party in the 1960s. From 1924 to 1935 she served as president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Colored Women’s Clubs and was active in party politics in other capacities, most notably as a hard-working supporter of the U.S. Senatorial candidacy of Mrs. Ruth Hanna McCormick (Republican, Illinois) in 1930. In 1948 Mrs. Gaines was an unsuccessful candidate for delegate to the National Republican Nominating Convention. Two years later, she was a Republican candidate for the Board of Commissioners of Cook County, and although defeated, she ran well ahead of other Republicans on the ticket.
Club work and volunteer service became major interests during the 1940s. Mrs. Gaines helped to found and served as the first president (1938-1952) of the Chicago Council of Negro Organizations, a coordinating organization comprised of approximately one hundred civic, educational, religious, labor and social organizations. Another major concern of Mrs. Gaines was the Idlewild Lot Owners Association in Idlewild, Michigan, a resort area favored by African Americans, of which she was president from 1940 to 1954.
After service on committees relating to legislation and fine arts, Mrs. Gaines became president of the Illinois Association of Colored Women in 1941. In 1952, she was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc. (NACWC), at the time an organization of approximately 100,000 members in 44 states.
During her presidency of the NACWC, she led the organization into more assertive civil rights positions. Her office issued press releases in support of the Birmingham bus boycott and in behalf of Authurine Lucy’s efforts to gain admission as the first African American to attend the University of Alabama, and sent a non-governmental observer to the United Nations to further the interests of minority groups throughout the world. Mrs. Gaines was also a strong advocate of self-help projects on the individual and community levels. Along with her role in the purchase of a new headquarters building for the NACWC in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Gaines took great pride in the initiation in January 1956 of a nation-wide Community Improvement Project sponsored by the NACWC and funded by a $50,000 grant from the Sears Roebuck Foundation.
Mrs. Gaines ran for a third term as NACWC president in order to see the project to its completion but failed in an effort to amend the organization’s constitution, which limited officers to serving two terms. When her name was placed before the 1956 NACWC convention, she won reelection by a margin of two votes out of a total of more than 800 cast.
With the cabinet and membership of the NACWC almost equally divided between pro- and anti-Gaines factions, Mrs. Gaines’ next two years as president were marked by controversy. The chairman of the Community Improvement Project was dismissed, and a Burn the Mortgage Campaign, intended to pay off the $15,000 mortgage on the new headquarters building, netted less than $500. The club treasurer refused to release any funds, and legal action had to be taken to meet operating expenses. Despite these difficulties, Mrs. Gaines completed her term and was named Honorary President in 1958, when the candidate she backed for the presidency was elected.
Mrs. Gaines remained active in a variety of conferences and campaigns in behalf of civil rights and human welfare until her death on April 4, 1964, just two months after her husband’s death on January 21, 1964. She was survived by two sons, Harris B. Gaines, Jr., (known as Harry) and Charles Ellis Gaines. Charles Ellis Gaines was a state representative who, like his father, served in the Illinois General Assembly. He died on March 28, 2000.
Summary description of the collection:
Correspondence, mimeographed and printed material, certificates, posters, phonograph records of speeches, minutes of meetings and conventions, scrapbook, and other papers relating to activities of Mrs. Gaines, a leader in local, state, and national organizations of African American club women, Chicago social service organizations, and the Republican Party. Topics include the civil rights movement; her service as president of the National Association of Colored Women; Republican Party activities and Mrs. Ruth Hanna McCormick's senatorial campaign; and personal and family matters. Little in the collection relates directly to Mrs. Gaines' career as a social worker in Chicago. The collection includes few papers of Mrs. Gaines' husband, Harris B. Gaines, who was a Chicago lawyer and Illinois legislator, and of her sons, Harris B. Gaines, Jr., (known as Harry) and Charles E. Gaines. There are a few radio and play scripts relating to African American history in which her son, Harry Gaines, performed.
Collection includes ca. 200 items, 1893-1919, of Mrs. Gaines' uncle, George Washington Ellis (1875-1919), who was an author and lawyer. Includes letters, diary, articles, and other papers, some relating to his book Negro Social Life and Culture in Africa (1914?). Other topics include African Americans and race relations, especially in Chicago; West Africans and political topics; Progressivism in the U.S.; his service as a secretary to the U.S. Legation in Liberia (1902-1910); and personal activities.
Microfilm of George Washington Ellis papers in this collection is available for purchase from Chicago History Museum.
