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Twentieth Century Club records

Call Number: RH MS 726


The Twentieth Century Club was formed in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1895. A women's club, the stated purpose was "the mental advancement of its members." Community projects became one of the group's primary interests. In recent years, the club has supported the Red Cross, Watkins Community Museum of History, the Lawrence Chamber Players and Audio Reader. This collection contains Club histories, as well as meeting minutes, annual Club programs, and correspondence.


  • 1896 - 2013


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 Twentieth Century Club

The Twentieth Century Club was founded around 1895 by Belle Roberts, Laura Lyons, Fanny Barker, and Lucy Barker out of the pre-existing Ventura Literary Club. A woman's club, it was a member of the City Federation of Clubs on and off until 1920, when the Twentieth Century Club permanently left the Federation. The Club was initially founded for the "mental advancement of its members" and later progressed into a literary club where the group could discuss culture, literature, and other scholarly topics. During the first thirty years, speakers were frequently invited to join the group in discussing various topics relevant in Lawrence, regionally, and nationally.

Since its inception, the Twentieth Century Club contributed money to various community initiatives and organizations. These include funding for a free kindergarten in 1896, donation of books for a traveling library in early 1900s, contributions for care packages sent to soldiers during World War I, contributions to the national World War II fund, donations to Watkins Community Museum, Scholarship programs for high school senior women, and support for poor women in Lawrence. The Club has also advocated for community improvements. The Club patitioned Senator Charles Scott to protest proposed tarriff on in 1909, petitioned against the changing of East and West Streets in Lawrence, petitioned to soften Lawrence water [1913], supported higher salaries for teachers [1920], part of the better movies movement [1922], and petitioned for traffic lights on Massachussets Street [1939]. The club is meant to foster fellowship between Lawrence and Kansas University women and to help members become more knowledgable about a wide variety of programs presented at monthly meetings.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection contains meeting minutes, programs, correspondence, and directories dating from the founding of the Club to present day.

Physical Location

RH MS 726

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Mary Kate Ambler, 1999; 2013

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 333.

Guide to the Twentieth Century Club Collection
Twentieth Century Club records
Finding aid prepared by mds, 2006; revised by skt, 2010; revised by eml, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Twentieth Century Club Collection, RH MS 726, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States