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Petworth Women’s Club Collection

Identifier: 052

Scope and Contents

The collection contains programs, yearbooks, meeting minutes, reports, membership lists, correspondence, and receipts which document the activities of the Petworth Women’s Club.


  • Creation: 1914-1964
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1915 - 1955


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

On the evening of July 6, 1914, Mrs. Harriet Hill who lived on Taylor Street called the President of the D.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs about organizing a women’s club to promote the best interests of Washington, D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood. Eleven women met that evening and officers were elected. Soon after, six sections were formed, including civic, educational, literature, home, philanthropic, music, and art to choose appropriate social, educational, or philanthropic activities for its members. In the early years, membership was limited to women of Petworth, as bounded by Hamilton Street on the North, Rock Creek Church Road on the south, Third Street on the east, and Georgia Avenue to the west.

Starting in 1914, monthly business meetings were held in the Petworth School house, then by 1937 at the Petworth Methodist Church. Highlights of club activities included: a campaign led by Mrs. A.C. Norcross for a public library branch in Petworth in the 1920s; a Red Cross Production unit organized during World War II; a visiting nurses group which assisted at the Walter Reed Hospital; and a sewing circle of the Philanthropic section which provided clothes to children at D.C. Village and the Convalescent Hospital for almost 30 years. Charter members included Mrs. Annie Nelson, Mrs. A.C. Norcross, Mrs. Harriet Hill, Mrs. W.F. North, Mrs. Frank H. Schwartz, and Mrs. W. Winklehaus.


3.5 Linear feet

10 Boxes


Series 1: Programs, 1920-1939; 1964 (.50 linear ft.): The series consists primarily of programs for the club’s annual banquets. It also contains programs of other events including the Allegiance Luncheon of the Women’s National Committee for Law Enforcement in 1926, the Children’s Patriotic Parade…List of Entries for 1924, and the Club’s golden anniversary program in 1964. Items are arranged chronologically.

Series 2: Yearbooks, 1921-1959 (.50 linear ft.): The series contains the club’s yearbooks. Each yearbook includes a list of officers, section chairman and members, standing and special committees, members, meetings, and a report from the President. Yearbooks are arranged chronologically.

Series 3: Sections and Committees, 1915-1933 (.50 linear ft.): The series contains many handwritten and typed meeting minutes and reports of sections/committees. The sections carried out the many charitable and educational activities of the club. Activities included sewing children’s garments for orphanages, collecting food and clothes for the poor, offering lectures on women’s suffrage and homemaking, conducting poetry readings, book discussions, neighborhood beautification projects, forming a visiting home nurses group, and lobbying for the Petworth schools, a branch library, and less car pollution. Also included in the series are meeting minutes of the Executive Committee of the Club in the early 1920s. The folders are arranged alphabetically by the name of the committee.

Series 4: General Files, 1916-1964 (.25 linear ft.): The series contains folders on a variety of topics loosely arranged in chronological order. Much of the series consists of correspondence. It also includes a history of the club prepared in 1964 and minutes from meetings of affiliated organizations such as the D.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Public School Administration Association.

Series 5: Meeting Minutes, 1914-1964 (.50 linear ft.): The series contains minutes of the meeting of the Club.

Series 6: Financial Records, 1915-1954 (l linear ft.): Includes primarily handwritten ledger books containing treasurer reports, member dues, and other club expenditures.

Series 7: Clippings, 1924-1949 (.25 linear ft.): The series contains scrapbooks and loose clippings maintained by Club members on the Club’s activities and events.

Custodial History

Items in this collection were part of the Library’s vertical files. To ensure the physical preservation of fragile handwritten documents in the vertical file, in 1999 they were removed and photocopied. Photocopies were returned to the vertical files and the originals are in this collection.

Processing Information

Standard archival processing procedures were applied to the collection when it was processed.

Petworth Women’s Club
An inventory of Petworth Women’s Club at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by DC Public Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001