Description of some material related to the collection:
Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include publications by and about Mrs. Gaines cataloged separately and photographs of Mr. and Mrs. Gaines cataloged separately. The largest amount of documentation of Mrs. Gaines' service to the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs is held by that organization at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. There is a small collection of Irene McCoy Gaines papers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
List of online catalog headings about the collection:
The following index headings for this collection were entered in the online catalog.
Ellis, George Washington, 1875-1919--Correspondence.
Gaines, Irene M. (Irene McCoy), 1896-1964--Correspondence.
Gaines, Harris B. (Harris Barrett), 1890-1964
Gaines, Harris B., Jr.
Gaines, Charles Ellis, 1924-2000.
Simms, Ruth Hanna McCormick, 1880-1944
Chicago and Northern District Association of Colored Women
Chicago Council of Negro Organizations.
Chicago Urban League
Idlewild Lot Owners Association (Mich.)
Idelwild Resort Co. (Chicago, Ill.)
Illinois Association of Colored Women.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Chicago Chapter
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Republican Party (Ill.)
Young Women's Christian Association of Chicago
Century of Negro Progress Exposition (1963 : Chicago, Ill.)
African American families--Illinois--Chicago--20th century.
African American lawyers--Illinois--Chicago.
African American women--Illinois--Societies and clubs--20th century.
African American women--Illinois--Chicago--20th century.
African American women--Illinois--Chicago--Societies and clubs--20th century.
African American women--United States--Societies and clubs--20th century.
African Americans--Relations with Jews
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Liberia.
Discrimination in housing--Illinois--Chicago--20th century.
Elections--Illinois--Cook County--20th century.
Women social workers--Illinois--Chicago.
Young Women’s Christian associations--Illinois--Chicago.
Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century.
Chicago (Ill.)--Race relations--20th century.
Liberia--Foreign relations--United States.
Liberia--Social life and customs--20th century.
Liberia--Politics and government--20th century.
West Africa--Social conditions--20th century.
United States--Foreign relations--Liberia.
United States--Race relations--20th century.
Ellis, George Washington, 1875-1919.
Gaines, Harris B. (Harris Barrett), 1890-1964.
Chicago Council of Negro Organizations.
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (U.S.)
United States--Illinois--Cook County--Chicago.
Arrangement of the collection:
The collection is divided into 2 series. Each series is primarily chronological in arrangement.
Series 1. George Washington Ellis papers, 1893-1919 (box 1);
Series 2. Irene McCoy Gaines files, 1917-1968 (box 1-9 and other items).
Detailed description of archival series in the collection:
Series 1. George Washington Ellis papers, 1893-1919 (box 1):
This series contains ca. 200 items, dating from 1893 to 1919, of Mrs. Gaines' uncle, George Washington Ellis (1875-1919), who was an author and lawyer.
Items concerning Ellis’ diplomatic service in Monrovia include miscellaneous letters and dispatches from the Legation (1906-1910) and a manuscript diary for Aug. 31, 1908-Apr. 1, 1909, in which Ellis recorded details of Legation routine and his own activities.
Included are the following undated manuscripts which may have been published: "Chicago Democracy and the Negro" (9 p.); "Reform and the Negro in Chicago" (7 p.);"The Rise and Fall of Civilizations and Why" (6 p.); "Native Religion in West Africa" (5 p.); "Is Socialism Tenable in the United States?" (3 p.); "Political Conditions in Liberia" (7 p.); plus "The Negro at the Chicago Bar," (February 3, 1916; 3 p.).
Of political interest are Ellis’ letters to Progressive Headquarters in February-March 1913 offering to campaign for the Progressive ticket and an undated appeal to Woodrow Wilson for a patronage position. Among the miscellaneous items is a copy of a Memorial of the American Colonization Society to Secretary of State Walter Q. Gresham (June 26, 1893) petitioning for U.S. intervention against the French in Liberia and an undated National Citizenship Defense Committee Memorial to Suppress Lynching directed to President Woodrow Wilson.
Collection also includes retained copies of Ellis’ outgoing letters to W.E.B. DuBois (July 15, 1908 and June 23, 1913); Ida B. Wells-Barnett (February 13, 1913); Booker T. Washington (Jan. 24, 1906); and George F. Harding, Jr., Chicago 2nd Ward alderman (Jan. 14, 1913; 1 p. typed) commenting on segregation in Chicago.
Series 2. Irene McCoy Gaines files, 1917-1968 (box 1-9 and other items):
Correspondence and other files of Mrs. Gaines in this series are mostly arranged chronologically. Early materials include personal correspondence with her family, particularly her father’s letters to her, and booklets and reports regarding her activities as a young woman. Includes a booklet on the War Community Services, Inc., 1918, and her report as secretary of the Industrial Department of the Indiana Area Branch of the YWCA, October 1921.
