The Special Collections Department of the University of Houston Library is seeking documents for the Women’s Archive. Women’s organizations such as the AAUW West Harris County Branch offer a unique view of women’s ways of taking community action in the Houston area. Our branch has excellent sequential documents dating from 1976, such as history scrapbooks, minutes of meetings, photos, and miscellaneous documents. The U of H Library is very interested in obtaining these documents for their archival collection. If our branch chooses to donate these records, they would be digitized for online use and in doing so contribute to the study of women’s accomplishments in the Houston area. The U of H Library would provide searchable, universal digital access to the rich history of our branch for our members and for the general public. Once donated, the documents become part of the permanent archival collection of the U of H Library’s Special Collections where they are protected from further deterioration in the library’s state-of-the art archival storage facility. Any members wishing to view the original documents would have easy access to them in the Special Collections Reading Room in the M. D. Anderson Library located on the main campus. The Women’s Archive is part of the Women’s Archive & Research Center, established in 1996.
Following visits by some of our Board members to the Special Collections Department and discussions with Vince Lee, Archivist of Women’s Studies at the M. D. Anderson Library, the Board has unanimously approved further investigation into archiving the branch’s historical documents with the University of Houston Library. Over the course of the spring, the Branch membership will have the opportunity to learn more about this initiative and to vote approval to gift this material to the Library. This would be a great honor for our Branch and a way to preserve our history and make it easily accessible.
Martha Ewell, Historian