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YWCA of the U.S.A. Records: Record Group 02. Predecessor Organizations and National Board, 1871-2002
Collection number: 324_rg2

This record group contains records of the two national YWCA organizations that merged to form the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 1906-07; plus records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. National Board, Executive Committee, National Coordinating Board, Board of Trustees, and National Nominating Committee. Predecessor organization records include conference and convention reports, publications, minutes, and correspondence. YWCA of the U.S.A. National Board Records include minutes, reports, rosters, publications, memoranda, biographical, and financial records. Forms part of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

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

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

Scope and contents of the collection

Forms part of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records.

NOTE: For the most part, the Microfilmed Records and the Original Format Records do not duplicate each other and both should be consulted. This description covers materials in both formats. See the Contents List for a folder-level inventory of the Original Format Records. See the Microfilmed Records Reel Lists for a detailed inventory of the microfilm. Links to the lists for both formats are provided in the Series Descriptions.

YWCA National Board meeting with Grace Dodge at  head of table, 1912

YWCA National Board meeting with Grace Dodge at head of table, 1912

This record group contains records of the two national YWCA organizations that merged to form the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 1906-07; plus records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. National Board, Executive Committee, National Coordinating Board, Board of Trustees, and National Nominating Committee. Predecessor organization records include conference and convention reports, publications, minutes, and correspondence. YWCA of the U.S.A. National Board Records include minutes, reports, rosters, publications, memoranda, biographical, and financial records.

This Record Group is divided into five Series:

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 without any additional restrictions.

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

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.

Additional Formats

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

Full descriptions and reel lists of the microfilm are available online.

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

Record Groups

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Processing of the YWCA Records was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Records and Publications Commission and the estate of Elizabeth Norris.
Series Descriptions

Historical Note

The Young Women's Christian Association of the United States of America was formed in December 1906 when two existing national organizations held a joint convention and agreed to merge operations. The two forerunner organizations each went through a succession of names before settling on the ones used here, "International Board" and "American Committee."

The Young Women's Christian Association movement began in England in 1855 more-or-less in response to the creation of the Young Men's Christian Association in London in 1844. The men's movement made its way to the United States by 1851 when the first U.S.YMCA was established in Boston. Similar U.S. associations for women formed independently in New York City (Ladies Christian Union) in 1858 and Boston (Women's Christian Association) in 1866. The movement reached college and university campuses when a YWCA was formed at Normal University in Normal, Illinois, in 1873. Through the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s, city and student associations formed all over the country under the names Women's Christian Association and Young Women's Christian Association.

Women's Christian Associations (WCAs) worked to develop the "temporal, moral, and spiritual welfare" of young women "thrown upon their own resources." There was great concern about the fate of young women living in the urban environment, away from the steadying influences of family. The services offered by WCAs were designed to fill gaps in the existing social infrastructure by providing such things as decent and affordable boarding "homes" (as opposed to boarding "houses"); free medical dispensaries for women and children; day nurseries for working mothers; affordable restaurants serving nutritious food; employment assistance (for such jobs as music teachers, governesses, copyists, type-setters, dressmakers, nurses, companions, and domestic service); temporary lodgings (homes for "fallen" or "destitute" women); and facilities where women and children could gather to do sewing with an associated store for the sale of their work.

Offerings for the spiritual welfare included Bible classes and prayer meetings. "Secular" classes included basics such as reading, spelling, writing, and arithmetic, plus subjects such as botany, and singing. "Industrial" (vocational) training included book-keeping, use of sewing and office machines, and character education. Libraries and free reading-rooms encouraged other intellectual pursuits and "social gatherings and entertainments" for the general public promoted "wider knowledge of the Association, besides giving pleasure."

Association staff and members hoped that providing "moral elevation," training "to fit the pupil for practical life," and other kinds of aid, the Association would steer young women toward greater opportunity and a more fulfilling life.

International Board

In 1871 the existing Women's Christian Associations held a national conference in Hartford, Connecticut, to exchange information, methods, and ideas. The conference was so successful that they resolved to "earnestly recommend that similar meetings be held at intervals of not more than two years." At their 2nd conference, in 1873, they appointed a committee on permanent organization and elected officers. With the addition of Canadian WCAs, the 3rd such meeting in 1875 was billed as the International Conference. In 1877 this group adopted a constitution under the name International Conference of Women's Christian Associations. It was a relatively loose association facilitated by a committee appointed at each Convention to plan the succeeding meeting. There was no permanent office and the organization had its headquarters wherever its current president resided. In 1891 they changed name again to International Board of Women's Christian Associations and in 1893 to International Board of Women's and Young Women's Christian Associations.

