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Delaware Women's Conference records


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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 Delaware Women's Conference, Inc., began in 1984 as a community placement of the Junior League of Wilmington to organize an annual statewide conference with the purpose of disseminating information of interest to women, was unique Delaware tradition created by all volunteers.

The Junior League developed the concept, provided the organization and volunteers, subsidized the costs, and was the corporate entity for the initial conference, and for three subsequent conferences. The Women's Center and the Delaware Commission for Women were also sponsors for the first conference. The League's direct financial contribution ended after the 1987 conference. In the early years of the conference, the YWCA of New Castle County was also a sponsor and over the years there were a number of corporate contributors, such as the DuPont Company and the United Way of Delaware, which provided scholarship money.

The Delaware Women's Conference, which was officially incorporated on February 14, 1989, was governed by a Board of Directors, comprising between seven and eleven members, who provided policy, trained chairs for the annual conference, conducted fundraising, and maintained links among the coalitions supporting the conference. A steering committee, composed of the annual conference chair, a treasurer, and persons designated by the conference chair, were responsible for planning, appointing subcommittees, executing, and evaluating each year's conference.

From 1984 to 2011, the Conference was a premier event for women in Delaware, featuring renown speakers, such as Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, White House correspondent Andrea Mitchell, U. S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine A. Ferraro, actress Rita Moreno, as well as writers Judith Viorst, Ntozake Shange, and Erica Jong. Workshops held during the conference were diverse, with offerings on family issues; career planning, workplace issues and skills; political discussions related to women's issues; personal development (spiritual practices, bereavement, journaling); and financial planning. Some years the conference included an art show, featuring local artists, or an international photography exhibition.

The Delaware Women's Conference was an unique annual Delaware tradition of women gathering with friends for workshops to explore wide ranging topics, to explore exhibitor's booths and the art show, to gather information and broaden horizons, to seek volunteer opportunities, and to network with other women.

In 2010, and again in 2012, the Delaware Women's Conference's annual event was cancelled, and the organization's official website has been discontinued.

Organizational and historical information derived from the collection.

The Delaware Women's Conference records, comprises 11.5 linear feet of publications, financial records, administrative records, photographs, media, artifacts, and correspondence of the only all-volunteer women's conference in the United States. The material which dates between 1984 and 2010, provide a record of an organization which sought to empower women of all ages, economic backgrounds and lifestyles, for their self development and to improve the status of all women.

The Delaware Women's Conference records provide a record of women's issues and interests over a twenty-eight year period, noted in the shifting themes reflected in the keynote speakers and the workshops that were offered. Researchers interested in women and gender studies, as well as feminist history and social policies, will be rewarded by exploring this collection.

The heart of this collection is a series (Series I) of notebooks maintained by Conference chairs and committee chairs, which document the process of planning, executing, and evaluating each year's conference. These notebooks contain all the information pertinent to each conference, and served as working manual for how to organize each year's event. In addition to notebooks kept by the President, there are notebooks by some committee chairs, such as chair of the art show, as well as notebooks labeled “Master notebook.”

These notebooks contain a wealth of information about the implementation of each annual conference. The notebooks include minutes of all meetings, conference programs, financial information, contracts, correspondence, agendas, publicity, program planning, information on special events and the art show, budgets, historical information on previous conferences (including evaluations and demographics), lists of Board members, bylaws, and final reports. There are also additional files which compliment (and occasionally duplicate) the information available in the notebooks. These files and the notebooks were collected and maintained by Delaware Women's Conference Historian Peggy Sacher.

As a supplement to the notebooks the collection offers substantial administrative files (Series II.) which include historical information, including bylaws and certificate of incorporation; files of minutes to Board of Directors meetings; files of evaluations and demographic information for each year's conference attendees; some financial records; as well as samples of the publications generated by the Delaware Women's Conference, such as the annual program, publicity pieces, and occasional posters.

Series III contains significant photographic documentation of the annual conference event. Photograph albums were created for many of the years and loose photographs were collected from various organizers of the annual event. The records also include two oversized photographic collages, and two videocassette recordings. The collection concludes with samples of the conference ephemera and artifacts (Series IV), such as mugs, jewelry, t-shirts, and tote bags; all of which were available for purchase during the events.

