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Delaware County Federation of Women's Clubs records


Held at: Delaware County Historical Society [Contact Us]408 Avenue of the States, Chester, Pennsylvania, 19013

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The first county federation of the General Federation of Women's Clubs in the country and the largest organization of volunteer women in the country, the Delaware County Federation of Women's Clubs was founded by Mary Barton Luckie in 1912. Luckie, president of the New Century Club of Chester, called a meeting of representatives from several women's clubs in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with the goal of uniting the groups to unite the influence and interest of women's clubs within the county and to promote legislative, civic, educational, moral and social measures. Shortly thereafter, a committee was formed, with Luckie serving as President, and the Delaware County Association of Women's Clubs was created. The association was federated in 1915.

During Luckie's tenure as president (1912-1916), the organization held quarterly meetings. It was largely concerned with "classes for foreign adults, prohibition, legislation for prison reform, health, welfare, and better education. One of the principal concerns was the protection of women from assault and a concerted attack on the unsanitary and immoral conditions at Media jail... The public schools of the County were apportioned to the clubs for visiting and as a result women school directors were elected." A choir and a Junior Club were established.

As of 2012, the Delaware County Federation of Women's Clubs had six senior clubs, one junior club, and approximately 250 members.


Quoted text from: "Mrs. S. Blair Luckie, 1912-1916." Typewritten sheet found in collection.

The collection consists of administrative and financial records, publications, and various materials relating to events and activities run by the organization as well as materials relating to its history. Records include the following: minutes and minute books (including the first minute book), 1912-2000; correspondence, mostly from 1980s-2000s; presidents' files and presidents' reports; financial reports, 1994-2002; annual reports; directories, 1947-1976); photographs; programming and reports for meetings; newsletters; flyers; ephemera; programs and scholarships run by the club (including the Congressional High School Art Competition, 2007); photocopied news clippings about the club's history and events, mostly from the 1990s; press releases; various histories of the Federation, including an official club history volume; commendations and certificates, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012; testimonials to club founder Mary Barton Luckie; a videotape ("Volunteerism in Action"); and one apron.

Gifts of Judith Meyer, 2012 (accession #2012.56) and 2013.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Delaware County Historical Society directly for more information.

The following items are stored separately: Tablecloth embroidered with signatures of Federation Presidents presented to President Mary G. Tull, 1957; American Flag, flown in honor of the Federation's 90th Anniversary; Photograph of the Federation at the U. S. Capitol, probably 1944; Large felt banner made in 1976.

Delaware County Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Contact Delaware County Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

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