Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> YWCA of the U.S.A. Records. The Microfilmed Records
Smith College seal
YWCA of the U.S.A. Records.
The Microfilmed Records
Collection number: Forms part of MS 324

Abstract:
This record gives an introduction to the microfilmed portion of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records as well as links to the complete microfilm reel lists in pdf format.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following accesptions:

Portions of the physical papers are stored offsite. To access boxes 893-964 and 1061-1132, researchers must give two working days advance notice. Advanced notice is NOT required for other boxes or to view microfilmed records.

Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Microfilm reels may also be borrowed via interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on use:

The YWCA of the USA retains copyright ownership of the records, but has authorized the Sophia Smith Collection to grant permission to publish reproductions or quotations from the records on its behalf.

Copyright to materials authored by persons other than YWCA staff 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 for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Introduction

NOTE: For the most part, the Microfilmed Records and the Original Format Records do not duplicate each other and both should be consulted. For a folder-level inventory of the Original Format Records, see the "Contents lists" for each Record Group. For a detailed inventory of the microfilm, see links to the Microfilmed Records Reel Lists below.

The YWCA of the USA began discussing microfilming its historical records in 1948 as a way to free up much-needed space in its headquarters building in New York City. When the project got underway in the 1960s, no preservation microfilming standards were consulted, and the Association was not expecting that the film would be used by the general public. This means that it is not particularly easy to navigate and unfortunately, the quality is often poor. Many images are too dark to read easily; in places they are out of focus or have scratches or blank areas which obscure content. Most of the originals were discarded after filming and so are only available on the microfilm. A copy of the microfilm is available for borrowing via Interlibrary Loan. General information about records that were not discarded after filming is included in the description of Original Format Records in the overall Scope and Content note for each Record Group.

One of the National Association's goals was to model efficient and effective administrative procedures. To that end, it established a Central File to optimize sharing of information across the Association. Any records of importance to the Association as a whole were submitted for filing in the Central File. It was this Central File, consisting of Minutes and Reports, Subject Files, and Community (or "Local") Associations Files, that was microfilmed beginning in 1964.

The arrangement of the records on the microfilm appears to reflect the order in which the files were maintained at National Headquarters. Microfilming was done in four batches between 1964 and 1984. The final set of materials filmed (minutes and reports) contains some items dated as late as 1975, but most sections of the microfilm end in 1970.

USING THE MICROFILM

Because it was not originally conceived as a research tool for use by the general public, the microfilm was not made according to preservation microfilming standards and it can be difficult to navigate.

The frames on the reels are not numbered, but each reel is divided into numbered sections, known as "Microdexes." Most "Microdexes" contain multiple (unnumbered) targets. Due to the lack of frame numbers, it can be difficult to determine where you are when looking at a reel. To facilitate navigation, the Microfilmed Records Reel Lists include entries for every target on the film.

The words used on the targets reflect the YWCA's filing system circa 1960 and can be difficult to interpret. The Project Archivist added supplementary text to the reel lists in square brackets to help clarify, amplify, or correct targets that are abbreviated, incomplete, incorrect, or missing altogether.

In various places on the film, rather than making separate targets for small groups of documents, YWCA staff wrote target-like information in large letters across the top of a document to serve as a sort of target substitute. In this reel list, such target substitutes appear in parentheses.

Dates appear only sporadically on the microfilm targets. The Project Archivist added them to the reel lists for Sections 1 and 2.

For example on reel 53, at Microdex 5 the reel list appears as follows:

Staff Reports A-Z

  • (Vesper Bell, 1921; Anne Caldwell, 1922-23; Faith Clark, 1920-22)
  • Ruth Crawford Reports, 1919-20
  • Ruth Crawford Correspondence, 1919-20
  • (Eva Duthie, 1920-21; Marjorie Crane Geary, 1920-22)
  • Mary Hurlbutt, 1919
  • [Mabel McBride, 1921]
  • Eleanor Prudeu [Elinor Prudden], 1920-22
  • Mabel Turner, 1920-21

Items without parentheses or square brackets are as they appear on the targets on the film (with dates added.)
Items in parentheses have no target, but those names are written in large letters across the top of the documents.
Text in square brackets in this case represents missing information--Mabel McBride's reports are on the film, but her name does not appear on a target--or incorrect information, Elinor Prudden's name is misspelled on the target.

When items were filmed out of order, they were generally placed at the end of a reel, with a long blank space preceding them. Usually there is a target saying "Renewal of Microdexes" followed by the reel and microdex numbers of the related materials. In these lists, these materials are listed where they actually are on the microfilm, and a note was added to the list in the place where the out-of-order materials should have been filmed, indicating that there are additional materials on another reel.

Example: [additional materials on reel 101]

The Microfilm reel list is in three parts. The lists are in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat Reader required):

PART 1. PREDECESSOR ORGANIZATIONS AND MINUTES AND REPORTS(reels 1, 1A, 2-17, 282, 278-280, 346-382):
contains Records of the Predecessor Organizations and Minutes and Reports of the YWCA of the USA. The Minutes and Reports are basically, though not exactly, in alphabetical order.

PART 2. SUBJECT FILE:
contains the YWCA of the USA Subject File, also known as the "Central" or "Record" File. It is in 3 parts:

  • 2a contains materials dated between 1899 and 1950 (reels 17-160)
  • 2b contains materials dated from 1951-60 (reels 226-252)
  • 2c contains materials dated from 1961-70 (reels 283-322)

PART 3. LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS FILES: Files recording interactions between the National Association and Community Associations and Registered Groups and inquiries re forming new assns. (Student Associations are not included.) Due to time constraints, this list was not extensively edited and is much the same as the list included in the 1978 "Inventory to the Records Files Collection of the National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association" prepared by Louisa Bowen.

Local Associations files are in order by state and then usually by location (city or town) of the Association. Microfilmed records about each Association are listed in alphabetical order, though they may not have been filmed precisely in that order. There is often a "Miscellaneous" section as first thing filmed for each state.

Part 3 is in 3 parts:

  • 3a contains materials dating from 1884-1950 (reels 161-222)
  • 3b contains materials dated from 1951-60 (reels 253-277)
  • 3c contains materials dated from 1961-70 (reels 281, 323-345)

Generally, everything is filmed in reverse chronological order.

INTERLIBRARY LOAN

A copy of the microfilmed records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records is available to borrow from the William Allan Neilson Library at Smith College via Interlibrary Loan.

To request the microfilm from our library you will need to submit the following information to your library's Interlibrary Loan department:

  • Author: Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. National Board
  • Title: Records, 1876-1970 [microform]
  • WorldCat Accession Number: OCLC 57415795
  • Notes: "Call # 689" and reel number(s) you want to borrow


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

The records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following accesptions:

Portions of the physical papers are stored offsite. To access boxes 893-964 and 1061-1132, researchers must give two working days advance notice. Advanced notice is NOT required for other boxes or to view microfilmed records.

Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Microfilm reels may also be borrowed via interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on use:

The YWCA of the USA retains copyright ownership of the records, but has authorized the Sophia Smith Collection to grant permission to publish reproductions or quotations from the records on its behalf.

Copyright to materials authored by persons other than YWCA staff 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 for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Preferred Citation

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

YWCA of the U.S.A. Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The YWCA of the U.S.A. donated a portion of its records to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1964 and the remainder in 2002 and 2003.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, Amy Hague, Kara McClurken, Amanda Izzo, 2008 FY 07-08

Reel Lists and Record Groups

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