Women's History Research Sources
American Association of
University Women (1936-2005)
The records of the local chapter of the AAUW contain meeting minutes (general, board, and executive board), correspondence, annual reports, treasurer's records, bank statements, yearbooks, membership lists, and topical files. Some of the topics include education, ERA, Historic Church tours, Mobile Historic Development Commission, scholarships, social studies, and writing contests. Materials are periodically added to the collection.
As You Like it Club (1973-1987)
This organization was founded by Mrs. Hazel Belle Inge on October 10, 1914, and is still active (2005) as a reading and study club. The collection consists of year-long programs from 1973 until 1987. The study programs have focused on a variety of topics, including culture, history, industry, and sociology. The programs also include the constitution, by-laws, and history of the organization.
Azalea City Quilters Guild
Established in 1980 by a small group of local women, the Azalea City Quilters Guild has held quilt shows since its second year. The group also holds workshops and donates quilts for fundraising to various local charities, including the Ronald McDonald House and Project Linus. This collection consists of organizational records, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, quilt show programs, quilt patterns, correspondence, and other memorabilia collected by members of the group. An inventory to the collection is available on this web site.
Downtown Servicemen's Center (1942-1945)
The center was located at the St. Francis Street Methodist Church during World War II. The purpose was to provide a "home-like lounge, rooms, social and recreational activities for Service Men of the United States." Kathryn de Celle was the Hostess-Director of the center. Many local Mobile churches also contributed financially to the Servicemen's Center. An album kept by the center contains photographs, correspondence, news clippings, and programs.
Forum Club (1928-2004)
The Forum Club was founded by Hazel Belle (Mrs. H. T.) Inge in November 1928, and was affiliated with the Woman's Clubhouse Association. The Forum Club's purpose was "to meet and discuss the current events of the day," and to "learn to speak with force and effectiveness on topics without embarrassment." The club's records include correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, and scrap books. The scrap books contain annual histories of the organization, news clippings, and photos of members.
Junior League of Mobile
The Junior League of Mobile was originally founded in 1925 as the Mobile Charity League. In 1932 it was incorporated into the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). The Junior League is committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership. The Junior League of Mobile Records contain correspondence, minutes, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, and subject files detailing the operations of the organization from its founding through 2009. The subject files contain a great deal of information about volunteerism in post-World War II Mobile, particularly in the areas of childrens health and education. 44 cubic feet.
League of Women Voters
The records of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters contains local, state, and national records, including correspondence, meeting minutes, annual reports, membership information, treasurer's reports, and newspaper clippings. It also contains information regarding a variety of topics, including elections, education, environment, health care, tax reform, welfare reform, and poverty. Materials are periodically added to the collection.
Mobile British Women's Club (1964-1994)
The Mobile British Women's Club was formerly The British Wives Club, and before that, The British Brides Club. The collection includes meeting notes from 1964-1994, correspondence, membership lists, community information, photographs, and newspaper clippings.
See also, Martha Mercer, "British Brides, American Wives: The Immigration and Acculturation of War Brides in Mobile, Alabama, 1945-1993," (M.A. Thesis, University of South Alabama, 1992) and oral interview tapes.
Mobile Female Benevolent Society (1831-1991)
The Mobile Female Benevolent Society was founded in 1829 as a non-denominational organization to aid indigent widows through the donation of food, clothing, and medical supplies. In 1835, the society built and maintained several houses called "Widows' Row" at Dearborn and Warren streets. The organization later bought the Gazzam home at Government and Ann Streets to house the women. This site is known as the Murray House and is operated by the Episcopal diocese of the Central Gulf Coast under the auspices of the Mobile Female Benevolent Society.
The collection contains the 1831, 1937, and 1951 constitutions, articles of incorporation (1841), inmate policies and legal agreements, miscellaneous correspondence and financial records, resident lists (1873-1960), and minutes from 1860-64, 1886-92, 1897-98, 1953-54, 1982-83, and 1988-89.
