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Rhoda Elizabeth McCulloch Papers, 1884-1978 (Bulk: 1915-1944)
4 boxes (1.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 98

Abstract:
Editor; YWCA worker; Women's rights advocate; Pacifist. Papers include McCulloch's published writings and notes on education, religion, social progress, working women, marriage and the women's movement; speeches; biographical material; memorabilia; photographs; a scrapbook kept by McCulloch's mother; and writings by close friend and pacifist Henrietta Roelofs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Rhoda McCulloch's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Rhoda McCulloch may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
Rhoda McCulloch, undated

Rhoda McCulloch, undated

Rhoda Elizabeth McCulloch was born October 17, 1884 in Fremont, Ohio, to Rollin Smiley and Fannie Sargent (Wise) McCulloch. McCulloch graduated from Fremont High School in 1902. While attending Oberlin College (1906-10), McCulloch first joined the YWCA, eventually becoming President of the campus Association. A Latin and Greek major, she earned her BA in 1910.

McCulloch studied at the YWCA National Training School in New York City for the 1910-11 academic year. She served as General Secretary (chief executive) of the Colorado Springs YWCA from 1911 to 1913, then moved to the national YWCA staff at its headquarters in New York City. McCulloch started as a Special Worker in the Department of Conventions and Conferences (1913-14), moving from there to the Publications Department, where she would remain until retirement. In Publications, McCulloch worked her way up from Special Worker (1914-15) to Editorial Secretary (1916-18) to Editor (1918-23) to Editor-in-Chief of publications in 1923. In this capacity McCulloch edited the YWCA's monthly magazine The Womans Press* and oversaw production of a large catalog of technical materials and pamphlets for the Association use as well as a catalog of general interest titles. Retirement tributes cite her "spacious and all-embracing" purpose, "social vision, dynamic faith," and "great powers as an interpreter."

From 1922 to 1927 McCulloch and E.C. Carter shared executive duties for the Conference on the Christian Way of Life, later known as The Inquiry. A national organization, The Inquiry sought to foster discussion on "industrial, racial, and international problems in the hope of discovering whether there is a modern Christian way of living…."

McCulloch's activities in the 1930s and 40s included work for the World Alliance for International Friendship Through Religion, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, the National Conference on the Cause and Cure of War, and the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations. McCulloch was on the editorial board of Reinhold Niebuhr's "bi-weekly journal of Christian opinion," Christianity in Crisis, from its founding in 1941 until 1948, and a contributing editor until 1951.

McCulloch retired from the post of Editor-in-Chief at the YWCA in 1944, but remained involved in the organization, chairing the planning for the 1946 and 1949 National Conventions, and planning the five-week International Study Conference on Women in World Reconstruction, a special project for the YWCA's Foreign Division that took place in the summer of 1948. She also served as Secretary of YWCA's Constitution and Membership Commissions.

McCulloch shared her home in New York City and a "spinster's shack" at 23 Talmadge Hill Rd. in New Canaan, Connecticut, with Henrietta Roelofs of the national YWCA staff. Roelofs was the daughter of George and Mary Dykema Roelofs of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned a BA from Lake Erie College in 1906 and then attended the YWCA precursor organization's Secretarial Training Institute. She joined the YWCA of the U.S.A. Home Department staff in 1908. From then until her retirement in 1939, Roelofs worked in various capacities for the National Association.

Roelofs and McCulloch shared many interests. Like McCulloch, Roelofs was a member of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War and she was also active in the League of Nations Association. These two avid gardeners and cat lovers welcomed friends and family to New Canaan. After Roelofs' death in 1942, another YWCA staffer, Lazelle Alway, lived with McCulloch until McCulloch's death on March 15, 1978, in New Canaan.

* During McCulloch's tenure, the name of the YWCA's publishing house and magazine, Womans Press, was spelled without an apostrophe. After McCulloch's retirement, the apostrophe was added--Woman's Press.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Rhoda McCulloch Papers consist of 1.75 linear ft. and are primarily related to her professional and public life, dating from 1884 to 1978. Types of materials include correspondence, notes, speeches, photographs, press releases, reports, articles and other writings, and memorabilia.

The bulk of the papers date from 1915 to 1944 and focus on McCulloch's work for the National Conference on the Christian Way of Life/The Inquiry and the YWCA of the U.S.A. Major topics include the role of women and of religion in society, and the social justice activities of religious organizations and individuals in the 1910s through the 1940s.

McCulloch's output as a writer and editor comprises roughly half of the collection. Included are nearly complete files of publications and reports put out by the National Conference on the Christian Way of Life/The Inquiry. In addition to copies of pamphlets and books by McCulloch, her papers also include a nearly complete file of her articles and editorials for the YWCA of the U.S.A.'s monthly magazine, 1918-44.

