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Women’s History, Organizations and Projects, O-Z

PHYLLIS WHEATLEY YMCA, Collection, 1897-1955. M 0494, OM 0300. One box, three folders. Collection guide online. The Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the Indianapolis YWCA was established in 1923 as the first and only independent black YWCA in America and was named after a famous African-American poet. By 1928, the organization was located at 601 West St. and became a hub of cultural and educational activity. The organization offered concerts, plays, and various seminars and conferences, as well as practical classes and recreation. The branch closed in 1959. The collection consists of pamphlets, programs, news clippings and newsletters for the branch, as well as newsletters from the Senate Avenue Branch of the YMCA. Most materials date from the 1930s.

PI LAMBDA THETA INDIANAPOLIS CHAPTER. Records, 1929-1983. M 0392, BV 2037-2040d. Four boxes, seven volumes. Collection guide in library. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-298. Pi Lambda Theta is a national honorary society for women in education. The Indianapolis chapter was founded in 1929 by women from Indiana University. The chapter has provided scholarships for Indianapolis area college students, honored outstanding high school students, given recognition to professional women in the field and contributed to charitable causes. The collection contains the chapter’s minutes, financial records, membership directories, constitution and bylaws, scrapbooks, and records of the Honors Day programs for high school students.

PIERIAN STUDY CLUB. Records, 1926-1993. M 0176. Two boxes. Collection guide online. The Pierian Study Club was founded in 1926 “to study literature and drama and to encourage an interchange of thought by papers and discourse and to promote original work and expression.” Members, limited to 20, came primarily from the north and east sides of Indianapolis, although there were a few from Southport and Franklin. The club was disbanded in 1993. The collection includes minutes, yearbooks and historical recollections from the years 1926 to 1993.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL INDIANA. Records, 1932-1985.M 0468, BV 2252-2254, OMB 0053. Sixteen boxes, three volumes. Collection guide online. The Central Indiana branch of the organization was established in 1932 as the Indiana Birth Control League; it became the Maternal Health League of Indiana in 1934. The first clinic was established in 1933 in Indianapolis and served only married women with two or more children who were referred by a physician or social agency. By the mid-l950s the association expanded from traditional birth control services into the areas of premarital counseling, service to teens and infertility services. The bulk of the collection contains records after 1970. Records predating this consist mainly of board of directors’ minutes and related materials.

PLEASANT RUN CHILDREN’S HOME. Records, 1867-. M 0227, BV 1700-1788, BV 1884-1885, BV 1920-1922. Six boxes, 14 volumes, one folder. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-300. Pleasant Run Children’s Home was founded in 1867 by an Indianapolis German fraternal organization. It became the General Protestant Orphan Association in 1918 and changed to its present name in 1971. Among the records in this collection are minutes of meetings of the ladies auxiliary (1902-1918).

PRAIRIE TREK EXPEDITIONS. Records, 1925-1978. M 0390, BV 2692-2693, OM 0108. Eighteen boxes, two volumes, three folders. Collection guide in library. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-304. Prairie Trek Expeditions was organized in 1926 by Hillis L. Howie, an Indianapolis teacher and Boy Scout leader, as a summer wilderness program in the Southwest. Originally designed for boys, separate expeditions were created for girls. The collection includes board minutes, financial records, ledgers and papers concerning the operation of the program; published accounts of each trek’s experiences; and scrapbooks, songs, cookbooks and recipe cards.

PROGRESSIVE COMMUNITY CLUB. Collection, 1940-1982. M 0531. Two boxes. Collection guide online. Part of the Black Women in the Middle West Project. The Progressive Community Club was an African American community improvement group in Indianapolis. It sponsored educational programs, established scholarship funds and encouraged members to vote. In 1956, the club became a member of the Federation of Associated Clubs, an organization of African-American social clubs formed in 1937 to improve living and working conditions in the city. Records from the Progressive Community Club and the Federation of Associated Clubs include correspondence, minutes, programs, fundraising materials, newsletters and photographs. Photographs of unidentified groups and individuals are probably associated with the Federation of Associated Clubs.

