The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Mary M. Gillham Papers, 1955-1970


Size: 1 linear foot


Provenance: received from Mary M. Gillham who acquired this collection in the course of her activity as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Toledo Municipal League.  As Chief Librarian of the University of Toledo, the collection has probably always been housed in the Library.


 Access: open


Collection Summary: Collection consists of material generated by Gillham's activity with this non-partisan civic organization that was created to encourage "maximum efficiency and economy in local governmental operations." Includes minutes, agenda, memoranda, research reports, and newsletters on urban planning.


Subjects: Municipal Government  


Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.


Completed by: Paul M. Gifford, September 1986; last updated: June, 2014

Biographical Timeline


The Greater Toledo Municipal League

1935 -

Founded as the City Manager League of Toledo, a lobbying Organization for the council/manager form of government.

1940 -

Name changed to Municipal League of Toledo.

1941 -

Adopted policy statement calling for program of research and Civic education and discontinuance of political campaigning.

1942 -

Constitution adopted.

1958 -

Name changed to The Greater Toledo Municipal League.

Mary Mewborn Gillham

1899, July 12

Born in Atlanta, Georgia.


Assistant Librarian, University of Toledo.


Librarian, University of Toledo.

1927 -

(English Literature), University of Toledo.

1931 -

(English Literature), University of Toledo.

1941 -

(Library Science), University of Michigan.

1954-1969 -

Member, Board of Directors, The Greater Toledo Municipal League.


Treasurer, The Greater Toledo Municipal League.

1986, Feb. 17

Died in Toledo, Ohio.



Scope and Content Note


 The years which this collection spans are those years in which Mary M. Gillham served on the Board of Directors of The Greater Toledo Municipal League.  With few exceptions, the type of material is the same as that received by other Board members.  This consists of a long, yet somewhat incomplete, run of minutes and agenda of Board meetings; memoranda from the Executive Secretary and President to Board members; minutes of the meetings of various committees; research reports, both unreleased and published; and newsletters.  The only unique items are a few insignificant letters to Mrs. Gillham from the Executive Secretary and President.  The collection, nonetheless, has value for the study of Toledo municipal services and their administration and financing for the years covered by the collection.


 Membership in the League was open to individuals and companies or organizations in the Toledo metropolitan region.  Income, however, was provided overwhelmingly by manufacturing and financial firms.  Representation on the Board of Directors, too, came largely from manufacturing firms, other civic organizations such as the Junior League and the League of Women Voters, law firms, and banks.  Notably absent, for example, were labor unions and neighborhood-oriented organizations.  However skewed toward business, the membership and leadership of the League may have been, the organization did claim to study municipal issues from a non-partisan, "civic-minded" viewpoint.


 A professional staff, consisting of an executive secretary and a varying number of assistants, produced "research reports" on a regular basis.  These reports, the major product of the organization, will probably be of greatest interest to the researcher.  Often, two versions were issued:  a draft issued only to certain members and a final product for general release.  Typically, a report presents the background to the issue in question; its legal aspects; its place within general, national trends; and ?pros? and ?cons? surrounding the issue.  A full list of subjects cannot be given here.  Usually they pertain to some project involving public financing --- a program for retarded children, property tax rates, health districts, Dutch elm disease control, city income tax, for  example, or to the structure and flow of city administration and government. Reports on the annual city budget were issued regularly.  As an organization which stressed its role in saving taxpayers from spending unnecessary dollars, we should not be surprised that the Greater Toledo Municipal League concerned itself primarily with fiscal matters.


Folder List














































Constitution and Bylaws

Board of Directors


                        1955-1957, 1961-1965


            Agenda, 1955-1969

            Memoranda to, 1955-1969

Executive Committee

            Minutes, 1956-1970

            Memoranda to, 1960-1969

Miscellaneous Committees - Minutes

Annual Meeting

            Minutes, 1963-1965, 1969

            Resolutions, 1955, 1959-1960


Memoranda to City Officials and Committees

Research Reports





Notes and Briefs, 1961-1964

Newsletters and Bulletins 

News Releases, 1956-1959

Membership Lists

Budget and Audits





Last Updated: 6/9/16