Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Association of Collegiate Alumnae Records, 1882-1917?
Smith College seal
Association of Collegiate Alumnae Records, 1882-1917?
3 boxes (1.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 325

Abstract:
Collegiate association. The records contain reports, correspondence, announcements, publications, registers, and a scrapbook on topics relating to the education of women in the late 19th century, medical education of women, athletics for women; wages of working women, and school lunch programs.

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Copyright to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns.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

Historical Note

In 1882 Marion Talbot, Alice Freeman (Palmer), Alice Hayes, Ellen Swallow Richards, and thirteen other women met in Boston to establish the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, uniting college graduates for "practical educational work." Members of the first generation of college-educated women, they had struggled for an education only to find that society had no place for them and no interest in utilizing their abilities. Through the new organization (ACA), they hoped to promote and raise standards for women's higher education. To distinguish themselves from normal-school and academy graduates, they limited membership to alumnae of specified, carefully selected four-year colleges and universities. Additionally, they expected the ACA to help end the social isolation often faced by women college graduates when they returned home. Women in other regions responded enthusiastically and set up ACA branches across the country. Founded in 1901, the Southern Association of College Women served a similar community. In 1921 the ACA and the SACW merged, forming the American Association of University Women. Although the ACA, the SACW, and later the AAUW were committed to equal access to education, they avoided identification as explicitly feminist organizations. Until the 1970s, AAUW leaders rejected controversial and potentially divisive issues like suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment.

During its first fifty years, the ACA studied a variety of issues related to women's education. Its members addressed the status of women within the academy by lobbying for women to serve as college trustees, fought discrimination on coeducational campuses, and argued for inclusion in the curriculum of home economics courses designed to make homemaking more professional and scientific. Additionally, the ACA provided fellowships for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral study, and encouraged women's careers, particularly in the social sciences. Activities of regional branches and local groups of the ACA varied a good deal. The internationalism of the war years carried over into the 1920s, when the AAUW joined similar organizations from eight other countries to promote women's education around the world and to create an international community of college women through the International Federation of College Women.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (1882-1917?) contain 1.75 linear feet of material, including announcements, registers, the "A.C.A. Journal" (1918), a scrapbook, and committee, financial, and branch reports. The records contain correspondence (1906-08) relating to living wage of college women and accompanying investigations, including letters to Ellen Richards, 1842-1911, and to internationalist and pacifist Fannie Fern Andrews, 1867-1950. Pamphlets of special interest concern the medical education of women, college entrance requirements, history of the A.C.A., Domestic Reform League, comparative statistics on colleges (1904), university extension programs, alumnae gifts, athletics for women (1897), wages of working women (1896), school lunch programs (1898), and a bibliography on higher education of women (1897).

NOTE: The container list for this collection is available in the Sophia Smith Collection. Please contact us to request a copy.


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 to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, 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:

Association of Collegiate Alumnae Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection


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
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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
  • American Association of University Women--History--Sources
  • Association of Collegiate Alumnae (U.S.)--History--Sources
  • Universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae--History--Sources
  • Women college graduates--United States--History--Sources
  • Women--Education--United States--History--Sources
  • Women--Employment--United States--History--Sources


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search