Guide to the Young Women's Christian Association of Bellingham records
1899-2008

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Young Women's Christian Association (Bellingham, Wash.)
Title: Young Women's Christian Association of Bellingham records
Dates: 1899-2007 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 13.5 linear ft.
Collection Number: XOE_CPNWS0192ywcabellingham
Summary: The Young Women’s Christian Association of Bellingham, Washington, officially formed in May 1907. The organization’s mission is to provide housing and support for girls and women in crisis. The YWCA of Bellingham records span the dates 1906-1994 and are comprised of administrative, financial, and committee records, records related to YWCA programs and activities, photographs and scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings.
Repository: Western Washington University
Heritage Resources

Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Building
808 25th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-9123
Phone: 360 650 7747
Email: heritage.resources@wwu.edu
http://library.wwu.edu/heritageresources

Languages: Collection materials are in English.  
Sponsor: Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided by a grant from the Washington State Legislature to the Washington Women's History Consortium.

Historical Note

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Bellingham was founded in 1907 in Bellingham, Washington. Following preliminary meetings in 1906, the Board of Directors held its first official meeting in May 1907. The YWCA mission was to provide housing and support for girls and women in crisis, as well as the necessary resources to help them become independent and successful. The YWCA of Bellingham echoed its national counterpart’s mission statement: to develop empowered women and girls, and to combat racism.* Throughout its history, the YWCA of Bellingham has provided support for girls and women through various committees and clubs which focus on the economic, physical, and mental well-being of participants. In 2007, the YWCA of Bellingham celebrated its centennial anniversary. The occasion was commemorated through stories in local publications and an exhibit at the Whatcom Museum.

In its earliest days, members met in the Bellingham homes of the organization’s leaders, then at various locales throughout the community. That remained the case until Charles X. Larrabee donated a downtown Bellingham building for the YWCA of Bellingham in honor of his wife, Frances P. Larrabee, and their only daughter, Mary. Construction of the building was completed in 1915 and it was dedicated in March of that year.

The YWCA building is located on the corner of Maple and Forest streets and is still used as an active residence hall. It was designed by the Seattle-based architect, Carl F. Gould. Gould is also known in Bellingham for his design of Eden's Hall and the Wilson Library on the Western Washington University campus. Frances P. Larrabee was instrumental in the creation of the local organization and remained an active participant for many years.

Content Description

The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Bellingham records span the dates 1906-1994, with the bulk of the materials dated circa 1912-1980. The collection contains administrative, financial, and committee records, records related to local YWCA programs and activities, photographs and scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings.

Administrative records date from 1912-2007 and include articles of incorporation, bylaws, and historical information about the organization. The bulk of administrative records comprise agendas and reports from annual meetings, minutes of the YWCA of Bellingham's Board of Directors, and reports of the General Secretary. The series also contains correspondence, membership materials, and abstracts of title reflecting YWCA real estate. Historical materials include papers documenting the YWCA building's placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, as well as national and local (Bellingham) anniversary celebrations.

Financial records span the dates 1912-1978 and include auditor’s reports, Finance Committee materials, reports regarding the Bellingham Community Chest, and information on grants, and fundraising endeavors.

Committee records date from 1912-1981 and document the interests and work of YWCA of Bellingham standing committees. Although the bulk of these records were generated by the Health Education and Traveler's Aid Committees, they also reflect the activities of the other committees active at the YWCA building. The collection contains materials produced by the Residence, Outreach and Educational, Female Support and Advocacy Committees and others.

Records related to YWCA of Bellingham programs and activities date from 1911-1977 and contain both reference materials and records generated by the local organization. These records document issues of concern for the YWCA of Bellingham including gun control, support for women offenders, and rape relief. Program materials also document the activities of local YWCA clubs including “Bun Club,” “Y-Teens” and “Y-Wives.”

The photographs and scrapbooks span the dates 1910-1980, and include photographs of Charles X. Larrabee, donor of the YWCA building, and his wife, Frances P. Larrabee. Other photographs document YWCA of Bellingham activities and events, members and employees. A number of photographs also depict the exterior and interior of the YWCA building on Forest and Maple streets. Scrapbooks contain some photographs, but are primarily collections of newspaper clippings about organizational activities, gathered throughout the local branch’s history. There are also scrapbooks from the “Girls Reserves,” “Y-Teens,” and “Y-Wives” Clubs.