  1. Boxes 1-10: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Box 11: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (24 inches)
  3. Box 12: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)
  4. Box 13: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (18 inches)
  5. Box 14: Shelved in SPEC MSS shoeboxes

Gift of Delaware Women's Conference, Inc. (Peggy Sacher), January 2014.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, March 2014.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
Date encoded (2014 March 28)
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

The Delaware Women's Conference (DWC) was an all volunteer organization and many of the files were maintained by the Conference President and committee chairs, frequently in notebooks created each year. There were also master notebooks and additional files which were eventually collected and maintained by Conference Historian Peggy Sacher. These notebooks contain a wealth of information about the planning of the annual conferences. Notebooks include minutes of all meetings, programs, financial information, contracts, correspondence, agendas, publicity, program planning, information on special events and the art show, budgets, historical information on previous conferences (including evaluations and demographics), lists of Board members, bylaws, and final reports.

1984 Notebook, 1984.
Box 1 Folder F1
File, 1986.
Box 1 Folder F2
File, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F3
Women's Conference Community Impact Aware Application, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F4
1988 Notebook Part 1, 1988.
Box 1 Folder F5
1988 Notebook Part 2, 1988.
Box 1 Folder F6
1989 Notebook Part 1, 1989.
Box 1 Folder F7
1989 Notebook Part 2, 1989.
Box 1 Folder F8
1990 DWC Notebook Part 1, 1990.
Box 1 Folder F9
1990 DWC Notebook Part 2, 1990.
Box 1 Folder F10
1991 Notebook Part 1, 1991.
Box 1 Folder F11
1991 Notebook Part 2, 1991.
Box 1 Folder F12
1992 Notebook Part 1, 1992.
Box 2 Folder F13
1992 Notebook Part 2, 1992.
Box 2 Folder F14
Sacher conference files, 1992-1998.
Box 2 Folder F15
1993 Notebook Part 1, 1993.
Box 2 Folder F16
1993 Notebook Part 2, 1993.
Box 2 Folder F17
1993 Notebook Part 3, 1993.
Box 2 Folder F18
File, 1993.
Box 2 Folder F19
1994 Notebook Part 1, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F20
1994 Notebook Part 2, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F21
1994 Notebook Part 3, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F22
1994 Notebook #2 Part 1, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F23
1994 Notebook #2 Part 2, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F24
File, 1994.
Box 2 Folder F25
Anniversary Sub Committee, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F26
Women's Conference, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F27
Women's Conference, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F28
Women's Conference Sign Ups, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F29
Women's Conference Expenses, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F30
Women's Conference, 1994.
Box 3 Folder F31
Brochures, 1993-1994.
Box 3 Folder F32
1995 Notebook, 1995.
Box 3 Folder F33
Art Show Part 1, 1995.
Box 3 Folder F34
Art Show Part 2, 1995.
Box 3 Folder F35
1996 Notebook Part 1, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F36
1996 Notebook Part 2, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F37
Files and computer disks 1996, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F38
"Friendship" Photos Art Show, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F39
Celebrating our Friendships Proofs, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F40
Celebrating our Friendships Books, 1996.
Box 3 Folder F41
1997 Notebook Part 1, 1997.
Box 3 Folder F42
1997 Notebook Part 2, 1997.
Box 3 Folder F43
Women's Conference Brochure, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F44
Women's Conference Board and Minutes, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F45
Women's Conference Strategic Plan, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F46
Women's Conference Steering Committee, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F47
Speakers, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F48
Women's Conference Finances, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F49
Women's Conference Evaluations and Demographics, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F50
Women's Conference Art Exhibits, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F51
Women's Conference: PR, Programs, Registration, Committee Report, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F52
Women's Conference Clippings, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F53
File, 1998.
Box 4 Folder F54
Women's Conference: Chair Report, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F55
DWC Board and Manual, 1998-1999.
Box 4 Folder F56
DWC Steering Committee, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F57
Speaker, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F58
DWC Finances, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F59
File, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F60
DWC Folder Contents, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F61
DWC Emergency Plan, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F62
DWC Evaluation, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F63
DWC Correspondence and Clippings, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F64
DWC Correspondence and Clippings, 1999.
Box 4 Folder F65
2000 Notebook Part 1, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F66
2000 Notebook Part 2, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F67
DWC Brochure and Chairman's Report, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F68
Women's Conference Board of Directors and Procedures Manual, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F69
DWC Steering Committee, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F70
DWC Finances, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F71
DWC Speaker Contract, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F72
DWC Day of Conference: Speeches, Seating, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F73
DWC Art Show, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F74
DWC Brochure and Distribution, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F75
DWC Evaluations, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F76
DWC Exhibits, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F77
DWC Program, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F78
DWC Conference Folder, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F79
DWC Publicity and Clippings, 2000.
Box 4 Folder F80
DWC Mailing List, 1998-2000.
Box 4 Folder F81
DWC Sample Folder for Steering Committee, 1998-2000.
Box 4 Folder F82
Site Committee Files (Theresa Leefers), 2000-2002.
Box 4 Folder F83
BD President Conference Info Notebook Part 1, 2000-2002.
Box 5 Folder F84
BD President Conference Info Notebook Part 2, 2000-2002.
Box 5 Folder F85
BD President Conference Info Notebook Part 3, 2000-2002.
Box 5 Folder F86
File, 2001.
Box 5 Folder F87
Brochure/Book Sales, 2000.
Box 5 Folder F88
File, 2002.
Box 5 Folder F89
File, 2003.
Box 5 Folder F90
File, 2003.
Box 5 Folder F91
Clippings, 2003.
Box 5 Folder F92
File, 2004.
Box 5 Folder F93
File, 2004.
Box 5 Folder F94
File, 2004.
Box 5 Folder F95
Delaware Tributes, 2004.
Box 5 Folder F96
File, 2005.
Box 5 Folder F97
File, 2006.
Box 6 Folder F98
File, 2007.
Box 6 Folder F99
File, 2008.
Box 6 Folder F100
File, 2010.
Box 6 Folder F101
Delaware's Women's Conferences Part 1, 1994-2002.
Box 6 Folder F102
Delaware's Women's Conferences Part 2, 1994-2002.
Box 6 Folder F103
Delaware's Women's Conferences Part 3, 1994-2002.
Box 6 Folder F104
"Master Notebook" Part 1, 1984-2004.
Box 6 Folder F105
"Master Notebook" Part 2, 1984-2004.
Box 6 Folder F106
President BD/ Directors Notebook Part 1, 1988-1999.
Box 6 Folder F107
President BD/ Directors Notebook Part 2, 1988-1999.
Box 6 Folder F108
President BD/ Directors Notebook Part 3, 1988-1999.
Box 6 Folder F109

