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Women's History Resources in Archives and Special Collections


During the late 19th and 20th centuries, millions of American women of all classes, races, and ethnic backgrounds created and joined a wide variety of women’s organizations. Like-minded clubs created federations on the local, state, and national levels. The women of Muncie and Delaware County were active participants in that development, beginning with the organization of the Woman’s Club of Muncie in 1876. They created dozens of women’s organizations of all kinds.

Mary Martha Club, May 5, 1900

Some clubs were strictly local; others were affiliated with state or national organizations. Some organizations were exclusively social; others reflected members’ specific interests or championed a cause. Some clubs focused on community volunteerism; others sought to advance members’ professional interests and careers.

The following collections in the Stoeckel Archives of Local History contain significant materials on individual women, family papers, and/or women's organizations in Muncie and Delaware County. This is not an exhaustive list; there are many other small manuscript collections, as well as published items not listed here that are relevant. In addition, collections from community organizations such as churches and schools often contain materials on women and women's activities within the organization.