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Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers, 1918-1972 (Bulk: 1932-1958)
4 boxes (1.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 617

Abstract:
YWCA worker. The Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers are primarily related to her professional and public life and include biographical materials, correspondence, memorabilia, notebooks, administrative planning files, subject files, and writings. The bulk of the papers date from 1932 to 1958 and focus on Wygal's work planning religious services, writing religious program materials, and as a speaker and discussion leader for the YWCA and for other religious groups. Wygal's notebooks (1932-58) document her part in wide variety of conferences, councils, meetings, worship services, courses, seminars, discussion groups in the YWCA and other national, international, and local organizations. They also include notes on lectures and conferences she attended and books and articles she read. The main subject of Wygal's writings, most published by the YWCA's Womans Press, is the development of meaningful worship services, and relevance of religion in twentieth-century life.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

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

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Winnifred Wygal's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by others 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 must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." 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

Winnifred Crane Wygal was born August 25, 1884 in Springfield, Missouri, to Frank and Katie A. Bigelow Wygal. Frank Wygal was a wagon maker at the Springfield Wagon Works. Both parents read widely and encouraged their daughters to do likewise. Frank Wygal's Christian socialist beliefs fostered a strong commitment to social justice in the young Winnifred. In an autobiographical manuscript, Wygal wrote of her childhood: "I was wanted and loved and cherished. Life was exciting and good almost at once."

After graduating from Springfield High School, "Windy" Wygal attended Drury College (now Drury University) in Springfield, where she first joined the Young Women's Christian Association. After receiving her B.A. in 1906, Wygal taught high school English and Latin in Missouri from 1906 to 1911. Wygal attended the YWCA's National Training School in New York City and did graduate coursework at Columbia University in 1911-12. Drury awarded her an M.A. in 1912. A life-long student, Wygal also did post-graduate work at Union Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School, as well as "special reading" with Canon Streeter at Oxford University and with H.B. Sharman of the Pendle Hill Quaker Center for Graduate Study.

In 1913 Wygal took a job at the YWCA at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 1917 or early 1918 she joined the War Work Council staff of the national YWCA. She supervised five Hostess Houses where servicemen could meet with family and friends, and three recreational service centers at Camp Funston at Fort Riley near Manhattan, Kansas. From there, Wygal transferred to the YWCA's North Central region field staff in 1919 or 1920, as a Student Secretary. She moved to the National Student Council staff (the college and university student department of the YWCA) in 1922, where she remained until 1935, working on program and personnel and serving several years as acting executive, associate executive, and finally, executive of the Council. Much of Wygal's work in the Student YWCA centered on helping young women to distinguish between "the prohibitions imposed by culture" and "the universal imperatives."

In 1935 Wygal transferred to the Laboratory Division where she developed religious resources for use in YWCA programs. In May of 1935 Wygal was co-chair with Gregory Vlastos, of the Fletcher Farm Seminar on Religion, a ten-day seminar led by Reinhold Niebuhr, Henry Nelson Wieman, and Paul Tillich. Wygal attended the Conference of the Church on Life and Work at Oxford University in 1937 and she wrote preparatory materials for the World Christian Youth Conference in Amsterdam in 1939. A 1940 staff reorganization moved Wygal's work to the Division of Community YWCAs. Wygal retired from the YWCA in 1944.

For many years after retirement, Wygal did extensive free-lance speaking and discussion leading to young people's groups in churches and YWCAs. She was the author of many works relating to personal and group worship and the first woman to be a deacon at Riverside Church in New York City.

In a meditation written for Wygal's memorial service in 1972, YWCA General Secretary Edith Lerrigo described Wygal with the words "deep," "ardent," "committed," "flaming," "impatient," and "dedicated."

Winnifred Wygal died of a heart attack in New York City on September 8, 1972. She was buried in San Antonio, Texas.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers consist of 1.75 linear ft. and are primarily related to her professional and public life, dating from 1918 to 1972. Types of materials include biographical materials, correspondence, memorabilia, notebooks, administrative planning files, subject files, and writings.

