Information for Researchers
Scope and Contents
Collection Title: Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. records
Date (inclusive): 1945-1978
Collection Number: MS 3532
Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.).
Auxiliary Mothers' Milk Bank. (San Francisco, Calif.).
American Association of University Women. San Francisco Branch. Baby Hygiene Committee.
3 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize box, 1 scrapbook
(4.0 Linear feet)
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
Contains administrative records, including correspondence, minutes, and reports of the Board of Directors; financial records,
including statements, treasurers' reports, invoices, and bills; fundraising records, consisting of correspondence with foundations
and individual donors, foundation proposals, and material relating to special events; and program records, consisting of correspondence
with donors and parents of recipient babies, physicians, and other milk banks. Of particular interest are nurses' statistical
and narrative reports, and information and statistics concerning donors and recipients. Also includes articles on breast feeding
research, newspaper clipppings, and a scrapbook with additional clippings, photographs, and other materials. Includes early
correspondence from the Baby Hygiene Committee pertaining to the establishment of the milk bank; records of Auxiliary Mothers'
Milk Bank, a fundraising group that provided volunteer support services; and material on Children's Hospital, where the milk
bank was housed for many years.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Mother's Milk Bank, Inc. Records, MS 3532. California Historical Society.
Photographs shelved as MSP 3532.
Related Archival Materials
Baby Hygiene Committee Records, 1909-1964 (bulk 1909-1958), MS 51
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Children's Hospital of San Francisco.
Infant health services--California--San Francisco.
Maternal and infant welfare--California--San Francisco.
Women in charitable work--California--San Francisco.
National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) Number
No additions are expected.
Processed by California Historical Society staff.
Dedicating themselves to the
study of, action on and solution of educational and social problems of communities, the San Francisco branch of the American Association of University Women has enjoyed a long history of committed social action.
In May of 1909, a group of women from the AAUW formed the Certified Milk Fund Committee in order to
raise a fund for providing certified milk for the babies of San Francisco's poor. Aided by local dairies, the committee successfully reduced infant mortality through their city wide drive for uncontaminated
milk. In addition to supplying the milk, the Milk Fund Committee offered instruction in the care and feeding of foster babies.
They expanded their program in 1917 with the founding of the Children's Health Center. Functioning as
an educational center for all mothers, the center provided care for infants, foster children and the
older run about stage of growth. In the spirit of
initiating projects in the interest of child health, the committee then developed programs for prenatal and postnatal care for mothers; classes and conferences; and, examinations
and vaccination clinics. Concerned about family planning, they established the Maternal Health Committee in 1929 to offer
instruction in birth control.
In 1918 the Committee changed its name to the Baby Hygiene Committee. Among their programs later adopted by the San Francisco
Department of Health were the Well Baby Centers; Supervision of Private Boarding Homes for Infants and Children; Cardiac Diagnostic
Center for Children; and, Hospital Based Postnatal care for mothers.
When the Baby Health Center closed its doors in 1945, the women of the Baby Hygiene Committee were eager to continue serving
the health care needs of women and children. After much discussion and planning, they decided on a Mother's Milk Bank. They
incorporated under a separate organization but the center was run by the members of the AAUW. The Mother's Milk Bank began
service in June of 1948.
With a medical advisory board, ample nursing assistance and a core of volunteers, the Milk Bank opened its doors to the community.
Situated in Children's Hospital, the Milk Bank served three primary services: 1) provided milk for premature and sick infants
2) sponsored research conducted with mother's milk 3) demonstrated techniques for child care. These varied services were offered
free of charge.
Scope and Contents
The Mother's Milk Bank, Inc. Records consist of over thirty years of correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records,
printed materials and newspaper clippings, documenting the community service of one of San Francisco's best known civic organizations.
Included is the history of the organization, programs and various membership lists. The collection contains extensive correspondence
between committee members and potential donors and participating doctors.
The collection also contains records of the Mother's Milk Bank Auxiliary, the volunteer organization which assisted the American
Association of University Women (AAUW), San Francisco branch. The Auxiliary traces the efforts at fundraising and membership
drives. Extensive Nurse's Reports offer detailed records of the infants involved with the program and the success and failure
rates of their treatments.
The Collection provides an excellent opportunity to explore the history and development of the Mother's Milk Bank, Inc. and
of particular interest and use to those concerned with social history, particularly the history of women following the second
European war. Through the collection materials, researchers can follow the change in attitudes regarding the relationship
of women, children, motherhood and family.