20th-Century Collections Guide: Women's History
The Historical Society holds a significant number of collections that document women’s various contributions to, and experiences during, the 20th century. In particular, the collections relate to women's contributions to politics, arts and culture, and civil society.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive guide to HSP's manuscript collections relating to 20th-century women's history. It is meant to serve as a starting point to help users locate collections that may be of interest to them.
HSP staff is regularly adding finding aids to the website. Users should click on a collection's title to see whether a full online finding aid is available.
Archambault, Anna Margaretta, 1856-1956
Anna Margaretta Archambault papers, 1876-1945 (Collection 0011) 8 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Personal correspondence of portrait painter, miniaturist, author, and educator, is included with sketches, photos, and correspondence on her work in miniatures. Also included are correspondence and notes for Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interest in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1924), which she edited for the Art Committee of the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women, histories of the counties of Pennsylvania, and clippings and illustrations to accompany the histories.
Atiyeh, Wadeeha 1903-1973
Wadeeha Atiyeh papers , 1931-1972 (Collection MSS009) 1 boxes (0.4 linear ft.)
Wadeeha Atiyeh, a Lebanese singer, dancer, actress, writer, and storyteller, came to the United States as a young child. She was raised in Chicago by her grandparents, who maintained Middle Eastern traditions. Atiyeh studied voice under the direction of Ruth Julia Hall and made her professional debut in Chicago in 1932. Atiyeh performed traditional music, dance, and storytelling throughout the Midwest, eventually settling in New York City. In addition to a number of short stories, Atiyeh authored a Middle Eastern cookbook. The collection contains programs, reviews, publicity and public relations announcements, scripts and music from her productions, writings, correspondence, and published works.
Greenewalt, Mary Elizabeth Hallock, 1871-1950
Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt papers, 1769-1950 (Collection 0867) 39 boxes, 29 volumes, 23 flat files (18.2 linear ft.)
Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt (1871-1950) was a musician, inventor, lecturer, writer and political activist. Born in Beirut to Sara (Tabet) Hallock, descendant of an aristocratic Syrian family, and Samuel Hallock, a U.S. consul, she was educated in Beirut and Philadelphia. Hallock graduated from Philadelphia’s Musical Academy in 1893, and in 1897 studied piano in Vienna with Theodore Leschetizky. In 1898 she married Dr. Frank L. Greenewalt, with whom she had one son, Crawford, born in 1902. A pianist noted for her interpretation of Chopin, Mary Greenewalt began in the early 1900s to investigate how gradated colored lighting might enhance the emotional expression of music. By 1920 she had obtained the first of many patents covering a color organ designed to project a sequence of colored lighting arranged for specific musical programs. In combining light and color as a single performance Greenewalt believed she had created a new, fine art which she named “Nourathar,” or essence of light. Although awarded eleven patents, Greenewalt spent a number of years pursuing patent infringements, finding recourse in the courts in 1932 with a judgment in her favor. Greenewalt’s professional activities also included lecturing on music and serving as a delegate to the National Women’s Party, which was instrumental in winning women’s suffrage. After retiring from the concert and lecture stage, Greenewalt published Nourathar: The Fine Art of Light-Color Playing in 1946.
This collection offers many examples of Greenewalt’s creative processes. Correspondence details the development and manufacture of her color console and the legal battles surrounding her patents. A photo album also documents Greenewalt’s creation of her light color console. In addition, there is a draft autobiography, a family history, copies of patents, miscellaneous personal correspondence, blue prints and drawings, concert programs, news clippings, lecture and radio broadcasts manuscripts, scrapbooks, two small volumes in Arabic, and numerous brochures and pamphlets pertaining to electrical lamps and theatre lighting. Artifacts include Greenewalt’s recording of Chopin made in 1920, a gold medal awarded in 1926, copper printing plates, and experimental, painted materials.
Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers
Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers records, 1904-2004 (Collection 3085) 15 boxes 15 volumes (9 linear ft.)
