The Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany, New York, (BPW) was founded in 1934 with 22 charter members as a chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of New York State, Inc. (founded in 1919) and a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. The objectives of the club, according to its by-laws, were "To elevate the standards for women in business and in the professions; To promote the interests of business and professional women; To bring about a spirit of cooperation among business and professional women of the United States; [and] To extend opportunities to business and professional women through education along lines of industrial, scientific, and vocational activities."
The officers of the club (a president, a vice-president, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary and a treasurer) constituted the Executive Committee, which ran the affairs of the club.
BPW was especially interested in attaining its goals through legislation concerned broadly with women's rights rather than specifically with businesswomen's rights. One of their first concerns was to change the law so women would be allowed to serve on juries. After winning that battle in 1939, the BPW began a new drive to make participation on juries mandatory for women by deleting a section of the 1939 law that automatically exempted women from sitting on a jury. This law was important to them because they wanted to achieve equal responsibilities as well as equal rights for women. During the 1930s and 1940s the BPW worked for the passage of the equal rights amendment. They also opposed a law that would set a lower minimum wage for women, and they pushed for equal pay for equal work. At the end of World War II, the BPW campaigned for the retention of the women's units as parts of the military, and they advocated participation in the United Nations as a means to peaceful settlement of international disputes. In the 1950s, they sponsored female foreign exchange students. Throughout its existence the BPW advocated women attaining political office as a way to help change laws and saw the promotion of good public relations as a means of changing public opinion.
The newspaper clippings, though not in perfect chronological order, contain the most information about the early years of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany, New York. BPW was interested in having its ideas appear in the local newspapers, so the clippings file has much information no the concerns and also the activities of BPW. Another source for information on the club's early years is The Hustler, a monthly newsletter of BPW, but this is a small leaflet with little information. There are a few other series that cover the first years of the club, but they rarely contain much information. Some of the photographs cover these years. The rosters of members contain lists of members along with their addresses and occupations. The radio scripts from 1936 and 1938 are interesting items that show one public relations method the club used.
The clippings files for the 1970s and the 1980s are not as complete as teh earlier news clippings because there are few clippings for any of these years. Citations make up the of the files, and these only give clues to the activities of the club. For the later years, the minutes of the board meetings and those for the general business meetings have much more information on the activities and the concerns of the club. Another interesting source is the award entries, which contain material the club entered into contests for best club of the year and best program.
The collection is organized into the following series: Series 1- Constitution and By-Laws 1934-1982, Series 2- Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 1972-1985, Series 3- Business Meeting Minutes 1973-1985, Series 4- Financial Reports 1954-1985, Series 5- Award Entries 1981-1982, Series 6- Photographs 1935-1968, Series 7- News Clippings 1834-1987, Series 8- Publications 1938-1988, Series 9- Radio Scripts 1936-1938, Series 10- Rosters of Members 1934-1986.
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany, New York, on May 11, 1988.
Processed by: Geoffrey Huth in 1988.
Collection record created by: Conversion and encoding by ArchProteus,
EAD file created, 2014
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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, The Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany, New York Records, 1988. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the [ABBREVIATED NAME]).
|2||2||By-Laws and Brochures on the Organization of BPW||1982|
|3||3||Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws||1965, 1967|
|4||4||Constitution of Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany, NY||1934, 1954|
|5||5||District Organization of BPW in New York state, Maps and Charts||1976|
|1||17||Health Management Fairs||1981|
|1||22||Entry Form and Citation||1982|
|1||30||Members and Activities||1949-1968|
|1||31||Members and Activities||1949-1968|
|1||32||Members and Activities||1949-1968|
|1||33||Presidents and Officers, State and Local||1935-1966|
|1||34||Presidents and Officers, National||1939, ca. 1940|
|1||37||Women in Government, Harriman Administration||ca. 1950|
|1||38||Women in Government, Rockefeller Administration||ca. 1960|
|2||8||News Clippings||1980-1984, 1987|
|2||9||BPW Action Line (newsletter)||1979-1988|
|2||10||Facts and Faces, 1919-1959, a history of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of New York State||1960|
|2||11||Flyers for People Running for Offices in National BPW||ca. 1982|
|2||12||History of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Albany||1960-1968|
|2||13||The Hustler, Newsletter||1939-1971|
|2||14||Our Town's Business, Pamphlet||1938|
|2||15||Programs and Announcements of Activities||1940-1984|
|2||16||Publications of BPW of New York State||1956, 1980|
|2||18||Radio Scripts||1936, 1938|
|2||19||Charter Members||ca. 1934|