American Association of University Women, Albany Branch Records, 1913-1992
- American Association of University Women--Albany Branch
- These records document the history of the Albany Branch of the American Association of University Women from 1913 - 1992. The records relate chiefly to women's issues; particularly higher education, general education, membership, international relations, legislation, World War II, employment, teaching, community projects and Albany, NY.
- 5.9 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, American Association of University Women, Albany Branch Records, 1913-1992. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the AAUW, Albany Branch Records).
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- Scope and Content:
These records document the history of the Albany Branch of the American Association of University Women from 1913 - 1992. While the overall physical condition of the records is good, several folders have been photocopied for research use in order to preserve the originals. (See Appendix 1) Because the collection was received with order already partially established, it was possible to preserve the provenance without extensive rearranging. Only the Committee Files have been reconstructed in the attempt to aggregate the records that distinctly deal with each respective committee.
Records include minutes, annual reports, subject files, correspondence, bulletins, yearbooks (address books), scrapbooks and ephemera spanning 1913-1992. The bulk of the records document activities from 1938-1965 and 1981-1992. The records relate chiefly to women's issues; particularly higher education, general education, membership, international relations, legislation, World War II, employment, teaching, community projects and Albany, NY. Correspondents include the AAUW New York State Division, AAUW National Headquarters, other AAUW New York State branches and local chapters of community service organizations such as the American Red Cross, YWCA, Public Teachers Association, Albany Consumers' Council, Albany Council of Social Agencies, Women's Joint Legislative Forum, Albany Public Library, and several New York State government agencies.
Throughout the collection, information regarding education, membership and legislative issues abound. Annual Reports in the 1960's contain a significant amount of records pertaining to legislation supported by the Albany Branch. Discussions involving World War II and its effects on women and society are contained in the Correspondence with Community Organizations Series and the President Subject Files: War Employment Folder.
The Committee Files (1937 - 1990) are of particular interest because they provide information relating to the branch's non-administrative activities. The series is broken down into seven subseries, each corresponding to a particular committee: Branch History, Fellowship, Hospitality, Membership, Program, Public Information, and the Antique Study Group. Records documenting other committees and study groups are missing despite the fact that they should also be included in the collection. Two subseries of note include Fellowship Committee Files and the Branch History Committee Files. The Fellowship Committee Files document the Albany Branch's efforts to support the AAUW Educational Foundation and to provide financial assistance to women seeking graduate and post-graduate education. Similar information is located in the President's Subject Files (Series #3). The Branch History Committee Files contain histories and memoirs dating back to the 1930s as well as documentation of special events held by the Albany Branch.
There are many significant gaps in the collection. For instance, only the Bulletins, occasional President's Subject Files and Committee Files document the Albany Branch's activities during the 1970s. Records form the 1920s and 1930s are similarly scarce and fragmented. The collection is strongest from 1941 - 1965; virtually all series containing records from this time frame are consistent, containing only minor gaps. The gaps of each individual series are discussed in the series descriptions.
The photocopied folders include:
1) General Meetings Minutes (1926 - 1938)
2) General Meetings Minutes (1939 - 1954)
3) President's Subject Files: War Employment (1943)
4) Fellowships Committee Chairman's Correspondence (1939 - 1940) Folder 1
5) Fellowships Committee Chairman's Correspondence (1939 - 1940) Folder 2
6) Public Information Committee Press Releases (1975 - 1976)
7) Antique Study Group Chairman's File (1959 - 1975)
- Biographical / Historical:
The mission of the Albany Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is threefold: 1) unite women alumnae of colleges and universities for practical educational work, 2) increase their effectiveness in the community for the solution of social and civic problems, and 3) support the National and State Divisions of the AAUW. Since its formation in 1890, the Albany Branch's activity has been the monthly general meetings, featuring guest speakers from the community. Other activities include board meetings, weekly study groups, workshops, surveys, field trips, conferences and conventions, fundraising events, and financial contributions to the AAUW Educational Foundation. It is through these activities that the Albany Branch of the AAUW pursues its goals and seeks to fulfill its purpose.
The Albany Branch's administrative duties as defined by the 1921 AAUW Charter are carried out by a board of annually elected executive officers, all of whom must be AAUW members. The executive officers include one president, two vice-presidents, two secretaries and one treasurer. The purpose of the Executive Board is to administer to the business affairs of the Albany Branch. The Executive Board is also responsible for submitting the annual budget to the branch and establishing special tasks forces and committees. The Executive Board Meetings are typically held three times a year in one of the board members' homes (The General Meetings are held monthly in public meeting places such as hotels and community centers). Additional Executive Board Meetings may be called to order either by the president or at least two members of the Executive Committee.
