Scope and Contents
Records of the two predecessor organizations to the YWCA of the U.S.A. (each went through a succession of names before settling on the ones used here, "International Board" and "American Committee") primarily consist of their Conference and Convention reports and publications. There are some internal documents--minutes, reports, and correspondence--dating primarily from the period when the two organizations began to consider merging in the 1890s to early 1900s.
The Conference and Convention Reports of both organizations are rich with detail about the aims, programs and services of member WCAs and YWCAs as well as statistical information. Included are addresses given at the Conventions on such topics as "fallen women," women's education, "reformatory work," employment for women; and detailed reports given by the various member Associations about their activities and programs. These are some of the best descriptions of what the YWCA is all about. Both organizations' serial publications are also wonderful sources of similar information.
In addition, much about the organizational structure and methodology of the young YWCA of the USA is inherited from the two predecessor organizations.
Along with the materials created by the committees charged with accomplishing a merger in the Merger series, each organization's records contain particularly interesting and unusually frank reports about this slow and rather acrimonious process.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Language of Materials
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063