University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Roxana Cannon Arsht

ca. 1910 - 2002

Manuscript Collection Number: MSS 526
     Boxes 1-34 are housed in Library Annex
     Box 35 (oversize material) housed in the Special Collections Department 
Extent: 34 linear ft. and oversize material
Content: books, pamphlets, brochures, photographs, albums, scrapbooks, clippings, newspapers, itineraries, maps, notes, postcards, legal research files, oral histories, and ephemera
Access: Limited pending completion of processing. Material in annex requires 24-hour notice for retrieval.

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

The Honorable Roxana Cannon Arsht was born in 1915 in Wilmington, Delaware, to Samuel and Tillie Statnekoo Cannon. She received a B.A. in chemistry from Goucher College, and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1939.) After passing the Delaware bar in 1941, she was unable to find suitable employment, especially after she married another lawyer, Samuel Arsht. She was the fifth woman to pass the Delaware bar; in 1965 her daughter, Adrienne Arsht, was the 11th.

In 1962, Roxana Arsht began working as a volunteer master in the Family Court. After serving without pay for nine years, she made history when she was appointed by Gov. Russell W. Peterson as a judge of the Family Court in 1971. In 1983, she retired, and she and her husband focused on their many philanthropies.

Over the years, she gave her time and financial support to numerous charities, including Red Feather Agency, Planned Parenthood, Visiting Nurse Association, First Stage at Tower Hill School, and Winterthur museum. Among the many gifts she and her husband gave are the S. Samuel and Roxana C. Arsht Hall at the University of Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning, the Roxana Cannon Arsht Surgicenter, and the Arsht-Cannon Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation. After her husband's death from cancer in 1999, Judge Arsht became a founding member of the Cancer Care Connection at Christiana Care, Inc., where she had earlier served as the first woman member of the board of directors. Judge Arsht was also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Trailblazer Award, the First State Distinguished Service Award, the Josiah Marvel Cup, and the annual award of recognition from the National Conference for Community and Justice. In 1986, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.

Scope and Content Note

The Roxana Arsht Papers consist of 34 linear feet (and oversize) of material spanning the dates 1910-2002. The collection comprises personal and professional papers, as well as Cannon family papers. Travel files contain books, pamphlets, brochures, photographs, clippings, newspapers, itineraries, maps, notes, postcards and ephemera collected during her travels to Bermuda, the Caribbean, USSR, South America, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Africa, Mexico, England, Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Canada, France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Hawaii, Israel, China, Japan, Nevis, Petit St. Vincent, Switzerland, Vienna, Austria, Bangkok, Annapolis, New Orleans, Williamsburg, Savannah, and Charleston, as well as folders dealing with budgets and various costs of living. Legal and philanthropic files contain materials pertaining to political campaigns, mergers, court cases, oral histories, and various organizations and charitable groups such as the Academy of Lifelong Learning, Planned Parenthood, Cancer Care, the fund for women, etc.

Related Collections:

Planned Parenthood of Delaware

Contents List

Container list available in repository. Please contact Manuscripts Librarian for further assistance.

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Last modified: 01/19/11

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