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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: M-89; B/W8728ed
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.)
Title: Additional records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1877-1974
Quantity: 2 reels of microfilm
Quantity: 1 folders
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Clippings of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, a non-profit social and educational agency in Boston, Massachusetts.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library. See the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1894-1955 (B-8), the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.) Additional records, 1877-1977 (81-M237--82-M11), the Additional records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1877-2004 (MC 610), the Audiotape collection of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1986-2000 (T-362), and the Videotape and motion picture collection of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1979-2001 (Vt-12; MP-61).
The Women's Educational and Industrial Union, a non-profit social and educational agency, was founded in 1877 by Dr. Harriet Clisby and incorporated in 1880, "to increase fellowship among women and to promote the best practical methods for securing their educational, industrial, and social advancement." In its early years, the organization provided practical help and training programs for women, teaching them how to produce marketable goods and selling their products. Among the social services offered were legal aid for needy women, especially domestics; school lunches; and training and placement for the blind and other handicapped persons. An early Committee on Hygiene, which provided health education and free medical treatment to women, developed into the Committee on Sanitary and Industrial Conditions, which investigated working conditions in shops and industry.The Union continued most of its original activities during subsequent years: during the 1930s and 1940s it provided employment services for college graduates, married women, and the handicapped; and the handwork and food shops continued to operate. While some of the programs were turned over to others -- the School of Salesmanship became the Prince School of Education for Store Services at Simmons College and the School Lunch Program was taken over by the Boston School Committee -- new programs were begun. One of the most successful was the Partnership Teaching Program, which placed qualified teachers who could not work full-time into partnership arrangements with one another.In the 1950s the Union began to be concerned with the problems of the elderly, especially housing; this was later expanded to include concern for isolated persons of all ages. The Union offers a "Nursing Home Guide" as one resource to meet the former need, and Companions Unlimited serves the latter.
This microfilm consists of clippings, 1877-1974, which are part of the publicity files of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union and which are in scrapbooks or folders of overlapping dates. The scrapbooks and folders have been organized chronologically according to the date of the earliest clipping in each. Most of the scrapbooks cover a variety of subjects; the major exceptions are two concerning the School Lunch Program (#10, 34) and one on the directors of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (#1). In addition, there are several that deal primarily with the Appointment Bureau (#11, 16, 25). Many of the clippings were fragile; some have crumbled, causing letters or words to be lost. The originals were returned to the Women's Educational and Industrial Union after filming, the Library retaining scrapbooks or portions of scrapbooks that contain material other than clippings.The clippings document the activities and concerns of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union. Articles about annual meetings, fund-raising events, and conferences provide information on the organizational aspects of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union. Others (besides #1, mentioned above) focus on its officers, among them Ruth Bean (#46, 49), Dr. Harriet Clisby (#19, 35), Mabel Curtis (#7, 16), Florence Jackson (#25), Mary Morton Kehew (#16), Margaret McGill (#33, 35), Lucinda Prince (#12), and Eva Whiting White (#35-36, 41-42).Clippings from the early years, 1877-1920, include articles on a major concern of that period: working conditions for women in factory and domestic jobs. The concern with employment opportunities and training for women in many fields is reflected in clippings throughout all the scrapbooks. The Women's Educational and Industrial Union programs covered in most detail are the School Lunch Program (1909-1937) and the Appointment Bureau (ca.1910-1924). Among the other programs reported on in some detail are the School of Housekeeping and the Domestic Reform League (ca.1877-1915); the Industrial Credit Union, the School of Salesmanship, and the Bookshop for Boys and Girls (ca.1915-1950); and, after 1950, Partnership Teaching, Companions Unlimited, Nursing Home Guide, and the Day Care Program.Articles on needlework and other handwork -- announcements of classes and exhibits and clippings about selling handwork in the Women's Educational and Industrial Union shops -- are scattered throughout the scrapbooks, as are notices of lectures and meetings.