The member associations of the International Board were mostly (though not exclusively) city associations in the northeastern United States. The City Associations tended to be complex operations with multiple buildings in various locations in a city. Their membership was heterogeneous (encompassing whatever ethnic, religious, economic, and sometimes racial mix of women lived in the city) and their services and programs were designed to meet the specific needs of the populations they served. They operated more-or-less completely independently from other Associations in the International Board.

At its 1881 Conference, the International Board appointed a Committee on Associations in Colleges and Seminaries to encourage the formation of WCAs on campuses "that thereby the members of such schools will become familiar with, and trained in, the methods of the WCAs of our land."

At the 1883 Conference, a Standing Committee was appointed to foster YWCAs in schools and colleges. By 1889 the committee asked to be discontinued since the YWCAs at schools and colleges had "developed to such an extent that [they had] now assumed the form of a National Organization . . . ."

American Committee

As early as 1873 on college and university campuses, Associations began to form independently and with the aid of the Young Men's Christian Association. Initially, the membership of YMs at coeducational institutions included both men and women students. By about 1881 the women members realized that the YM's exclusive aim of the salvation of young men meant that work on behalf of young women was not being promoted. This lead to the formation of separate organizations for women students under the guidance of the YM's first collegiate secretary, Luther Wishard. Wishard worked in conjunction with the International Board's Committee on Associations in Colleges and Seminaries. On the YM model, the new women's student Associations allied into state associations beginning in 1884.

According to the American Department of the World's YWCA scrapbook, "After young women had become enthusiastic over association work [at college] it was a natural outcome that they should desire a similar organization in their own towns." As a result, the graduates started to form City Associations with the YMCA as their model. Most, though not all, of these student and city associations were located in the midwest and the western U.S.

The student YWCAs eventually came to feel that the ad-hoc nature of the International Board (an association, rather than an organization) could not provide the student organizations with the consistent administrative support they needed due to the regular turnover in membership as students matriculated.

In addition, the student YWCAs and the City Associations allied with them had adopted constitutions based on the YM's model which included two provisions not generally included in the constitutions of WCAs belonging to the International Board: the evangelical basis of membership (to be a member, one had to be a member of a Protestant evangelical church), and a commitment to work overseas. Having just separated from the YM in order to promote work among young women, the student YWCAs also felt their constituency was not a high enough priority for the International Board, which worked on behalf of women of all ages.

The student organizations' solution was to form their own national organization of Young Women's Christian Associations. In 1886, an assortment of student, city and state associations formed the National Association of Young Women's Christian Associations at a conference at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This organization had a year-round staff and headquarters in Chicago. In 1891 the name was changed to the International Committee of Young Women's Christian Associations when YWCAs in Canada joined. After Canadian women formed their own national association in 1899, the name was changed again to American Committee of Young Women's Christian Associations. As a result of a lawsuit filed by the YWCA of Chicago (affiliated with the International Board), in 1901 the American Committee was prohibited from using the words 'Young Women's Christian Association' in its name due to the potential for confusion created when two Chicago-based organizations so prominently featured 'YWCA' in their names. From then until it merged with the International Board in 1906, the organization was known simply as 'The American Committee.'

Student associations of the American Committee held prayer meetings, Bible classes, and missionary meetings, and trained young women for religious work after graduation. City Associations did work similar to city associations belonging to the International Board: establishing boarding houses, reading rooms, and libraries; sponsoring social receptions, lectures, gymnastic and industrial training, and also gospel meetings and Bible classes.

The national office developed a dedicated staff and impressive program including work at the state level, student and city departments, extensive summer conferences, and a training school for YWCA staff.

The American Department of the World's YWCA (1894-1905) was an independent organization which took direction from the American Committee. It held regular conventions and reported biennially to American Committee conventions. The work of the American Department included Week of Prayer letters and other mailings, collecting funds for foreign Association work, consulting with American Committee members and Secretaries as to suitable candidates for the foreign field, and corresponding with secretaries in the field. Though the American Department was eager to become a regular department of the American Committee, it was not until 1905 that the American Committee felt it could take on the additional work and the American Department became an "organic" department of the American Committee "ranking co-ordinate" with the home work department.


