The "Maid of Cotton" beauty pageant was sponsored by the National Cotton Council, Memphis Cotton Carnival, and the Cotton Exchanges of Memphis, New York, and New Orleans from 1939-1993. The contest was held annually in Memphis, Tennessee until the National Cotton Council and Cotton Council International moved to Dallas, Texas. Beginning with the 1985 pageant (held December 1984) the competition was held in Dallas. The pageant was discontinued in 1993 due to lack of funds, a sponsor, and changes in marketing strategies.
The collection contains the records for "The Maid of Cotton" pageant (1939-1993) sponsored by the National Cotton Council, Memphis Cotton Carnival, and the Cotton Exchanges of Memphis, New York, and New Orleans. The records incloude files on participants, photographs, scrapbooks and audiovisual materials. 2013 addendum: two scrapbooks documenting the pageant and contestant Ann Dudley's participation, 1961-1962.
Maid of Cotton Records, 1939-1994, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Cotton textile industry
Pending (NMAH Acc.)
2013.3004 (NMAH Acc.)
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves. Use of negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270