The Eastern New York Branch of the Association Collegiate Alumnae (currently the Albany Branch of the AAUW) was formed on Oct. 18, 1890 under the direction of Melville Dewey, Secretary of the University of the State of New York, and Director of the State Library. (Other than the Albany Branch organizational histories, there are no records in the collection documenting Melville Dewey's involvement with the Albany Branch). A constitution and by-laws were drafted (last revised in 1991), executive duties defined, officers elected, and goals identified. The early aims of the Albany Branch were to work towards meeting women's educational needs and to interest school girls in pursuing college careers.
The Albany Branch began as an affiliate of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA) which was first conceived on Nov. 28, 1881 in Boston when 11 women college alumnae met to discuss the possibility of forming an organization to: 1) provide political and financial support to women pursuing higher education and 2) find new opportunities to use their training. The ACA (later the American Association of University Women) was officially formed on Jan, 1882 with the purpose of uniting women alumnae of different institutions in "practical educational work." During the next thirty years the ACA expanded to admit localized branches, develop membership policies, committees and research study groups, and offer graduate fellowships to women pursuing higher education.
The Eastern Branch of the ACA (later the Albany Branch of the AAUW) began its first real influential work in 1892 when members cooperated with the ACA in investigating women's wages and contributed $10.00 to the ACA fellowship fund. (Other than the Albany Branch organizational histories, there are no records documenting the activities of the Albany Branch prior to 1926). Throughout the 1890s, the Albany Branch (then the Eastern New York Branch of the ACA) expanded its range of interests to include current events such as the trade union movement, child labor, planning, eugenics, and women's suffrage. Membership began to increase at a prolific rate during the early years of the 20th century as more women became interested in higher education. The Eastern New York Branch of the ACA also worked on the war effort, contributed to the Belgian Relief Work Project, and established a three year membership to support war orphans.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Albany Branch developed committees (executive, membership, and publicity) and study groups designed to research and discuss special issues such as drama and music, French War Orphans, and Americanization. Following 1921, the Association of Collegiate Alumnae and the Southern Association of University Women merged into the American Association of University Women and the Eastern New York Branch of the ACA officially became the Albany Branch of the American Association of University Women. It accepted the responsibility to promote the aims and ideals of the AAUW determined by the national headquarters in Washington D.C.
During World War II, there was much discussion at branch meetings regarding the political, economic, and social effects of the war on humanity and society as a whole. The Albany Branch supported the Emergency Control Bill, urged the extension of rationing programs, and hosted lectures dealing with the special consumer problems caused by the war.
The years following World War II saw the Albany Branch pursuing the study of educational development on all fronts. The Dr. Josephine Glasgow Fellowship was established in 1951 and was the first of 42 such fellowships designed by the Albany Branch to encourage women to pursue higher education. In December 1950, the AAUW Albany Branch president appeared as a guest of a radio show hosted by the Conference of Christians and Jews. Topics included international and human relations, and achievements made by the Albany and National Branch of the AAUW in these areas.
Following the lead of the AAUW, the Albany Branch redefined its committee structure during the late 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, the AAUW and Albany Branch turned their attentions to four areas of interest: community problems, cultural interests, education, and world problems. The AAUW also called for all member branches to become more involved and outspoken in community affairs. AAUW national president Alice Beeman addressed this issue during a speech in Albany "In the past, much of the emphasis has been on study and study programs. Now the people who know must act, action is also a way of learning."
Attempts by the Albany Branch to apply this new approach to their own agenda can be seen as early as 1973 when the Legislative Committee lobbied the New York State Governor to reconsider his announced decision to seek legislative requirement for mandatory lifetime imprisonment of drug pushers in New York. The Albany Branch argued that "the solution to the problem lies in medical, educational, and social approaches of a positive sort rather than in criminal prosecution." The Albany Branch also co-sponsored workshops dealing with developing effectiveness and leadership skills in 1986 - 1987.
- Acquisition information:
These records were originally deposited with the Albany Institute of History and Art. On June 22, 1995 the records were physically transferred to the M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives and the Memorandum of Agreement between the Association and the University Libraries was completed1995 August 20
- Processing information:
Processed in 1997 by Eric Roth.
Albany, New York
Associations, institutions, etc.--New York (State)--Albany
Women--Education--New York (State)
Universities and colleges--New York (State)--Faculty
- American Association of University Women--Albany Branch
American Association of University Women