Mary Coffey Papers

Identifier: 95-07

Scope and Contents

The Mary Coffey Papers consist primarily of materials related to her interests in women's rights movements and organizations. Only a few personal materials such as greeting cards (for her seventieth birthday and retirement party) and photographs of her family are included.

Coffey served for a number of years as the Soroptimist International of Nevada, legislative advocate, and several folders in her collection represent that work. She attended many women's conferences in the 1970s and 1980s; folders represent materials acquired in conjunction with those events. One in particular was very special to Mary: the "Women and the Constitution: A Bicentennial Perspective" Symposium, held in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1988. Mary's five daughters also attended with her.

Also included in the collection are a number of miscellaneous materials - pamphlets, clippings, etc., centering on Coffey's interests. There are many campaign button badges for political campaigns and for women's issues.


  • 1974-1993


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Mary Coffey was born in 1920 and came to Nevada in 1968 from Covina, California. From 1968-1990 she worked for the Nevada Department of Prisons, retiring in that year as Administrative Assistant to the Director.

Coffey has been a major leader in the Nevada State Employees Association, the National Women's Political Caucus (Nevada), Soroptimist International, and the Nevada Women's Conferences. She has served on the board of directors for many community service organizations, including the Committee to End Domestic Violence, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, Cancer Crusade, and United Fund.

Mary's community service has been recognized with many awards. For example, in 1980 she received the following: Woman of the Year award from the Carson City Business and Professional Women; Women Helping Women award from the Soroptimist International of Carson City; Women Helping Women regional award from Soroptimist; Outstanding Employee award, Nevada Department of Prisons.

In addition to actively serving on community boards she has organized a number of conferences and conventions in Nevada.

Coffey died in Reno on July 1, 2009.


1.5 Leaves (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Mary Coffey (1920-2009) was active in Nevada women's rights movements and organizations including Soroptimist International of Nevada. The collection consists primarily of materials related to her interests in women's rights movements and organizations.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Personal Materials; 2) Women's Organizations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mary Coffey in March 1995.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the photographic archives of the Special Collections Department as collection number UNRS-P1997-64.

A Part of

Nevada women's archives.


Guide to the Papers of Mary Coffey
Susan Searcy
March 1995
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)