This collection is comprised of records from the Charleston-Mattoon Area branch of the American Association of University Women. Located in east-central Illinois, the Charleston-Mattoon Area branch focuses on promoting education and equity for women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. Records include newsletters, minutes, newspaper articles, correspondence, and other materials.
The American Association of University Women began in 1881 when seventeen women in Boston formed the Association of Collegiate Alumnae for the purpose of uniting the alumnae of different institutions for practical educational work. In 1889 it merged with the Western Association of College Women under the ACA name. A final union with the Southern Association of College Women in 1921 brought about the present AAUW.
The Charleston-Mattoon branch was chartered in 1940, and Dr. Elizabeth K. Lawson became the first branch president. In 1987 the branch changed its name to the Charleston-Mattoon Area branch to better reflect the residency of its membership, which included other towns in the surrounding area. In 2007 the branch disbanded due to dwindling membership and a lack of interest in branch leadership positions.
The collection offers insight into administrative functions of the branch with records including branch bylaws and policies, minutes, reports, and awards from both the AAUW-IL as well as the national level of AAUW. The branch held and participated in local events such as the declaration of AAUW / Women's History Week by the Mayor of Charleston, the Women's Expo and Health Fair, and the "Expanding Your Horizons through Math and Science" Conference. Records from these events include programs, newspaper articles, flyers, and photographs. Scrapbooks offer a glimpse into activities and events the branch participated in during its earlier years. Included in the scrapbooks are newspaper clippings, photographs from events, correspondence, and newsletters. Annual yearbooks provide program guides and membership directories, and branch newsletters discuss upcoming events, projects, and meetings.
The Library acquired this collection from Helen Miron in September of 2011.