RECLAIMING A GERMAN AMERICAN PAST: THE DUBOIS COUNTY AREA ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS, 1993-1994. SC 2568. Three folders. Collection guide online. The collection is comprised of oral history transcripts from interviews with Lillian Doane (Oct. 23, 1993) and Norbert Krapf (Aug. 6, 1993). Lillian Doane, a lifelong resident of Dubois County, reminiscences about family and community life in the German-American community of  Jasper. She also discusses the genealogy of the Fehrenbach family of Germany and the United States.

REMEMBERING INDIANA IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.” M 0704. One box. Collection guide online. This collection consists of 15 transcripts of interviews that were completed as part of a project entitled “Remembering Indiana in the Twentieth Century.” Six of the interviews relate to Indianapolis; one to Tell City (Labhart); and the others relate to Evansville. All of the interviews discuss the individuals’ family and personal histories, and the city or area where they lived. Interviewees include Hazel Hayden, Mildred Kuhlenschmidt, Alberta Murphy, Mary Brookins, Ida Edelen, Alice Hottenstein, Marcella Massey, Mary-Jane Koch, Dee Margardant and Mary E. Trabits.

REVIEWCLUB. Records, 1922-1994. M 0437. One box. Collection guide online. The Review Club was organized in 1922 by a group of about 20 northside Indianapolis women. They planned a program of book reviews that over the years came to include professional speakers, trips around the state to visit libraries, and even a club quartet. The club disbanded in 1994. Historical material related to the club and its activities form the bulk of this collection.

RIPLEY COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHS BY VIOLET E. TOPH AND FRANK TUCKER. 1940. P 0322. One folder. Collection guide online. Violet E. Toph (1878-ca. 1966) was born near Elrod and attended Ripley County schools and Hanover College. A resident of Versailles, she taught school in Ripley County and was the first secretary of the Ripley County Historical Society. The collection contains eight hand-colored photographs of landscapes and bridges in Ripley County. Violet Toph made seven items and Frank Tucker made one image, a photograph of the Ohio Southwestern Railroad bridge over Laughery Creek.

SAMMY GIRLS Collection, 1914-1926. M 0453. One box. Collection guide online. The Sammy Girls, a local women’s organization centered in Lewisville, was organized in 1914 to write letters and send other useful articles to servicemen at home and abroad during World War I. Members wrote primarily to army men and always as Sammy Girls, never under their own names. The Sammy Girls were most active from early 1918 through July 1919. Most of the nearly 200 letters and postcards are replies from servicemen to letters and packages and as such shed much less light on the women’s organization itself than the soldier’s army life.

SENIOR LAWYERS PROJECT. Collection, 1968-1991. M 0574, BV 2598-2604, BV 2616-2660, CT 0470-0516, CT 0518-0567. Five boxes, 13 volumes, 107 cassette tapes. Collection guide online. This collection includes oral history interviews with 12 lawyers, transcripts and supporting documentation on such diverse topics as rural electrification, Indianapolis-Unigov, and legal culture and civil rights.  Jeanne S. Miller, an attorney from the Fort Wayne, Allen County, was interviewed on women and the legal culture and civil rights.

SIGMA DELTA PI. Records, 1930-1982. M 0588. One box. Collection guide online. The Sigma Delta Pi Sorority was organized in 1906 by Versie Case Kramer at the Teacher’s College of Indianapolis as a professional educators sorority. The collection includes an historical sketch and constitution of the organization, copies of its publication, The Link, and bulletins and booklets from Teacher’s College of Indianapolis and Butler University.

SOCIAL SEWING SOCIETY. Records, 1851-1862. SC 2349. One folder. Collection guide online. The Social Sewing Society of Greene County(?) was formed by the ladies of Green (sic) in 1851 to aid the destitute and promote benevolence. The organization was apparently affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. The volume contains the organization’s constitution, membership list, regulations and meeting minutes.

SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (CONSERVATIVE) WESTERN YEARLY MEETING EPISTLES. Letter,1880-1890. SC 2607. Two folders. Collection guide in library. The collection consists of epistles written to the women of the Society of Friends (Conservative) Western Yearly Meeting (Plainfield) from women of other yearly meetings in New England, Kansas, Ohio, Iowa and Ontario.

SOJOURNER TRUTH CLUB. Records, 1922-1975. M 0540. Two boxes. Collection guide online. The Sojourner Truth Club was organized in Richmond, Wayne County, in 1921. It sponsored health programs, a college scholarship, and support for the needy. Records in this collection include its constitution and bylaws, correspondence and minutes.

SPIRIT OF 76. Scroll Play, 1876. M 0627. One box. Collection guide online. The collection consists of a play apparently written in 1876 and set in the Boston, Mass., area. The play is a satire on role-reversal between the sexes. The protagonist returns home after 10 years in China to discover men darning socks and women working as tax assessors and judges. Eventually he is proposed to by one of the women.

VINCENT CHAUTAUQUA LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC CLUB MINUTES, 1908-1973. M 0505, BV 2492-2495. One box, four volumes. Collection guide online. Vincent Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Club of Indianapolis was formed by Mrs. M.J. Allison in 1908 to study books and engage in volunteer work. It affiliated with the Local Council of Women in April of 1916 and by November 1919 united with the Indiana Federation of Clubs. It disbanded during the 1970s. The bulk of this collection consists of meeting minutes, but also includes programs, yearbooks, officers and membership lists, constitution and bylaws.

WARWICK: A HISTORY OF THE MIDWESTERN RURAL VILLAGE. IHRG Project, 19951996. M 0685. One box. Collection guide online. This oral history project was part of an Indiana Heritage Research Grant (#95-3014) awarded to the Northern Indiana Historical Society in 1995. This collection consists of an abstract for the project, oral history typescripts, interview questions, summaries, material concerning presentations on the project and photocopies of newspaper articles. Interviews took place between May 1995 and February 1996. The interviewees discuss family histories, Warwick, the Chicago Trail (Chicago Road), and the John Reynolds farmstead. Interviewees include Carmen Foster, Ann Fox, Ruth James, Mary Margaret Marker, Nell Morehouse, Kathy Shand and Susan (Fox) Walls.

WABASH COLLEGE ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Collection. M 0647, CT 0593-0701. Three boxes, 109 cassette tapes. Collection guide online. As part of Wabash College’s sesquicentennial celebration, faculty of the Minority Studies Committee proposed an oral history project focused on African-Americans at Wabash. The project was expanded to include the city of Crawfordsville. The collection includes interviews with the following women: Edith Reed, Frances Wooden, Mrs. Sam Churchill, Leona Mitchell, Helen Eubank, Jasmine Robinson, Peggy Wooden, Madonna Robinson, Maxine Burdett, Elsie Bard, Elizabeth Smith, Betty Lee, Brenda Barbee, Pat Johnson, Gwen Dudley, Briana Robinson, Rebecca Powell, Tracey Smith, Pam Turner, Pat Turner, Katrynka Eubank, Shannon Barbee, Rose Olabegi Adesiyan and Nancy Servies.

WHITING, INDIANA GENERATIONAL MEMORY IN MODERN AMERICA. Oral history project, 1990-1993. F 1188-1189. wo microfilm reels. Collection guide online. A grant-funded research project that investigated differences between the memories and values of a generation in the United States and the impact of historic events upon the creation of those memories and values in creating a “generation.” Memories of people living during the Great Depression and World War II were contrasted with those individuals living after World War II. There were 52 interviews with 66 people interviewed, 17 of which were interviewed as couples. Thirty-two women were interviewed.

WOMAN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION. Records, 1915-1932. SC 2278. Two folders. No collection guide in library. Sadie E. (Jackson) York held state offices in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and was active in the Meridian WCTU. Lewis E. York was a member of the Illinois State Legislature (1904-1908) and superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League of Indiana (1926-1947). The collection contains correspondence, obituaries, magazines and other materials concerning the WCTU and Anti-Saloon League in connection with Sadie E. and Lewis E. York.

