Women`s History Month in the United States traces itself back to the first public celebration of Women`s History Week in 1978. In 1981, Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Barbara Milkulski, co-sponsored a Congressional resolution in regard to a national women`s history week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration into the entire month of March. Ball State University Archives and Special Collections contain several significant materials on individual women, family papers, and women`s organizations in Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana. The two collections featured below are only a small amount of what can be found within the Archives. In addition, collections from community organizations such as churches and schools often contain materials on women and women`s activities within the organization.
Woman`s Club of Muncie, Indiana
The Woman`s Club of Muncie, Indiana was founded in 1876. The object of the club was "the advancement of a woman in every direction pertaining to her intellectual, moral, and physical good." One of the members included the national known writer and suffragist, Ida Husted Harper.
The club met every two weeks and developed programs on reading, recitations, charades, music, and general topics. By the 1940s, the Woman`s Club of Muncie had more than 200 members and met in a variety of departments and held many general meetings. The Woman`s Club celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1976 and still continues to meet.
Mary Martha Club
Mary Martha Club can be traced back to the Fall of 1890 when Mrs. Frank J. Claypool, Helen Young, and Emily Truitt met to discuss the need for a club of women who lived in the areas surrounding Muncie, Indiana. In 1891, the Mary Martha Club was formally organized. The Mary Martha Club conducted numerous programs and activities which covered a variety of topics including history, literature, politics, domestic science, and biblical history. Image: Mary Martha Club group, May 7, 1901.
Women`s History Resources in Archives and Special Collections can be found in our Women`s History Libguide. For a detailed list of all of our collections, please visit our Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids. Many items from Archives and Special Collections have been digitized. You can find various Women`s History items within the Middletown Women`s History Collection on the Digital Media Repository. To find out more information about how Ball State University is celebrating Women`s Week 2011, please visit the Women`s and Gender Studies Women`s Week 2011 calendar.