At the International Board's 1889 Conference, a Special Committee was appointed to "confer with the national organization [American Committee] with the view of harmonizing our work, and inducing cooperation . . . ." While the two organizations did not initially see themselves as in competition, by 1893, a certain lack of "Christian harmony" between the two was noted in the International Board's Conference Proceedings: "Misunderstandings arose . . . from ignorance on the part of each of the purpose and work of the other . . . " Though it was deemed "at present impossible" to form an "organic union," various options for dividing up the work, or compromise measures that would allow a merger were discussed.

In her book The Natural History of a Social Institution-The Young Women's Christian Association, Mary Sims describes the elements of conflict between the two organizations as "the older against the young, the religious liberal against the more restricted, the East against the middle West, and the influence of the YMCA against a distinctly women's movement."

Associations affiliated with the International Board treasured their independence and were not anxious to institute national policies and procedures, particularly on the issue of the evangelical basis of membership. The American Committee saw many advantages to central administration-not least among them, the resources to expand the YWCA movement, but felt strongly that the evangelical basis was central to the movement. Both organizations knew the competition between them was counter-productive and fostered a good deal of confusion in the general public.

Various other attempts to bring the two organizations together failed until 1905 when a Joint Committee, chaired by Grace H. Dodge, an interested non-member, worked out a compromise. The two organizations agreed to merge and to support a national office and staff. Any existing Association could become a charter member of the new organization without changing its membership policy, but any Associations formed after the merger would require that all voting members and officers be members of a Protestant evangelical church.

The newly-formed Young Women's Christian Associations of the United States of America reflected its predecessors in several ways: separate administrative units served the interests of college and university students and city associations (as opposed to town or mill village or other, smaller, associations).

Much of the staff of the new Association came from the American Committee: Mabel Cratty, Florence Simms, Theresa Wilbur [later Paist], Louise Holmquist, Harriet Taylor, Bertha Conde, Effie K. Price [later Gladding], Helen F. Barnes, Mary S. Dunn, and Elizabeth Wilson.

Scope and Content

Records of the two Predecessor Organizations primarily consist of their Conference and Convention Reports and publications. There are some internal documents--minutes, reports, and correspondence--dating primarily from the period when the two organizations began to consider merging (1890s on).

The Conference and Convention Reports of both organizations are rich with detail about the aims, programs and services of member WCAs and YWCAs as well as statistical information. Included are addresses given at the Conventions on such topics as "fallen women," women's education, "reformatory work," employment for women; and detailed reports given by the various member Associations about their activities and programs. These are some of the best descriptions of what the YWCA is all about. Both organizations' serial publications are also wonderful sources of similar information.

In addition, much about the organizational structure and methodology of the young YWCA of the USA is inherited from the two predecessor organizations.

Along with the materials created by the committees charged with accomplishing a merger in the Merger series, each organization's records contain particularly interesting and unusually frank reports about this slow and rather acrimonious process.

Microfilmed Records, 1876-1907

[see Microfilmed Records Reel List]

The records that were microfilmed nearly duplicate the surviving paper records and include most of the Conference and Convention Reports, some correspondence, and some other publications of the two precursor organizations. Most of the Merger materials are also on the microfilm.

The Minutes and Reports include some pre-merger materials from State and Territorial Committees of the American Committee.

Materials about the predecessor organizations can be found on the microfilm under:

  • Predecessor Organizations and Formation of the National Board
    • International Board
    • American Committee
  • Minutes and Reports
    • Field and Territorial Committees

Original Format Records, 1871-1907, 7.25 linear feet

[see Original Format Records folder list]

For the most part, these duplicate materials on the microfilm, but they also include some additional materials received by the National Board Archives after the microfilming project was complete. These include Conference and Convention Reports missing from the microfilm, plus the serials International Messenger (published by the International Board, 1894-1902), The Bulletin (published by the International Board, 1903-06), and Evangel (published by the American Committee, 1892-1906), plus a number of brochures and other small publications.

Related Materials

The influence of the Predecessor Organizations is in evidence in many places in the records of the National Association. It is especially prevalent in the Minutes and Reports of early committees and departments and in early publications.

There is early material, created prior to the establishment of the YWCA of the USA, about some of the oldest Community and Student Associations in the SERIES IV. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS FILES in RECORD GROUP 8. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS and in the SERIES XI. STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS AND REGISTERED STUDENT GROUPS in RECORD GROUP 7. STUDENT WORK.

Historical Note

NOTE: Throughout the records the term "National Board" is often used to refer to the entire national organization, YWCA of the USA, as opposed to its representative committee, the National Board of the YWCA of the USA. In this finding aid, we have tried to use "National Board" to refer only to the elected representative committee of the YWCA of the USA.

