MS 1042 - Altrusa of Greater Lansing, Michigan
|Title||MS 1042 - Altrusa of Greater Lansing, Michigan|
The archives of Altrusa International of the Greater Lansing, Michigan chapter were donated to the Center for Archival Collections on June 15, 2006 by Laura Gilles on behalf of the organization. Dating from 1943–2003, the contents of the 8 linear foot collection primarily consist of meeting minutes, correspondence, committee reports, financial reports, scrapbooks, news clippings, and photographs.
No restrictions exist on the research use of this collection and duplication is permitted for research purposes. The collection was arranged and described by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in August 2014.
Altrusa International is an international association of professional women who volunteer their energies and expertise in projects dedicated to community betterment. Altrusa is also a community service organization that espouses volunteerism, service and fights for literacy and against AIDS. It is comprised of over 400 clubs located throughout the United States and in ten countries around the world. First organized in 1917 as a women’s service organization, over the years it has supported vocational training for women and graduate research for women in developing countries in addition to its long standing commitment to literacy.
The Greater Lansing, Michigan chapter of the organization was established in 1943 after 16 women met and organized on February 12 at the Hotel Olds; its charter dinner was held two years later on Feb. 10, 1945. By 1946 the membership had increased to 31 and later that year they published their first newsletter. It was associated with District 5 of Altrusa, including clubs in Michigan and Ohio.
Early projects for the club included home-making instruction for patients recently released from the local tuberculosis hospital to aid in their convalescence, vocational, and home-management training. Another later long-term project of the Lansing chapter was support for Glass House, a residential halfway house for women recovering from substance abuse. Programming to raise funds for this project included an annual spring fashion show and Club members interacted with the residents with such activities as a Christmas party. This ongoing project was submitted for the Altrusa Mamie Bass Award in several years.
Due to a decline in membership chapter appears to have officially dissolved in 2005 and is no longer listed among active Michigan clubs on the District 5 website.
|Scope and Content|
The items contained within the Altrusa International of Greater Lansing collection provide a fairly accurate history of the organization. Though there are gaps here and there in the materials, those that are available provide adequate representations of the decades that the club had been in operation. The meeting minutes, of which there are only a few substantial gaps in years, present a record of the club’s activities and inner workings. In some cases, these minutes also include the monthly and annual treasurer’s reports attached, as well as the reports of committees in the earlier decades.
Perhaps the most interesting and important aspect of the collection is the large amount of scrapbooks within, only lacking coverage from the early 1980s. When possible, these were kept intact and not altered. Each volume is set up in a similar way, featuring a variety of materials that help describe club life and events for each given club year. Many of the later decade scrapbooks also include copies of the chapter newsletter and copies of the annual program booklets.
The collection is especially useful to those studying women’s organizations on the local level, or to those who have a specific interest in this chapter. However, the collection can also appeal to a much broader audience. The material contained in this collection follows professional, working women from the late 1940s through the 2000s. They represent a much different demographic than many of their contemporaries, and this is often reflected within the collection. The inner workings of the club, the activities they took part in, and the events that they promoted throughout the years can speak towards the social history of a certain region of Michigan.
MINUTES – GENERAL
1950-1976, 1986-2002 (scattered)
Records of regular monthly meetings held by the club, each feature date, location, and details of what was discussed at the meeting. Some may include attached agendas and treasurer’s reports.
MINUTES - BOARD
1972-1975, 1978-1990, 2002-2002 (scattered)
Records of meetings of the club Board of Directors, each feature date, location, and details of what was discussed at the meeting. Some may include attached agendas and treasurer’s reports.
MINUTES – BUSINESS/PROGRAM
Record of business and combined business/program meetings, each feature date, location, information on the speakers, and details of what was discussed at the meeting.
1974, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, n.d.
Official organization policies and by-laws, local club policies and a statement of mission/goals/vision
CORRESPONDENCE - GENERAL
1952-1962, 1978-2001 (scattered)
Mixed groupings of correspondence, memos, and other communications, generally gathered together by individual officers in folders self-identified as correspondence during their term of office. May include other items such as agendas, minutes, and programs
CORRESPONDENCE – TOPICAL
Two folders of topical correspondence, one dealing with issues about the Altrusa International Staff salaries and another on the annual Fashion Show
ALTRUSA AWARD NOMINATION FILES
1970,1979, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2001
Nomination packets submitted for consideration of local service projects and volunteers for the Mamie Bass Award, for the Howard Lancour Community Award, and the JC Penney Golden Rule Award
Mixed subject files on general operational issues such as tax/non-profit status, member surveys and attendance lists, vocational aid projects, and strategic planning
Compiled reports by the President and other officers or committees of club activities, some single and some issued as part of comprehensive reports
MONTHLY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS/AUDIT REPORTS
Summary sheets presented at regular meetings, generally by the Finance Committee. Some may be also found with annual reports, finance committee reports, and various meeting minutes.
Reports of club activity submitted to District 5, including Omni reports
Reports and activity summaries from the Community Service, Fellowship, Finance, Information, Literacy, Vocational, School Needs, and International Relations Committees
Printed booklet of club history from 1943-1968, plus typed updates through 1991. Other historical background can be found in issues of the Newsletter from April-June 1981
Certificates of recognition and awards from various agencies helped by the Club, from Altrusa, and from governmental entities recognizing service
PROGRAMS AND BROCHURES
Club brochures, informational booklets, programs from the annual fashion shows, remembrance ceremonies and other printed
Copies of the chapter Newsletter and Altrusa Advantage
ANNUAL PROGRAM BOOKLETS
Pocket sized booklets listing the chapter activities planned for the year
Photographs of club activities, most are unidentified
General Altrusa pins and commemorative jewelry
Awards and recognitions from Altrusa and local organizations, most plaques were sampled and not retained due to space limitations
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS
Compile scrapbooks of club activities and clippings. Many oversized are wrapped at the end of the collection
1. Minutes (Regular meeting), July 1950-June 1955
1. Minutes (Board meeting), May 1972-June 1975
1. Minutes (Business), 1978-1985
1. Correspondence (Sharon Ligget), 1986-1987
1. Annual reports, 1952-1959
1. Annual reports, 1948-1959 (scattered)
1. Club progress reports, 1978-1980
1. Newsletters, 1950-1953 (scattered)
1. Newsletters, 1967-1968
1. Newsletters, 1988-1992
1. Program booklets, 1983/84-1991/92
1. Scrapbook-Presidents, 1943-1973
1. Scrapbook-news clippings, 1966-1969