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Woman's Club of Swarthmore records

Identifier: SFHL-RG7-001

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials concerning women's interests, philanthropy and service organizations, and local history.


  • Creation: 1898-1995


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Physical Access Note

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Friends Historical Library staff at at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Biographical / Historical

The Woman's Club of Swarthmore was founded in 1898. It first met in the home of Mrs. Maria Kemp Hoadley, wife of Swarthmore College faculty member, George Hoadley. The group soon decided to start a club open to all members of the community. Ellen Price framed a constitution for the group and guided members in parliamentary procedure. Mrs. Hoadley served as the first president. The Club's mission was "the education of Women in all lines affecting their special work in the home and their general influence in the Community."

In 1900 the Club became a member of the Federated Women's Clubs. In 1907, it purchased a lot on Park Avenue, and in 1908, Swarthmore Woman's Club moved into its own clubhouse, designed by Edward Stanton in the Mission Style. In the early days, the Club was divided into study groups called "Sections," including Mothers' Section, Current Events, and Garden.

The Club offered women of the community a means of support and education, a place to meet and find common interests. It nurtured the founding of a number of community organizations, including the Needlework Guild and the Swarthmore Public Library. The Clubhouse was open to all community groups and became the home for the newly founded Players Club of Swarthmore, Girl Scout Troop 16, and social dances for teens.

While it was a central focus in the community through the mid-20th century, declining membership and rising costs forced the Club to sell its Clubhouse in 1991. With the funds derived from the sale, the Woman's Club reorganized as the Woman's Club of Swarthmore Foundation and increased its philanthropic efforts, including donations to community service groups and scholarships to graduating high school seniors. In 2008, the Foundation was dissolved and its assets donated to the Swarthmore Public Library.


16 linear ft. (8 cartons)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the records of the Woman's Club of Swarthore, founded in 1898. The Club offered women of the community a means of support and education, a place to meet and find common interests and nurtured the founding of a number of community organizations. The Club disbanded in 2002.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Woman's Club following the sale of its building.

Processing Information

Papers transferred in 1993 by Club Historian, Irma E. Zimmer, in two metal file cabinets, with general inventory of the contents. Additional papers deposited, including scrapbooks compiled by Irene Moore. Sorted, labeled, and stored in eight storage cartons. Original order created by Irma Zimmer was maintained.

An Inventory of the Records of the Woman's Club of Swarthmore, 1898-1995
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA