Petworth Women’s Club Collection, 1914-1964

Petworth Women’s Club Collection, 1914-1964

Finding Aid

Collection No. 52 (3.5 linear feet)
D.C. Community Archives


Items in this collection were part of Washingtoniana's vertical files. Vertical files are maintained for ease of reference on various topics related to D.C. history and current events. To ensure the physical preservation of fragile handwritten documents in the vertical file, in 1999, they were removed and photocopied. Photocopies were returned to the vertical files and the originals are in this collection.


On the evening of July 6, 1914, Mrs. Harriet Hill, who lived on Taylor Street, called the president of the D.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs about organizing a women’s club to promote the best interests of the Petworth neighborhood. Eleven women met that evening and officers were elected. Soon after, six sections were formed, including civic, educational, literature, home, philanthropic, music and art to choose appropriate social, educational, or philanthropic activities for its members.

In the early years, membership was limited to women of Petworth, as bounded by Hamilton Street on the North, Rock Creek Church Road on the south, Third Street on the east, and Georgia Avenue to the west. Starting in 1914, monthly business meetings were held in the Petworth School house, then by 1937 at the Petworth Methodist Church.

Highlights of club activities included:  a campaign led by Mrs. A.C. Norcross for a public library branch in Petworth in the 1920s; a Red Cross Production unit organized during WWII; a visiting nurses group which assisted at the Walter Reed Hospital; and a sewing circle of the Philanthropic section which provided clothes to needy children at D.C. Village and the Convalescent Hospital for almost 30 years. Charter members included Mrs. Annie Nelson, Mrs. A.C. Norcross, Mrs. Harriet Hill, Mrs. W.F. North, Mrs. Frank H. Schwartz, and Mrs. W. Winklehaus.  

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains programs, yearbooks, meeting minutes, reports, membership lists, correspondence, and receipts that document the activities of the Petworth Women’s Club. The bulk of the materials are dated from 1915-1955.

Series Descriptions

Series I: Programs, 1920-1939; 1964 (.50 linear ft.) 

The series consists primarily of programs for the club’s annual banquets. It also contains programs of other events, including the Allegiance Luncheon of the Woman’s National Committee for Law Enforcement in 1926, the Children’s Patriotic Parade…List of Entries for 1924, and the Club’s golden anniversary program in 1964. Items are arranged chronologically.  

Series II: Yearbooks, 1921-1959 (.50 linear ft.) 

The series contains the club’s yearbooks. Each yearbook includes a list of officers, section chairman and members, standing and special committees, members, meetings, and a report from the president. Yearbooks are arranged chronologically.

Series III: Sections and Committees, 1915-1933 (.50 linear ft.)

The series contains many handwritten and typed meeting minutes and reports of sections/committees. The sections carried out the many charitable and educational activities where were typical of women’s clubs of the period. Activities included sewing children’s garments for orphanages; collecting food and clothes for the poor, offering lectures on women’s suffrage and homemaking; conducting poetry readings, book discussions, neighborhood beautification projects; forming a visiting home nurses group; and lobbying for the Petworth schools, a branch library, and less car pollution. Also included in the series are meeting minutes of the Executive Committee of the Club in the early 1920s. The folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the committee.

Series IV:  General Files, 1916-1964 (.25 linear ft.) 

The series contains folders on a variety of topics loosely arranged in chronological order. Much of the series consists of correspondence. It also includes a history of the club prepared in 1964 and minutes from meetings of affiliated organizations such as the D.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Public School Administration Association.  

Series V:  Meeting Minutes, 1914-1964 (.50 linear ft.)

The series contains minutes of the meeting of the club.  

Series VI:  Financial Records, 1915-1954 (1 linear ft.)

Includes primarily handwritten ledger books containing treasurer reports, member dues and other club expenditures.

Series VII:  Clippings, 1924-1949 (.25 linear ft.)

The series contains scrapbooks and loose clippings maintained by club members on the club’s activities and events.

Box Inventory

Series I: Programs

Box 1

  • Annual banquet programs, 1920, 1922-37
  • Children’s Patriotic Parade, List of Entries, 1924
  • Allegiance Luncheon, Woman’s National Committee for Law Enforcement, 1926
  • Lee Kedrick Lecture Bureau, 1928
  • Annual Luncheon of the DC Federation of Women’s Clubs, 1931
  • Silver Anniversary Program, 1939
  • Announcement of officers, 1931 and 1964
  • Invitation to House and Embassy Tour, 1950
  • Golden Anniversary Luncheon program, 1964
  • Harvest Dinner and Bazaar, Petworth Women’s Club, n.d.
  • An Evening in Old Japan by the Petworth Woman’s Club, n.d.

Series II: Yearbooks

  • Yearbooks, 1921-1959

Series III:  Sections and Committees

Box 2

  • Art Club, ca. 1925
  • Art Section, 1921-22; 1925-1926; 1930-1931
  • Civic Section, 1915-1932
  • Educational Section, 1927-1933
  • Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, 1920-1922
  • Home Section Minutes, 1921-26; ca. 1932-1933
  • Hospitality Committee, 1920-27; 1932-33
  • Literary Club, 1918-1925
  • Literature Section, 1926-1933
  • Music Section, 1914-15; 1922-1926; 1931-1932
  • Philanthropic Section, 1919-1933
  • Visiting Nurses Committee, 1931-1932
  • Yearbook Committee, 1922-1925

Box 3

  • Committee Reports, General, 1914-1955 (5 folders)

Series IV: General Files

  • Presidential Address, 1918
  • Correspondence, 1916-1922
  • Correspondence re: Petworth School, 1916-1922
  • Correspondence, 1924-1926
  • Correspondence, 1927-1935

Box 4

  • Public School Association Meeting minutes, 1922-1927
  • Officers’ reports, ca. 1922
  • Correspondence, 1925-1935
  • Corresponding Secretary’s reports, 1925-1926
  • President Edith Phelps’ papers, 1924-1926
  • Clippings, 1926
  • Financial materials, 1927-1933
  • Society Hygiene Society of D.C., ca. 1930s
  • D.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs meeting minutes, 1931-1933
  • Membership lists, ca. 1931-1932
  • Resolutions, 1932
  • WWII misc., 1940-1945
  • Correspondence, 1949-1950
  • Club documents, 1950-1951
  • Awards & certificates, 1958-1964; 1936
  • Petworth Tribune, Petworth Methodist Church, 1961
  • History, 1964

Series V: Meeting Minutes

Box 5
  • Meeting minutes, 1915-1931 (2 bound volumes and 5 folders)

Box 6

  • Meeting minutes, 1940-1964 (7 bound volumes and 2 folders)

Series VI: Financial Records

Box 7

  • Ledger books (4), 1915-1926
  • Unlabeled folder

Box 8

  • Ledger books (10), 1930-1948

Box 9

  • Ledger books (4), 1949-1954
  • Unlabeled folder

Series VII: Clippings

Box 10

  • Ledger books (3), undated 
  • Clippings, 1924-1949

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives

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