The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA was founded in England in 1855 with the goal to provide social and spiritual support for young women. The Ladies Christian Association was formed in New York City in 1858, and it is considered the beginning of the YWCA in the United States.
The YWCA of Fort Worth was organized by Mrs. Ralph Smith and Mrs. Q. T. Moreland in 1906. They began by providing lunch and free rooms to women in need of assistance. On August 2, 1907, YWCA Fort Worth was chartered making in the first YWCA in the state of Texas. The YWCA expanded, and it began operating a boarding house and an employment bureau to help women find jobs. Other early projects included raising funds for playgrounds and opening a hostess house in connection with Camp Bowie.
The YWCA was involved in the organization of Hi-Club and Beta Alpha Rho in the 1920s and 30s. During World War II the organization provided USO activities and acted as a ration station. In 1946, YWCA Fort Worth adopted an Interracial Charter, and in 1968, the downtown YWCA merged with the Highland Park YWCA, which served African-American women in Fort Worth. The building at 512 W 4th Street was purchased in 1955, and it remains the YWCA headquarters today. Through the years, the YWCA has worked to support all ages of local citizens by providing programming for senior citizens, clubs like the Y-Teens for teenagers, and a daycare center for young children.
The YWCA Records were donated to the Library by the YWCA in 2006. Carol Klocek donated additional records on July 9, 2009.
Scope and Contents Note
The collection consists of organizational records, financial records, marketing materials, membership records, agendas, photographs, negatives, slides, scrapbooks, awards and certificates, budgets, bylaws, clippings, correspondence, manuals and handbooks, minutes, newsletters, notes, posters, and reports that document YWCA Fort Worth. The records date from 1884 - 2007 with the bulk of the records dating from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The records are arranged into ten series and measure 18.1 linear feet (46 Boxes).
- Series I: Agendas and Meeting Minutes (1907 - 1984) - Contains the Board of Directors’ minutes including minutes from 1907 when the YWCA was chartered. This series also includes the Annual Meeting minutes as well as various boards’ and committees’ meeting minutes that can give insight into the operations and programs at the YWCA.
- Series II: Correspondence (1910 - 1997) - Contains both internal and external correspondence concerning YWCA business, operations, causes, and interests.
- Series III: Office and Program Files (1907 - 2005) - Contains records that reflect the interests of the YWCA and document the programs, clubs, and events the association organized. The records include the history of the local and national YWCAs and Mrs. Ralph Smith’s President’s Book. This series contains four subseries: Angels, YW on Town, Young Adults and Y-Teens, and Clippings. The Angels subseries is made up of planning and legal documents, publicity materials, and clippings about the Young Women’s Community Angels program. YW on the Town was a fundraising event, and this subseries has publicity materials, photographs, clippings, planning notes, and meeting minutes. The Young Adult and Y-Teens subseries consists of newsletters, photographs, and other printed materials that document young adult clubs and activities sponsored by the YWCA. Most of the materials relate to the Y-Teens. The fourth subseries, Clippings, contains clippings with articles about the YWCA, its members, and issues of importance. The clippings have been photocopied onto acid-free paper for preservation purposes.
- Series IV: Reports (1912 - 1977) - Contains two subseries, Narrative Reports and Statistical Reports. The narrative reports provide information about the YWCA in Fort Worth and the national organization. The statistical reports recorded information about clubs, classes, teams, interest groups, committees, and different programs offered at and by the local branches.
- Series V: Public Relations (1939 - 1994) - Consists of press releases, newsletters, brochures, and other publicity materials created by or about the YWCA.
- Series VI: Financial Records (1884 - 1990) - Contains budget reports, treasurer reports, and various documents concerning the different local YWCA buildings through the years.
- Series VII: Photographs (1923 - 2005) - Comprised of photographs, negatives, and slides. The images depict YWCA activities, programs, clubs, members, leaders, and fundraising events.
- Series VIII: Scrapbooks (1920 - 1975) - Contains 28 scrapbooks that hold both photographs and clippings. A number of the scrapbooks contain photographs from Camp Yo-Wo-Chi-A.
- Series IX: Memorabilia (1921 - 1986) - Consists of various objects including a room key to a room in the current YWCA location on 4th street and a copy of The Girl Reserve Movement: A Manual for Advisers from the 1920s.
- Series X: Oversized Materials (1958 - 2007) - Contains oversized items like copies of the YWCA Interchange which replaced the YWCA Magazine in 1974. It also contains a Bicentennial Certificate of Recognition from 1976 and posters.
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Last updated: Jan. 8, 2015