The Lantern and Lens Gild was established as the Drexel Camera Club in 1905 during Mathilde Weil’s photography class at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University). Led by Margaret Bodine, the ladies met on a weekly basis at 24 South 17th Street and later 24 South 18th Street for lectures, classes, and exhibitions. They changed their name to The Photographers for a year before officially naming the group the Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers in 1912. The women traveled throughout the city and surrounding area to photograph people, animals, landscapes, buildings and many other subjects. They hosted many visiting artists and subscribed to the leading photography publications of the time. The Bryn Mawr Art Center and the Franklin Institute represent just two of the many places that exhibited their photographs. The women also held photography competitions within the Gild and awarded four cups each year to honor the artistry of members. The Lantern and Lens Gild moved into the New Century Guild Building at 1307 Locust Street in 1946 in order to expand their facilities. They would remain here for almost twenty years, before discontinuing activities and club elections in 1965. The Lantern and Lens Gild of Women Photographers Records span from 1904 to 2004. The collection is rich in images of the group’s outings; their works; meeting minutes; and twentieth century photography magazines. The materials have been divided into three series – Gild papers, Printed materials and ephemera, and Images and artifacts. The majority of the collection is photography publications and images with a lesser portion devoted to manuscript material.
Oakley, Violet, 1874-1961
Violet Oakley sketchbooks, 1908-1937 (Collection 3336). 7 Boxes (15.5 linear feet)
Sketchbooks containing drawings by Violet Oakley in charcoal, chalk, and ink. Subjects include League of Nations meetings, Florence, Lake Geneva, and other sites in Europe. Also includes paintings (gouache?) on board for Pageant of 1908. Also includes copies of "Divine Presence at the League of Nations," a 1937 pamphlet by Oakley discussing her painting of the same name.
Plastic Club records, 1887-2007 (Collection 3106) 52 boxes 47 volumes (16 linear ft.)
The Plastic Club is the oldest club for women artists still in existence in the United States. It was founded in 1897 in Philadelphia and has included many illustrious members, such as Emily Sartain, Violet Oakley, Blanche Dillaye, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Cecila Beaux, and many others. It has sponsored exhibitions, lectures, and classes, and provided a place for women artists to meet and exchange ideas. The club has also played an active civic role over the years, for example conducting art classes for servicemen during World War II and donating art supplies to underprivileged children. Since 1909, the club has been housed at 247 South Camac Street in Center City. The building, which was designated a Historic Building in 1962, consists of two houses that were built in 1824 and joined to provide a large studio/gallery on the second floor. Since 1991, the club has admitted men, who now form close to half the membership. The historical records of the Plastic Club go back to its founding and richly document the club’s activities and members over most of the 20th century. The records include board minutes; annual reports; correspondence; exhibition programs, notices, and reviews; photos from events; directories of club members; files about early members’ artistic activities; scrapbooks of clippings; early sketchbooks and preparatory drawings for a set of stained glass windows; maintenance reports about the building; and a recent graduate thesis about the history of the club that focuses on the building. The Plastic Club’s website (www.plasticclub.org) contains a great deal of information on the club’s history, members, and current events.
Rose Quong papers, 1923-1973 (Collection MSS132) 7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Rose Quong was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of Chinese parents. She worked as an actress in Australia, England, and France before coming to the United States in the 1930s, where she settled in New York City. She continued her acting career in America and became a successful lecturer. The collection includes diaries, script, scrapbooks, and audiotapes of Quong reading and of songs translated by Quong.
Theatre of the Living Arts (Organization: Philadelphia, Pa.)
Theatre of the Living Arts records, 1964-1971 (Collection 3378) 38 boxes 5 volumes (36 linear ft.)