The National Board was the "representative and executive" committee of the Young Women's Christian Association of the United States of America. Association membership, meeting at periodic National Conventions, decided on the program for the Association and elected a National Board to manage the "continuing work" of the Association in the interim between Conventions. The National Board was responsible for hiring and directing the work of the national staff, overseeing its finances, and "interpreting" the Association to the general public. Each National Board member served a term lasting through two Convention cycles and was eligible to stand for additional terms. For the sake of continuity, one third to one half of its membership was elected at each Convention.

The National Board was made up of not less than 30 members with an upper limit that could be set by Convention. By 1949, National Board membership had grown to 120. The upper limit of members was undefined between 1949 and 1984 when the unwieldy size of the Board prompted a return to smaller membership, down to 75 in 1985, 58 in 1992, and no more than 50 by 1994.

In selecting nominees for the National Board, the Nominating Committee was charged with creating a diverse Board representing all facets of the Association. Over time, such factors as age, geographic region of the country, socio-economic status, race, and ethnicity were considered. Employed staff of the YWCA were ineligible for National Board membership.

The National Board met several times per year (varying between 4 and 9 over time) with one big annual meeting. Because the National Board was meant to be representative of whole organization, some members lived at a distance from New York and were not generally expected to attend all meetings. Up until 1973, National Board members were classified as "resident" (or "headquarters-based") and "non-resident" (or "regionally-based").

All National Board members were responsible for "interpretation" of the YWCA and its national and world concerns and policies to local associations and interpretation of regional concerns to the National Board. All were responsible for promoting the financial needs of the National Association and suggesting potential national leadership.

Resident Board members lived within reasonable traveling distance from New York and were expected to chair departmental (or standing) committees and attend all National Board meetings. They were responsible for representing their home region and being a conduit of information to and from that region.

Non-resident members sometimes served on standing committees, especially committees based in the regions-such as Field Committees and the Committees overseeing the Hollywood Studio Club and Asilomar Conference Grounds. They were charged with calling one or two regional meetings per year and soliciting input and communicating up and down with YWCAs in the regions. They were expected to attend two National Board meetings per year.

The National Board Executive Committee was made up of the officers of the National Board plus chairs of standing (or departmental) committees and some at-large members selected from the National Board. It met in the interim between full National Board meetings, set the agenda for full board meetings, and was empowered to make decisions that could not wait for a full Board meeting.

The National Board Nominating Committee was in charge of selecting two candidates for each of the officer's positions of the Association: President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer. The selections were forwarded to the National Nominating Committee (see SERIES IV) which selected a single slate of officers for presentation at the National Convention. In some years, the National Board Nominating Committee was responsible for selecting the delegates to World Council; in others, the task fell to the National Nominating Committee. The National Board Nominating Committee also recommended Convention voting delegates from among the National Board and national staff; and nominated Honorary National Board members.

Scope and Content

Minutes of the National Board and Executive Committee, often with the associated attachments, make up the bulk of this series. As the "representative and executive" committee of the national association, the minutes are invaluable for understanding the policies and programs of the national organization and how the membership and focus of the organization developed. The records in this series are especially valuable for gaining any understand of the organization during the 1970s and 1980s since very few other records survive from those decades.

Microfilmed Records, 1906-75 only

[see Microfilmed Records Reel List]

Microfilmed records include National Board and Executive Committee minutes and reports, 1907-75; general and committee materials; biographical files on Board and Staff members; materials about various reorganizations of the Association, its offices and departments; and reports of the National Board.

Microfilmed records of the National Board and Executive Committee can be found under:

  • Minutes and Reports
    • National Board and Executive Committee
  • Subject Files
    • National Board

Original Format Records, 1906-2001, 12 linear feet

[see Original Format Records Folder List]

The bulk of the series consists of minutes and reports of the National Board and Executive Committee, 1906-2001. Attachments are sometimes included with the minutes.

Other materials include rosters, memos, reports, financial statements, and other related material, and Emissaries, the newsletter for former members of the National Board. The bulk of these additional materials were created between 1988 and 2000.

Records of Committees and Task Forces included in this series are those appointed by the National Board that were not associated with departments or divisions of the national staff. Department/division committee records are filed in other record groups.

General National Board materials (including committees and policies) are filed at the beginning of the series followed by materials related to meetings.

