Yosemite Women's Group Collection

Finding aid created by Yosemite National Park Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
Yosemite National Park Archives
5083 Foresta Road
El Portal, California 95318

Descriptive Summary

Title: Yosemite Women's Group Collection
Dates: 1955-1989
Collection Number: YCN: 2031 (YOSE 237674)
Extent: 0.70 linear feet
Online items available
Repository: Yosemite National Park Archives
El Portal, California 95318
Abstract: The Yosemite Women’s Group Collection includes materials created by the Yosemite Women’s Group from 1955 to 1989. These records depict the regular activities of the group through meeting records maintained by the secretary, in addition to announcements and invitations for special events organized by the group for the Yosemite community. A majority of the collection, from the period of 1955 to 1984, is made up of monthly meeting notes and event announcements for the many annual events put on by the group, including the December craft bazaar. Meeting records also indicate special lecturers and topics discussed by the group, event planning processes, and administrative tasks. Other materials, such as scholarship applications received by the group from 1987 to 1989; and group records related to the role of the women’s group in the annual American Field Service weekend in Yosemite National Park are also included in this collection. Materials include meeting minutes, agendas, event calendars and flyers, letters, officer folders, financial receipts, scholarship applications as well group constitutions and bylaws. Additionally, a small amount of material was collected and used for group discussion or for other events, such as newspaper clippings and brochures. Notable topics and individuals in this collection are the American Field Service weekend, an international exchange program for students, notable Yosemite historian Shirley Sargeant, and photographer and naturalist Dana Morgenson.
Language of Material: English


Folder 28 in Box 2 contains sensitive information protected by the Privacy Act and is restricted.

Preferred Citation

Yosemite Women's Group Collection. Yosemite National Park Archives

Acquisition Information

The Yosemite Women’s Group Collection came to Yosemite National Park through two separate donations, which were subsequently accessioned separately in 1992. Kathy Ash-Flashner and Kay Pitts, the two final members, donated a portion of the group’s records to the Yosemite Research Library in 1990, which were formally accessioned in 1992 as accession YOSE-05635. This accession largely includes materials from the 1980’s, including scholarship applications from 1987-1989 and documents related to the women’s group participation in the annual American Field Service weekend from 1982-1985. Another former member, Gail Matteson, donated additional records in 1992 (accession YOSE-05651), which now make up the bulk of the collection, spanning 1955 through 1982. Originally housed in three binders, these records largely maintained the chronological order by which they were created, and include monthly meeting notes, event announcements, letters, group member surveys, and copies of the group’s formal bylaws and constitution.

Biography/Administrative History

The Yosemite Women’s Group was founded by Marian Woessner, wife of Yosemite dentist Charles Woesnner, in 1951, shortly after their arrival in Yosemite during the winter of that year. As a recreational club for women living in and around Yosemite, group members participated in monthly meetings as well as programs such as hiking trips, luncheons, and lectures organized by officers. The group also organized a yearly activity calendar with several events open to non-members, including an annual holiday craft bazaar; and dances and outings for family and friends. Additionally, the group regularly planned fundraising events for numerous causes and programs in Yosemite, such as a scholarship program for college-bound students living in the park. Group members also hosted and entertained students for the annual American Field Service weekend. The group was most active from 1955 to 1989 when it disbanded due to low membership.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is arranged according to the order by which it was created starting in 1955, which is chronological. As materials were created, the group’s secretary would place these into binders, grouping general meeting agenda and notes with event announcements or letters referenced during that meeting. At the time of donation, this chronological scheme had been in place already for a majority of the records, and thus, the arrangement of this collection reflects that continuity. The Yosemite Women’s Group Collection does not include series or subseries. As records created and maintained by the group, all materials are directly related to the activities of the organization and are thus grouped together as records of a similar nature.

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