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Records of The Woman's Club of Evanston

Identifier: 55/31

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Women's Club of Evanston (WCE) are spread evenly over the years 1890-1991, and have been divided into nine major groups: history, officers, board of directors, departments, committees, Young Woman's Auxiliary (YWA), buildings and properties, special subjects, and publications.

The history materials include notes made for the publications marking the Club's 50th and 75th anniversaries as well as copies of the publications; texts of oral presentations and other material related to the centennial (see also Box 31, Folder 45); and several manuscript accounts of various programs and periods and other printed publications.

The officers' records relate primarily to the presidents and treasurers. The records of the president are strong for the period 1961-1985. The treasurers' records cover the Club's century of existence.

The board of directors minutes are comprehensive; most of the early records are handwritten in notebooks. Also included are the minute-books and typed minutes for many general, annual, and special meetings.

The scope of the departmental records is uneven with records relating to Art and Literature, Child and Home, and Philanthropy and Sociology especially thorough from the beginning to World War I. Of special interest are the minutes of the World's Fair Committee, 1892-1894 (Box 19, Folder 8).

The committee records deal with a broad range of activities. Particularly strong are the records of the Benefit, Finance, House and Grounds, Membership, and Press and Publicity committees.

The Young Woman's Auxiliary records include a copy of the publication marking the group's first fifty years and several programs for the popular annual musical reviews.

The buildings and properties records contains a variety of financial, business, and legal records relevant to the three buildings and properties (1702 and 1714 Chicago Avenue and 615 Church Street) now or formerly owned by the Club. Especially useful are records pertaining to the funding and construction of the building at 1702 Chicago Avenue.

A folder of material concerning the Charitable Foundation, Inc., established by the Club in 1968, documents the reason for initiation of the Foundation and some of its funding activities.

The special subjects records cover many topics and are particularly strong in documenting the early antiques shows, art exhibitions, and the 1987-1990 controversy with the Evanston Public Library and the City of Evanston over the Club's building and property at 615 Church Street. (See also the Ad Hoc Committee records, Box 21, Folders 4-5).

The publications include unbound issues of the Annual Announcements and Bulletin which, with the bound volumes of these publications and of the Year Books, provide an almost complete collection of the Club's publications.

The five over-size boxes contain financial records and a few clippings and other materials of historical interest.

The records also include fifty-four scrapbooks (1921-1984), filled mostly with the annual press clippings and publicity collections of that committee's work. These books of clippings also occasionally include programs, publications, pictures, and correspondence. The 1957-1958 scrapbook contains a letter dated May 20, 1923, from Mrs. Harbert. Other scrapbooks, such as the one titled "Miscellaneous - Early History", include considerable information. Some scrapbooks are rich in material documenting the annual art exhibitions, the gardening programs, and visiting speakers and performers.

Of special interest are the four large volumes of photographs of charter and early members. Also of interest are early membership registers (1906-1923) and a volume which contains signatures of visitors, speakers, and performers at the Club.

Other bound volumes contain minutes of meetings of the board of directors and annual Club meetings (1915-1975, with a few gaps), as well as some departmental minutes. The earlier volumes of these minutes are filed in Box 16.

The photographs series includes 1 box of 18 glass transparency slides (3.25 x 4 inches), used for projection onto a screen or wall, illustrating aspects of the history of the Woman’s Club of Evanston. Included along with portraits of prominent individuals associated with the Woman’s Club are several images depicting construction of the organization’s headquarters building at 1702 Chicago Avenue. Designed by architect Ernest A. Mayo, that building was constructed in 1912 and 1913 and since 2006 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The additions fill 42 document boxes and 17 scrapbook boxes, and span the period from 1910 to 2010, but most materials date after 1970. The records fall into ten categories: Woman's Club Officers, Woman's Club Board Minutes, Woman's Club Art Exhibit, Woman's Club Committees, Woman's Club Programs, Woman's Club Publications, Young Woman's Auxiliary Officers, Young Woman’s Auxiliary (YWA) Board, YWA Committees, and YWA Publications.

