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American Association of University Women, Buffalo Branch records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0039

Scope and Contents

Records of the Buffalo Branch of the American Association of University Women and its predecessor, the Western New York Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, 1909-1980, including minutes of general meetings, board meetings, correspondence, newsletters, scrapbooks, financial records, sound recordings, and other materials. Although the Western New York Branch of the ACA was organized in 1890, no records have been located for the period from the establishment of the branch to 1909, the date of the earliest extant minutes. The records document the AAUW's concern for education and the status of women, its efforts to raise money for scholarships, the activities of its study groups, and its internal operations.

The Publications series includes items that were written and published by AAUW (such as pamphlets, magazines, flyers, promotional materials and journals that are association-wide) and items that the AAUW found to be of interest from various government and private institutions.

The Programs of Events (organized by year) can be found in the Special Events Series.

In regards to the Paid Loans and Write Offs: The original file folders that housed the paid loans and write off documents were disposed of and archival folders are now used. In order to preserve the writing that was on the cover of the original folders, the covers were photocopied. These copies were placed in the beginning of the new folders.

There were multiple copies of the newsletters, the duplicates were disposed of. The newsletters are now housed in collection MS 39.1.

The newspaper clippings were photocopied for preservation purposes and the originals were discarded.

The collection contains several scrapbooks. In order to preserve the originals, which are extremely fragile, only the photocopies are allowed to be used for research.


  • 1911-2018
  • Majority of material found within ( 1960-1999)


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The bulk of the American Association of University Women, Buffalo Branch Records 1911-2018 (bulk 1960-1999) are open for research.

There are materials in the collection that contain personal and financial information on individuals. Those files are restricted. Pursuant to University Archives Restricted Records Policy regarding personally identifiable information, the contents of folder Rosters, 2004-2019 may only be accessed onsite within the library at this time.

Special Viewing Instructions

Access to digital material provided via the University Archives’ Digital Archives online repository.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

AAUW, founded in 1881, is open to all graduates who hold an associate's or equivalent or higher degree from an accredited college or university. Those who do not hold such a degree can affiliate as Friends of the Buffalo Branch, and undergraduates may become Student Affiliates." There is also the AAUW Educational Foundation which "provides funds to advance education, research, and self-development for women. (Taken from AAUW Buffalo website).

The Buffalo Branch of AAUW was founded in 1890 and is the largest branch in New York State. Within the AAUW is the Educational Foundation which helps promote and provide funds to advance education for girls and women nationwide, as well as in the Buffalo area. An important part of the Buffalo Branch is the Chamberlin Loan Fund which is available to those students of good character who are legal residents of Western New York or to those students who attend Cornell University. The Annual Book Sale (which began in 1954) has become an important part of the fund-raising for college loans as well. There are many events and programs every year which help promote and bring awareness to issues which affect girls and women today.


January 14, 1881
Association of collegiate Alumnae (ACA) organized in Boston.
Washington, D.C., becomes first branch of ACA.
Western New York Branch of ACA organized October 19, becomes tenth branch of the ACA.
WNY Branch established home libraries for children.
WNY Branch establishes day nurseries for working mothers (“College Creche”).
WNY Branch encourages establishment of the Buffalo Board of Education.
WNY Branch aids in Thrift Kitchens, Liberty Bond Drives, and War Fund Drives during World War I.
New York State Division of ACA established.
International Federation of University Women organized in London IFUW. included women’s organization for U.S., Grate Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Holland, Italy and Spain.
University at Buffalo applies for membership in the AAUW.
Buffalo Branch Incorporated.
Mrs. John W. Chamberlin leaves bequest to the Buffalo Branch.
During World War II, the Buffalo Branch sells over $1,000,000 in War Bonds.
AAUW fellowship programs expanded to include International Study Grants.
First Annual Book Sale.


44.5 Linear Feet (52 manuscript boxes, 1 flip-top document case manuscript box, 12 half manuscript boxes, 2 cartons, 1 oversize box, 3 metal files, 1 clamshell box, 13 flat boxes)

0.024 Gigabytes (11 files)


The American Association of University Women Buffalo Branch Records include such records as history files, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, financial documents, correspondence, various publications that the organization distributes and conferences/special events.


The records of AAUW are arranged into series and subseries. The series are arranged in alphabetical order for ease of use with the miscellaneous series appearing last. The records within each series are arranged in chronological order by year. Within each year the folders are arranged in alphabetical order where applicable. The Paid Loans and Write Offs were kept in the order in which they were deposited in the archives. Series XIII. Additional material, 1982-2018 was donated as an accrual to the collection and is arranged in a separate series.

Born-digital materials are integrated into their corresponding series based on content. The original order of the files is retained.

The collection has thirteen series:

  1. Administrative (Annual Reports, Minutes, Committees, Constitution, Bylaws and Handbooks)
  2. Book Sale
  3. Correspondence
  4. Educational Foundation
  5. Financial Records (Awards and Certificates, Chamberlin Loan Fund, Financial Records and Statements, Funds for Education/Chamberlin Loan Records, Paid Loans and Write Offs)
  6. History
  7. Media and Photographs (Photographs, Sound Recordings, Moving Image)
  8. Membership (General, Rosters, Directories, Membership Cards)
  9. Publications (Brochures, Pamphlets, Promotional Documents)
  10. Scrapbooks and Clippings
  11. Special Events (Conventions and Workshops, Other Events)
  12. Miscellaneous
  13. Additional material

Acquisition Information

The records of the American Association of University Women, Buffalo Branch, Inc., were deposited in the University Archives of the State University of New York at Buffalo, on October 27, 1978 by Ruthe Sicherman, Historian. Additional records were deposited on June 20 and November 19, 1979; April 30, October 23, and December 15, 1980; February 13, 1984; April 10 and July 10, 1986; and March 30 and May 19, 1988. Accession 2018-013 was donated in August 2018.

Additional material, the centennial year scrapbook, (accession 2021-012), was sent by Laurie Eikemeyer February 7, 2021, and received in the University Archives by Jessica Hollister March 2, 2021. Donation was facilitated by Betty Preble.

Accruals and Additions

This collection may have future accruals.

Related Resources

American Association of University Women, Buffalo Branch Newsletters, 1950-2008
MS 39.1
American Association of University Women, Amherst (NY) Branch Records, 1993-2000
MS 69

Separated Materials

The AAUW newsletters that were originally located in this collection have been gathered and arranged into their own collection. They are located in MS 39.1.

Any duplicates of programs, rosters, book sale flyers and May Luncheon/Achievement Award Luncheon programs were disposed of.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Stephanie Tocco, January 2008. Additional material processed and finding aid updated by Lucy Bell, December 2018. Digital material processed by Sarah Cogley, October 2018. Additional material processed by Jessica Hollister, 2021.

This collection was processed in accordance with the University Archives processing guidelines/policies. For more information, see

Files were normalized to preservation-standard formats according to the Library’s Digital Preservation guidelines. For more information, see


Finding Aid for the American Association of University Women, Buffalo Branch records
Finding aid prepared by Stephanie Tocco.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)