Scope and Contents

Includes files related to administration of the organization. Note that administrative information is also available in the files and notebooks in Series I.

Scope and Contents

Includes historical information and key documents related to formation of the Delaware Women's Conference, including certificate of incorporation, bylaws, strategic planning, and anniversary celebrations.

Historical, 1984-2000.
Box 6 Folder F110
Certificate of Incorporation, 1994-1995.
Box 6 Folder F111
Anniversary 1994, 1994.
Box 6 Folder F112
Bylaws, 1989-1996.
Box 6 Folder F113
DWC Blank Stationary, 1994-1997.
Box 6 Folder F114
DWC Chair Final Reports, 1993, 1996.
Box 6 Folder F115
Conference Summary Chart, 1984-2000.
Box 6 Folder F116
DWC Guidelines, 1996.
Box 6 Folder F117
Historical Society Guidelines.
Box 6 Folder F118
Junior League Separates, 1989.
Box 6 Folder F119
DWC Past Years, 1994-1998.
Box 6 Folder F120
DWC Strategic Plan, 1997-1999.
Box 6 Folder F121
DWC Steering Committee and Board, 1995-1999.
Box 6 Folder F122
Scope and Contents

Sets of minutes to the planning and evaluation meetings held by the Conference Board.

DWC Minutes Index and Directory, 1988-1996.
Box 7 Folder F123
DWC Minutes- Extra Copies, 1984-1995.
Box 7 Folder F124
Hildegarde Weldin- Minutes Files, 1991-2002.
Box 7 Folder F125
Scope and Contents

Includes the forms completed by registrants and summaries, sometimes related to the evaluations.

Demographic Info, 1987-1997.
Box 7 Folder F126
DWC Demographic Info, 1987-1998.
Box 7 Folder F127
Demographics Part 1 of 2, 1992.
Box 7 Folder F128
Demographics Part 2 of 2, 1992.
Box 7 Folder F129
Demographics Part 1, 1992.
Box 7 Folder F130
Demographics Part 2, 1992.
Box 7 Folder F131
Demographics, 1996.
Box 7 Folder F132
Demographics, 1996.
Box 7 Folder F133
Scope and Contents

Actual evaluations completed by conference attendees and summaries of the information.

