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Young Women's Christian Association (Mount Holyoke College) Records, 1893-1935
8 boxes (5.1 linear ft.)
Collection number: 25.3.6 (LD 7095.5)

Abstract:
Contain constitutions, lists of members, minutes, reports, programs, publications, articles, announcements, budgets, scrapbook and photographs concerning the Mount Holyoke College chapter of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) from its inception in 1893 until 1935, when the organization was replaced by the Fellowship of Faiths. Materials document the religious and social activities of members, including their support of missionaries as well as residents of the South Hadley, Massachusetts poor farm and women and children in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Include documents and photographs taken at the Silver Bay, New York summer conferences for YWCA members.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Restrictions on use:

Use of this collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Mount Holyoke College was established in October, 1893 to encourage "the development of Christian character in its members and the prosecution of active Christian work" both on and off campus. It was modeled after similar organizations in the United States and Great Britain and affiliated with the national YWCA of the United States. Students, faculty, and alumnae could belong to the organization and members engaged in a wide range of religious, educational, and social activities. On campus, members of the group met for regular Bible study and devotional classes, conducted prayer meetings and services of worship, and sponsored lectures and talks by ministers, missionaries, and social reformers. They collected funds to support the work of missionaries ((particularly alumnae) as well as teachers and social reformers and they worked closely with members of the Student Volunteer Band, another Mount Holyoke organization comprised of students interested in engaging in becoming missionaries. From 1897-1934, the YWCA published a handbook for new students and members organized a variety of student receptions and "frolics". In 1917, YWCA members assisted maids who worked at the College by helping them find summer jobs and arranging various forms of entertainment for these women. The organization established a social and industrial issues committee in 1920 to study child labor, disarmament, and other topics and in 1925 set up a "Commuter's Club" for day students at Mount Holyoke.

Off campus, members participated in several kinds of "extension work". They visited shut-ins in South Hadley, held religious programs and Sunday school services for town residents, and provided financial help and entertainment to individuals living at the town's poor farm. Students assisted women in Holyoke, Massachusetts (many of them factory employees) by conducting Bible study, English language, sewing, cooking, music, drama and gymnasium classes and providing "wholesome forms of amusements" at the YWCA facility and the Skinner Coffeehouse, both located in Holyoke. Classes and field trips were also provided for children. In addition, members participated in YWCA conferences held at Silver Bay, New York and elsewhere.

The YWCA was the largest and most active student organization at Mount Holyoke from its inception until World War I. Membership declined after the war because of the proliferation of other student organizations at the College and a waning of interest in missionary work and religion on the part of many students and alumnae. In 1934/1935, after conducting an extensive review of religious life at the College, Mount Holyoke's administration replaced the YWCA with a new organization called the Fellowship of Faiths.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The YWCA records document the religious activities and social work of members of the organization from 1893-1935. Materials are arranged in five series: Constitutions, Lists of Members, Minutes, and Reports; Programs, Publications, Articles, and Announcements; Budgets, Scrapbooks; and Photographs.

Constitutions, Lists of Members, Minutes, and Reports (1893-1935) comprise most of the collection. For most years, members of the YWCA compiled a Statistical Record consisting of membership lists, minutes, and reports. Other records were kept in notebooks or issued as printed publications. Constitutions outline the purpose and structure of the organization and the responsibilities of its officers. Lists of faculty members from 1893-1909 and student members from 1893 through those in the Class of 1912 are recorded in a notebook. Subsequent records list the names of YWCA officers. Minutes record the discussions and decisions of the organizations' Executive Committee, Cabinet, Advisory Committee, and other units. Reports describe the annual activities of the members both on and off campus. President's Reports are on file for 1897/1898, 1900/1901-19256/1926, and 1929/1930-1933/1934. These reports sometimes include those of the General Secretary and Treasurer. There are also lists of topics discussed at religious meetings. A "Report on the Reorganization of the Religious Life at Mount Holyoke College, 1934-35" by Mary Calwell, General Secretary of the YWCA from 1933-1935, includes information about the religious needs of students as determined through a questionnaire.

Programs, Publications, Articles, and Announcements (circa 1898-circa 1935) concern many of the religious and social activities of the organization. These materials include lists of the topics and speakers at prayer meetings and lectures, descriptions of courses of Bible and mission study, and programs for worship services, receptions, and entertainments sponsored by the YWCA A program and article from 1926 concern a YWCA meeting conducted by freshmen students. There are also programs for religious conferences that members attended. Other materials encourage members to provide financial support for the activities of the organization.

