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YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula records
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  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula records
    Creator: YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula
    Identifier/Call Number: M1538
    Identifier/Call Number: 9039
    Physical Description: 51 Linear Feet 92 manuscript boxes, 6 flat boxes, 1 carton, 1 map folder; including posters, framed certificates, books, etc.; 6 cassette tapes, 3 reels of magnetic audiotape; 1 reel of super 8 film, 3 VHS tapes
    Date (inclusive): circa 1948-2013
    Abstract: The Young Women's Christian Association of the Mid-Peninsula Records contains materials related to its history, administration, public policy advocacy, programming for women and children, and incorporation of the Stanford YWCA in 1982.

    Scope and Contents

    The YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula opened in 1948 as a recreation center for business women. It expanded to provide recreational and social services for women that met the organization's mission of "empowering women and eliminating racism." This collection documents the organization's history, its administrative structure and daily operations, major programming and public policy efforts, and ties to the Stanford and national YWCA. The Mid-Peninsula YWCA closed in 2003. Formats include clippings, biographical and subject files, board and committee minutes, brochures, budgets, manuals, newsletters, photographs, reports, and scrapbooks.


    The collection is arranged into nine series:
    Series I. History
    Series II. Administrative Records
    Series III. People
    Series IV. Financial Records
    Series V. Public Policy
    Series VI. Programs
    Series VII. Stanford YWCA
    Series VIII. National and World YWCA
    Series IX. Audio/Visual Materials
    Series X. Accession 2019-490
    Series XI. Accession 2023-285

    Biographical / Historical

    The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) began in England in 1855, and the first U.S. offices opened in New York (1858) and Boston (1859). It worked to serve the spiritual and material needs of young women living on their own in cities, providing safe residences, job training, daycare, exercise, and recreational programs, as well as developing leadership skills and encouraging civic participation. Today there are close to 300 branches in the United States and chapters in more than 122 countries.
    The YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula began in 1948 through a local business women's organization, the Quota Club, opening a small recreation center at 535 Ramona in Palo Alto. By 1950 the group had moved to larger quarters at 627 Waverley and created a provisional YWCA board with Clarita Robinson as president. They incorporated in 1951, offering childcare, classes, and dances and accommodating teen and senior clubs. Aided by two gifts willed to the organization, two houses from Elsie Stone and GM stock from Constantine Ballentine, the Palo Alto YWCA purchased property at 4161 Alma and, in 1961, initiated a capital campaign to raise funds for a new building. Two major forces in this effort were board president Dr. Helen Pryor and executive director Helen Flack. Major donors included Hewlett Packard, Varian, Lockheed, Albert Hart, Elizabeth Gamble, and Lucie Stern. The building opened in 1963 and the name was changed from Palo Alto YWCA to Mid-Peninsula YWCA to reflect their expanded service area.
    YWCA Mid-Peninsula programming was designed to meet its mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. While the national YWCA had passed an "Interracial Charter" in 1946, in the 1960s it became more actively involved in racial justice campaigns, establishing a national Office of Racial Justice (1965) and adopting the One Imperative (1970): "To thrust our collective power toward the elimination of racism, wherever it exists, by any means necessary." The YWCA Mid-Peninsula was active from the beginning in racial justice campaigns, hosting the first YWCA Racial Justice Institute (1969) and receiving the first YWCA Racial Justice Award (1985). Local racial justice initiatives included conferences, study circles, classes, workshops, and outreach programs. Examples included Black experience speakers, El Club, multicultural docents, civil rights forums, and affirmative action conferences. Other programs offered at the YWCA included childcare, day camps, the Rape Crisis Center, senior adult trips and classes, the Vietnamese refugee program, and the women and teen entrepreneurs programs. Public policy advocacy around issues effecting women was another significant YWCA Mid-Peninsula activity.
    The YWCA Board voted to close and dissolve the organization in June of 2003, beset by growing deficits, shrinking programs, and a poor economic and funding environment in the Bay Area. Rape Crisis Center services were transferred to the YWCA of Silicon Valley, and Outlet, a program serving gay, lesbian, and transgender youth, was relocated. The Alma Street building was sold to Etz Chaim and became a Jewish temple. The bulk of the profits were used to create a YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Fund at the Women's Foundation of California. The remaining funds were donated to the World YWCA, the YWCA of the USA, and the Pacific Region YWCA.
    YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Presidents:
    1949-1951 Clarita Robinson

    1951-1952 Edyth Manning

    1952-1953 Mrs. Clifford Crummey

    1953-1954 Bessie Loo

    1954-1955 Dr. Gladys Shutt

    1955-1957 Eula Huff

    1957-1958 Mrs. Donald Texeira

    1958-1960 Lois T. Piedmonte

    1960-1961 Gracella Anderson

    1961-1964 Dr. Helen Pryor

    1964-1967 Kay Philips

    1967-1969 Geneva Higbee

    1969-1971 Virginia Debs

    1971-1973 Marguerite Anderson

    1973-1975 Doris Cone

    1975-1977 Grace Wilbur

    1977-1979 Mari Seid

    1979-1981 Mary Nichols

    1981-1983 Marilyn Williams

    1983-1985 Carol McCoo

    1985-1987 Lynn Mitchell

    1987-1989 Antoinette Battiste

    1989-1991 Margo Dutton

    1991-1993 Barbara Sanner

    1993 Mary Haynes

    1993-1995 Keiko Hayashi

    1993-1995 Helen Pellegrin

    1995-1996 Antoinette Battiste

    1995-1996 Jackie den Boer

    1996-1997 Antoinette Battiste

    1996-1997 Carol Nyholm

    1997-1998 Antoinette Battiste

    1997-1998 Megan Swezey Fogarty

    1998-1999 Megan Swezey Fogarty

    1998-1999 Myrna Irigon

    1999-2000 Jan Sola

    2000-2002 Debbie Ford-Scriba

    2000-2002 Sally Lieber

    2002-2003 Elsbeth TeBrake

    2003-2004 Judy Kramer

    YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Executive Directors:
    1954 Anna Marie Long

    1954-55 Katherine Cobb

    1956-58 Mary Jane Upson

    1960 Gula Gamble (4 months.)

    1960 Fran Princelau

    1961-65 Helen Flack

    1965-71 Elizabeth Payne

    1971-75 Karen Hyde

    1975-1996 Kay Philips

    1996 Jennifer Cumberpatch

    1996 Kay Philips (interim)

    1996 Ann Dougherty (interim)

    1997-2000 Lorraine Phillips

    1997-2000 Mary Douglas (interim)

    1997-2000 Faith Rein (interim)

    2000-2003 Sylvia Hines

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula Records (M1538), Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, California.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual & born-digital materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Related Materials

    Young Women's Christian Association of Stanford Records, 1891-1983, SC 287

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula
    Young Women's Christian associations -- California.
    Women -- California.