This collection is comprised of records from the North Shore branch of the American Association of University Women. Centered in the northern suburbs of Chicago, the North Shore branch focuses on advancing women's equality and rights through education, advocacy, and research. Records include newsletters, minutes, reports, correspondence, and other materials.
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 North Shore Branch of AAUW was formed on March 9, 1940, when thirty-five women gathered in the home of Ethel Stafford to discuss the creation of a branch in Evanston, Illinois. Twenty women became the Charter Members that day, and twenty-two more joined at a luncheon on April 13, 1940.
Although the collection includes records dating from its founding in 1940 to 2011, the bulk of the material dates from the 1970s to the 2000s. The collection offers insight into the administrative functions of the branch with records including bylaws, Board minutes, member lists, financial records, and handbooks. Branch newsletters discuss upcoming calendar events such as plays and readings to celebrate Women's History Month, member news, and study group updates. Copies of the branch's yearbook, dating from the 1970s through the 2000s, include full member directories. The collection also includes correspondence, announcements, programs, and invitations related to various events such as anniversaries, the AAUW-IL State Convention, and the branch Fall Benefit.
A portion of this collection is believed to have been acquired from Kate Whitcomb. Additional material was acquired from Margaret Stewart in July of 2012.