Working Merrily Along

Hello Everyone, I am pleased to report I have made progress this week. I
have processed four records boxes and am working merrily along. I am hoping to
keep up the pace next week and make some significant head way before the
holiday break. I am busy processing administrative paperwork into folders and
am looking forward to learning how to process items that need preservation,
such as photographs and newspaper clippings, when we return to work in the new
year. The Woman’s Club of Claremont has taken great care in recording their
history over the decades. From homemade leather-bound scrapbooks in the 1920’s,
to homemade quilted scrapbooks in the 1980’s, the club has preserved items
documenting their activities and contributions to the community. Items include
photographs, slides, and newspaper clippings to name just a few types of records.
A newspaper article titled, “Home Portals Opened,” from 1924 documents the club’s
first meeting in their new clubhouse on 12th street in Claremont. The article
relays how in 1922 a Mrs. Henry C. Gower reported to the group the club’s
fundraising efforts towards their new clubhouse had accumulated to $6 and some
chickens! Somehow the determined group of amazing women managed to gather the
necessary funds and in 1924 had one of their first meetings in their new
clubhouse with approximately 150 women present. Some 72 years later the Woman’s
Club of Claremont made headlines again as they were recognized for their long history
of community service. Quite an impressive group of women who have dedicated
their lives to improving their community and I am thankful I am able to have just
a small part in working to preserve their history. 

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Homemade scrapbook ca. 1920.

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The Women’s Club gets a new home–I wonder if the
chickens were part of the deal!

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 The Club being recognized for 72 years of service to
the Claremont community.

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Homemade scrapbook ca. 1984.

In the Thick of It!

Hello Everyone, after some thought and adjustments I began executing the
processing plan for the collection this week. It was slow going at first, but I
began to pick up speed as I became more aware of the patterns within the
materials and things started to make sense. I understand now what the term “living
document” means as logical methods of arrangements reveal themselves as I sort
through and organize the materials. This really is a work in progress, and as I
sort I am beginning to see how files will be combined, eliminated, or created a
few steps from where I am now when the initial arrangement is completed. I have
to say I really enjoy the work. I never thought my need for organization, and sometimes
annoying habit of paying too much attention to detail, would come in so handy!
The Woman’s Club of Claremont has an interesting history, and being able to
touch upon the Club’s long and productive contribution to their community while
utilizing my organizational skills allows me to combine two of my favorite
things! I was able to complete an initial arrangement on one records box, and seeing
the neatly arranged files really gave me a sense of accomplishment for this
week. Now that I am in the thick of the creating the arrangements, I know I
will be able to pick up the pace and put a significant dent in the 26 boxes
that still need to be processed. I am excited for next week!    

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One box down, only 26 more to go!

There was a variety of information and correspondence
regarding the Woman’s Club celebrity hat and jewelry sale benefitting the Well
Baby Clinic that took place in 1962. The “Les Chapeaux Elegants” event was
successful and well received, and included the sale and Chapeau Luncheon. I
have included some noteworthy responses from some well-known public figures
that I though might be of interest.    

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Handmade invitation to the Woman’s Club Celebrity Hat Sale and
“Chapeau Luncheon.”

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Newspaper article advertising the Woman’s Club
celebrity hat and jewelry sale.

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Janet Leigh, Mrs. Tony Curtis, agrees to donate a hat
for the charity sale.

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Hedda Hopper, renowned for her flamboyant hat
collection, is unable to donate a hat for the sale.

The Plan is Complete

Hello Everyone, I spent this week formulating a
proposed processing plan. This entailed quite a lot of reading and research,
and I learned a great deal about creating a plan for arranging
a collection. The processing plan really boils down to figuring out the most
logical and expeditious way to break down and arrange the collection in such a
way that future researchers can easily access the
collection and quickly locate the records they are attempting to find. 
I still felt a little apprehensive – I was nervous about making a mistake – but
Lisa Crane reminded me that the processing plan is a “living document,” 
 and that the plan will
evolve as the processing is being conducted. So, there are no mistakes, just a
starting point in an ongoing process. This revelation made me feel much more
confident and I was able to propose a plan that, I hope, is based on sound
reasoning. I am eager to receive feedback on my proposal, make any recommended
changes to the plan, and start processing the collection.

Among the wonderful
events and activities put on by the Woman’s Club of Claremont over their long
and productive history, there were many fundraising events for worthwhile
organizations. One of these events was the 1962 Spring Celebrity Hat Sale to benefit
the Well Baby Clinic. The Woman’s Club asked celebrities to donate hats for the
benefit, and the club received some interesting donations from notable public and historical figures of the time including, but not limited to, Jackie Kennedy and the wife of Dean Martin.