The core of the collection is material on various clubs and volunteer service organizations with which Mrs. Gaines was affiliated, notably the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Inc., and the Chicago Council of Negro Organizations. There is scattered information on these and other organizations consisting of reports, minutes, newsletters, agenda, clippings, and incoming and outgoing correspondence.
Records of Mrs. Gaines’ club activities before her election to national office are more scattered and sparse. Documents of interest are her presidential report to the Chicago and Northern District Association of Colored Women, 1937-1938 (48 p.); her June 21, 1944 presidential address to the Illinois Association of Colored Women; and random IACW bulletins from March 1943 through June 1944.
Papers covering Mrs. Gaines' service as NACWC president (1952-1958) are especially extensive. During the decade 1948-1958 there is a concentration of material surrounding the National Biennial Conventions of the NACWC, held in July and August of even-numbered years, consisting of correspondence, presidential reports, which are typically six to ten typescript pages in length and provide a calendar of Mrs. Gaines’ activities; and convention minutes or extracts thereof of varying lengths form twenty to over five hundred pages.
Documentation of NACWC activities includes the restoration of the Frederick Douglass home in the early 1950s; the official Non-Government Observer to the United Nations (10 p. 1955 summary report), and the Community Improvement Project contest to Improve Homes and Neighborhoods (45 p. thermofax report, July 31, 1956). Also present is incoming and outgoing correspondence with other NACWC club members on NACWC activities and personalities.
Documentation on the Chicago Council of Negro Organizations, which she helped to found and which she served as president (1938-1952), includes information in, for example, Mrs. Gaines’ presidential reports for 1942 (9 p.) and 1952 (5 p.) and in minutes of Annual Dinner meetings held in June of 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953 (4 to 6 p. typescripts, each). Also included are scattered copies of the CCNO Newsletter, a two-page mimeographed monthly (1942-1948). Although the CCNO was primarily a coordinating body which undertook few separate projects of its own, the following reports of its endeavors are of note: Call to Action Against Discrimination, Mar 27, 1941; "The Right to Work is the Right to Live," a 78 p. mimeographed report of the National Conference of Negro Organizations held in Washington, D.C., March 1941, sponsored by the CCNO; and a 1 p. report of June 20, 1953, on the early history of the organization including mention of a 1941 March on Washington.
Mrs. Gaines activities for the Idlewild Lot Owners Association resort area in Michigan cover a considerable span of time. Information on this association is chiefly contained in Mrs. Gaines’ annual presidential addresses, which are present for most years between 1940 and 1954. Chicago neighborhood improvement programs also attracted Mrs. Gaines’ support, as shown in several items relative to the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and Kenwood-Ellis Community Center concentrated in the late 1950s.
Interest in the improvement and upgrading of housing conditions is reflected in scattered clippings throughout the collection and in the following items: Report of the Subcommittee on the Physical Aspect of Negro Housing--Urban, of the President’s Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership, July 1931 (31 p.); Mrs. Gaines’ 1 p. letter to Abner H. Ferguson, Federal Housing Administration, Mar. 27, 1941, protesting discrimination by the FHA, and Mr. Ferguson’s Apr. 3, 1941, reply (1 p.); a 2 p. report by the CCNO to the Mayor’s Emergency Housing Committee, Apr. 7, 1947; a 17 p. mimeographed release by the National Association of Inter-Group Relations Officials, Apr. 23, 1948, regarding litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court involving race restrictive housing covenants; a list entitled: Attacks on the Personal and Property of Negroes Moving into So-Called 'White' Communities in Chicago during 1948, compiled by the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination listing 43 incidents; and a 6 p. mimeographed summary of a public hearing on Real Estate Practices in Racially Changing Neighborhoods, sponsored by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Aug. 9, 1962. There also is material regarding the Community Project to Improve Homes and Neighborhoods, Jan. 1956-June 1957, sponsored by the NACWC and funded by a Sears Roebuck Foundation grant.