The Theatre of the Living Arts (TLA) was the brainchild of two local women, Celia Silverman and Jean Goldman, determined to establish a regional theatre in the Philadelphia area. Their goal was to develop a multipurpose performing arts center to include film, dance, and music. At the time of its purchase in 1964 the building that would house the TLA was a derelict movie theater at 332-36 South Street. Together with Anthony Checchia and Howard Berkowitz, the women formed a nonprofit corporation which operated the TLA, the Philadelphia Council for the Performing Arts (PCPA). The first performance season began January 1965 with a three-week run of "Galileo." Some of the earliest members of the resident acting company included Judd Hirsh, Sally Kirkland, Morgan Freeman, Estelle Parsons and Ron Liebman. This collection includes administrative records, 1965-1970, mailing list information, play bills/ programs, publicity, scripts, royalty records and invoices.
The Weeders (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Weeders records, 1912-2004 (Collection 2009.064) 20 boxes (8 linear ft.)
This collection contains the organizational records of the Weeders, a ladies' gardening club. The records include admission committee records, 1934-2004; committee minutes and treasurer's reports, 1914-2004; flower show records, 1932-1989; horticultural essays presented by members; programs, photographs, albums, and scrapbooks; documentation on the club's history; and VHS tapes of the cable television program "You and Your Environment." The archives consist of five types of records: minutes of the board, 1921-1976; correspondence of the officers and director, 1916-1964; financial records, 1922-1972; consignment records, 1933-1964; and scrap books and published catalogues, 1926-1950.
American Association of University Women. Pennsylvania Division
Women's University Club, Philadelphia Branch of the American Association of University Women records, 1923-1995 (Collection 2138) 46 boxes 57 volumes (24 linear ft.)
The American Association of University Women incorporated in 1899 "for the purpose of uniting alumnae of different institutions for practical educational work, for the collection and publication of statistical and other information concerning education, and in general for the maintenance of high standards of education." Membership is open to women holding approved degrees from institutions accepted by the association. The Philadelphia Branch, also known as the College Club of Philadelphia, was recognized by the association in 1886. Minutes and correspondence of various committees within the A.A.U.W. including: the executive board, membership, admissions, art, bicentennial, civic house, legislative, reorganization/relocation, fellowship, social and economic issues, status of women, steering and tea committees. Statements, tax related materials, personnel records, time sheets, journals, ledgers, cashbooks, and bank account books give information on the financial aspects of the organization. The remaining part of the archives is devoted to conferences, publicity, and printed materials and include: press releases, publicity calendars, clippings, the Bulletin, and general director's letters.
Campbell, Jane, d. 1928
Jane Campbell scrapbook collection, 1890-1921 (Collection V71) 104 boxes (24.5 linear ft.)
Jane Campbell contributed many articles on the history of Philadelphia places to the Philadelphia Record, a number of them about sites on Chestnut and Market Streets. This collection consists of the more than 100 scrapbooks she compiled for her research. The collection includes images related to Philadelphia, particularly Center City streets. Neighborhoods represented are Frankford, Germantown, Manayunk and Roxborough, as well as views of the Delaware River and along Delaware Avenue. Many of the Center City sites documented are no longer extant. Other subjects include cemeteries, fire departments, businesses, historic houses, residences and churches. Other organizations, arranged under the topic of philanthropy, are also included, such as the Home for Aged Couples, The Burd Orphan Asylum and the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. Events depicted include city parades and celebrations as well as war-related organizations and activities, such as the Red Cross, Liberty Loans, aid to Armenians and peace promotions prior to US intervention. Individuals also make up a small portion of the collection, including "Renowned Ladies" such as Agnes Repplier and Mrs. Rudolph Blankenburg. The collection consists of photographs taken by Campbell as well as black and white prints, postcards and captioned newspaper photos. There are also a number of newspaper articles, clippings from reports and brochures and some correspondence. Campbell's articles for the Record are also included.
Dallas, Constance H. 1902-
Constance H. Dallas papers, 1951-1956 (Collection 1984)35 boxes 6 volumes ( 19 linear ft.)