Newspaper clippings span the dates 1906-1996 and document noteworthy YWCA of Bellingham activities, events, programs, and people.

YWCA Centennial and One Hundred Years of Challenge and Change: Whatcom Women and the YWCA materials were gathered during the preparation leading up to and culmunation of both the 2007 centennial event and the subsequent publishing of Lynn Masland's book. These records consist of interviews and oral histories, photographs, publications, historical reference material, and research notes dating from 1899 to 2008. There are also digital copies of Masland's book on CD-R.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public.

Preferred Citation :  

Young Women's Christian Association of Bellingham records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Young Women's Christian Association of Bellingham records are organized according to the following series arrangement:

  • Series I. Administrative Records 1912-2007
  • Series II. Financial Records 1912-1968
  • Series III. Committee Records 1912-1981
  • Series IV. Programs and Activities 1911-1977
  • Series V. Photographs and Scrapbooks 1910-1980
  • Series VI. Newspaper Clippings 1906-1996
  • Series VII. YWCA Centennial and One Hundred Years of Challenge and Change: Whatcom Women and the YWCA materials1899-2008
Acquisition Information :  

The records were donated by the YWCA of Bellingham in multiple installments first in 1979, then in 1989, and again in 2001 at which time a deed of gift was signed. Materials regarding the branch's centennial celebration were acquired in 2007.

Processing Note :  

Duplicates and non-archival materials were removed from the collection.

Bibliography :  
  • Murray, Keith."The Origins of the Bellingham Y.W.C.A." in Howard J. Critchfield, ed. Pacific Northwest: Essays in Honor of James W. Scott. Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University (1993).

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Administrative Records1912-2007
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Annual Meetings and Reports 1913-1988
Box/Folder
1/1 Report 1913-1914
1/2 Report 1914-1915
1/3 Report 1915-1916
1/4 Report 1929-1936
1/5 Program and Report 1936-1937
1/6 Program and Report 1937-1938
1/7 Program and Report 1938-1939
1/8 Program and Report 1939-1940
1/9 Program and Report 1940-1941
1/10 Program and Report 1941-1942
1/11 Program and Report 1942-1943
1/12 Program and Report 1945-1963
1/13 Program and Report 1964-1973,; 1979
1/14 Program and Report 1981
1/15 Program and Report 1982
1/16 Program 1983
1/17 Report 1984
1/18 Report 1985
1/19 Report 1986
1/20 Report 1987-1988
Box/Folder
2/1 Annual Narrative Reports 1950-1952
2/2 Articles of incorporation, bylaws, and constitution circa 1908-1967
Board of Directors materials 1912-1981
Box/Folder
2/3 General reference materials circa 1912-1971
2/4 Board of Directors and committee members circa 1906-1964
2/5 Board motions 1974-1979
2/6 Board responsibilities and training circa 1978
2/7 Board retreat 1987
Minutes 1906-1994
Box/Folder
2/8 Minutes 1906-1911
2/9 Minutes 1923-1925
2/10 Minutes 1929-1936
3/1 Minutes 1936-1943
3/2 Minutes 1943-1949
3/3 Minutes 1950-1953
4/1 Minutes 1958-1970
4/2 Minutes 1970
4/3 Minutes 1971
4/4 Minutes 1972
4/5 Minutes 1973
4/6 Minutes 1974
4/7 Minutes 1975
4/8 Minutes 1976
5/1 Minutes 1976-1979
5/2 Minutes 1979-1980
5/3 Minutes 1981-1982
5/4 Minutes 1983-1984
5/5 Minutes 1985
5/6 Minutes 1986
5/7 Minutes 1987
5/8 Minutes 1988
5/9 Minutes 1989
5/10 Minutes 1990
5/11 Minutes 1991
5/12 Minutes 1992
6/1 Minutes 1993
6/2 Minutes 1994
6/3 Cabinet minutes 1948-1955
Correspondence 1915-1978
Box/Folder
6/4 Greeting cards circa 1915
6/5 General circa 1916-1923
6/6 General circa 1941-1977
6/7 General circa 1977
6/8 National Board circa 1915-1925
6/9 National Board 1977-1978
6/10 Regional Board 1915
6/11 Regional Board 1915-1924
6/12 Equipment and supplies advertisements circa 1915-1921
General Secretary Reports 1911-1943
Box/Folder
6/13 Reports 1911-1916
6/14 Report 1913
7/1 Report 1914
7/2 Report 1915
7/3 Reports 1916-1923
7/4 Report 1924
7/5 Report 1935
7/6 Report 1936
7/8 Reports 1937-1938
7/9 Report 1941
7/10 Report 1942
7/11 Report 1943
7/12 Group work reports 1941-1943
Informational and historical materials 1924-1976
Box/Folder
7/13 General reference materials circa 1924-1973
7/14 Nomination to the National Historic Register 1976 February
7/15 Long-range planning circa 1969-1978
Membership 1912-1976
Box/Folder
7/16 Membership dues 1958-1964
7/17 Membership materials 1912-1924
8/1 Membership materials 1942-1948
8/2 Membership materials 1976
National Reports 1935-1943
Box/Folder
8/3 Report 1935
8/4 Report 1936
8/5 Report 1937
8/6 Report 1938
8/7 Report 1939
8/8 Reports 1940-1943
8/9 President's Reports 1936, ; 1939
Property - Abstracts of Title 1912-1926
Box/Folder
8/10 Lot 1 in Block 80, Town of New Whatcom 1914
8/11 Lot 2 in Block 80, Town of New Whatcom 1914
8/12 Lot 3 in Block 80, Town of New Whatcom 1926
8/13 Rear 12 feet of Block 81, Town of New Whatcom 1912
8/14 Staff contracts 1941-1948
8/15 Staff to Staff - official newsletter for staff of YWCA circa 1974-1978
8/16 Student YWCA 1974
8/17 50th Anniversary Jubilee 1916
8/18 100th Anniversary of the Bellingham YWCA, includes information about the Whatcom Museum exhibit 2007

