A Guide to the Sorosis Club Records, 1923-1991
The Sorosis Club was one of the earliest in San Antonio, Texas, organized exclusively for women. On February 4, 1903, a group of women living in Government Hill, a San Antonio neighborhood near Fort Sam Houston, organized a study club in the home of Mrs. H. H. Richmond. Originally called the Government Hill Literary Society, the group changed its name to Sorosis Club in 1913 when women from other parts of the city began joining the group. The club motto is, "Thought once awakened does not again slumber" (Thomas Carlyle).
Sorosis Club was chosen as the group's new name in homage to the original Sorosis Club, the earliest known women's group formed in the United States in 1868. The original Sorosis Club was organized in New York City in protest against the all-male Press Club of New York City, which gave a banquet for the visiting Charles Dickens and invited no women.
San Antonio's Sorosis Club became affiliated with the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs in 1913 and with the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1914.
The Sorosis Club was one of San Antonio's first clubs to sponsor a student aid program. During the year of its Golden Jubilee (1953), the club changed its type of meeting to a luncheon session with each group of hostesses planning the program and inviting outstanding speakers on timely subjects. The last Sorosis Club meeting was held in May 2000 at the end of their 1999-2000 club year.
The Sorosis Club records provide information about the club's members and activities primarily through minutes, photographs, scrapbooks and yearbooks. This small collection is organized by officer of the club: president, three vice-presidents with different responsibilities, recording secretary and historian. The president's papers consist of correspondence only, the 1st vice-president was responsible for programs, the 2nd vice-president managed membership, the 3rd vice-president was responsible for yearbooks, the recording secretary kept minutes, and the historian gathered the history of the club, primarily through the creation of scrapbooks.
Meeting minutes are for the 1970 to 1990 general meetings, with the exception of minutes from one executive committee meeting in 1975. Among the minutes are also related documents pertaining to the group's organization and activities, including articles, attendance records, correspondence, dues information, officers lists, and thank you notes.
The scrapbook that covers 1941-1960 details the presentations given at their early meetings. It also includes newspaper clippings about the club and individual members, ephemera related to club activities, and a few photographs. The scrapbooks for 1975-1991 include photographs documenting meetings and events. Also included are yearbooks for each club year.
Yearbooks provide information about the club's officers, members, meetings, and any special activities that take place during the year. While the dates for the available yearbooks cover the years 1923-1999, the bulk of the yearbooks cover the years 1968-1999.
This collection is housed at UTSA's Main Campus and must be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room. To request access, please use the Collections Request Form.
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be obtained from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
[Identification of item], Sorosis Club Records, MS 66, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.
Received as a gift from Elise Townsend, 1998 and 2000 (Acc. 1998-008, 2000-006).
Processed by Traci JoLeigh Drummond, Archivist, July 2006.
Detailed Description of the Collection