Constance H. Dallas was the first woman to be elected to the Philadelphia City Council where she represented the 8th district (21st and 22nd Wards) composed of Germantown, West Oak Lane and Chestnut Hill. The papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, and other printed matter, published materials, clippings, and miscellanea and consist of six series: general files, having to do with council activities as well as papers on the Menniger Foundation, the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women, and the World Affairs Council; committees of Council, largest of the series, consisting of material prepared for or used by the councilmanic committees, especially the committees of Public Welfare and of Public Health on which Dallas serves, together with papers on the Public Health Code of 1955 drafted by the Public Health Committee; administration, relating to various government departments including: City Planning, Police, Public Welfare, and Streets; political papers, files generated during Dallas's first successful campaign for City Council and its aftermath, 1951-1952, the election files for 1953, and for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1954; constituency affairs, includes material relating to the 8th district.; reports of various city departments.
Caroline Katzenstein papers, circa 1850-1965 (Collection Am .8996) 3 boxes (0.9 linear ft.)
Caroline Katzenstein (1888-1968) was a leader in the Pennsylvania suffrage movement. She served in official positions for the Equal Franchise Society of Philadelphia, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and the National Woman’s Party. After women won the vote in 1920, Katzenstein continued to fight for women’s rights and lobbied tirelessly for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment for over twenty years. In 1919, Katzenstein used her expertise in publicity to aid the Women Teachers Organization of Philadelphia in their efforts to increase salary for women teachers. Additionally, Katzenstein was a successful insurance agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Society of New York, the Massachusetts Bonding and Insurance Company (Philadelphia Branch), and the Philadelphia Life Insurance Company.The Caroline Katzenstein papers document Katzenstein’s participation in the suffrage movement from 1909 to 1921, her efforts to help women obtain equal pay for equal work in the 1920s, her tireless promotion of the Equal Rights Amendment from 1923 to 1965, and her career as an insurance agent (1909-circa 1930).
League of Women Voters of Philadelphia
League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records, 1920-1984 (Collection 1940) 89 boxes (39.8 linear ft.)
The League of Women Voters (LWV) was established in 1919 to help educate women on the civic responsibilities of voting. In addition to its primary focus of educating the public during elections, the LWV quickly extended its program, taking positions on several national issues, especially the legal status of women; foreign policy, like the institution of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan; as well as the on-going debate over the taxation of margarine. Locally, chapters were involved in public issues such as child care, city management, housing, public education and public health. The Philadelphia chapter communicated with the national and state League organizations, politicians, civic leaders, and organizations. The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records include administrative documents and organizational papers for the Philadelphia branch of the League of Women Voters. The collection, which dates from 1920 to 1984, consists of materials from the national, state, and local branches of LWV. In particular, there are financial records, membership lists, publications, program materials, meeting minutes, correspondence and memoranda, newspaper clipping scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials. These records document the organization's administration as well as its outreach activities, and document the development of an important women's rights organization with a strong commitment to educating women on political issues and the importance of voting.
Lewis, Dora Kelly, b. 1862
Dora Kelly Lewis correspondence, 1884-1921 (Collection 2137) 2 boxes (0.75 linear ft.)
Dora Kelly Lewis served actively in the women's suffrage movement. She became an executive member of the National Women's Party in 1913. She served as the chairman of finance in 1918 and as the national treasurer in 1919. In 1920, she headed the ratification committee. The correspondence of Dora Kelly Lewis consists of encouraging and endearing letters from her husband, Lawrence Lewis, 1884-1903, reporting on his legal practice and commenting on Dora's suffragist activities. The letters, 1914-1921, are, for the most part, from Dora to her children, some, from prison, reassuring her family that her actions were not illegal, and to her mother. There are a few typed, diary pages. These letters document her efforts in gaining franchise for women.
National Organization for Women. Philadelphia Chapter
National Organization for Women. Philadelphia Chapter records, 1968-1977 (Collection 2054) 8 boxes (3 linear ft.)
The National Organization for Women was founded in 1966 in Washington D. C. to help achieve equality for women in all areas of life. In January of 1968, two women active in the national organization founded the Philadelphia Chapter. These records of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women include newsletters of NOW chapters, circulars, publications from the National, Pennsylvania and Chapter offices. Annual files concern subjects such as child care, employment, abortion legislation, and media.