WOMAN’S FRANCHISE LEAGUE OF INDIANA. Records, 1914-1919. SC 1761. Three folders. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-403. The Woman’s Franchise League was a predecessor of the League of Women Voters. The collection consists of league records from the period 1917 through 1919, including printed suffrage campaign leaflets and training materials for campaign workers; correspondence from the league’s state headquarters in Peru, Miami County; financial reports; and clippings on the suffrage movement.

WOMAN’S HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY. Records, 1910-1913. SC 2350. One folder. Collection guide online. The national Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, established in 1880 in Cincinnati, was formed to aid women in the South and the West, Mormon women, and missionaries throughout the country. In Indiana, the society raised funds for the establishment of Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis from 1907 to 1908, and in 1912 it established an Italian Mission in the same city. The collection consists of the Auxiliary Treasurer’s Book for the North Indiana Conference of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1910 to 1913.

WOMAN’S IMPROVEMENT CLUB. Collection, 1909-1965. M 0432. One box. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-404. The Woman’s Improvement Club, organized in 1903 by Indianapolis journalist Lillian Thomas Fox, promoted civic activities and sponsored self-improvement programs for African American women in Indianapolis. Among the club’s activities was the sponsorship of an open-air camp near Indianapolis for black tuberculosis patients. The records include minutes, financial records, correspondence regarding club activities, membership lists and club constitutions. Black Women in the Middle West Project.

WOMAN’S PRESS CLUB OF INDIANA. Records, 1913-1988. M 0373, BV 1991-1993. Eleven boxes, three volumes. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-405. The Woman’s Press Club of Indiana started in 1913 as a social and professional organization for women reporters and writers and is a charter member of the National Federation of Press Women. The records consist of the club’s minutes and correspondence, financial reports and papers, membership and attendance lists, publications, scrapbooks, and clippings on the activities of the club and its members.

WOMAN’S ROTARY CLUB. Records, 1979-1997. M 0735. One box, five folders of photographs. Collection guide online. The Woman’s Rotary Club of Indianapolis was organized in 1919 by a group of local businesswomen. Membership was by invitation, but was open to any woman engaged in a profession or position of responsibility. The club’s goals were to promote the business interest of all members; establish high ethical standards in business and the professions; promote acquaintance as an opportunity for service and as an aid to success; maintain interest in all public movement and civic development; and provide scholarships. The organization was nonpolitical and had no affiliation with Rotary International. The club concluded its operations in 1997 when the Rotary International began accepting women members. The collection includes by-laws; historical information; yearbooks/membership lists; and the club’s newsletter, The Wheel Other items include board materials presidential files, and news clippings and magazine articles containing information regarding the club’s activities. Visual materials in the collection include photographs of the club’s fashion shows as well as the 1993 Christmas program and several other functions from the 1990s.

WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS, INC. Records, 1915-. M 0375, OMB 0052. Forty-seven boxes, one folder. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-406. Women in Communications Inc. was founded in 1960 as Theta Sigma journalism. It has been active in providing training in communications work, in promoting professional recognition for women in the communications field, and lobbying for legislation relating to communications and equal rights for women. The current name was adopted in 1972. The Indianapolis chapter was started in 1928 by students at Butler and DePauw Universities. The records include bylaws and constitutions; minutes; financial statements and reports; correspondence; clippings and scrapbooks; membership lists and initiation materials; papers relating to the Women in Communications scholarship, membership and awards programs for young people; meeting materials and reports; and local and national publications.

WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION FOR NATIONAL PROHIBITION REFORM. Records, 1931-1933. SC 1631. One folder. Collection guide in library. The collection includes minutes (1931-1933) for this Marion County group. They provide a resume of activities, including the temporary merging of Marion County Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform with the Marion County Non-Partisan Repeal Committee.