Collection ID: 2020.027

Collection context


American Association of University Women. Rochester Branch
.5 Cubic Feet, One document box and two volumes., and .5 Cubic Feet
Preferred citation:

American Association of University Women, Rochester Branch, Publicity Scrapbooks. [box #,folder # or volume#]. Local History and Genealogy Division, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County N.Y.


Scope and Content:

Five scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings and ephemera related to publicity for the Rochester Branch of the American Association of University Women and its projects. The scrapbooks date between 1930 and 1936,

Biographical / Historical:

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) traces its origins back to 1881, when Marion Talbot and Ellen Swallow Richards held a Boston meeting of college-educated women who sought increased educational and career opportunities for other women. Together, they formed the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in 1882 and founded regional offices in major cities around the country in 1884-85. The group found rapid success, in no small part due to the prominence of such early members as Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt. The organization carried out and reported on social research regarding women in education, work and society, along with providing a collegial social and intellectual environment for women in higher education. The Association of Collegiate Alumnae merged with the Southern Association of College Women in 1921, taking on the name of the American Association of University Women at that time. By 1931, the group had 521 branches with 36,800 members; by 1949, it had grown to 1097 branches with over 108,000 members. Across its history, the AAUW has advocated for gender equality and women's rights, including advocacy for equal pay (such as the Lily Ledbetter Act) and the Equal Rights Amendment, activism in support of the Civil Rights Movement, and being a leading organization in modern feminism.

The Rochester Branch of the AAUW was founded in 1897 by Olive Davis, a member of the first women's graduating class at the University of Rochester. With 11 of her classmates, she developed what, in 1902, became the Rochester Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (better known as the College Women's Club). The group formally joined the AAUW at its founding in 1921. The group was immediately engaged in activist work, including supporting child labor and education law reform. By the time of this collection, the Rochester Branch was involved in fighting for Equal Pay and the Equal Status Jury Bill. It also provided help to young women in the community through the Career Information Service and founded an on-site nursery through the Rochester Branch Education Loan Fund. Beside its activist role, the Rochester branch also still found itself as a social club for college women. As this collection shows, the organization provided a mixture of career and civic education opportunities alongside mixers and other social events. In 1946, the Rochester Branch established itself in the Perkins Mansion, donated to the organization by owner Ann Perkins, where it continues to reside today.

Acquisition information:
The provenance of this collection is unclear. It was likely the gift of Florence Cooksley.
Processing information:

The first three volumes of material in this collection were found in three-ring binders. The materials were removed from the binders and rehoused in folders due to the poor condition and archivally unstable nature of the near-century old binders.

Volume 2 was found to contain several loose items tucked under its front cover. These materials were causing undue stress on the binding of the scrapbook. Several were also fragile and needed to be stored flat. They were removed, flattened, and placed in a separate, labeled folder.


This collection consists of 5 scrapbooks.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the collection.


Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use in any current or future manifestations must be obtained in writing from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division.


American Association of University Women, Rochester Branch, Publicity Scrapbooks. [box #,folder # or volume#]. Local History and Genealogy Division, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County N.Y.

Rundel Memorial Building
115 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604, United States