The minutes of National Board and the Executive Committee are intermingled. Executive Board minutes were circulated to the full Board as an attachment to its minutes. This means that Executive Board minutes are filed with the meeting materials for the succeeding National Board meeting.

Related Materials

National Board orientation materials are filed in SERIES II. Training in RECORD GROUP 6. PROGRAM.

National Board reports to the membership at Conventions are filed in RECORD GROUP 4. NATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES.

Taped portions of a few National Board meetings dating from the late 1980s and 2000 are in RECORD GROUP 10. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIAL. Also included are some Board orientation tapes.

Historical Note

The National Coordinating Board succeeded the National Board as the central governing body of the YWCA in 2002. Executives from Community YWCAs launched a "Change Initiative" in 1998 in frustration with the lack of responsiveness and leadership from the National Board; they determined that thorough-going reform and a decentralized national organization was necessary to answer the problems that had long dogged the YWCA. At a special convention convened in 2000, the membership approved the plan of the Change Initiative to establish the YWCA as "now a bottom-up rather than a top-down organization." They liquidated the national office in New York and relocated some staff members to Washington, D.C., who would now be responsible for advocacy and fostering a national presence for the YWCA. They affirmed regional councils as the new site for the coordination of YWCA work. The regional councils would establish programming priorities and become responsible for dues allocations and requirements of affiliation for local association. The National Coordinating Board, its duties much reduced from those of the National Board, would be composed of representatives of the Regional Councils. The National Coordinating Board also resulted from the dire financial straits of the National YWCA, and it facilitated a reduction of staff and office while decentralization further removed the onus of program development from the national organization.

Scope and Content

Original Format Records, 1998-2002, .5 linear feet

[see Original Format Records Folder List]

A few early National Coordinating Board records were received with materials transferred to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2003. These include early meeting materials, general information and publicity about the reorganization, and financial records.

Related Materials

The early records of the National Coordinating Board, which began meeting in 2002, are closely tied to the Change Initiative. Materials are filed in SERIES II. REORGANIZATIONS in RECORD GROUP 1. GENERAL AND HISTORY.

Additional information can be found in Convention files for 1998 and 2001 in RECORD GROUP 4. NATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES

Historical Note

The Board of Trustees controlled and managed any "real" property and moneys held in trust by the National Board. It was composed of at least nine members, a majority of whom were to be men. Nominated by the National Board, they were elected by the Board of Trustees to serve a 6-year term, on rotating basis. The Trustees are unpaid.

Scope and Content

The Board of Trustees records contain information about Association finances; purchase, sale, or transfer of National Board properties; endowments; and various committees with some financial responsibility. Included is information detailing budgets, deficits, and the financial effects of the two World Wars and the Great Depression on the work of the YWCA. Included are: minutes, agendas, rosters, and correspondence. Records from the 1990s, include preparatory materials and reports for meetings.

Microfilmed Records, 1907-1975 only

[see Microfilmed Records Reel list]

Records related to the Board of Trustees can be found on the microfilm under:

  • Minutes and Reports
    • Board of Trustees
  • Subject Files
    • National Board, Trustees

Original Format Records, 1907-2000, 1.25 linear feet

[see Original Format Records Folder List]

In addition to the Minutes and Reports, the paper records also contain general and committee rosters, correspondence and meeting materials, 1988-98.

Related Materials

Materials related to budget and finance and buildings and properties owned by the National Association can be found in SERIES III. FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT and SERIES II. BUILDINGS AND PROPERTIES in RECORD GROUP 3. GENERAL ADMINISTRATION.

Additional budget materials can be found in National Board minutes and reports in SERIES II of this Record Group and in the Program and Budget Committee records in RECORD GROUP 6. PROGRAM

Historical Note

The National Nominating Committee (also known as Nominating Committee, and Convention Nominating Committee) was responsible for developing a slate of candidates for National Board; President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Association; and Convention Committees for the elections held at Convention. It also presented candidates to serve as U.S. representatives to the World YWCA and, at times in the history of the Association, nominated members and chairs for other standing committees.

Up through the 1920 Convention, all of the Nominating Committee's business was transacted during the course of the Convention. Nominees were solicited on the first day, a slate was assembled in succeeding days, and put to a vote at the end of Convention. In order to secure more diverse representation, procedures were changed so that the Nominating Committee, elected at the close of one Convention, worked in the interim between Conventions to gather nominations from the entire YWCA membership, research the candidates, and offer a slate with accompanying information about their experience and qualifications at the following Convention. This slate became the publication Who's Who on the Ballot.

