Elizabeth Virrick Papers - 1948-1994

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Elizabeth Virrick Papers - 1948-1994


  • 1948-1994 (predominant: 1948-1968) (Creation)


11 linear feet (29 boxes)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Name of creator

Biographical history

Ray Mohl was one of the leading urban historians in the United States. Educated at Hamilton College, Yale, and NYU, where he earned his Ph.D. in History in 1967. His first book, a study of poverty and social welfare in early national New York established his reputation as pioneering urban social historian.

Mohl taught at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research on urban history in the South led to books and articles on civil rights, race relations and immigration in Miami, and Latino immigration in Alabama and other areas of the South. He did extensive research in other areas of urban American history, including the relationship between the African American and Jewish communities in Miami during the civil rights and peace movements.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The papers consist of correspondence, memos, reports, photographic prints, magazines and newspaper clippings, and relate primarily to Mrs. Virrick's extensive involvement in housing and urban issues in Coconut Grove and Miami-Dade County, and of her interest on a national level. Includes material on the founding and evolution of the Coconut Grove Citizens for Slum Clearance and the Citizens Advisory Committee and other boards on which she served.

Mrs. Virrick corresponded extensively with government officials and other influential people. Correspondents include Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Claude Pepper, Lawton Chiles, Rubin Askew, Dante Fascell, and Maurice Ferre.

The magazines and newspaper clippings were originally interfiled with the papers, but have been boxed separately for conservation purposes.

In 2015, Dr. Raymond Mohl donated an additional 14 boxes of documents to the collection.  The bulk of the documents are part of Elizabeth Virrick’s original papers and cover the same topics and years as the original donation. The rest are copies of newspaper clippings and articles from the same time period that Dr. Mohl added and annotated.  Dr. Raymond Mohl, a leading urban historian, was given access to the papers by Mrs. Virrick for his research on housing for African Americans in postwar Miami. This research was the basis for several articles and books on civil rights, housing and race relations in Miami, including, Elizabeth Virrick and the "concrete monsters”: housing reform in postwar Miami (Tequesta, no. 61, 2001).

The 2015 accural is housed in boxes 15 to 29. Box 29 holds materials that Dr. Mohl continued to collect up to 2001. It includes several drafts of Elizabeth Virrick and the "concrete monsters" : housing reform in postwar Miami for various publications, newspaper clippings on housing issues, a student paper on Virrick, notes, correspondence and annotated articles.

System of arrangement

The papers are arranged in four series:  (1) General Correspondence, 1948-197; (2) Organizations and Topics, 1949-1978; (3) Periodicals, Photographs and Newspaper Clippings 1950-circa 1979; (4) Oversize Materials, circa 1940-1979. The 2015 accural is arranged topically in boxes 15 to 29.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

The collection is open for research.

Physical access

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Languages of the material

  • English

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    Finding aids

    Acquisition and appraisal elements

    Custodial history

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Gift of her daughter, Tatiana Duttenhofer, 1991, and her granddaughter, Totsie Walton, 1995. Gift of Raymond A. Mohl, 2015.

    Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


    Related materials elements

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related archival materials

    Nine folders of photographic prints providing visual documentation of Mrs. Virrick’s work are filed in the Research Center’s photographic collection under the heading, Virrick, Elizabeth.

    Related descriptions

    Notes element

    General note

    Other Information





    Some of the documents were damaged by mildew. They have been replaced with photocopies on acid free paper

    Additional information may be found at http://historymiamiarchives.org/pdfs/1991-314.pdf

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    Description control element

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    Archivist's note

    © Copyright 2019 HistoryMiami Archives & Research Center. All rights reserved.

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