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Afro-American Clubwomen Project records

Call Number: RH MS 705


The Afro-American Clubwomen's Project was a grant-funded collecting project, developed by the University of Kansas Women's Studies program, which sought to document the history of African American Women's clubs in Kansas.


  • Creation: 1900s-1986


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of Afro-American Clubwomen's Project

The Afro-American Clubwomen project (AACWP) began in 1984 within the University of Kansas' Women's Studies program. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Marilyn Dell Brady, and Deborah Dandridge were the project's principal planners, with Campbell serving as project director. The AACWP revolved around the collection of both oral and written materials related to "the history and activities of Afro-American Women in [Kansas] social service clubs." The project resulted in four main activities/creations: an assistive booklet for clubwomen on collecting materials and writing histories; public presentations on project findings; a thirty minute program on Topeka, Kansas' public television affiliate KTWU; and an essay that would accompany the "Black Women: Achievements Against the Odds" Smithsonian exhibit.

The AACP focused largely on the Kansas Association of Colored Women's Clubs (KACWC) and Links, Inc., but also included other KACWC member groups, such as the Ne Plus Ultra Art and Literary Club and the Stella Puella Art and Literary Club among others. KACWC, a federation of local clubs, is an affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, which began in 1897 and was the first such national organization by African American women. Affiliates continue across Kansas centering in the Topeka Council of Clubs. Links, Inc., a national organization with membership comprising of local chapters, organized in 1946, and chapters began in Kansas as early as 1951 in Greater Kansas City.


9.5 Linear Feet (12 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 37 audiocassettes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Afro-American Clubwomen's Project Records date from the 1900s to 1986 and are arranged in six series: Grant Administration Records, Collected Material, Umatic Video Recordings, Research Documents, Photographs, and Oral History Recordings.

The Grant Administration Records include project funding and proposal documentation, as well as research and presentation information. Arrangement of this series reflects the working order of the records as they were received.

The Collected Material includes papers of individual women, as well as organizations, which were collected by the Project; the series contains such items as conference/activity programs, yearbooks, and notes. Arrangement within Collected Material is alphabetical by donor. Where material cannot be attributed to an individual, it is grouped with like material by originating organization of Ne Plus Ultra Club, the Kansas Association of Colored Women and Girls Clubs, and Links, Inc.

Umatic Video Recordings, which includes video collected by KTWU for the 30 minute program, are housed with the Collection's manuscript portion. The footage is on 3/4" Umatic videotape.

Research documents are located at RH MS 1271 and include research collected during the process of composing an essay and producing a program on Afro-American Clubwomen in Kansas called "Afro-American Clubwomen in Kansas: Achievement Against the Odds." Arrangement of this series is in alphabetical order by topic and includes transcripts of oral history recordings located at RH Cassette Tape 26 taken as part of this project.

Photographs from the Collection are located at RH MS-P 705. Arrangement corresponds to arrangement of the Collected Material manuscript series. A very few individuals are represented solely in this portion of the collection and do not have a corresponding manuscript portion. Oversize photographs are located at RH MS-P 705(f). Other oversize materials are located at RH MS Q161. Audiocassette tapes on which are individual and group interviews/oral histories are located at RH Cassette Tape 26.

Since many individuals and organizations are represented in each area of the collection, while others are only in the photographs and recordings, researchers are advised to consult all sections for the most comprehensive information. For ease in listing, some organization names have been abbreviated. Therefore, the following acronyms are used: NACWC (National Association of Colored Women's Clubs), KACWC (Kansas Association of Colored Women's Clubs), and CACWC (Central Association of Colored Women's Clubs).


The Afro-American Clubwomen's Project Collection dates from 1900s to 1986 and is arranged in six series:

  1. Grant Administration Records, 1948-1986
  2. Collected Material, 1920s-1986 -- Individuals/organizations represented here include: Tellie Allison, Cynthia Berry, Bertha Dandridge, Dr. Kathryn Earhart, Georgia Edwards, Eleanor Fox, Donna Green, Clarice Harris, Katherine Helm, Ethel Johnson, Lavinia Mack, Clementine Martin, Ethel Woodson Parks, Lauren Powell, Jean Price, Charlotte Scales, Victoria Shinn, Idriss Stovall, Lucinda Todd, Ethel Washington, Anna Woods, the Ne Plus Ultra Club, KACWC, and Links, Inc.
  3. Research Documents, 1900s-1986
  4. Umatic Video Recordings, 1984
  5. Research Documents 1900s-1986
  6. Photographs, 1940-1983
  7. Oral History Recordings, 1983-1984

Physical Location

RH MS 705

Physical Location

RH MS Q161

Physical Location

RH MS-P 705

Physical Location

RH MS 1271

Physical Location

RH MS-P 705(f)

Physical Location

RH Cassette Tape 26

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Deborah Dandridge, 1986, 1992; Dana Green, 1995; Hattie Strong, 2004; others.

Related Materials

Campbell, Karlyn Korhs, Marilyn Dell Brady, and Deborah L. Dandridge. "Afro-American Clubwomen in Kansas: Achievements Against the Odds." Lawrence, Ks: Women's Studies Program, University of Kansas, [1985]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C7833.

Guide to the Afro-American Clubwomen Project Collection
Afro-American Clubwomen Project records
Finding aid prepared by bkm 2006, mbw 2007, sen 2012. Finding aid encoded by bkm, 2006; revised by mrm, 2009; sen, 2012; eh, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Afro-American Clubwomen's Project records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 705, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States