Vanderbilt Woman's Club Records

Identifier: MSS.0475

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection of 24.5 linear feet of materials consists of correspondence, record books and notebooks, directories, newsletters, minutes and reports for board meetings, constitution and by- laws and revisions of those, photographs and photograph albums as well as a few items of memorabilia. These materials date from 1893 – present. Although there is a series of correspondence, it should be noted that correspondence is contained throughout the records in original order as part of the different series:


  • 1893 - 2019

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact

Biographical / Historical

On an October afternoon in 1893, twenty years after the founding of Vanderbilt University, the first meeting of the Vanderbilt Ladies Literary and Musical Club took place. Over the next three years the focus was expanded to include other areas of university interests, and a constitution was drawn up. In 1896 the name was changed to the Vanderbilt Woman’s Club, members took a pledge to make the Club and its activities a success and record keeping for the business of the club began in earnest.

In its 126 years the Vanderbilt Woman’s Club has welcomed hundreds of women to life at Vanderbilt and has developed a sense of community and purpose for these many women and their families with the events, activities, interest groups, and scholarships it promotes and sponsors.

Wives of the Chancellors, Mary Henderson Kirkland, Margaret Vaughan Branscomb, Jean Keller Heard, and Faye Wyatt, have had prominent roles in the leadership of the club. Dean of Women Ada Bell Stapleton and Blanche Henry Clark Weaver are honored by the scholarship in their name which has been the major fundraising effort of the club for the last several decades. In these records you will find time and time again tributes to the work of the women of this university and their dedication to promote a sense of community and well- being for both the newcomer and those whose connection with the club and the university spans decades of membership. You will also find humor and wit, a sense of fun, and collegiality in the occasional verse of Virginia Holladay and the skits and performances, the picnics and fashion shows, and gadabout outings put on by the club. The records for the early years of the club are mostly handwritten and kept in ledger books. The most recent records reflect the digital age and are in email, compact disc, and other digital formats. The photographs in albums and scrapbooks and newspaper articles tell a great visual story of the VWC. Many of these photographs are identified and dated and give a glimpse into the variety of events and people associated with the VWC over its long history.


24.5 Linear Feet (39 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials (1893-present) from the Vanderbilt Woman's Club. It contains correspondence, record books and notebooks, directories, newsletters, minutes and reports for board meetings, constitution and by- laws and revisions of those, photographs and photograph albums, and a few items of memorabilia.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Vanderbilt Woman's Club Records
Molly Dohrmann; Josanda Addo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.