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A Finding Aid for the Big Rapids Womens Club (Mich.)Records 1934-2012

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Big Rapids Womens Club (Mich.) Records

Creator: Big Rapids General Federation of Womens Clubs

Dates: 1934-2012

Abstract: The Big Rapids General Federation of Women's Clubs chapter (1913-2003) is an organization which exemplifies women's leadership and service throughout the Big Rapids area. Records include some administrative material such as minutes but are primarily scrapbooks which contain a mixture of programs, press clippings and photographs.

Language: English

Quantity: 13 cubic feet; 21 boxes

Identification: MSS-13

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

The Big Rapids General Federation of Women's Clubs, also known as the Big Rapids Women's Club, was reorganized on into an affiliated chapter in 1971. At the exploratory meeting on March 5, 1971, Shirley McCaslin, the state extension chair presented to a group of 21 women the goals, departments, and structure of being a chapter. Terry Hodge was appointed as the temporary chairman and a bylaws committee was formed consisting of June White, Jackie Miller, Janice Schult and Nancy Doyle. On March 15, 1971 the group met again and elected the first officers. They were: President- Corinne Ryman, 1st Vice-President Janet Schult and 2nd Vice-President Pat Montgomery. The chapter was officially chartered with thirty members by the General Federation of Women's Clubs in April of 1971.

Meetings occur monthly, usually in a member's home. The organization was commonly known as the "Intermediates Club." There was a separate juniors organization during the first decade. The Intermediate Club's first large community service project after being chartered was the "Gala Gift Fair" on Hostess Day of 1971. All proceeds raised were donated to the Big Rapids Mental Health Clinic and all bake good proceeds were given to Girl's Town. This project proved a great success, and the organization continued to provide needed support to the local community. The Intermediates have been well known for their very large community improvement programs and fundraisers for the local mental health clinic.

The Club's key objective is to create a unified effort toward educational, cultural, and civic improvement. This can be seen within the General Federation for Women's Club's state motto, "Do You Care Enough?" The organization encourages local women to become members of their organization in order to take on leadership positions and promote service within their home communities. By doing such, they hope not only to strengthen the community in which they live, but to also improve the quality of life their members live. These women have accomplished many goals for themselves, allowing the Michigan Women's Commission to recognize that the "Intermediate's Care" (which is their local theme). They are symbolized by their flower the carnation, and their organization's pink and white colors.

This organization has received numerous awards and certificates for their structure, membership, community service, and other achievements within the Big Rapids area.

Scope and Content Note

This collection can be used to research the achievements, service, and publicity for the Big Rapids chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. The Club's meeting minutes, community improvement plan for the mental health clinic, and information on their first fund raiser, the "Gala Gift Fair" are a few included works of special interest.

The sense of community purpose which drives the Big Rapids General Federation of Women's can be traced through viewing any one of the thirty-one scrapbooks or pressbooks that are chronologically arranged in the first series of the collection. It provides a chronological of activities including special projects, general meetings and social events. The second series contains some of the typical administrative records such as minutes and agendas. There are also some miscellaneous objects including a flag and general history of the mother organization.

The various papers and articles placed in each book were crafted by the members of the Club and also including personal comments about their own organization. These notes exemplify the amount of pride and sentimentality they have held for their organization. There are also minutes from various years and administrative records including the reports submitted to state and national federation officials.


The papers are divided into two series: 1. Scrapbooks and 2. Administrative Records.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Big Rapids Womens Club (Mich.) Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Big Rapids Womens Club (Michigan) Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Big Rapids Women's Club (Mich.) Records were received through FLITE staff member Joan Boroff in January and February 2006. She was also a board member of the organization. Additional materials were received in January 2011.

Processing Information

The Big Rapids Women's Club (Mich.) Records were processed to the box level by Nichole Vander Yacht in October 2007. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004). Additional materials were received in January 2011. Melinda Isler reprocessed and created a new finding aid was generated utilizing the Archivists Toolkit in May 2013.

Separated Materials

There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials. A VHS based videocassette recorder will (VCR) will be necessary for viewing the video home system cassette.

Content Listing

Series 1. Scrapbooks. 1971-2010.

The series consists of scrapbooks and pressbooks designed and created by the club since being chartered as a chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1971.

It is organized into two subseries: General Scrapbooks and Project Scrapbooks.

Subseries 1. General Scrapbooks. 1971-2004.