Candidates for Association officers (president, vice presidents, secretary, and treasurer) were submitted to the National Nominating Committee by the National Board Nominating Committee. Board of Trustees candidates were submitted to the National Nominating Committee by the Nominating Committee for the Board of Trustees.

Scope and Content

The records of the National Nominating Committee present much evidence of the YWCA's efforts to achieve diversity in its leadership. The Association's desire to include all of its membership is reflected in a nominating process that struggled to find representation from all geographic regions of the country, and variety in terms of age, race, ethnicity, and, in later years, sexual orientation.

Types of materials include rosters, proceedings/minutes, manuals, biographical information on candidates, memoranda, meeting logistics, nomination packets, and meeting packets.

The early work of the Committee (up to 1948) is only documented within the records of Conventions. In addition, there are no records beyond those that are part of Convention records for the years between 1973 and 1985. Probably due to its rotating membership, the amount and breadth of the material varies considerably Convention to Convention. Some years have good demographic and biographical data about candidates and revealing information about the Committee's decision-making process.

Microfilmed Records, 1906-70 only

[see Microfilmed Records Reel list]

In the Subject Files, under 'Convention' are materials about and by the Committee which are part of Convention mailings, reports, and proceedings.

Original Format Records, 1948-98, 1.5 linear feet

[see Original Format Records Folder list]

Surviving paper records in this series date back only to 1948 when the Committee for the 1949 Convention began its work.

The records are arranged chronologically by convention cycle. Where applicable, biographical data about candidates is arranged alphabetically.

Related Materials

Convention records in RECORD GROUP 4. NATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND CONFERENCES contain reports on candidates, and election results, as well as Who's Who on the Ballot, the publication prepared for Convention delegates with information about each candidate's qualifications and experiences. In addition, some Convention Committee and Convention preparation records contain discussions of the role and activities of the National Nominating Committee.

Contents List


This is the Contents List for the Original Format Records only. The reel lists for the Microfilmed Records are in a separate file. See Series Descriptions for historical and scope and content notes.

International Board

General and History, 1873-1932, n.d.

Box 78: folder 1
Conference Reports and Journals, 1871-1905

Box 78: folder 2-9
Constitution, n.d.

Box 78: folder 10
Minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1891-99

Box 78: folder 11-15
Minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1900-06

Box 79: folder 1-6
President's Journal, Sep 1905-Dec 1906

Box 79: folder 7

The International Messenger

bound copies, Vol 1, no. 1-12 - Vol. 4, no. 1-6 (Apr 1894-Sep 1897)Vol 6 (Apr 1899-Mar 1900)

Box 80: folder 1-3
unbound copies, Vol. 1 - Vol. 3, no. 1-3, Vol. 3 no.6-12 - Vol. 5, Vol. 6-7; Vol. 8, no. 3-12 (Apr 1894-Jun 1896; Sep 1896-Mar 1901; Jun 1901-Mar 1902)

Box 81: folder 1-15
Index to Volume 8

Box 81: folder 16
Miscellaneous loose pages

Box 81: folder 17
The Bulletin, 1903-06

Box 81: folder 18
Conference reports and journals: duplicate preservation copies


Box 82
American Committee

General and History

Miscellaneous, 1892-1901

Box 83: folder 1
Scrapbook, 1886-1905

Box 83: folder 2
Annual Report and Convention Reports, 1886-1904

Box 83: folder 3-15
Annual Report and Convention Reports, 1905-06

Box 84: folder 1-3
Convention circulars, programs, and correspondence, 1886-1906

Box 84: folder 4

General, 1904-07

Box 84: folder 5-13
Young Men's Christian Association, 1891-92, 1896

Box 84: folder 14
Directories of member associations, 1887-1906

Box 85: folder 1-2
Minutes and Reports

1891-92, 1899, 1901-Apr 1904

Box 85: folder 3-12
May 1904-07

Box 86: folder 1-12
City Department

General, 1897, n.d.

Box 86: folder 13
Silver Bay City Conference, 1905-06

Box 86: folder 14
Eastern Committee: minutes, 1902, 1904-06

Box 86: folder 15
Foreign Work

General, 1897-1905, n.d.

Box 86: folder 16
American Department of the World's YWCA

Committee of the American Department: minutes, 1902-06

Box 86: folder 17-19
Correspondence, 1903-06

Box 86: folder 20-22
Financial Statements, 1904-06

Box 86: folder 23-24
Scrapbook, 1895-1906

Box 87: folder 1
Industrial and Extension Work, n.d.