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Series II:  Financial Records1912-1978
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
9/1 General reference materials circa 1920s-1970s
Auditor's Reports 1929-1945
Box/Folder
9/2 Reports 1929-1942
9/3 Report 1945
9/4 Charitable organizations circa 1915-1920
Community Chest 1943-1964
Box/Folder
9/5 Monthly reports 1943-1945
9/6 Monthly reports 1956-1958
9/7 Monthly reports 1959-1960
9/8 Monthly reports 1961-1964
Finance Committee 1912-1978
Box/Folder
9/9 Committee materials 1912-1915
9/10 Committee materials circa 1915
9/11 Committee materials 1916-1917
9/12 Committee materials 1918-1919
9/13 Committee materials 1920-1922
9/14 Committee materials 1923-1924
9/15 Committee materials 1926-1929
9/16 Committee materials circa 1956-1978
10/1 Financial aid and fundraising circa 1967-1976
10/2 Financial campaigns 1919-1923
10/3 Grants circa 1970s
10/4 Secretarial Retirement Fund 1924
10/5 Warrants and deeds circa 1914-1944

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Series III:  Committee Records1912-1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
10/6 General reference materials circa 1980s
10/7 Business Girls Committee 1940-1941
10/8 Business and Industry Committee 1916-1933
10/9 Cafeteria Committee circa 1914-1923
10/10 City Committee 1912
10/11 Exchange Committee circa 1915
10/12 Fair Employment Committee 1915
10/13 Foreign Committee circa 1915-1925
10/14 Girls Work Committee 1914-1916
10/15 Goals Committee undated
Health Education Committee 1929-1942
Box/Folder
10/16 Report 1929
10/17 Report 1930
10/18 Report 1931
10/19 Report 1932
10/20 Reports 1931-1933
10/21 Report 1935
11/1 Report 1936
11/2 Report 1937
11/3 Report 1937-1938
11/4 Report 1938-1939
11/5 Reports 1939-1941
11/6 Report 1941-1942
11/7 History and Heritage Committee circa 1950s
House Committee 1912-1931
Box/Folder
11/8 House Committee 1912-1916
11/9 House Committee 1917-1931
11/10 Investment Committee 1975-1976
11/11 Leisure Services Committee 1977-1978
11/12 Memorial Committee 1975
11/13 Nominating Committee 1978
11/14 Nursery Committee 1978
11/15 Options Committee 1975-1976
11/16 Personnel Committee circa 1973-1978
11/17 Physical Education Committee undated
11/18 Plant and Equipment Committee 1976-1977
11/19-11/20 Program Planning Committee circa 1970s
11/21 Publicity Committee 1915-1916
12/1 Religious Work Committee 1912-1922
12/2-12/3 Residence Committee 1975-1976
12/4 Social Committee 1912-1922
Traveler's Aid Committee 1912-1951
Box/Folder
12/5 Certificate 1917 November 15
12/6 Minutes and reports 1912-1951
12/7 Minutes and reports 1913
12/8 Minutes and reports 1915-1921
12/9 Minutes and reports 1915-1922
13/1 Minutes and reports 1916-1917
13/2 Minutes and reports 1916-1919
13/3 Minutes and reports 1918-1920
13/4 Minutes and reports 1939-1940
13/5 Ways and Means Committee undated
13/6 Youth Committee 1977-1978