Randall, Natalie Saxe (1923-1999)
Natalie Saxe Randall papers, 1923-1998 (Collection 3466) 45 boxes (19 linear ft.)
The collection includes the typed incoming and outgoing correspondence (originals and retained copies, respectively) and other papers, 1923-1998, documenting the life and executive political work of Natalie Saxe Randall, life-long Philadelphian, Democratic party organizer, director of Joseph Clark and Richardson Dilworth's reform Committee for Philadelphia 1947-1956, executive assistant to Richardson Dilworth during his terms as reform mayor of Philadelphia 1956-1962 and as president of the Philadelphia Board of Education 1965-1970, and thereafter as a brilliant Harrisburg lobbyist for Lincoln College and a consortium of Philadelphia cultural institutions.
Rector, Justine J.
Justine J. Rector papers, 1870-2000 (Collection 3088) 14 boxes (5.5 linear ft.)
Justine J. Rector (b. 1927) has been an active and prolific journalist and teacher in Philadelphia and in Washington, D. C. since the late 1960s. She has involved herself in promoting civil rights, fostering high standards in journalism, and in documenting and improving race relations, particularly in Philadelphia. In addition to her academic career, which included jobs at Temple University, Howard University, and Columbia University, Rector has also worked as a freelance reporter throughout the Philadelphia and Washington D.C. areas. She founded the African American Male Resource Center, an organization designed to educate the public on the “plight of the Black male in America.”
The collection spans her career as a journalist for newspapers in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. The vast majority of the collection is made up of subject files collected by Rector in the course of her research on Black history, her professional activities as a Black journalist, and her participation in a variety of civic organizations and conferences. There is also a large group of newspaper clippings covering the period of the civil rights era in Philadelphia, through the 1980s debate of Ebonics in public schools. Of note is a large amount of material dating back to the origins of Black journalism in Pennsylvania in the 1870s, which includes a historical listing of Black journalists in Pennsylvania.
Women's Way of Philadelphia
Women's Way of Philadelphia records, 1975-1996 (Collection 3434) 43 boxes (42 linear ft.)
Women's Way of Philadelphia was founded in 1977 by combining seven women's advocacy agencies. As taken from the organization’s website, Women’s Way is a “non-profit organization that raises money and public awareness to fight for and achieve women’s equality, safety, self-sufficiency and reproductive freedom through women-centered funding, advocacy and education.” It serves the region of southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. The collection dates from 1974 to 1996, though the bulk of the material is from 1977 to 1988. The records include articles of incorporation, board and annual meeting materials, annual reports, financial records, administrative files, and records of fundraising efforts (campaigns, dinners, concerts, and other events) and grant-giving (applicants, grantees).
Civic Club of Philadelphia
Civic Club of Philadelphia records, 1893- 1957 (Collection 1813) 1 box 61 volumes (8 linear ft.)
The Civic Club of Philadelphia, organized in 1894, consisted of prominent Philadelphia women who sought to promote "by education and active cooperation a higher public spirit and better public order." Initially the club was organized into four departments, Municipal Government, Education, Social Service, and Art, each of which operated somewhat autonomously and created its own committees or task forces. The Education Department had committees on public schools, free libraries, and free kindergartens and the Municipal Government Department included committees on sanitation, civil service reform, and police patrons. Despite its interest in social and political reform, the club refused on several occasions to take part as "disfranchised citizens" in meetings of the Anti-Spoils League and the National Civil Service Reform Convention. By the 1920's, after the passage on the suffrage amendment, the club structure changed, the Departments were abandoned, and the committees reduced in number and given new, more limited charges. In 1959, the membership voted the Club out of existence and transferred its assets to other civic organizations.
