Ethelyn Cox Collection


Papers 1956 - 1980
Box 287.   23 linear feet [16' regular collection, 7' oversize collection]

Background: Ethelyn Cox (1909-1988) was an Alexandria Local Historian and Author. Known as a "meticulous but unassuming scholar," she contributed greatly to our knowledge of Alexandria's history.   Her major publication, Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street is still one of the most authoritative books on historic houses, and popular as well.   Mrs. Cox moved to Alexandria -in 1935.   She became interested in Alexandria history in 1948 when she and her husband, Hugh, purchased their home at 210 Prince Street.   One of her early projects was serving on the Alexandria Association committee which produced the catalog for the 1956 exhibit Our Town.   She was a founding member of Historic Alexandria Foundation and served for many years as a board member, secretary, president, and chairman of various committees.   Through her association with HAF, she was involved very extensively in restoration and preservation efforts in Old Town Alexandria.   In 1980 Mrs. Cox received the Alexandria Association's Individual Award of Merit.

Publications by Ethelyn Cox: Chronology of Alexandria History through the Revolutionary War, 1971; To Wit: Intentional and Unintentional in Early Alexandria, 1973; "The Founding of Alexandria" in Composite History of Alexandria, 1975; Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street, 1977; "From Alexandria to Albany: The Journey of Mrs. Charlotte Browne November 1754 -1757" and "General Edward Braddock: a Retrospective" in Alexandria History v. 10, 1980

Scope and Content: This collection consists of Mrs. Cox's research files and manuscripts, as well as papers from her membership in HAF.   Research files contain typed and handwritten notes, news clippings, and correspondence.   The main focus of the collection is in support of "Street by Street."   Included are the Historic American Building Survey inventories of Worth Baily.   Also in the collection are manuscripts and notes of several projects that Mrs. Cox assisted on, and pamphlets related to Alexandria History or Historic Preservation and Restoration.

Arrangement and Series Descriptions: The series are arranged as dictated by Ethelyn Cox's activities.

Series I - Street by Street -- These research files are arranged by street in alphabetical order. For north/south streets, the files are arranged north 100, 200, etc., then south 100, and so on. If there are separate files for east and west sides of the block, the east side is first followed by the west side. For east/west streets, the files start at the river and go west in numerical order by block. If there are separate files for the north and south side of a block, the north side comes before the south side. Particular establishments, may have their own file interfiled with the block of their street address, for instance Gadsby's Tavern is filed, Royal North 100 - Gadsby's Tavern.   Series II - Subject and Names -- These research files are arranged alphabetically and deal with general subjects not associated with a particular street address or associated with multiple addresses.   Series III - Publications -- This includes manuscripts and correspondence associated with specific publications. A large portion of this series is devoted to "Street by Street" including the press ready text.   Series IV - Organizations and Associations -- This series contains Historic Alexandria Foundation papers and files on other organizations Mrs. Cox was associated with.   Series V - Books and Pamphlets -- This series contains published materials primarily on Alexandria history or historic homes and preservation issues.   Series VI - Research Files -- These research files contain notes and papers of general Alexandria interest, not directly related to a specific publication. Included are index card files of notes.   Series VII - Scrapbooks -- Large, heavy, oversized scrapbooks filled with news clippings from local newspapers on various subjects.   Series VIII - Maps and Oversized Papers -- Alexandria City maps and other large documents.

Related Collections: Ethelyn Cox Photograph Collection; Historic Alexandria Foundation Papers; John K. Pickens Papers; HABS Blueprints; Alexandria Historic Restoration and Preservation Commission Records; Old Town Civic Association (OTCA) Records; Alexandria Bicentennial Collection.

Other Physical Forms: Ethelyn Cox Street files on Microfilm and Microfiche.

Subjects: Cox, Ethelyn;   Alexandria History;   Historic Conservation and Restoration--Alexandria Virginia;   Historic Buildings--Alexandria Virginia;   Historic Alexandria Street by Street (Manuscript)

Source: Gift of Ethelyn Cox, October 1983

Roberta Sago, Summer Intern, 1995


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