Guide to the College Women's Club of Dayton Records

College Women's Club of Dayton Records
Wright State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives
Phone: 937-775-2092
College Women's Club of Dayton
16.5 linear feet
Established in 1907, the College Women's Club of Dayton (CWC) continues to meet monthly during the fall, winter, and spring months for the purpose of uniting "alumnae of institutions of higher learning, and to foster an interest in higher education." The club continues to promote higher education, offer continuing education through study groups, and encourage service to the community. The collection contains financial, administrative, and membership records.
The records are in English

History of College Women's Club of Dayton Records

In 1950, the College Women's Club of Dayton prepared the history of their organization stating, "In 1906, a young woman who had graduated from college before coming to Dayton provided the inspiration needed to form the club. On a routine visit to the office of Dr. Gertrude Felker and Dr. Eleanora Everhard, she confided that she felt isolated and lonely. While few women of that day attended college, there was here a small group of Ohio State University graduates who met occasionally. At one of their gatherings the plight of this young woman was the topic of conversation. By March of 1907, primarily as a result of the efforts of Dr. Felker and Dr. Everhard, work was well underway to bring college educated women together for fellowship and further intellectual development. In April of that year, eighteen charter members adopted a constitution and elected Dr. Felker the first president." Thirty-eight women attended the first meeting of the College Women's Club of Dayton, including Katharine Wright, a graduate of Oberlin College and the sister of Dayton aviators, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Katharine would later serve as the club president in 1910.

The College Women's Club of Dayton was one of the four founding members of the Dayton Federation of Women. Members, encouraged to serve their community, distinguished themselves in the mid-1920s as the sponsors of a settlement house in the West Dayton Hungarian neighborhood, donated a surgical dressing unit during World War I, and made financial contributions to several local welfare causes, in addition to their on-going goal to foster an interest in higher education through a scholarship fund. Original members organized themselves into interest groups, called Study Groups, to promote more intimate friendships and to provide programs of specialized interest. Their topics covered the arts, drama, cooking, gardening, music, education, travel, government, and war prevention. Several of these groups continue today, adjusting their focus to meet the needs of their membership, including such topics as financial planning.

The CWC continues to meet monthly during the fall, winter, and spring months for the purpose of uniting "alumnae of institutions of higher learning, and to foster an interest in higher education." The club continues to promote higher education, offers continuing education through their study group experiences and activities, and encourages service to the community.

Scope and Content

The College Women's Club of Dayton collection is composed mostly of organizational records documenting the formation and life of the Club dating from 1907 to the present. In addition to administrative records, there are several scrapbooks filled with pictures, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia.

Series I, Administrative and Organizational Management, consists of administrative and organizational records. Included in this series are club histories, meeting agendas and minutes, constitutional information, annual reports, and officer duties. Records encompass the years 1936 to 2016. The minutes for 1965-1966 are missing because they were lost in transit somewhere.

Series II, Financial Records, consists of financial records. Included in this series are treasurer's reports, financial ledgers, tax information, and documentation of scholarship contributions. Records encompass the years 1907 to 2016.

Series III, Membership Activities, consists of various membership activity records. Included in this series are reports of the corresponding secretary, membership rosters, and committee reports. Span dates are 1915 to 2018.

Series IV, Study Groups, consists of records of small internal organizations called Study Groups. Each of these groups focused on a particular topic such as travel, theater, or interior decorating. Included in this series is documentation of each group's organization and rules of governance as well as meeting minutes and other information pertaining to group activities. Also included are notes and programs from the club's luncheons. Records encompass the years 1951 to 2016.

Series V, Publicity and Correspondence, consists of publicity for upcoming club events. In this series are newsletters, yearly programs, documentation of club events, correspondence, and information contained in press releases. Records encompass the years 1944 to 2016.

Series VI, Photographs, consists of two boxes of photographs depicting the June luncheon and special events from 1996 to 2012.

Series VII, Scrapbooks, consists of several scrapbooks which contain photographs, newspaper clippings, awards and other Club memorabilia. Materials in this series date from 1940 to 2006.

Series VIII, President Notebooks, consists of the President Notebooks. These notebooks are kept by the President for that year. Since the President changes each year the material kept in these notebooks will vary. Materials in this series date from 2008 to 2010.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 8 series:
Series I: Administrative and Organizational Management, 1936-2016
Series II: Financial Records, 1907-2016
Series III: Membership Activities, 1915-2018
Series IV: Study Groups, 1951-2016
Series V: Publicity and Correspondence, 1944-2016
Series VI: Photographs, 1996-2012
Series VII: Scrapbooks, 1940-2006
Series VIII: President Notebooks, 2008-2010

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Related Material: Related Material

MS-187 Dayton Federation of Women's Clubs Records

MS-228 Helen Hunt Club Records

MS-408 Woman's Literary Club Records

MS-441 Trotwood Women's Club Records

Separated Material: Separated Material

The Dayton Metro Library has a few records of the CWC. Among these are the 1913-1914 yearbooks and the October 1944 newsletter, both of which are not found in this collection.

Subject Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Women -- Education (Higher) -- Ohio -- Dayton
Women -- Societies and clubs


College Women's Club of Dayton -- Archives
Dayton Federation of Women's Clubs


Dayton (Ohio)

Material Types:

Financial records

Preferred Citation

[Box Number, Folder Number], MS-315, College Women's Club of Dayton Records, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated on behalf of the College Women's Club of Dayton by Mary Jane Pesa to Wright State Special Collections and Archives in April 2002 on behalf of the College Women's Club of Dayton.

Processing Information

The College Women’s Club of Dayton conducted their business meetings following the format of a school calendar, beginning their year in October and ending in June. The end of their program year was in June, culminating with their annual June luncheon. The consistency of the club record keeping varied, not always following the October to June format. At one point, the club began to have overlapping executive board meetings, especially during periods of transition from one leadership committee to the one elected for the following year. It is advisable to check both years of club minutes. Collection processors decided to retain the monthly agendas. At one point, club presidents began to script their leadership comment. This gives interesting insight into the social nature of this organization.

The President of the College Women’s Club of Dayton keeps a notebook which contains a variety of information. When the collection was initially processed, the information kept in these notebooks were separated and placed within the corresponding folders. Starting with June 2008- June 2009 the notebooks were kept intact and can be found in Series VIII.


Additions are received regularly.

Other Finding Aid

A complete box and folder inventory for this collection is available on the Special Collections and Archives web site at .