Records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1894-1955
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
4.59 linear feet (11 boxes)
An early Committee on Hygiene, which provided health education and free medical treatment to women, later became the Committee on Sanitary and Industrial Conditions (investigating conditions of work in shops and industry) and still later, the Research Department. The early Employment Bureau, which began by investigating fraudulent advertisements offering lucrative work to women at home and by providing job placement services to both professional women and domestics, split into the Emergency Employment Bureau (offering placement services for cooks, laundresses, housekeepers, etc., who could only accept day work), and the Appointment Bureau (offering career counseling and placement services in business and the professions). The Emergency Appointment Bureau was reorganized as Homemaker Services, which offered household services to the chronically ill and to those with medical emergencies, and the new Career Services continued in the same vein as the Appointment Bureau. The Union's retail shops, which in the early years consisted of a tea room, lunch room, food shop, and handwork shop, expanded over time to include a children's book shop, stationery shop, needlework shop, children's shop, printing shop, magazine shop, and gift shop, among others. Profits from the Union shops were used to maintain social service and other programs until they closed in 2004.
More recent programs offered by the Social Services Department included Companions Unlimited, a volunteer program to help the elderly and handicapped of all ages; Mini Mart, a member food co-op for the elderly and handicapped offered as part of Companions Unlimited; Parent Aides, a mentoring service for young single mothers; Horizons Transitional Housing Program, a temporary housing program for battered and homeless women and their children; Family Day Care; and the department's nursing home guide, whose title has varied over the years. Other departments included Homemaker Services, Career Services, and Member Services, which offered a daytime lecture series, classes, tours and special events, and the After Five program, providing lectures on issues of current interest for young men and women. Rockport Lodge, a vacation home for low- to moderate-income women, and the Women's Rest Tour Association, now known as the Traveler's Information Exchange (a network collecting information about travel for women), were associated with the Union, as was the Industrial Credit Union, which was started by a group of Union women in 1910. The Union was supported by membership dues, donations and gifts, grants, and in part by its shops. In 2002, the Union changed its name to the Women's Union, and in 2004 sold its buildings, dedicating the income from their sales to future programs. In July 2006 the Union merged with Crittenton to become the Crittenton Women's Union, dedicated to transforming "the course of low-income women's lives so that they can attain economic independence and create better futures for themselves and their families."
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union were deposited in September 1952, January 1954 and May 1956. A gift from the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, they were obtained through the Appointment Bureau, the Research Bureau and Eleanor Allen.
- Box 1: Folders 1-7
- Box 2: Folders 8-19
- Box 3: Folders 20-26
- Box 4: Folders 27-31
- Box 5: Folders 32-37
- Box 6: Folders 38-45, Vols. 2-3
- Box 7: Folders 46-59, Vol. 1
- Box 8: Folders 60-68
- Box 9: Folders 69-87
- Box 10: Folders 88-114
- Box 11: Folders 115-163
- Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Factory inspection--Massachusetts
- Home economics--Study and teaching--Massachusetts
- Human services--Massachusetts
- Labor inspection--Massachusetts
- LinkEmployment agencies--Massachusetts
- Occupational training--Massachusetts
- Older people--Services for--Massachusetts
- Sales personnel--Training of--Massachusetts
- School children--Food--Massachusetts
- Social service
- Women household employees--Massachusetts
- Women immigrants
- Women--Services for
- Women--Vocational guidance
- Work environment
- Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1894-1955: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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