This page contains a list of archival resources on local women's history located in Archives and Special Collections of University Libraries. This includes information about personal papers of women from Akron and Summit County and the region prominent in many fields, as well as collections of historical records of local women's organizations. The list of collections includes title of the collection, date range of the materials, extent or size of the collection, record group/catalog number, and a brief description of the archival resources. More detailed information about these collections can be found in the finding aids, which can be accessed by clicking the title of the collection. Some of these resources have been digitized and can be accessed in our digital archives by clicking the appropriate links below. Original resources can be consulted by visiting Archives and Special Collections during our normal business hours.
Range: 1894 - 2010 Size: 7.0 Record Group: 99/93
The Akron and Summit County Federation of Women’s Clubs was organized in 1893 and united with the Ohio State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1917. The group raised money for charity, hosted guest speakers, awarded scholarships, worked on various community-related projects, and lobbied for political reform. The records include notebooks, directories, scrapbooks, newsletters and subjects files that document the history of the group.
Range: 1928 - 1978 Size: 4.0 Record Group: 99/167
The Akron Women’s Chapter of the National Aeronautic Association was founded in 1924 to educate and excite the people of Akron, Ohio on aviation, including lighter-than-air flight. The records document the activities, organization, and procedures of the group as well as the development of heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air flight in northeastern Ohio.
Range: 1931 - 1984 Size: 1 cubic foot Record Group:
The AAUW is the oldest and largest national organization for women. This collection contains branch minutes, board minutes, correspondence, bulletins, and scrapbooks detailing the activities of the AAUW.
Range: 1931 - 1977 Size: 10 cubic feet Record Group:
Kate Clapp was a journalist from Akron, Ohio who served as the garden specialist for the Akron Beacon Journal for over forty years. Her papers include scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and photographs that document her life and career.
Range: 1922 - 1933 Size: 0.33 cubic feet Record Group:
Mrs. C.J. Clark, an early radio enthusiast, transcribed radio program transmissions from around the world and corresponded with various radio stations in the 1920s and ‘30s. Her collection includes scrapbooks, postcards, and correspondence collected by Clark over a ten year period.
Range: 1950 - 1973 Size: 3 cubic feet Record Group: 99/113
Catherine R. Dobbs was an Ohio State Senator from 1949-1950 and the Mayor of the city of Barberton, Ohio from 1956-1961. Her papers contain correspondence, speeches, lectures, manuscripts, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other materials from her service in the Ohio legislature as well as her time as Mayor of Barberton. The papers also include various materials associated with her political and social activities after leaving office.
Range: 1841 - 2018 Size: 6 Record Group: 99/253
Dr. Kathleen L “Kitty” Endres is a distinguished professor emerita of Communications at The University of Akron. This collection is comprised of files and collected materials assembled and used by Dr. Endres during her career as a professor of Communications and Women’s Studies at The University of Akron.
Range: 1897 - 2015 Size: 3.0 Record Group: 99/180
The Fortnightly Club of Akron was founded in 1896 as a women’s scholarly club. Meetings were twice a month from October to April and presentations given ranging from nations of the world, to Shakespeare, to literature and authors, to local history. The records date from 1897 to 2015 and include meeting minutes, yearbooks, correspondence, subject files, programs, scrapbooks, and a photo album.
Range: 1911 - 1990 Size: 4 cubic feet Record Group: 99/115
Thelma C. Furry (1910-2000) was an Akron, Ohio attorney, graduate of The University of Akron School of Law, member of the Communist Party, and the first female trial lawyer in Akron. Specializing in domestic and juvenile cases, she was known for taking controversial and unpopular stands and was the defender of those who had no voice in their own defense locally and nationally including people who suffered civil rights violations such as homosexuals and AIDS patients. Her papers include legal documents, correspondence, a scrapbook, publications, and taped interviews regarding her defense of civil rights cases.
Range: 1889 - 1939 Size: 1.25 cubic feet Record Group: 99/116
Mary E. Gladwin (1861-1939) was an early graduate of The University of Akron (then Buchtel College) who served as a Red Cross nurse during the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. During the flood of 1913, she directed the Red Cross nursing services in Dayton and stayed in Ohio to become Head of Women's Employment and Welfare Department of the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron. Gladwin also organized and directed the George T. Perkins Visiting Nurse Association and was an incorporator and member of the first Board of Directors of the Summit County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Her papers include her memoirs, letters, photographs, diary, medals, and other materials documenting her life and work.
Range: 1936 - 1989 Size: 0.2 Record Group:
Barbara Gsellman (1927-2013) was an instructor/lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, the Community & Technical College, and the Evening College at The University of Akron (UA) from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. Her collection contains materials relating to UA and local history including UA Faculty Women’s Club yearbooks, newspaper clippings of UA faculty and staff, and several pamphlets relating to aeronautics.
Range: 1885 - 1964 Size: 1.0 Record Group:
Hazel Bessey “Bess” Hart was a student at Buchtel College (now The University of Akron) from 1907-1911. Her collection includes publications, photographs, slides, scrapbooks, and photograph albums that document the college and her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Range: 1896 - 1980 Size: 3 cubic feet Record Group:
Materials relating to the Hower and Ayers families, including: books, materials regarding Hower companies, genealogy publications, photograph albums, newspaper clippings, and notes. The three series are comprised of materials relating to John Bruot Hower, Mary Hamilton Ayers, and Allan F. Ayers and Lucy A. Hamilton.
