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LAKELAND CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN, RG5515, 1940-2003

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials that document the activities of the Lakeland branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). A group of 29 woman met at the New Florida Hotel in Lakeland on February 19, 1940 to determine the level of interest in organizing a Lakeland AAUW. The women at that first meeting decided that there was sufficient interest to organize a local branch and called for a meeting 10 days hence to elect a slate of officers and approve articles of incorporation and by-laws for the new branch. Marguerite Lumpkin was elected the first president of the Lakeland branch on February 29, 1940.

Over the next 60+ years, the Lakeland branch of the AAUW was very active in promoting a host of activities and programs in the community, including support of a bond issue for a new high school, advocacy of accreditation for Florida Southern College, support of a Friends of the Library group for the public library, and raising money for a college scholarship fund for deserving local students.

Membership in the branch peaked at over 200 in the late 1970's and early 1980's, but had declined precipitously by the late 1990's. It became increasingly difficult to find members willing to serve as officers or organize projects and programs. An attempt to increase membership by creating a new category of "auxiliary" members was not successful. The Lakeland branch of the AAUW voted to disband at its April 2003 meeting and to transfer the records of the organization to the Special Collections unit of the Lakeland Public Library.

The records were delivered to the Lakeland Public Library in June 2003. They were in no particular order and in fair to good condition when received. Records of the organization prior to 1960 are scarce and were most likely lost as they were transferred from officer to officer over the years. Documentation since 1960 is more comprehensive, but gaps in the records still exist.

The records were organized into four series: Subject Files, Financial Records, Newsletters and Scrapbooks.

Series I, Subject Files, 1940-2003, documents the administrative and program activities of the organization, and includes agenda and minutes of board and general meetings, annual reports, articles of incorporation and by-laws, brochures and pamphlets, correspondence, membership directories, membership lists, photographs, yearbooks and AAUW publications.

Series II, Financial Records, 1960-2003, documents the fiscal activities of the organization and includes bank statements, budgets, cash receipt and disbursement journals, check registers, ledgers, and treasurers reports. Records documenting the fiscal activities of the organization prior to 1960 were not included in the transfer and were presumably lost over the years.

Series III, Newsletters, 1958-2003, contains copies of the newsletter published by the Lakeland Branch of the AAUW. The newsletter had varius titles and was published monthly between September and may each year.

Series IV, Scrapbooks, 1940-1996, includes scrapbooks compiled by the membership over a nearly 60 year period. They are in fair to good condition.