Budgets (1925-1929, 1930-1931) list the estimated receipts and expenditures of the organization. These documents include the names or individuals and organizations supported by donations from YWCA members.

Scrapbooks (1902-1926) primarily contain copies of YWCA publications that are also part of Series 1 and Series 2 of this collection. These materials include President's reports, student handbooks, and programs for course, lectures, and entertainments. There are also examples of stationery and forms used by the organization and several posters, including one from 1917, during World War I, soliciting funds for the "Student Friendship War Fund".

Photographs (1899-circa 1931) are of YWCA members at Mount Holyoke or off-campus. Most of the photographs taken at the College date from circa 1923-1931 are of officers of the organization or members with "settlement house children" in Holyoke, Massachusetts. There is also a photograph of members at a conference in Northfield, Massachusetts in June, 1899. The other off-campus photographs date from 1911-circa 1931 and were taken at YWCA summer conferences held at Silver Bay, New York, on Lake George. These materials consist of formal portraits of groups of Mount Holyoke students and snapshots of participants, facilities, and the surrounding countryside. There are also several postcards and some negatives of photographs not represented by other images in the collection.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Restrictions on use:

Use of this collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Young Women's Christian Association (Mount Holyoke College) Records, Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Patricia J. Albright, 2008


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/

Language
English

Contents List
Constitutions, Lists of Members, Minutes and Reports,
1893-1935
4 Boxes

Arrangement:

Arranged Chronologically

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Constitutions, Lists of Members, Minutes, and Reports (1893-1935) comprise most of the collection. For most years, members of the YWCA compiled a Statistical Record consisting of membership lists, minutes, and reports. Other records were kept in notebooks or issued as printed publications. Constitutions outline the purpose and structure of the organization and the responsibilities of its officers. Lists of faculty members from 1893-1909 and student members from 1893 through those in the Class of 1912 are recorded in a notebook. Subsequent records list the names of YWCA officers. Minutes record the discussions and decisions of the organizations' Executive Committee, Cabinet, Advisory Committee, and other units. Reports describe the annual activities of the members both on and off campus. President's Reports are on file for 1897/1898, 1900/1901-19256/1926, and 1929/1930-1933/1934. These reports sometimes include those of the General Secretary and Treasurer. There are also lists of topics discussed at religious meetings. A Report on the Reorganization of the Religious Life at Mount Holyoke College, 1934-35 by Mary Calwell, General Secretary of the YWCA from 1933-1935, includes information about the religious needs of students as determined through a questionnaire.

Programs, Publications, Articles, and Announcements,
ca. 1898-ca. 1935
1 Box

Arrangement:

Arranged Chronologically

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Programs, Publications, Articles, and Announcements (circa 1898-circa 1935) concern many of the religious and social activities of the organization. These materials include lists of the topics and speakers at prayer meetings and lectures, descriptions of courses of Bible and mission study, and programs for worship services, receptions, and entertainments sponsored by the YWCA A program and article from 1926 concern a YWCA meeting conducted by freshmen students. There are also programs for religious conferences that members attended. Other materials encourage members to provide financial support for the activities of the organization.

Budgets,
1925-1929, 1930-1931
1 Box

Arrangement:

Arranged Chronologically

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Budgets (1925-1929, 1930-1931) list the estimated receipts and expenditures of the organization. These documents include the names or individuals and organizations supported by donations from YWCA members.

Scrapbooks,
1902-1926
2 Boxes

Arrangement:

arranged Chronologically

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Scrapbooks (1902-1926) primarily contain copies of YWCA publications that are also part of Series 1 and Series 2 of this collection. These materials include President's reports, student handbooks, and programs for course, lectures, and entertainments. There are also examples of stationery and forms used by the organization and several posters, including one from 1917, during World War I, soliciting funds for the Student Friendship War Fund.

Photographs,
1899-ca. 1931
1 Box

Arrangement:

Arranged Chronologically

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Photographs (1899-circa 1931) are of YWCA members at Mount Holyoke or off-campus. Most of the photographs taken at the College date from circa 1923-1931 are of officers of the organization or members with settlement house children in Holyoke, Massachusetts. There is also a photograph of members at a conference in Northfield, Massachusetts in June, 1899. The other off-campus photographs date from 1911-circa 1931 and were taken at YWCA summer conferences held at Silver Bay, New York, on Lake George. These materials consist of formal portraits of groups of Mount Holyoke students and snapshots of participants, facilities, and the surrounding countryside. There are also several postcards and some negatives of photographs not represented by other images in the collection.