Box 87: folder 2
Secretaries' Training Institute: reports of weekly prayer meetings, 1907

Box 87: folder 3
State Work, 1885-87, n.d.

Box 87: folder 4
Student Work

General, 1883, 1886, n.d.

Box 87: folder 5
Silver Bay Student Conference, 1905-06

Box 87: folder 6

Brochures and pamphlets, 1891-1905, n.d.

Box 87: folder 7
YWCA Quarterly: unbound copy, Vol. 1, no. 1-4 Nov 1888-Jun 1889 {continues as The Evangel}

[see also first bound volume of The Evangel]

Box 87: folder 8
The Evangel

Unbound copies (incomplete, but includes issues missing from bound copy), 1889-Jun 1892

Box 87: folder 9-11
Unbound copies (incomplete, but includes issues missing from bound copy), Sep 1892-1906

Box 88: folder 1-8
Bound copies

Most complete copy, Sep 1889-Dec 1906

Box 89: folder 1

Monaghan Mills YWCA scrapbook, 1904-06

Box 89: folder 2
Bay View (Michigan) Summer Conference scrapbook, 1891

Box 89: folder 3
Merger of Predecessor Organizations

General and History, 1928-61, n.d.

Box 90: folder 1
Proposals, 1893-99

Box 90: folder 2
Adjustment Committee

Records and minutes, 1895-97

Box 90: folder 3-6
Correspondence, 1896-97

Box 90: folder 7
Committee on Overtures: report, 1903

Box 90: folder 8

Joint Committee

Correspondence, Jun 1905-Nov 1906

Box 90: folder 9-13
Leaflets, circa 1906-07

Box 90: folder 14
Summary of Report, 1906

Box 90: folder 15
Charter membership, circa 1906

Box 90: folder 16
Meetings, conferences, and discussions, 1905-06

Box 90: folder 17-18
Reports, proceedings, resolutions, and agreements, Jan 1906-May 1907

Box 91: folder 1-3
Sample constitutions and policies, n.d.

Box 91: folder 4
First Joint Convention, 7 Dec 1906

Box 91: folder 5

General, 1907, 1930-2001, n.d.

Box 92: folder 1-10

General, 1934-2001, n.d.

Box 92: folder 11-13
Presidents, 1982, 1996

Box 92: folder 14

Executive Committee: general, 1942-55, 1979-93

Box 93: folder 1-2
Function of Executive Committee, 1954-55

Box 93: folder 3
National Board Nominating Committee, 1964-76, 1985-2000

Box 93: folder 4-17
Search Committee for Executive Director, 1974

Box 93: folder 18-19
Financial materials


Box 93: folder 20-22

Box 94: folder 1
Honorary Members, 1979, 1984-98

Box 94: folder 2

Governance Policies, 1988-1989, 1991, 1994, 1999

Box 94: folder 3-4
Policy Research Project, 1988-95

Box 94: folder 5
Conflict of interest, 1992-96

Box 94: folder 6
Corporate and Social Responsibility, 1979-97, n.d.[see also Ethical Investments Committee]

Box 94: folder 7
Non-resident members, 1933-45

Box 94: folder 8
Rotation of members, 1935-38

Box 94: folder 9
Travel, 1982-2000

Box 94: folder 10
Publication: Emissaries: A Newsletter for Former National Board Members, 1994-2000