Included in the records are: director's minutes, 1899-1959; minutes of the general meetings, 1893-1948, 1959, primarily recording addresses to the membership; and minutes of the Art Department, 1894-1903, reflecting interest in free art exhibitions at Philadelphia museums, summer and community concerts, as well as parks and playgrounds. There are also published annual reports, 1894-1935, including the constitution, by-laws, lists of officers and members, and financial summaries. Published bulletins and calendars, 1907-1959, give summaries, often monthly, of club activities. Also included are pamphlets and publications, 1894-1948; clippings, 1894-1903; a fiftieth anniversary volume, including lists of officers, 1944; and a volume containing four memorial addresses for distinguished members: Alice Lippincott, Anna Hallowell, Mary Channing Wister (Mrs. Owen Wister), and Sarah Yorke Stevenson (Mrs. Cornelius Stevenson).
Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation
Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania Foundation records, 1914-1980 (Collection 3263) 62 boxes (70 linear ft.)
Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania was a volunteer organization of women which began in 1914, when World War I made foreign and local relief necessary and at which time there was no Red Cross Chapter in Philadelphia. Its purpose, according to the Charter of Incorporation is "to carry on both at home and abroad, emergency and relief work for the benefit of the military forces and the civilian populations of the United States and of their Allies." In World War I the Emergency was the first organization in Philadelphia to forward relief supplies to the military and civilian forces of the Allies and throughout the War sent millions of dollars in money and supplies for overseas relief, having its own distributing centers in each country. In 1917 branches were organized throughout Pennsylvania.
In World War II the Emergency Aid again forwarded relief supplies to the Allies and rendered services for the military personnel of the United States, such as distributing supplies, operating canteens and recreation rooms, and provided housing and information services for enlisted men and women. The organization assigned volunteers to draft boards, hospitals, and numerous other war relief agencies and sold over $68,060,678 worth of war bonds. Throughout the war years and in peacetime, a concurrent local welfare program was carried on, including follow-up care for infantile paralysis victims, unemployment relief, supplemental meals for school children, emergency help and clothing for individuals and families, and help for the disabled, the sick, and the underprivileged. The collection includes monthly bulletins (1928-1960), newsletters/bulletins (1918-1978), bylaws (1943, 1956), World War I printed reports, membership and dues cards (1969-1970), personnel records, financial information (1970s), fundraising (1970s), special events (1970s), and charitable outreach projects (1970s). Also included are a scrapbook, published books, photographs, certificates, ribbons, phonograph records with radio interviews from World War II.
Indigent Widows' and Single Women's Society/Ralston House
Indigent Widows' and Single Women's Society/Ralston House records, 1817-1985 (Collection 3099) 63 boxes (25.5 linear ft.)
Founded in 1817 by Sarah Ralston, the Indigent Widows' and Single Women's Society represented the first charitable organization in Philadelphia exclusively devoted to the needs of the elderly. Ralston recognized that many women faced destitution in their old age and, as a result, often spent the final years of their lives in the almshouse. The goal of the Asylum was to provide a decent home life for those born of the middle class and higher, but who fell into less economically advantaged positions at the close of their lives. While the home was non-sectarian, the Managers were interested in attracting a resident of high personal character, the traits of whom, in their view, typically belonged to members of the Protestant Christian sects. Over the years the admissions policies grew increasingly democratic. With the merger with the Tilden Home for Aged Couples, men and couples were granted entrance to the home. With changing times also came a change in the corporate name. In 1964, the Indigent Widows' and Single Women's Society dropped the word indigent from its name to convey a more contemporary value system and to offer a greater sense of dignity to those in the home. In 1973, to better reflect the home's mixed gender constituency, and to simultaneously honor its founder Sarah Ralston, the institution changed its name to the Ralston House. Finally, in 1985 the mission of the Ralston House changed from a residential care community to a community health facility. Addressing the vital needs of the elderly remains its mission today.
The collection includes: Board of Managers minutes, 1817-1982; Incorporation, Constitution, By-Laws and Annual Reports, 1871-1971; Board correspondence; Physical Building files; Admissions files, 1817-1954; Visiting Committee records, 1826, 1836-1978; and Financial records. Unprocessed additions include 1 linear foot of admissions records, circa 1940-circa 1960; 16 financial volumes, 1817-1965; and a bound volume of resident agreements, 1937-1951. Some materials are restricted.