The WCE Officer's materials contain Presidents’ notebooks from 1985-1999 and 2007-08. Organized chronologically by President, these include procedures manuals, budgets, meeting minutes, and correspondence. Also included in this category is one Treasurer’s file from 1993.

The WCE Board Minutes cover Board meetings between 1972 and 1998, with some gaps. Budgets and agendas comprise much of the additional material within this category.

Dating between 1926 and 2002, with occasional gaps. The extensive Art Exhibit files contain materials from the WCE's Annual Art Exhibition including programs, newspaper articles, lists of participating artists, registration forms, and financial information. Records

Committee Records are organized by committee name. Within this category, the membership records are most extensive. The various membership records range between the 1910s and about 1997; the membership cards in Boxes 51-3 (1910s-1980s) are in approximate alphabetical order, with some exceptions.

The Woman's Club Programs document various events held between 1990-2000.

The section on publications has copies of the Annual Announcement from 1926-2008, although many are missing. Issues of the Bulletin and Newsletter are also included, spanning the time period from 1976-2007. Again, many years and issues are missing. Unlike the Announcements, these are paper sheets that were sent out monthly to members.

The arrangement of the records of the Young Women's Auxiliary mirrors that of the WCE. Like those of the Woman's Club of Evanston, the records pertaining to the presidents contain procedural outlines, correspondence, meeting records, and financial information. The notebooks and reports contain similar items and the title seems to have been used interchangeably. There are also records from the secretary and the treasurer, which contain financial information and records of minutes.

As is the case for the WCE Board materials, the YWA Board materials folders contain meeting minutes, agendas, and budget information. Some lists of memberships and other membership records are also included in the Board Minutes.

Auxiliary Committee records are contained in the penultimate division. These span a broad range of topics from the Luncheon Committee to the Nominating Committee. There are several folders titled "Committee Reports." These contain general information from a variety of committees.

YWA Publications comprises the final group of the series. This is filled primarily with Newsletters from 1919 to 1999, the final year of the Young Women's Club. Although many issues are missing, primarily early issues, the newsletters from the 1970s through the 1980s are there almost in entirety.

Seventeen boxes, mostly oversized, hold WCE and YWA scrapbooks scrapbooks in oversize boxes. Many of the pages have been laminated and are deteriorating, but they still contain useful information. Several programs from shows are included along with newspaper clippings and many pictures from various events that the Women's Club produced. Most of the scrapbooks have been disbound. They are organized by size and date.


  • 1890-2010


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored at a remote campus location and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


101 Boxes

Language of Materials



The records of the Women's Club of Evanston span the years 1890 to 2010, and document the history of the organization and the work of its officers, board of directors, departments, and committees (including the activities of the Young Woman's Auxiliary). Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and other ephemera; bound volumes contain portraits and the annual meeting minutes, yearbooks and bulletins of the Woman's Club and the Young Woman's Auxiliary.


Presidential notebooks, Treasurer reports, Board of Director materials and scrapbooks are generally in chronological order. Committees , special subjects, publications and bound volumes are arranged alphabetically. Other series are generally arranged by topic, but not necessarily in alphabetical order.

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of the Records of the Woman's Club of Evanston were donated to the Northwestern University Archives by the Club on November 13, 1991, as accession #91-201 (boxes 1-40, scrapbooks, bound volumes, box 101). An addition covers the years 1910-2010 (boxes 41-100) (Accession #10-223).

Separated Materials

Three boxes of photographs, two large photographs, and an audio tape were transferred to the University Archives' audiovisual collections. Two large green centennial banners were transferred to the Archives' memorabilia collection. Approximately thirty-five linear inches of duplicate and ten inches of extraneous materials were discarded.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty: June-November, 1992. Box 101: Kevin B. Leonard, July 16, 2019. Additions: Allison Weatherly and Rachel Poletick, Spring 2010-Fall 2011.

Guide to the Records of The Woman's Club of Evanston
William K. Beatty; Additions: Allison Weatherly and Rachel Poletick
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US