American Association of University Women, Champaign-Urbana Branch. Records, 1902-1992 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
The American Association of University Women began in 1881 when seventeen women in Boston formed the Association of Collegiate Alumnae for the purpose of uniting the alumnae of different institutions for practical educational work. In 1889 it merged with the Western Association of College Women under the ACA name. A final union with the Southern Association of College Women in 1921 brought about the present AAUW.
The Central Illinois Branch of the AAUW was formed in 1902 when 25 members of the Illinois College Club abandoned that title and affiliated themselves with the AAUW. According to its constitution, the purpose of the branch is to "unite the college women of the community for work on the educational, civic and social problems of the community and to cooperate with the AAUW in its general work." In 1938 the branch voted to change its name to the Champaign-Urbana Branch.
The main activities of the organization include: efforts to improve educational standards and opportunities by means of legislation and AAUW-sponsored fellowships, study groups on topics ranging from international relations to creative writing, antique shows and sales, and participation in programs which promote the welfare of the Champaign-Urbana community.
The collection contains minutes, yearbooks, annual reports, study group reports, correspondence, membership lists, and scrapbooks. The constitutions and by-laws of the national, state, and branch organizations make up a part of the records. Reports of the international, national, regional, and state conventions, conferences and workshops are also included. The correspondence section contains all communications from the national and state headquarters to the branch, and branch inquiries to personnel at the national and state levels. It also includes the routine local correspondence to branch members, prospective members and organizations in the Champaign-Urbana community. The publications of the various levels of the AAUW organization are in the collection, including the "International Federation of University Women Newsletter", the national "AAUW Journal," the Illinois State Division "Newsletter," and the Champaign-Urbana Branch "Newsletter." Records of the branch when it functioned as part of ACA, 1902-1922, are incorporated into the AAUW organization but designated as ACA records.
The Champaign-Urbana records were originally deposited in the University of Illinois Library in 1947, and were given their present arrangement in 1976. The collection includes several additions.