Finding Aid to the Mothers' Milk Bank, Inc. Records, 1945-1979 MS 3532

Finding aid prepared by California Historical Society staff; revised by Tanya Hollis.
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
© 2001, revised 2009

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
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.

Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

History of the Organization

Box 1, Folder 2

Planning Documents

Box 1, Folder 3



Board of Directors

Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence 1951-1970

Box 1, Folder 5

Minutes 1950-1953, 1957-1958

Box 1, Folder 6

Minutes 1971-1977

Box 1, Folder 7

Membership Committee 1948-1973

Box 1, Folder 8

Nominating Committee 1950-1973

Box 1, Folder 9

Committee Reports 1957-1976



Box 1, Folder 10

General 1958-1973

Box 1, Folder 11

Donor 1947-1970

Box 1, Folder 12

Physican 1947-1971

Box 1, Folder 13

Other Milk Banks 1947-1968

Box 1, Folder 14

Annual Meetings 1954, 1968-1973

Box 1, Folder 15

Reports 1948-1970

Box 1, Folder 16

Public Relations 1945-1970



Box 1, Folder 17

General 1943-1972

Box 1, Folder 18

Contributions 1958-1959

Box 1, Folder 19

Foundations 1967-1970

Box 1, Folder 20

San Francisco Foundations 1968-1969

Box 1, Folder 21

Fundraising Events 1969-1970

Box 1, Folder 22-23

Membership Forms 1947-1970

Box 1, Folder 24

Milk Collection 1948

Box 1, Folder 25

Donor Applications 1948-1977

Box 1, Folder 26

Donor Mothers 1948-1977

Box 1, Folder 27

Donor Instructions

Box 1, Folder 28

Lists of infants receiving milk 1948-1977


Nurse's Reports

Box 2, Folder 29-32

Monthly Statistical Reports 1948-1977

Box 2, Folder 33

Supplementary Reports 1948-1960, 1967-1968

Box 2, Folder 34

Quarterly Reports 1948-1962

Box 2, Folder 35

Annual Reports 1948-1967, 1974-1977


Mother's Milk Bank Auxiliary

Box 2, Folder 36

History and Function

Box 2, Folder 37

Correspondence 1950-1952

Box 2, Folder 38

Minutes 1966

Box 2, Folder 39-41

Fundraising 1946-1952, 1956-1966

Box 2, Folder 42

Membership 1950-1967

Box 2, Folder 43

Announcements 1956-1967

Box 2, Folder 44

Auxiliary Newsletters 1961-1962

Box 2, Folder 45

Auxiliary Study 1973

Box 2, Folder 46

Guest Lists 1952-1965

Box 2, Folder 47

Anniversary Celebrations 1949-1963

Box 2, Folder 48

Ceremonies 1966

Box 2, Folder 49

Conference Notes 1954-1958

Box 2, Folder 50

Survey 1968

Box 2, Folder 51

Miscellaneous Notes

Box 2, Folder 52

AAUW printed materials

Box 3, Folder 53-54

Treasurer's Reports 1947-1972

Box 3, Folder 55-68

Financial Statements 1948-1957, 1969-1972

Box 3, Folder 69

IRS Report 1972


Printed Articles

Box 3, Folder 70

Breast Feeding

Box 3, Folder 71

Donor Research

Box 3, Folder 72

Breast Feeding

Box 3, Folder 73

Hilda Thelander, M.D.

Box 3, Folder 74


Box 3, Folder 75


Box 3, Folder 76-78

Newspaper clippings 1950s-1970s