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Finding Aid to the Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. Records, 1945-1979 MS 3532
MS 3532  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Indexing Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. records
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1978
    Collection Number: MS 3532
    Creator: Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Creator: Auxiliary Mothers' Milk Bank. (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Creator: American Association of University Women. San Francisco Branch. Baby Hygiene Committee.
    Extent: 3 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize box, 1 scrapbook (4.0 Linear feet)
    Repository: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: 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.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mother's Milk Bank, Inc. Records, MS 3532. California Historical Society.

    Separated Materials

    Photographs shelved as MSP 3532.

    Related Archival Materials

    Baby Hygiene Committee Records, 1909-1964 (bulk 1909-1958), MS 51

    Indexing Terms

    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.

    Administrative Information

    National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) Number

    NUCMC 82-435


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by California Historical Society staff.

    Organizational History

    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.