Langman, Ida K. (Ida Kaplan), 1904-1991
Ida K. Langman scrapbook, 1919-1956 (Collection Am .0877) 1 volume (0.3 linear ft.)
Ida Kaplan was a student at the South Philadelphia High School for Girls. Book of mementos, including autographs and photographs of classmates and teachers, invitations, newspaper clippings, etc., as well as photographs and mementos of a trip to Washington.
Lloyd, Eleanor Morris
Mrs. Stacy B. Lloyd papers on American Red Cross's Allied Prisoners of War Food Packing Service, 1940-1945 (Collection 3467) 2 boxes ( 0.7 linear ft.)
Mrs. Stacy B. (Eleanor Morris) Lloyd, who lived in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, served as the chairman of the Red Cross Prisoner of War Food Packaging Center in Philadelphia during World War II. This small yet remarkable collection of papers relates to her work in which she oversaw the local Red Cross facility that produced hundreds of care packages over several years that were sent to Allied prisoners of War in Europe and Japan. The collection includes letters, dozens of photographs showing everything from the women workers to the contents of the care packages, and many clippings pertaining to the Red Cross and prisoners of war. In addition, there are five photographs that are mounted behind glass.
National League for Woman's Service
National League for Woman's Service records, 1917-1920 (Collection 2136) 2 boxes (0.8 linear ft.)The National League for Woman's Services was the result of a study done by Grace Parker in 1916 on the work of British women during World War I. After completing her observations, she returned to the United States to organize the American version of what she saw. The league was organized in Washington, D.C., 1917, "with the object of establishing through the country, state branches to maintain a Bureau of Registration and Information, under which Bureau organizations may enroll, to be called upon for service by the Government in case of need." The league called for women to enlist their talents such as sewing, skilled labor, and arsenal work as appropriate to each committee. Some of the committees include: War Hospital Library committee, Comfort Kit committee (sending sweaters, socks and other homemade items), Musical Records and Games committee, Canteen committee, Membership committee, Belgian Relief committee, French War Relief committee, British committee.
The collection includes minutes, 1917-1920, reporting on provisions sent to soldiers, American Red Cross medical volunteer service, instructions to civilians and soldiers, Liberty Loan and Victory Loan Campaigns, and other fund raising efforts; membership lists; Liberty Loan Campaign information; and printed materials on the roles played by the league and its activities and on League for Woman's Service outside the United States.
New Century Trust
New Century Trust records, circa 1854-2004 (Collection 3097) 103 boxes, 73 volumes, 3 flat files (49.7 linear ft.)
The New Century Trust was founded in 1893 as the incorporated body of the New Century Working Woman’s Guild. Eliza Sproat Turner (1826-1903), a progressive women’s activist, helped create both organizations. Over several decades, the trust oversaw and provided financial support for the guild’s activities for women in the workforce, such as evening classes and lectures. For many women, the guild provided a haven away from the stresses of work, a place where they could obtain low-cost meals, sleeping accommodations, and even emergency financial assistance. In 1887, the guild began publishing a newspaper written by and for members, the Journal of Women’s Work, which offered event calendars, advice columns, short stories, and poems. It also eventually formed its own library, gymnasium, and a variety of internal committees on which the members could serve. In 1895, the guild shortened its name to The New Century Guild and became a member of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of Pennsylvania.
The records of the New Century Trust include their own and mostly those of the New Century Guild and its predecessor, New Century Working Women’s Guild. Spanning from the mid 1800s to the early 2000s are board and committee meeting minutes, administrative files, membership materials including members’ information cards,financial records, photographs, artifacts, clippings, and ephemera.
Pennsylvania Railroad Women's Division for War Relief papers, 1916-1919 (Collection Am .2999) 2 volumes (0.29 linear ft.)