Items about eliminating discrimination in education and improving educational opportunities is diverse and scattered in the collection. Of particular interest are her March 28, 1941, letter to Mr. Studebaker, U.S. Commissioner of Education, in which she protests discrimination in federally-assisted vocational schools, and attaches a 3 p. report of the National Conference of Negro Organizations’ Committee on Education & Training and a 2 p. report of a conference between the members of that committee and Mr. Billington, Assistant Commissioner of Education; her Jan 27, 1943, letter to Congressman William L. Dawson, regarding progress of the National Youth Administration in combating discrimination in Vocational Youth Training; a report of the Superintendent of Chicago Schools on the Inter-Cultural Relations Program, Oct. 25, 1949 (9 p. mimeograph); Mrs. Gaines’ letter of Nov. 25, 1955, to Robert M. Hutchins of the Fund for the Republic, seeking funds for a project designed to prepare mothers and children to meet the programs of desegregating the public schools; Newsletter No. 1 of the Committee to Integrate Chicago Schools, Apr. 26, 1961 (6 p. mimeograph); a copy of an Aug. 20, 1961, Chicago NAACP statement to Mayor Richard J. Daley on Racial Segregation in the Chicago Public Schools; and letters of endorsement for Mrs. Gaines in her 1942 bid for appointment to the Chicago school board.
For the Chicago Urban League, her papers contain little that bears directly on League activities. There are, however, three A.L. Foster letters of note: one of July 20, 1937, expresses his concern over the problems that alcohol and taverns have produced in the African American community; a December 12, 1938, letter concerns the naming of a proposed South Side Federal Housing Project for an outstanding African American woman; a September 27, 1944, letter deals with an October 15th Mass Meeting at Reverend Beck’s church. Other Chicago Urban League items include: a radio discussion involving Irene McCoy Gaines, Earl B. Dickerson, and A.L. Foster, entitled "What the Urban League Movement Means to Chicago," 1938 (6 p.); a news release by Sidney Williams, Chicago Urban League executive secretary, entitled "Our Stewardship in 1947 and Our Plans for 1948" (6 p. mimeographed); and minutes of a cabinet meeting of Bronzeville, June 27, 1959, at which A.L. Foster was in attendance (3 p. typescript).
Although Mrs. Gaines, her husband Harris, and son Charles, were active in Republican Party politics for a period of forty years, the collection contains less directly political items than might be expected. A few significant items relate to Harris B. Gaines, who served in the Illinois General Assembly 1928-1936, including a campaign leaflet from his unsuccessful bid for election to the General Assembly in 1922 and a draft of a 2-page letter from Harris Gaines to his wife Irene, in which he comments on Archibald J. Carey’s knowledge of General Eisenhower’s attitudes on race relations (Aug. 27, 1952).
Mrs. Gaines first involvement in politics appears in her papers in her ardent support of Ruth Hanna McCormick’s campaign for the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 1930. The papers contain clippings on Mrs. McCormick’s campaign, a copy of a speech Mrs. Gaines made in her behalf on Nov. 25, 1929 (6 p.), a letter from Mrs. McCormick to Mrs. Gaines thanking her for her support, May 7, 1930. An April 9, 1940, campaign leaflet concerns Mrs. Gaines’ candidacy for the First Senatorial District seat in the Illinois General Assembly, and a Feb. 23, 1950, press release pertains to her candidacy on the Republican Party ticket to serve on the Board of Commissioners of Cook County. Other items of political value are: Mrs. Gaines’ letter of Aug. 11, 1938, to Edward A. Hayes, Chairman of the Pre-Convention Platform Committee, relating to methods by which the Republican Party could appeal to African American voters; C. Wayland Brooks’ letter of Feb. 14, 1948, to Mrs. Gaines regarding his position on the poll tax; a Mar. 29, 1948?, report involving discrimination against Mrs. Gaines at a Republican women’s meeting; a 3 p. script of a radio speech over station WHFC by Irene McCoy Gaines endorsing Judge Julius H. Minor for election to the Illinois State Supreme Court, May 21, 1951; a Mar. 27, 1952, letter from Mrs. Gaines to Park Livingston, Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois, complaining that no African American woman’s name appeared on the local or state Republican ticket; Mrs. Gaines’ letter of Sept. 18, 1954, to President Eisenhower expressing gratitude for his efforts in behalf of racial equality, and her May 4, 1955, letter to Eisenhower, in which she requests an appointment to a part-time commission in order to facilitate her travel to Washington on NACWC business. Other items of political note are several clippings regarding the activities of Mrs. Gaines’ son, Charles Ellis Gaines in the 1952 elections, and his 2 p. letter of Sept. 9, 1952, to Arthur Summerfield, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, in which he outlines activities to promote the Eisenhower candidacy in the African American community.
Among the national and local political figures whose correspondence is represented in the Gaines papers (usually consisting of only one or two items) are: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Everett M. Dirksen, Paul H. Douglas, Richard M. Nixon, Marguerite Stitt Church, Richard J. Daley, William G. Stratton, Martin H. Kennelly, Dwight H. Green, C. Wayland Brooks, Ruth Hanna McCormick and Mayor Edward J. Kelly (approximately 40 items in all).