Contents List
Constitutions, Lists of Members, Minutes, and Reports,
1893-1935


Constitution and records of meetings
1893-1896

Box 1: folder 1
Lists of meeting subjects and leaders
1893-1905

Box 1: folder 2
Lists of members (shelved in FOLIO)
1893-1909

Box 1: folder 3
Statistical Record
1894-1898

Box 1: folder 4
Records of meetings
1896-1915

Box 1: folder 5
President's Report
1898

Box 1: folder 6
Statistical Record
1898

Box 1: folder 7
Constitution and lists of members
1900-1905

Box 1: folder 8
Reports
1901-1904

Box 1: folder 9
Records of Executive Committee and Cabinet meetings
1903-1906

Box 1: folder 10
Statistical Record
1904

Box 1: folder 11
Records of Advisory Committee meetings
1903-1924

Box 2: folder 1
Annual Report
1905

Box 2: folder 2
Statistical Record
1905

Box 2: folder 3
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1906

Box 2: folder 4
Statistical Record
1906

Box 2: folder 5
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1907

Box 2: folder 6
Statistical Record
1907

Box 2: folder 7
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1908

Box 2: folder 8
Statistical Record
1908

Box 2: folder 9
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1909

Box 2: folder 10
Statistical Record
1909

Box 2: folder 11
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1910

Box 2: folder 12
"Records of the Departments"
1910

Box 2: folder 13
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1911

Box 2: folder 14
Records of the Departments
1911

Box 2: folder 15
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1912

Box 3: folder 1
Records of the Cabinet and Departments
1912

Box 3: folder 2
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1913

Box 3: folder 3
Statistical Record
1913

Box 3: folder 4
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1914

Box 3: folder 5
Records of the Cabinet and Departments
1914

Box 3: folder 6
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1915

Box 3: folder 7
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1915

Box 3: folder 8
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1916

Box 3: folder 9
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1916

Box 3: folder 10
Constitution, lists, reports (from Student Handbook)
1917

Box 3: folder 11
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1917

Box 3: folder 12
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1918

Box 3: folder 13
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1919

Box 3: folder 14
Annual Report
1920

Box 3: folder 15
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1920

Box 3: folder 16
Annual Report
1921

Box 3: folder 17
Record of Cabinet Meetings and Department Work
1921

Box 3: folder 18
Report of the President and records for Bible study
1922-1923

Box 4: folder 1
Annual Report
1923

Box 4: folder 2
Annual Reports
1925

Box 4: folder 3-4
Annual Report
1926

Box 4: folder 5
Annual Reports
1930-1931

Box 4: folder 6
Secretary's Reports
1932-1935

Box 4: folder 7
Annual Reports
1933-1934

Box 4: folder 8
"Report on the Reorganization of the Religious Life of Mount Holyoke College"
1934-1935

Box 4: folder 9
Programs, Publications, Articles, and Announcements, ca. 1898-ca. 1935


Box 5
circa 1898-1910


Box 5: folder 1
1911-1915


Box 5: folder 2
1916-1921


Box 5: folder 3
1922-ca. 1935


Box 5: folder 4
Scrapbooks, 1902-1926


Box 6
1902-1918


1918-1926


Box 7
Photographs 1899-ca. 1931


Box 8
Photographs of YMCA members at a conference in Northfield, Mass., at Mount Holyoke College, and with "settlement house children" from Holyoke, Mass.
1899, ca. 1923-ca. 1931

Box 8: folder 1
Photographs taken at YWCA summer conferences in Silver Bay, New York
1911-ca. 1931

Box 8: folder 2

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Almshouses-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Bible-Study and teaching (Higher)-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Missionaries-United States.
  • Mount Holyoke College-Organizations.
  • Mount Holyoke College--Records and correspondence.
  • Mount Holyoke College-Religious life-1893-1935.
  • Mount Holyoke College-Students.
  • Religion-Study and teaching (Higher)-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Silver Bay (New York).
  • Skinner Coffee House (Holyoke, Mass.)
  • Social work with children-Massachusetts-Holyoke.
  • Social work with women-Massachusetts-Holyoke.
  • Student activities-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Student volunteers in social service-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Women college students-Religious Life-Massachusetts-South Hadley.
  • Young Women's Christian Association (Mount Holyoke College)

Genre terms
  • Budgets.
  • Constitutions.
  • Minutes.
  • Photographs.
  • Programs.
  • Reports.
  • Scrapbooks.


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