The Pennsylvania Railroad Women's Division for War Relief began as a chapter of the Pennsylvania Women's Division for Preparedness, and changed its name when the United States entered World War I in 1917. The division included women employees and relatives of employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Men were also invited to rejoin the renamed organization. The division had eight departments. This collection mainly contains records of Department 7, which was responsible for hospital equipments and comfort kits, and includes correspondence, reports, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, photographs, notes, financial records, and other items.
Philadelphia Federation of Women's Clubs and Allied Organizations, Inc.
Philadelphia Federation of Women's Clubs and Allied Organizations, Inc. (PFWC) records, 1943-1998 (Collection 3050) 6 boxes (2.2 linear ft.)
The Philadelphia Federation of Women’s Clubs and Allied Organizations, Inc., was organized in 1922 and was affiliated with the Pennsylvania Federation of Women’s Clubs, which had been in existence since 1895. Its objectives, as stated in its Charter and By-Laws, were “to unite Women’s Clubs and other organized groups of women existing in Philadelphia and adjacent territory for purposes of mutual benefit and to promote their common interests in civic, educational and moral measures which make for individual and community welfare.” The clubs constituting the federation had varying objectives, but all aimed to serve some segment of the community. The federation made it possible for them to join together for shared agendas and for a stronger voice beyond their individual memberships. The presidents of the clubs formed the backbone of the federation’s operation under the guidance of its board and elected officers. The records of the organization are concentrated in banking and other financial activities associated with managing its affairs. There is also substantial material on a public forum presented by the federation in the midst of World War II to consider planning for postwar U.S. world positioning.
Philadelphia Friendship Fete
Philadelphia Friendship Fete records, 1929-1982 (Collection 3074) 2 boxes 5 volumes (1.7 linear ft.)
The Philadelphia Friendship Fete, a joint effort of various Philadelphia area women’s organizations, began in 1929. Over seventy clubs attended the first Fete. The purpose of the group was to promote friendship among Philadelphia area women’s clubs, to recognize and honor area women, nationally and internationally. This collection contains Advisory Council minutes, scrapbooks and the Golden Chain of Friendship. Minute books begin in 1931 and end in 1982. Scrapbooks contain programs, publicity and photographs relating to the forty-four Friendship Fete luncheons which were held over the period from 1929 to 1982.
South Philadelphia Women's Liberty Loan Committee
South Philadelphia Women's Liberty Loan Committee records, 1917-1919 (Collection 0217) 4 boxes (1.4 linear ft.)
Corinne Keen Freeman (b. 1869) was the chairperson of the South Philadelphia Women’s Committee, a local branch of the National Woman’s Liberty Loan Committee that was organized in 1917 under the auspices of the national War Loan Organization. During World War I, the War Loan Organization oversaw the sales and publicity of Liberty Loans, which enabled the United States government to finance various aspects of the war by borrowing money on interest from the American people. The South Philadelphia Women’s Committee was composed of several smaller committees that targeted specific groups within the community for loan subscriptions. The committee’s headquarters was located at 329 South Broad Street. During the period of 1917 to 1919 there were four Liberty Loan drives and a final Victory Loan drive. The materials in this collection consist of Corinne Keen Freeman’s correspondence, the administrative papers of the South Philadelphia Women’s Liberty Loan Committee, printed materials, ephemera, and photographs from the fourth Liberty Loan drive in 1918 and the final Victory Loan drive in 1919. The correspondence in the collection provides a descriptive account of the activities of the Women’s Committee, while ward and committee reports offer a quantitative record of their loan sales within the South Philadelphia community. Ephemera and several photographs of Corinne Keen Freeman and the members of the South Philadelphia Women’s Liberty Loan Committee are also included in the collection.
Women's Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Women's Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals records, 1870-1970
(Collection 3156) 14 boxes (30 linear ft.)
Records of the Women's SPCA, which was formed in 1869 as an auxiliary to the men's organization and was incorporated in 1870. Originally the WSPCA's purpose was to provide for the inspection of and care of horses. Materials include photographs, correspondence, annual reports, minutes, their publication (The Guardian), newspaper clippings, business records, and other printed matter.