The Non-Partisan Voters League was organized in Mobile in 1956, the same time that the Alabama Attorney General banned the NAACP. The NPVL continued the civil rights activism in Mobile while the NAACP was outlawed and after it resumed. The collection contains records which span thirty years (1956-1987), with the bulk of materials between 1961 and 1975.
As the records of this collection reveal, the NPVL demanded the hiring of more black municipal employees, sued to force desegregation of the Mobile school system, filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice to open public accommodations to all, launched massive voter registration campaigns , and challenged the constitutionality of Mobile's commission form of municipal government. This collection includes discrimination suits involving women.
See also Keith Nicholls, "The Non-Partisan Voters League of Mobile, Alabama" (vertical file).
Schumann Club (1894-present)
The Schumann Club, previously known as the Clara Schumann Music Club, was organized by a group of educated, middle and upper class women with the goal to maintain a high musical standard in their own work and to promote the culture of musical art in the Mobile area. The club regularly presented piano and vocal scholarships to high school students. In 1984, the group changed its name to reflect the decision to admit men. The organization is the earliest music club in the state.
The collection includes scrapbooks, constitution and by-laws, membership applications, meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, performers, programs, historian's reports, publications, news clippings, and newsletters.
Siena Vista Garden
Newspaper articles, art magazine clippings, magazine articles, ads, postcards, and photographs related to the Sienna Vista Garden Club and its mission to promote beautification in their neighborhood. The Garden Club was founded in 1948. As part of their beautification efforts, homeowners on Siena Vista Street agreed to decorate their homes and yards during the Christmas season, something for which they became renowned. Viewing the decorations became an annual tradition for many Mobilians. A finding aid for the collection is available on this web site.
Wilmer Hall (1864-65, 1941)
Wilmer Hall, originally called The Episcopal Church Home for orphaned children, was founded in 1864 in Tuscaloosa under the second Bishop of Alabama, Bishop Wilmer. When Wilmer moved to Mobile in 1867, he also moved the home Mobile. For much of the time, Episcopal nuns operated the home and school, particularly following Wilmer's death in 1900.
Two particular items of interest include the following: Alice Blassingame, "A Study of the Episcopal Church Home in Mobile, AL" (M.A. Thesis, Tulane University, 1941); and the diary of Sister Harriet, 1864-65, the second head deaconess at the home.
Study Club (1941-2002)
The records of the Wistaria Study Club consist of club minutes and correspondence, as well as information on the scholarship program. In addition, the collection has ten scrapbooks that relate to Wistaria Study Club activities and contain programs, newsclippings, and photographs, among other material. The goal of the club was to "encourage educational betterment and stimulate intellectual and liberal culture." One of the club's most far-reaching efforts to aid education was its nursing scholarship program, which the group sponsored from 1940 to 1965. In addition to the nursing program, the Wistaria Study Club supported various local, state, and national charities or groups such as Murphy High School, the Miss Alabama Scholarship Fund, and the Creek Indian Fund.
Women's Christian Union of Chickasaw (1927-1933)
This collection consists of one minute book which contains the organization's constitution and by-laws as well as membership and attendance records. The organization's objective was to enlist women of Chickasaw in active Christian service and for the betterment of civic and social conditions. Some of the topics discussed included giving money to families in need, helping people who were ill, widowed, or orphaned, as well as entertainment.
Woman's Clubhouse Association
The purpose of this association was to "create and maintain an organized center of thought and activity among the women of Mobile; to aid in the promotion of their mutual interests in the advancement of science, education, civics, patriotism, literature, art, community service; and to provide a place of meeting for the comfort and convenience of its members." The collection includes scrapbooks, 1931-2003; minutes, 1930-1970; programs, correspondence, and songbooks.
YWCA (1904-1962) (microfilmed)
The YWCA album contains information regarding the local
white women's organization and contains correspondence, programs, news clippings, and