Box 94: folder 11
Meetings: National Board and Executive Committee

Indexes to National Board minutes

General, 1906-1917

Box 94: folder 12-14
Defense-related matters, 1937-51

Box 94: folder 15
Annual Meeting/Conference of National Board, 1907-18

Box 94: folder 16
Regular meetings

Dec 1906-1912

Box 95: folder 1-11
Jan 1916-Feb 1920

Box 96: folder 1-15
Mar 1920- Dec 1922

Box 97: folder 1-21
Jan 1923-May 1925

Box 98: folder 1-22
Jun 1925-May 1927

Box 99: folder 1-16
Oct 1927-Apr 1930

Box 100: folder 1-17
May 1930-Dec 1932

Box 101: folder 1-22
Jan 1933-Feb 1936

Box 102: folder 1-24
Mar 1936-Jan 1939

Box 103: folder 1-28
Feb 1939-May 1941

Box 104: folder 1-22
Jun 1941-Dec 1943

Box 105: folder 1-23
Jan 1944-Oct 1946

Box 106: folder 1-27
Nov 1946-Oct 1949

Box 107: folder 1-28
Nov 1949-Dec 1952

Box 108: folder 1-29
Apr 1953-Mar 1954

Box 109: folder 1-16
Apr 1954-Apr 1956

Box 110: folder 1-19
May 1956-Nov 1958

Box 111: folder 1-20
Dec 1958-Dec 1961

Box 112: folder 1-27
Jan 1962-May 1965

Box 113: folder 1-25
Sep 1965-Feb 1970

Box 114: folder 1-20
Apr 1970-May 1975

Box 115: folder 1-16
Oct 1975-Oct 1981

Box 116: folder 1-16
Mar 1982-Oct 1991

Box 117: folder 1-25
Feb 1992-Oct 1996

Box 118: folder 1-15
Feb 1997-Jun 2002 (final meeting)

Box 119: folder 1-13
Executive Committee, Executive Session, 1944-70

Box 120: folder 1-6
National Board, Executive Session, 1971-83

Box 120: folder 7
Report of National Board [Recording] Secretary, 1907-14, 1931-69

Box 120: folder 8-9


Correspondence and memoranda, 2002-04

Box 121: folder 1
Policies, discussion documents, lists, 2002-03

Box 121: folder 2
Committees and Meetings

National Coordinating Board: correspondence, minutes, agendas, financial materials, policy drafts, 2002

Box 121: folder 3-6
Asset Management and Development Committee: agendas, policies, notes, 2002

Box 121: folder 7
Strategic Committees [meetings for organizing strategic committees]

Correspondence, notes, policies, 2002

Box 121: folder 8
Charters, 2002

Box 121: folder 9

Records and notes, 2002

Box 121: folder 10
Dues: correspondence and reports, 2000-01

Box 121: folder 11
Fiscal agreements, 2001-02

Box 121: folder 12

General: correspondence, speech, and update, 2000-02

Box 121: folder 13
Press releases, 2002

Box 121: folder 14
Transition Team: Office relocation project: reports, correspondence, financial materials, 2002

Box 121: folder 15

General and history, 1986-97

Box 121: folder 16
By-laws, 1967, 2000

Box 121: folder 17
Rosters, 1907-2002

Box 121: folder 18-20

1907-08, 1910, 1913-25

Box 121: folder 21-24
1926-May 1975

Box 122: folder 1-14
May 1984-1998, 2000

Box 123: folder 1-14

Rosters, 1988-98

Box 123: folder 15
Investment Committee

1985-Aug 1986

Box 123: folder 16-21
Oct 1986-2000

Box 124: folder 1-19
Nominating Committee, 1992-99, n.d.

Box 124: folder 20
Correspondence, 1987-98

Box 124: folder 21
Restructuring of Association, 2002

Box 124: folder 22

General 1940-94, n.d.

Box 125: folder 1
Task Force on the Nominating Process, 1995

Box 125: folder 2
1948-49 Minutes

Box 125: folder 3
1949-52 Notebook

Box 125: folder 4-5

Proceedings of meeting 1 Oct 1954

Box 125: folder 6-7
Proceedings of meetings 2-3 Oct 1954

Box 126: folder 1-3
1961-64: proceedings of meeting 9-11 Nov 1963

Box 126: folder 4-8


Box 126: folder 9
Proceedings of meeting 22-23 Oct 1966

Box 126: folder 10-12
Proceedings of meeting 24 Oct 1966

Box 127: folder 1

Chair's notebook

Box 127: folder 2-3
Staff resource (Frances Moser) notebook

Box 127: folder 4
1985-88 General

Box 127: folder 5
1988-91 General

Box 127: folder 6


Box 127: folder 7-8
Biographical data on candidates


Box 127: folder 9-10

Box 128: folder 1-2
Meeting: packet and minutes, Sep 1993

Box 128: folder 3-4
Meeting: packet and minutes, Dec 1993

Box 128: folder 5
Conference call, Jan 1994

Box 128: folder 6


Box 128: folder 7
Meeting packet Dec 1994

Box 128: folder 8
Nomination packets, Jan 1995

Box 128: folder 9
Mailing, Feb 1995

Box 128: folder 10
Meeting packet, Oct 1995

Box 128: folder 11

Orientation notebook, Jun 1996 General

Box 128: folder 12
Biographical data on candidates

Box 128: folder 13-14
1998-2001 General

Box 128: folder 15

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.

  • Spirituality--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions
  • Women--Services for--United States
  • Working class women--United States--History--20th century--Sources

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