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Series IV:  Programs and Activities1911-1977
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
13/7 Outline of programs 1975 May 6
13/8 Affirmative Action circa 1970s
13/9-13/10 Bun Club 1953-1954
13/11 Camp Lummi circa 1934-1938
13/12 Camp Shuksan 1941
13/13 Clubs circa 1915-1924
14/1 Community survey 1938
14/2 Comprehensive Health Planning Council circa 1970s
Employment 1911-1975
Box/Folder
14/3 Employment for Women circa 1911-1915
14/4 Employment Security Department and CETA 1975
14/5 Equal employment circa 1954
Girl Reserves 1926-1948
Box/Folder
14/6 Minutes 1944-1948
14/7 Songbook 1926
14/8 Gun control 1973-1974
14/9 Heritage and history 1977
14/10 International Women's Year 1975
14/11 "One Imperative: Eliminate Racism" 1970-1975
14/12-14/13 Rape relief circa 1970s
14/14 Single Parents support group circa 1977
14/15 Student Standard Clubs 1914-1923
14/16 Swimming circa 1950s
14/15 U.S.O. minutes circa 1941-1942
15/1 Vietnam Wives 1967
15/2 Widows/Widowers support group 1975-1977
15/3 Women offenders circa 1970s
15/4 Women's organizations circa 1970s
15/5 Women's Press 1916-1925
Oversize Folder
OV/1 World Fellowship Project 1945
15/6 Y's Buys Shop undated
Y-teens 1946-1967
Box/Folder
15/7 General reference materials circa 1958
15/8 Minutes 1946-1950
15/9 Minutes 1954-1967
15/10 Y Wives circa 1933-1969

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Series V:  Photographs and Scrapbooks1910-1980
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Photographs circa 1908-1980
Box/Folder
15/11 Banquet with Malaysian visitors circa 1980
15/11 Camp OLGA 1924
15/13 Charles X. and Frances Larrabee circa 1914
16/1 Children circa 1910-1975
16/2 Drawing of Carl F. Gould, architect of the Bellingham YWCA building circa 1927
16/3 Eleanor Roosevelt with baby Franklin (credit Franklin D. Roosevelt Library) 1914
16/4 General circa 1915-1925
16/5 General circa 1920-1975
16/6 General circa 1940s
16/7-16/11 General circa 1970s-1980s
16/12 Groups circa 1911-1931
16/13 Negatives circa 1920s-1970s
16/14 Proof sheets circa 1980s
16/15 Slides undated
16/16 Swimming pool circa 1920s
16/17 Western Washington University circa 1909-1920
16/18 Y-Teens circa 1960s
16/19 YWCA building circa 1908-1919
Oversize Photographs circa 1920-1946
Oversize Folder
OV/2 Annual Regional Conference 1946 March 26
OV/3 Girl Reserves conference 1923
OV/4 Girl Reserves undated
OV/5 Mother-Daughter banquet circa 1920
Scrapbooks 1910-1985
Box/Folder
17/1 Bun Club 1953
Oversize Folder
OV/6 Girls Reserves circa 1920s-1930s
17/2 Girl Reserves 1941-1945
17/3 Girl Reserves 1945-1946
17/4 Newsletters circa 1912
17/5 Publicity and program materials 1941-1943
17/6 Teas circa 1959-1965
18/1 Y-Teens circa 1920s
18/2 Y-Teens 1947
18/3 Y-Teens 1948
18/4 Y-Teens 1957-1958
18/5-18/6 Y-Teens 1958-1959
18/7 Y-Teens 1960-1965
18/8 Y-Teens 1967-1968

