Held at: Malvern Historical Commission [Contact Us]Borough of Malvern, 1 East First Avenue, Suite 3, Malvern, PA, 19355
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Malvern Historical Commission. 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
In November of 1909, a small group of women met at the Malvern Fire Company Hall to discuss the possibility of organizing a club for the women of Malvern, Chester County, Pennsylvania. They held their second meeting the following month, where they established the Monday Afternoon Club of Malvern, a women's club "for the uplift of all its members thereof and the social and civic improvement of the community." The first officers were elected in February of 1910.
During its early years, the Monday Afternoon Club met at churches, the Malvern School, and the Malvern Hotel. In 1913, the Club began to share space with the Malvern Borough Council at their first permanent location on South Warren Avenue in Malvern. Programs in the 1920s focused on literature, drama, vocal and instrumental music, and other topics and included events such as readings, papers, reciprocity teas with other area clubs, lectures, plays, children's toe dancing, tableaux, men's nights, and a Christmas party for school children.
The Monday Afternoon Club began to seek its own permanent space at the beginning of the 1920s and in 1929, officially opened its own clubhouse. The clubhouse, constructed on land donated by Edwin Brinkler and his son, was located at the northwest corner of First and Warren Avenues and included a parlor, a 350-seat assembly hall, cloak rooms, dressing rooms, a 200-seat dining room, a men's lounge, kitchen, and garden.
The 1930s through the 1970s saw the Monday Afternoon Club of Malvern membership holding steady at around eighty members. The Club hosted a variety of programs, such as readings, men's nights, vocal and instrumental music events, hat design parties, luncheons, dinners, flower shows, trips, and teas. A variety of committees were organized, including committees on American home and citizenship, conservation and gardens, education, art dramatics, and literature.
The Junior Section of the Monday Afternoon Club was established in early 1923. The Junior Section held monthly meetings in the evenings at member's home, and provided the content for the October Monday Afternoon Club meetings. During the late 1930s and 1940s, the Junior Section was known as the Junior Club. While the Junior Club may have continued to exist past the 1940s, there is no mention of the Junior Club or the Junior Section of the Monday Afternoon Club from 1943 to 1949 in minutes, newspapers, or other printed materials. However, the Junior Women's Club of Malvern was organized in 1950 and was sponsored by the Monday Afternoon Club with the understanding that at the age of 35, members of the Junior Women's Club would join the Monday Afternoon Club.
The Monday Afternoon Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1984 with a banquet. In 1985, the Club held its last monthly meeting in the clubhouse, and relocated meetings to the renovated Malvern School Building, which had become the new Malvern municipal building. Although membership in the Club was at seventy-five, membership began to decline at this time due to the impact of working women with little extra time. The Club was still active through the 1980s and 1990s, hosting meetings on the first of the month. Programs focused on spiritual and informational content, as well as fashion and art shows and musical entertainment by area high school students. A majority of the remaining members were now older. The Club continued its commitment to encourage and support the young people of the area and community organizations until 2002, when the Monday Afternoon Club of Malvern was disbanded.
Schmitt, Nancy B. A Century in Malvern. Malvern, PA: Malvern Historical Commission, 1989.
This collection consists of minutes, scrapbooks, and other materials that document the Monday Afternoon Club of Malvern, 1909-2000s.
There are complete meeting minutes from 1909 to 1936, including minutes from the group's first meeting in 1909 and treasurer's reports from 1909 to 1916. There are additional meeting minutes from 1940 to 1941 and 1988 to 1989.
There are about ten scrapbooks in the collection. Nine of these scrapbooks contain photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, invitations, and other ephemera relating to the Club's activities, 1911-1999. One scrapbook consists of materials related to the Club's involvement in the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs' Community Improvement Program.
Other materials include brochures, pamphlets, and other papers, 1980s-2000s, relating to the Greater Federation of Women's Clubs at the county, state, regional, and national levels; materials relating to the building of a clubhouse, 1920s-1940s, including letters and financial materials; and a donation ledger, 1997-2002. There are a few framed items that include awards and photographs of the clubhouse.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 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 Malvern Historical Commission directly for more information.
- Malvern Historical Commission
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw 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.
- Access Restrictions
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