Range: 1822 - 1970 Size: 35 cubic feet Record Group:
Otis Hower (1859-1916) was director, vice president, and then general manager of the American Cereal Company (later Quaker Oats Company) in Akron, Ohio and held administrative positions in numerous Akron businesses and organizations. His wife, Blanche Brout Hower, was a leader in community and civic affairs, served as a state representative from 1935-1936, and was instrumental in starting the Hower Trade School. The papers include business correspondence, financial records, legal documents, accounts of foreign travel, photographs, newspaper clippings, ledgers, certificates, and scrapbooks documenting this branch of the Hower family.
Range: 2001 - 2009 Size: 0.25 Record Group:
Annetta Karam (1915-2014) was a social worker in New York and Akron, Ohio, an active community member, an honorary alumna of The University of Akron (UA), and a world traveler who traveled around the world 10 times. She also was the wife of Dr. Harvey A. Karam and sister of Dr. Adib Karam, recognized Akron physicians and UA alums. Her travel diaries include 29 unbound, typewritten logs or diaries that document her travels around the world.
Range: 1920 - 1979 Size: 4.25 cubic feet Record Group: 99/148
The League of Women Voters is an American civic organization that was formed in 1920 to help women take a larger role in public affairs as they won the right to vote. The Canton, Ohio chapter was established in 1920 and is one of the oldest in the nation. The records include meeting minutes, financial reports, correspondence, program information, publications, and organization reports from the local, state, and national level that document the history of the organization.
Range: 1940 - 1974 Size: 11 cubic feet Record Group: 99/151
The League of Women Voters is a bi-partisan American civic organization that was formed in 1920 to help women take a larger role in public affairs as they won the right to vote. The League of Women Voters of Akron was established in 1940 and combined with the Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio chapters in 1978 to form the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area (LWVAA). The records include meeting minutes, financial statements, correspondence, reports, program information, scrapbooks, news clippings, and publications that document the history of the organization.
Range: 1928 - 2000 Size: 6 cubic feet Record Group: 99/176
The Frances McGovern Collection consists primarily of material relating to her activities with the Akron Area Chamber of Commerce Committee on Urban Services, the Little Hoover Commission, and the Summit County Charter Commission. Materials include reports, correspondence, notes, and information on the Summit County Charter commission. Also included are books and pamphlets.
Range: 1966 - 1992 Size: 2.33 cubic feet Record Group: 99/88
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American activist organization founded in 1966 that promotes equal rights for women. The Akron Chapter was organized in 1971 to further the national organization’s goals in the Akron area, especially through gender neutrality in employment advertisements, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, repeal of abortion laws, and an increase in the number of women elected to political office. The records include bylaws, meeting minutes, membership lists, newsletters, program files, correspondence, and materials relating to Ohio and National organizations.
Range: 1916 - 1960 Size: 0.75 cubic foot Record Group: 99/158
The North Hill Literary Club was organized in Akron, Ohio in 1916 to further the social and intellectual development of its members. The group met monthly to discuss a wide range of issues and subjects until its disbanding in 1958. The records consist of annual booklets, meeting minutes, a scrapbook, and a club history.
Range: 1976 - 1986 Size: 4 cubic feet Record Group: 99/100
Judith Resnik (1949-1986) of Akron, Ohio served as an engineer and astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1978 until she died during the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. Her papers include training manuals, technical materials, notes, photographs, schematics, memos, press kits, and briefings relating to manned space flight and her time with NASA.
Range: 1989 - 2004 Size: 2.0 Record Group:
The University of Akron Women’s Club (UAWC), formerly The University of Akron Faculty Women’s Club, is primarily a social organization composed of women employees and female spouses of UA employees that promotes social, informational, and service opportunities to its members and raises funds for scholarships for female UA students. The records include meeting minutes, financial records, newsletters, membership lists, and special events information.
Range: 1930 - 1964 Size: .66 cubic feet Record Group: 99/85
Helen Waterhouse (1892-1965) was a journalist in Akron, Ohio who was considered “the most controversial newspaperwoman in Akron history." She wrote numerous articles and front page stories covering some of the most important topics of the day for the Akron Beacon Journal for almost 40 years. Her papers contain correspondence and a selection of her published articles, including her Russia Series, in addition to reports from the Ohio Newspaper Woman's Association and National Federation of Press Women.
Range: 1950 - 2011 Size: 8.0 Record Group:
The Women’s Board to the Summit County Juvenile Court was founded in 1958 by women representing various civic, social, and religious organizations in order to assist the court, its staff, and the youth in detention. The board promotes a sound program for children under the care of the Juvenile Court, promotes volunteer services, and raises funds that support programs and events that improve the lives of youth. The records include board meeting minutes, notes, memos, scrapbooks, photographs, and photograph albums.
Range: 1901 - 2001 Size: 56 cubic feet Record Group:
The YWCA of Akron was organized 1901 to “advance the physical, social, intellectual, moral and spiritual interest of young women.” Throughout its history it has provided training, education, housing, and social, religious, and athletic programs for the women of Akron and Summit County, Ohio. The records include meeting minutes, correspondence, financial documents and ledgers, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, slides, and motion picture film that document the history of the organization over a 100-year period.
Range: 1933 - 1990 Size: 1 cubic foot Record Group:
Contains constitution and bylaws, meeting minutes, and scrapbooks of the Zonta Club of Akron.