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Series VI:  Newspaper clippings1906-1996
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
19/1 Newspaper clippings 1910-1913
19/2 Newspaper clippings 1914-1923
19/3 Newspaper clippings 1915;; 1920;; 1964
19/4 Newspaper clippings 1924-1941
19/5 Newspaper clippings circa 1930s
20/1 Newspaper clippings 1941
20/2 Newspaper clippings 1941-1946
20/3 Newspaper clippings 1947-1949
20/4 Newspaper clippings 1950-1953
21/1 Newspaper clippings 1953-1955
21/2 Newspaper clippings 1956-1961
21/3 Newspaper clippings 1961-1965
22/1 Newspaper clippings 1966-1972
22/2 Newspaper clippings 1981-1985
23/1 Newspaper clippings 1906
23/2 Newspaper clippings 1924-1926
23/3 Newspaper clippings 1945;; 1957
23/4 Newspaper clippings 1960-1968
23/5 Newspaper clippings 1971-1996
23/6 Newspaper clippings and other mixed material circa 1914-1973

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Series VII:  YWCA Centennial and One Hundred Years of Challenge and Change: Whatcom Women and the YWCA materials1899-2008
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
23/7 Christman, Beth - material on Lydia Place 2008
23/8 Fahey, Susan - A Quiet Regional of the Mind: The Aftermath Club of Bellingham, 1896-1990 1994 August
23/9 Hall of Fame/Legacy awards 2008
23/10 "Highlight and Hallmarks of YWCA History" - timeline of Power Point show circa 2008
Interviews and Oral Histories 2007-2008
Audio Recordings
Box/Folder
23/11 Blair, Karen 2008 March 16
23/12 Chevalier, Geneil 2007 May 14
23/13 Culjat, Dorothy 2008 July 20
24/1 Eco-Action Group 2008
24/2 Foster, Julie 2008 June 26
24/3 Page, Roseanna Stilwell 2008 June 3
24/4 Richards, Alice 2008 August 11
24/5 Robinson, Mary 2008 April 29
24/6 Spanel, Harriet 2008 July 18
Box/Folder
24/7 Eco-Action interview transcript and related material 2009
24/8 Notes on interviews and interviewees circa 2006-2008
24/9 Transcripts 2007-2008
Masland, Lynn 2007-2008
Box/Folder
24/10 Talks on YWCA history circa 2007-2008
24/11 Text for museum exhibit and presentation circa 2007-2008
24/12 Media coverage of YWCA Centennial and book launch 2007-2008
24/13 Murray, Keith - "The Origins of the Bellingham Y.W.C.A." (excerpt from Howard J. Critchfield, ed., Pacific Northwest: Essays in Honor of James W. Scott) undated
One Hundred Years of Challenge and Change: Whatcom Women and the YWCA 2008
Box/Folder
24/14 Digital copies on CD-R circa 2008
24/15 Drafts circa 2008
24/16 Production invoices 2008
Photographs 2007-2008
Box/Folder
24/17 Photocopies of historic images from CPNWS, WWU Special Collections, and the Whatcom Museum circa 2007-2008
24/18 Photo permissions forms circa 2007-2008
24/19 Photo source lists circa 2007-2008
Research 1899-2008
Box/Folder
24/20-24/29 Chronological circa 1890s-2008
24/30 Miscellaneous research material circa 2007-2008
24/31 Museum copy circa 1941-1982
24/32 Normal School 1899-
24/33 Richards, Alice material 2008
24/34 Roebuck, Randy - "Bellingham YWCA: Our Heritage - Vignettes, 1907-1979" 1979
24/35 Washington Historical Commission grant materials circa 2007-2008
24/36 YWCA - National Branch 2008
24/37 YWCA Past Presidents list 1907-1989

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Subjects

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Corporate Names :
  • Young Women's Christian Association (Bellingham, Wash.)  ( creator)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bellingham (Wash.)--History--Sources.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Community centers--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Community education--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Female offenders--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Gun control--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women in community organization--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women social reformers--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women--Employment--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women's rights--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women's shelters--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women--Societies and Clubs--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Women--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Youth centers--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.
  • Youth--Washington (State)--Bellingham--History--Sources.

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