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Jackie Kennedy donates an autographed steel engraving.

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Mrs. Dean Martin donates her husband’s new album.

Making a Plan

Hello Everyone, this week I finished the box survey
and began formulating a processing plan. To facilitate this next step in the
process, I had to figure out the answers to two fundamental questions: What is
a processing plan and how do you make one? After some sage advice from Lisa, I
relied on the tried and true practice of research, research, research! Developing
and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-To-Do-It Manual
by Gregory S. Hunter,
the “Bible” of creating archives, and A Glossary of Archival & Records
by Richard Pearce-Moses, are providing valuable information and
will help guide me through the process. After some initial reading, I had to just
jump in and begin filling out the processing plan. I am learning as I go and
enjoying every moment.

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I came across some interesting information regarding
the Junior Woman’s Club of Claremont. The club was started in 1933 with the
Woman’s Club as its sponsor, and focuses on philanthropy, community service,
and building leadership skills in young women devoted in the group. Two items
of interest are the Club’s History and Purpose, and the GFWC (General
Federation of Women’s Clubs) Junior Pledge written in 1916 by Helen Cheney
Kimberly of California. I found the Junior Pledge to contain some profound
language and concepts, encouraging the young women of the group to be loyal, do
better in their work, be honest and courteous, and to “live each day trying to
accomplish something – not merely to exist.” Pretty amazing!      


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 The Junior Club of Claremont’s History and Purpose.


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The Junior Pledge was written
in 1916 by Helen Cheney Kimberly of California, and was adopted in 1930 at the
GFWC Convention as the National Junior Pledge.

Getting My Groove On

Hello Everyone,

I am happy to report that I have settled into a
comfortable groove this week as I continue to perform the box survey for the
Woman’s Club of Claremont archive. I am learning as I go, making smarter
decisions, and working at a much quicker pace. I have managed to conduct the survey
on 26 of the 27 boxes, and will be ready to move on to step two in the process
next week. I have come across some interesting items that demonstrate not only
the enduring historical significance of the club, but also how the club has
made intimate connections with their community over the last century. The Woman’s
Club of Claremont has touched every era, and left the community better,
stronger, and enriched for the interaction.

 A history of the Woman’s Club of Claremont was recorded
in 1960. The group unofficially began meeting in 1917, during the First World War,
to do Red Cross sewing, knitting, and community service. The group became an
official club after the war in 1919. There are photographs of the club and its
building from the earliest years which are an interesting contrast to the way the
building looks today. The comparison shows how the Woman’s Club grew as the
community grew, and speaks to the intimate and integral relationship between
the club and the community. I know my understanding of the Woman’s Club will
expand as I continue processing the archive, and I look forward to delving
deeper into process, and the club, next week!

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History, circa 1960.


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found in a record book containing meeting minutes titled, Woman’s Club of
Claremont 1924 – 1944

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Club of Claremont today.

The Journey Begins – CCEPS – Woman’s Club of Claremont – Friday 10/27/2017

Hello Everyone, my name is Therasa Topete and I am a student
in the master of arts program in religion at CGU. I began my first experience
performing archival work this week processing the records of a wonderful
organization called the Woman’s Club of Claremont. The Woman’s Club of Claremont
has been active since the early twentieth century, and identifies itself as a non-profit
organization open to all adult women with the desire to help the community by
supporting various charities, communities, schools, and organizations. I feel
honored to have a part in recording the history of such an inspiring
organization, and feel a great responsibility to do a good job so current and
future generations will be able to see the impact this wonderful group of women
have had on their community for almost an entire century.

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This archival project contains 26 record boxes that
need to be processed, and I was excited and a little intimidated on day one. As
I began to perform the box survey, I kept feeling as though I was getting too
wrapped up in the details and taking too long to complete each box. Once I had
processed the first two boxes, which took a long time, I began to understand
what needed to be noted at this stage, and what should be inspected more
closely at a later stage in the process. The work went much smoother after that,
and I am beginning to process at a much faster pace. I processed twice as many boxes
today as I did in the last three days combined, and I am beginning to feel more
confident performing the task. I really enjoy the work, and as I go through the
materials I am getting to know The Woman’s Club more intimately. I feel like I
will view the Woman’s Club of Claremont as an old friend when my time here is finished,
and I am excited to continue the work. I look forward to keeping you all posted
along my journey!