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American Association of University Women records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00330

Scope and Contents

Records consist of printed material related to the AAUW and its Boston and Los Angeles branches. The collection also contains some memorabilia and audio tapes of the 1981 National Convention in Boston.


  • 1921-1983 (ongoing)


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Portions of collection are stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Access

Portions of collection are stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections ( at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Biographical / Historical

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) was the first organization of university women in the United States. It was founded as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA) on January 14, 1882 by sixty-five women from Boston University, the universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, Cornell, Oberlin, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley. In 1921, the name was changed to the American Association of University Women after the ACA merged with the Western Association of Collegiate Alumnae (founded 1883 in Chicago) and the Southern Association of College Women (founded in 1903). The AAUW led the movement to improve conditions and facilities for women in many colleges and universities. Early administrators used AAUW institutional admission as leverage to obtain funding for women's dormitories, to improve the salaries of women instructors, and to encourage the hiring of women in positions beyond the instructor level, as well as to promote a cordial attitude toward women students. Today the Association promotes the advancement of women's education and women in society by funding projects of branch and state divisions and individual members through research and project grants and fellowship programs. The AAUW maintains a library and an archival collection on women, supports a lobbying team on women's issues, and produces numerous publications. There are branches in every state and a membership of nearly two hundred thousand.


2 boxes (1.25 linear feet)


Women's collegiate association. Collection conisists primarily of printed material relating to the organization and its Boston and Los Angeles branches.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Other Finding Aids

OCLC Number: 50118154

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is comprised of the following accessions, some of which may not have accession records. Accession numbers: no accession number, 86S-11, 86S-114, 03S-60, 09S-97 . Accessions were received on the following dates: ?-1986, 2003-10-06, 2009-11-19.

Related Material

Additional material located in the Records of the AAUW Massachusetts Division; the Connecticut Valley Branch; and the Worcester Branch Records.

The History of the American Association of University Women by Marion Talbot and Lois Kimball Mathews Rosenberry (1931) and AAUW Journal, vols. 15 (1921)-31 (1938), Sophia Smith Collection.
American Association of University Women records
Finding Aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • Location of donor files

Repository Details

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

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063