Miscellaneous items in the collection on civil rights and human rights or African American history include the following: a pamphlet report of the Anti-Lynching Department of the Northeastern Federation of Women’s Clubs, July 1926; Chandler Owen’s "Program for Immediate Attack Upon Bad Relations Between Jewish and Negro Elements of the Population" (undated 5 p. typescript, filed with undated 1930s); a June 16, 1948, form letter from A. Philip Randolph concerning the elimination of Jim Crow conditions in the military; a 6 p. undated mimeograph report to the Chicago delegation to a Washington, D.C. Emergency National Conference on Columbia, Tennessee Lynch Terror (filed with undated 1940s); a report of Benjamin F. Bell, Jr., executive secretary of the Chicago Branch of the NAACP, Sept. 9, 1952 (3 p. mimeographed) regarding racial tensions and police brutality.
The papers also include Irene McCoy Gaines’ statement in support of the Federal Equality of Opportunity in Employment Act before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate, March 2, 1954; a Civil Rights Congress fact-sheet entitled "Hitlerite Mob Violence at 56th and Peoria St., 1954" (3 p. mimeograph); Irene M. Gaines’ February 1956 press release (1 p. mimeograph) urging the creation of a congressional commission to study the plight of African Americans in the South; a statement entitled "No Compromise on Segregation," April 24, 1956, to be submitted to the State of the Race Conference by A. Philip Randolph (2 p. typescript); plus materials relating to the Century of Negro Progress Exposition held at McCormick Place in Chicago during August-September 1963. Box 7 of the papers contains 10 radio and play scripts on African American history subjects, collected by Harris B. Gaines, Jr., known as Harry. Mr. Gaines also performed in some of these plays.
The collection also contains scattered items of personal correspondence to Mrs. Gaines from her husband, parents, and sons (ca. 75 items).
In addition, the collection includes eight phonograph records (12 sides, 33 1/3 rpm. and 78 rpm.) consisting of interviews with and speeches by Mrs. Gaines from 1943, 1952 and 1953 and several undated. There also is one oversize folder, which contains three posters, two from 1954 and one from 1959.
Later additions to the collection (primarily box 8 & 9) are not described in detail in the catalog record or the descriptive inventory.
List of contents of the collection:
1 Gaines collection information
Series 1. George Washington Ellis papers, 1893-1919 (box 1):
2 George W. Ellis papers, 1893-1909
3 George W. Ellis papers, 1910-1913
4 George W. Ellis papers, 1914-1952 & undated
Series 2. Irene McCoy Gaines files, 1917-1968 (box 1-9 and other items):
Box 1 continued
5 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1912-1926
6 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1927-1929
7 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1930
8 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1931
9 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1932-1936
10 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1937-1939, 1930s undated
1 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1940-1941
2 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1942-1945
3 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1946-1947
4 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1948
5 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1949, 1940s undated
1 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1950
2 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1951
3 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1952
4 Gaines correspondence, etc., re. 28th biennial, National Association of Colored Women, 1953
5 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1953
1 Gaines correspondence, etc., 29th biennial, National Association of Colored Women Vol. 1-5, Aug. 2-6, 1954
2 Gaines correspondence, etc., Jan.-July 1954
3 Gaines correspondence, etc., Aug.-Dec. 1954
1 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1955
2 Gaines correspondence, etc., Jan.-July 1956
3 Gaines correspondence, etc., Aug.-Dec. 1956
4 Gaines correspondence, etc., Jan.-May 1957
5 Gaines correspondence, etc., June-Dec. 1957
1 Gaines correspondence, etc., Jan.-July 1958
2 Gaines correspondence, etc., Aug.-Dec. 1958
3 Gaines correspondence, etc., Jan.-Dec. 1959; 1950s undated
4 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1960
5 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1961-1962
6 Gaines correspondence, etc., 1963
1 "In Memoriam" (funeral services register) Apr. 7, 1964
2 Gaines-related correspondence, etc., 1965-1976
3 Undated items, including Harry Gaines scripts
4 Undated items
5 Undated items
Additional items received from Harry Gaines:
1 Gaines appointment book/diary, 1921
2 Harry Gaines theater items, undated
3 Notebooks, 1925, 1959
4 Clippings, notes
5 Personal notes on Irene McCoy Gaines by Harry Gaines
6 Appointments, 1947
Oversize folder (contains posters: two from 1954 and one from 1959)
Phonograph record (1 large disc.). The other 7 phonograph records are in folders with the papers. (12 sides, 33 1/3 rpm. and 78 rpm.) from 1943, 1952 and 1953 and several undated.