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Prints and negatives

Identifier: 1

Scope and Contents

This series consists of photographic prints, most black and white before the 1990s, as well as negatives and albums contianing photographic prints.

Subseries A. General and History includes Anniversaries, Exhibits, photographs of YWCA symbols and logos, such as the blue triangle and the YWCA purpose statement, World YWCA photographs, and miscellaneous and unidentified photographs. There is also a large file of photographs of individuals (arranged alphabetically) involved with the YWCA. These include local, regional, and national YWCA Board, Committee, and Council members, as well as speakers and celebrities at YWCA conferences, conventions, and other events.

Subseries B. National Board and National Administrative Office includes photographs of the National Board and staff; nationally-owned buildings and properties; fund-raising committees and events; and photographs taken for use in YWCA publicity materials, such as posters and brochures.

Subseries C. Conferences and Conventions consists of photographs taken at conferences, and National Conventions, and at preparatory and planning meetings.

Subseries D. International Work includes a small amount of photographs of YWCA of the U.S.A. Foreign/International Division staff, programs, and conferences. The bulk of the Subseries is the Countries section which includes photographs of buildings, programs, staff, etc. taken at YWCAs in other countries. These are arranged alphabetically by country and then chronologically. Countries have been filed under their post-Independence names, for example, Rhodesia can be found under Zimbabwe and Ceylon under Sri Lanka. Refugees from Smyrna in 1922 have been filed with Turkey rather than Greece, while Palestinian refugees can be found in Jordan: Aqabat Jaber and Baqáa, Kalandia, Madaba, etc., folders.

The Countries section is particularly strong in photographs from the following countries and time periods:

  • Brazil, 1950s-1960s
  • Chile, 1960s
  • China, 1920s-1940s
  • Ethiopia, 1960s
  • Germany, 1945-1960s
  • Japan, 1920s-1960s
  • Korea, 1950s-1960s
  • Lebanon, 1920s-1960s
  • Philippines, 1920s-1960s
  • Turkey, 1920s-1960s
  • Uganda, 1950s-1960s
  • Conditions Governing Access

    From the Record Group:

    This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

    Language of Materials



    The prints and negatives are arranged in the following subseries, which mirror the overall arrangement of the YWCA of the U.S.A. records:

    1. General and history
    2. National Board and National Administrative Office
    3. Conferences and conventions
    4. International work
    5. Program
    6. Student work
    7. Community associations

    Existence and Location of Copies

    41 boxes of photographs in the in the international work, program, and student work portions of Series 1 (boxes 1001 through 1041) were digitized were digitized as part of a 2016-2018 CLIR Hidden Collections grant and are available through our digital repository. Individual folders of digitized photographs are linked to in the container list, below. The digitization focused on photographs only; no negatives and little of the supporting materials found in some folders were digitized.

    Related Materials

    Because many of the photographs were published by the National Association, especially in its main serial, The Association Monthly/Women's Press/YWCA Magazine it is often possible to find related information about the photographs in those publications and related files. See especially RECORD GROUP 6. PROGRAM SERIES VI. PUBLICATIONS and the digitized copies of Association monthly, The Woman's Press, and YWCA Magazine.

    Repository Details

    Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

    Neilson Library
    7 Neilson Drive
    Northampton MA 01063