This subseries consists of pictures, flyers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other related material to club events. These events include general meetings, fundraisers and special parties. Scrapbooks are sometimes called "pressbooks."

The scrapbooks are arranged chronologically by start date.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Scrapbook. 1971-1972.
1 2 Scrapbook. 1973-1977.
2 1 Scrapbook. 1978-1979.
2 2 Scrapbook. May 1979-June 1980.
3 1 Scrapbook. 1980-1981.
3 2 Scrapbook. September 1981-May 1982.
4 1 Scrapbook. May-July 1982.
4 2 Scrapbook. September 1982-August 1983.
5 1 Scrapbook. September 1983-August 1984.
5 2 Scrapbook. September 1984-August 1985.
6 1 Scrapbook. September-December 1985.
6 2 January-September 1986.
7 1 Scrapbook (Pressbook). June 1987-August 1988.
7 2 Scrapbook (Pressbook). June 1987-August 1988.
8 1 Scrapbook (Pressbook). October 1988-April 1991.
8 2 Scrapbook (Pressbook). September 1991-April 2003; May-November 1994.
9 1 Scrapbook. April 1993-April 1994.
9 2 Scrapbook (Pressbook) 1998-1999.
10 1 Scrapbook. April 1995-April 1996.
11 1 Scrapbook. April 1996-April 1997.
12 1 Scrapbook. April 1997-April 1998.
21 1 Scrapbook 1997-1998.
21 2 Scrapbook 1999-2000.
13 1 Scrapbook (Pressbook). 1999-2000.
13 2 Scrapbook (Pressbook). 2000-2001.
13 3 Scrapbook. June 2000-May 2001.
21 3 Scrapbook June-December 2001.
14 1 Scrapbook (Pressbook). February-July 2002.
14 2 Scrapbook (Pressbook). June-December 2002.
15 1 Scrapbook. July 2002-December 2003.
21 4 Scrapbook 2003-2004.
16 1 Scrapbook. January-December 2005.
20 1 Scrapbook. 2007-2008.
20 2 Scrapbook. 2009-2010.

Subseries 2. Project Scrapbooks. 1973-1980.

This subseries consists of similar scrapbooks organized around a specific chapter project (sometimes called Community Information Project). They may include pictures, flyers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other related material.

It is also arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
17 1 Mental Health Institute scrapbook. 1973-1974.
17 2 Mental Health Institute scrapbook. 1977-1978.
18 1 Community Information Project Scrapbook. 1978-1980.

Series 2. Administrative Records/Miscellaneous. 1934-2012.

This series consists of the organization administrative records. Administrative records includes agendas and minutes of meetings. For some years, the Presidents Manual provides more detailed information on the operations of the club. Most programs are in the scrapbook series. It also contains organizational yearbooks and reports submitted to the larger organizations. Additionally, there is a single flag and GFWC videocassette history.

Administrative records are arranged by subject and chronologically within a subject.

Box Folder Contents
19 1 20 Years. Historical video produced by the General Federation of Womens Clubs. In DVD format. ca. 1991.
19 2 Constitution; by-laws. 1934.
19 3 Girlstown Project. Manual and program. 1991.
19 4 Girlstown Project. Manual. 1991.
19 5 Leadership Day. February 21, 2002.
19 6 Minutes; administrative records. 1971-1977.
19 7 Minutes; administrative records. 1979-1983.
19 8 Pamphlets; brochures. 1991-2003.
19 9 Presidents manual. 2002-2003.
19 10 Presidents manual. 2003-2004; 2004-2005.
19 11 Presidents manual. June-December 2006.
19 12 Presidents manual. January-May 2007.
19 13 Reports. Biennial. 1978-1980.
19 14 Reports. Biennial. 1981-1983.
19 15 Reports. Annual. 1982.
19 16 Reports. Biennial. 1982-1984.
19 17 Reports. Annual. 1986.
19 18 Reports. Biennial. 1988-1990.
19 19 Reports. Biennial. 1992-1994.
19 20 Reports. Annual. 1996-1997.
19 21 Reports. Annual. 1998.
19 22 Reports. Biennial. 1998-1999.
19 23 Reports. Annual. 1999.
19 24 Reports. Biennial. 2000-2002.
19 25 Reports. Michigan. 2001.
19 26 Yearbooks. "Pink Book." 1971-1991.
19 27 Yearbooks. "Pink Book." 1991-2012.
19 28 FSWC Intermediates flag. Undated.