Conference Evaluations, 1993.
Box 7 Folder F134
Conference Surveys, 1994.
Box 7 Folder F135
Conference Evaluations, 1997, 1998, 2001.
Box 7 Folder F136
Conference Evaluations, 1998-2004.
Box 7 Folder F137
Scope and Contents

Includes reports of income and expenses, year end reports, bank statements, receipts, most of which is from 1986-2001.

DWC Financial Records, 1996-1998.
Box 7 Folder F138
DWC Finances- End of Year Reports, 1986-2001.
Box 7 Folder F139
DWC Merrill Lynch Statements, 1992-1997.
Box 7 Folder F140
DWC Bank Statements, 1999, 2000, 2001.
Box 7 Folder F141
DWC Income, 2000.
Box 8 Folder F142
DWC Expenses, 2000.
Box 8 Folder F143
DWC Credit Card Receipts, 2000-2001.
Box 8 Folder F144
DWC Credit Card Contracts, 2000-2001.
Box 8 Folder F145
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F146
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F147
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F148
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F149
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F150
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F151
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F152
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F153
DWC Income, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F154
2000-2001, 2000-2001.
Box 8 Folder F155
DWC Paid Bills, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F156
Scope and Contents

Includes conference programs, announcements, books and posters.

Publications, 1984.
Box 8 Folder F157
Publications, 1986.
Box 8 Folder F158
Publications, 1987.
Box 8 Folder F159
Publications, 1988.
Box 8 Folder F160
Publications, 1989.
Box 8 Folder F161
Publications, 1990.
Box 8 Folder F162
Publications, 1991.
Box 8 Folder F163
Publications, 1992.
Box 8 Folder F164
Publications, 1993.
Box 8 Folder F165
Publications, 1994.
Box 8 Folder F166
Publications, 1995.
Box 8 Folder F167
Publications, 1996.
Box 8 Folder F168
Publications, 1997.
Box 8 Folder F169
Publications, 1998.
Box 8 Folder F170
Publications, 1999.
Box 8 Folder F171
Publications, 2000.
Box 8 Folder F172
Publications, 2001.
Box 8 Folder F173
Publications, 2002.
Box 8 Folder F174
Publications, 2003.
Box 8 Folder F175
Publications, 2004.
Box 8 Folder F176
Publications, 2005.
Box 8 Folder F177
Publications, 2006.
Box 8 Folder F178
Publications, 2007.
Box 8 Folder F179
Publications, 2008.
Box 8 Folder F180

Scope and Contents

Includes photograph albums and files of loose photographs arranged chronologically by conference year and videocassette tape recording which have been removed to the Media Section.

Photographs, 1986.
Box 8 Folder F181
DWC Photographs, 1986.
Box 9 Folder F182
Photograph album, 1987.
Box 9 Folder F183
Photograph album, 1988.
Box 9 Folder F184
Photograph album, 1989.
Box 9 Folder F185
Photograph album, 1993.
Box 9 Folder F186
Photographs, 1994.
Box 9 Folder F187
Photographs, 1994.
Box 9 Folder F188
Photographs, 1994.
Box 9 Folder F189
Press Speakers- Photographs, 1984-1994.
Box 9 Folder F190
Photograph album, 1994.
Box 9 Folder F191
Photograph album, 1996.
Box 10 Folder F192
Photograph album, 2001.
Box 10 Folder F193
Photographs, 1998.
Box 10 Folder F194
Photograph album, 2001.
Box 10 Folder F195
Photograph album, 2001.
Box 10 Folder F196
Photographs, 1992, 1996.
Box 10 Folder F197
Photographs, 1997.
Box 10 Folder F198
Photographs, 2003.
Box 10 Folder F199
Photographs, 2004.
Box 10 Folder F200
Video cassette recording, 1988.
Box 10 Folder F201
Video cassette recording, 1996.
Box 10 Folder F202

Scope and Contents

Includes t-shirts, mugs, jewelry and badges.

Badges, undated.
Box 10 Folder F203
T-shirts, 1995-2002.
Box 11
Physical Description

8 items

Tote bags, 1997-2001.
Box 12
Physical Description

4 items

Mugs, 1998-2002.
Box 14
Physical Description

4 items

Print, Suggest