The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Silicon Valley was established in 1905 to provide fellowship, mutual aid,
and spiritual and professional guidance to young working women. The records included in this collection range from 1905 to
2005 and include budgets, clippings, correspondence, financial statements, minutes, memoranda, photographs, printed material,
registries, reports, scrapbooks, slides, and videos.
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) originally formed in England in 1855. In the United States the YWCA combined
evangelism and pragmatic activism to provide for the physical, social, mental, and spiritual needs of young women living on
their own. The organization strove to provide “wholesome” activities for women and girls living in cities and to develope
civic-minded female leadership. In addition to Christian guidance, local YWCA braches offered residences, cafeterias, job
training, daycare, exercise, crafts, camping, dances, and other services. By 1906 the U.S. YWCA had over 186,000 members.
In 1907 it incorporated and established its headquarters in New York City. Today YWCA branches function fairly autonomously
and respond to local needs and conditions. Currently, there are nearly 300 U.S. branches
serving some 2 million women, and there are chapters in more than 122 countries.