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Indianapolis Council of Women collection

Identifier: L516

Scope and Contents

This collection includes board and general assembly meeting minutes, treasurer documents, roll books, president's books and yearbooks from the Indianapolis Council of Women ranging from 1892 to 2018. Also included are administrative records from the Indiana State Council of Women ranging from 1929 to 1995.


  • 1892-2018


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

"The Indianapolis Council of Women incorporated in 1902 and later survived its founder's death in 1920. Until 1923, the council met monthly in the Propylaeum. The council took most interest in moral and civic issues that related to women and children, such as women's suffrage and improved conditions in the schools. Women made their influence felt by conducting investigations, making resolutions, and pressuring authorities in local government and private organizations. During its early years, it studied jail conditions for women prisoners, investigated the presence of children in "wine rooms," pushed for women on local governmental boards and commissions, and became active for municipal legislation regarding public health and improved housing. It also donated time and money to causes such as setting up free milk stations and paying for police matrons and juvenile probation officers.

Several groups were founded through this local council, including the Indianapolis Consumers League (1901) and the Indiana Council of Women (1921). Social programs were also part of the council's activities. Besides a Founder's Day luncheon, the women regularly had lunches and dinners featuring music programs, literary readings, or local speakers.

The council celebrated its centennial in 1992 by hosting several historical programs. In the early 2000s, it had 135 participating groups, representing roughly 45,000 people." The Council continues to make an impact on the community by providing assistance to numerous causes.


Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, Ann Mauger Colbert, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne.


7.1 Cubic Feet (17 manuscript boxes, 1 small flat box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by series and subseries:

Series 1: Indianapolis Council of Women administrative records, 1892-2018

Subseries 1.1: Board of Assembly minutes, 1892-1981 Subseries 1.2: Treasurer documents, 1941-1993 Subseries 1.3: Roll books, 1894-1977 Subseries 1.4: President's books, 1966-1991 Subseries 1.5: Yearbooks, 1924-2018 Subseries 1.6: Subject files, 1902-1995

Series 2: Indiana State Council of Women administrative records, 1929-1995

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Janeane Abbitt on 2000/10/20; Jenny Brunsma on 1981/01/14 and Patti Coons on 1978/12/01.


Further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L430: May Wright Sewall Indiana Council of Women collection

Processing Information

Collection processing and initial finding aid completed by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson during 2001. Collection reprocessed by Bethany Fiechter during February 2018. EAD finding aid created 2018/02/08 by Bethany Fiechter. Collection addition processed on 2018/06/14 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid revised on 2018/06/14; by Bethany Fiechter; 2024/05/02 by Brittany Kropf.
Indianapolis Council of Women collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.