The bulk of the papers date from 1932 to 1958 and focus on Wygal's work planning religious services, writing religious program materials, and as a speaker and discussion leader for the YWCA and for other religious groups.

Wygal's notebooks (1932-58) document her part in wide variety of conferences, councils, meetings, worship services, courses, seminars, and discussion groups in the YWCA and other national, international, and local organizations. They also include notes on lectures and conferences she attended and books and articles she read.

The main subject of Wygal's writings, most published by the YWCA's Womans Press, is the development of meaningful worship services, and relevance of religion in twentieth-century life.


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 without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Winnifred Wygal's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by others 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 must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." 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:

Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass."

History of the Collection

The Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers came to the Sophia Smith Collection with the Records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 2002. The YWCA received them from Winnifred Wygal in 1969 and from her estate in 1972.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2009


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
Separated Material

Additional papers of Winnifred Wygal are housed at the Schlesinger Library, Harvard University.

Sponsor
Processing of the Winnifred Crane Wygal Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Contents List
Biographical materials and memorabilia



General
1961-72, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Favorite poems
1918, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
80th birthday celebration
1964

Box 1: folder 3
Subject file on miscellaneous religious topics
1965, n.d.

Box 1: folder 4
Notebooks



1932-38

Box 1: folder 5-6
1942-1958

Box 2: folder 1-8
1954-1958

Box 3: folder 1-2
Correspondence



1929-71, n.d.

Box 3: folder 3
Typescript of letter re visit to Gandhi's ashram at Ahmedabad, India with Ruth ?
5 Feb 1928

Box 3: folder 4
Professional activities


Box 3
Fletcher Farm Seminar on Religion
1935

Box 3: folder 5
YWCA of the U.S.A.
1936, 1948, n.d.

Box 3: folder 6
Speaking engagements
1950-53

Box 3: folder 7
Workshop, Church World Service Center, New Windsor, Maryland
1958

Box 3: folder 8
Worship services for an unidentified Convention in Toronto
n.d.

Box 3: folder 9
Writings



Articles
1936-55, n.d.

Box 3: folder 10
Autobiography: typescript fragments
n.d.

Box 3: folder 11
Book reviews
1945-52

Box 3: folder 12
Study guides
1947, 1950

Box 3: folder 13
Miscellaneous typescripts and fragments
n.d.

Box 3: folder 14-15
"A Christman Service:" typescript
1936

Box 3: folder 16
The Good Life-A Discipline , The Womans Press
1936, 1941

Box 4: folder 1
How to Plan Informal Worship , Association Press
1957

Box 4: folder 2
Jesus-A Brief Study , The Womans Press
1936

Box 4: folder 3
Our Religious Vocabulary: A Glossary of Terms in Current Use , The Womans Press
1939

Box 4: folder 4
Principles of Religious Practice in the Community Association Program , The Womans Press
1938

Box 4: folder 5
"The Question: Meditations on Meaning, Maturity and Faith," typescript
n.d.

Box 4: folder 6
Questions and Answers About You , by Tirzah Anderson and Winnifred Wygal, The Woman's Press
1945

Box 4: folder 7
Reflections of the Spirit: Resources for Personal and Group Worship , The Woman's Press
1948

Box 4: folder 8
Stop, Think and Do! by Elizabeth Palmer, Janet Fowler Nelson, and Winnifred Wygal, The Womans Press
1941

Box 4: folder 9
The Struggle for the Union at YWCA , AFSCME LocalCommunity and Social Agency Employees Union, n.d.
1707

Box 4: folder 10
The Superb Adventure: Acquiring a Theory of Living , The Womans Press
1934

Box 4: folder 11
We Plan Our Own Worship Services, The Womans Press (1940), and revised edition (1945)
1940, 1945

Box 4: folder 12
We the Peoples of the Ecumenical Church, Woman's Division of Christian Service, Board of Missions and Church Extension, The Methodist Church
1949

Box 4: folder 13

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
  • Women and religion -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Wygal, Winnifred, b. 1884
  • Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. -- History
  • Young women -- Religious life -- United States -- History


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