Materials about Henrietta Roelofs consist primarily of her speeches and writings.


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Rhoda McCulloch's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Rhoda McCulloch may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

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

Rhoda Elizabeth McCulloch Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Rhoda Elizabeth McCulloch began donating her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1948. After her death in 1978, additional materials came from her executor Lazelle Alway. Additional materials came to the Sophia Smith Collection with the Records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2008


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/
Language
English

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, CORRESPONDENCE, AND PHOTOGRAPHS



General
1911-78

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence
1955, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
Death and estate: correspondence with Lazelle Alway
1975-78

Box 1: folder 3
McCulloch Family genealogy
1892, 1953, n.d.

Box 1: folder 4
Notebooks with favorite quotations, etc.
1908-13, n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
Oberlin College Alumni citation
1953

Box 1: folder 6
Photographs
circa 1884-circa 1940s

Box 1: folder 7-8
Scrapbook kept by Rhoda McCulloch's mother
circa 1884-circa 1938

Box 1: folder 9
SERIES II. ORGANIZATIONS



Christianity and Crisis
1941, n.d.

Box 1: folder 10
National Conference on the Christian Way of Life/The Inquiry

[see also Writings]




General
1924-29

Box 1: folder 11
"A Historical Study of Group Discussion Principles and Techniques Developed by the Inquiry" by Richard Pfaff Douthit, chapters III-VII: Ph.D. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1961
1922-1933

Box 1: folder 12-16
Occasional Papers [incomplete]


Box 1
Vol I
1925

Box 1: folder 17
Vol II-V
1926-29

Box 2: folder 1-4
Miscellaneous publications
1925-29

Box 2: folder 5
YWCA of the U.S.A.

[see also Writings]



Box 2
Prayer book with signatures of National Training School classmates
1911

Box 2: folder 6
Lecture notes
n.d.

Box 2: folder 7
Notes on a discussion on the place and contribution of women to society, Madras, India
Nov 1936

Box 2: folder 8
Notes on various meetings and conferences
1937

Box 2: folder 9
SERIES III. SPEECHES AND WRITINGS



Speeches



"Women Take to Politics," WEVD Radio
6 Mar 1933

Box 2: folder 10
"A Working Philosophy for YWCA Leaders," YWCA National Association of Employed Officers convention
1936

Box 2: folder 11
Writings



Miscellaneous
1927-47, n.d.

Box 2: folder 12
"The Kingdom of Our Thoughts," #8 in The Inch Library, National Board YWCA
1915

Box 2: folder 13
"Little Talks on Large Topics," The Womans Press
1930

Box 2: folder 14
"Loyalty and Freedom," General Department of United Church Women, National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
circa 1954

Box 2: folder 15
"The Question of 'Recognizing the Union'," National Conference on the Christian Way of Life
1924

Box 2: folder 16
"The Question of the 'Right to Strike'," National Conference on the Christian Way of Life
1924

Box 3: folder 1
"Questions for a Young Woman of To-day," National Board YWCA
1916

Box 3: folder 2
"The War and the Woman Point of View," Committee on the War and the Religious Outlook
1920

Box 3: folder 3
Women and Leadership compiled by Mary S. Sims and Rhoda E. McCulloch, The Womans Press
1938

Box 3: folder 4
"Women at Work: A Christian Economy-The Concern of Church Women," United Church Women, National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
1950

Box 3: folder 5
Articles and editorials for Association Monthly and Womans Press
1918-44

Box 3: folder 6-12
1918-30

Box 3: folder 6-12
1931-44

Box 4: folder 1-5
SERIES IV. HENRIETTA ROELOFS



Biographical materials
1942

Box 4: folder 6
Correspondence to Mabel Cratty
n.d.

Box 4: folder 7
Photographs
1880s-1930s

Box 4: folder 8
Speeches



"The Challenge of the New Era," YWCA National Association of Executive Officers Convention
1944

Box 4: folder 9
"Churchwomen and Social Tensions," General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Women's Fellowship Dinner
1936

Box 4: folder 10
Writings: "Toward World Government"
1942

Box 4: folder 11

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
  • Female friendship--United States--History--20th century
  • Leadership in women--Study and teaching--History--Sources
  • McCulloch, Rhoda E. (Rhoda Elizabeth), b. 1884
  • National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.)
  • National Conference on the Christian Way of Life
  • Peace--Religious aspects--Christianity
  • Roelofs, Henrietta, 1878-1942
  • The Woman's Press--History
  • Women and peace--History--20th century--Sources
  • Women and religion -- United States -- History
  • Women editors--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Women's periodicals, American--History--Sources
  • Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.--History


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