Woodlawn Woman’s Club Records

Dates: 1913-1954
Size: 1 linear foot in 2 boxes, plus 2 photographs and 1 oversize folder
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe-nhrc-wwc
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Transferred from the Chicago Public Library, Woodlawn Regional Library as part of a Dr. Scholl Foundation grant in the 1980s. The materials were originally collected by the Historical Society of Woodlawn.
Conditions Governing Access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Preferred Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Woodlawn Woman’s Club Records [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Finding Aid Author: Original author unknown, 1985. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021


The Woodlawn Women’s Club Records (WWC), contain a bound volume by Louise J. Pearson titled, History of the Woodlawn Woman’s Club, meeting minutes and yearbooks that chronicle by-laws, membership and programs from 1913 to 1954.


During the late winter months of 1895, Mrs. Corrine S. Brown, inspired by the spirit of “get-together-ness” engendered by the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, began planning for an organization for women in the Woodlawn community. A preliminary meeting was held February 4, 1895 in the parlor of Dr. Katherine Clapp’s home on Woodlawn Avenue. Forty interested women attended this meeting and resolved that, “for the promotion of sympathetic unity of feeling and purpose, closer association, and the power of cooperating successfully, we favor the organization of a Women’s Club in Woodlawn.”

Two weeks later, four hundred attended the Woodlawn’s Woman’s Club inaugural meeting held at the Colonial Hotel on February 18, 1895. By the end of its first year, The Woodlawn Woman’s Club (WWC) had incorporated with the State of Illinois, associated with the Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs, and recruited over two hundred and fifty members.

The WWC adopted as its objectives, “mutual counsel and sympathy, unity of action in case of need, and a promotion of higher social, moral, and educational conditions.” Implementing these goals required the customary division of labor. The WWC formed seven sections to carry out its ambitious program: home, literature and science, art and music, education, reform, philanthropy and recreation. By 1954, the last year for which records exist for this collection, WWC membership had dropped to approximately fifty members. The reasons for this decline in WWC membership and the date of WWC’s subsequent dissolution are not readily discernible from the available evidence.

Scope and Contents

The Woodlawn Women’s Club Records (WWC), contain a bound volume by Louise J. Pearson titled, History of the Woodlawn Woman’s Club, meeting minutes and yearbooks that chronicle by-laws, membership and programs from 1913 to 1954. The photographs include an individual member and a group shot.

Copies of selected items are also available at the Chicago Public Library, Woodlawn Regional.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of materials or title and alphabetically within.

Subject Headings

  • Women -- Society and Clubs
  • Woodlawn (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Woodlawn Women’s Club (Chicago, Ill.)

Related Collections

  • Associated Clubs of Woodlawn
  • Clarence S. Darrow Papers
  • United Woodlawn, Inc. Records
  • Woodlawn Block Club Council Records
  • Woodlawn Community Collection
  • Woodlawn Women’s Club Records

Collection Inventory

nhrc Shared Photo Box 6 Photograph 1.1 Cornelius, Mrs. Charles S., circa 1915-1917
Box 2 Folder 20 History of the Woodlawn Woman’s Club, by Louise J. Pearson [additional copy at Woodlawn Regional Branch] (2 copies), circa 1917
Box 1 Folder 1 Minute book, 1927 January 25-1931 November 17
Box 1 Folder 2 News clippings, undated
Oversize Folder 1   Program of the Women’s Conference on Current Problems, news clipping, [1924?] February 26-27
Box 1 Folder 3 Speech, manuscript, undated
nhrc Shared Photo Box 6 Photograph 1.2 Woodlawn Woman’s Club, group photo, 1909
Box 2 Folder 1 Yearbooks, 1913-1922
Box 2 Folder 2 Yearbooks, 1922-1933
Box 2 Folder 3 Yearbooks, 1933-1942
Box 2 Folder 4 Yearbooks, 1923-1924
Box 2 Folder 5 Yearbooks, 1926-1927
Box 2 Folder 6 Yearbooks, 1929-1930
Box 2 Folder 7 Yearbooks, 1930-1931
Box 2 Folder 8 Yearbooks, 1935-1936
Box 2 Folder 9 Yearbooks, 1938-1939
Box 2 Folder 10 Yearbooks, 1942-1943
Box 2 Folder 11 Yearbooks, 1943-1944
Box 2 Folder 12 Yearbooks, 1944-1945
Box 2 Folder 13 Yearbooks, 1945-1946
Box 2 Folder 14 Yearbooks, 1946-1947
Box 2 Folder 15 Yearbooks, 1947-1948
Box 2 Folder 16 Yearbooks, 1948-1950
Box 2 Folder 17 Yearbooks, 1949-1950
Box 2 Folder 18 Yearbooks, 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 19 Yearbooks, 1953-1954
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