Records of the Annie Tinker Association for Women, 1903-2013 (inclusive), 1990-2000 (bulk)
Founding correspondence and documents; administrative files; fundraising letters and correspondence; Board of Trustee minutes and files; financial ledgers; deceased beneficiary files; and photographs of the Annie Tinker Association for Women, which promotes the financial security and well-being of women in retirement.
- Majority of material found within 1990-2000
Language of Materials
Materials in English.
Access. Collection is open for research. Board of Trustees minutes (#6.2-6.6) are closed for 25 years after the date of creation.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Annie Tinker Association for Women is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Extent7.51 linear feet ((18 file boxes) plus 6 photograph folders, electronic records)
Collection includes founding documents and correspondence; administration files; fundraising letters and correspondence; Board of Trustee minutes; financial ledgers; deceased beneficiary files; and photographs from the Annie Tinker Association for Women. The founding files and financial ledgers chronicle the development of the organization, as well as the conflicts and challenges that arose while attempting to follow the wishes detailed in Tinker's will. The deceased beneficiary files document the lives of elderly women living in the 1970s through the 2000s, and describe their health, mental illness, relationships, and their navigation of the public assistance system. Correspondence between staff and beneficiaries show the lengths the staff would go to help these women maintain an independent life.
Series I, HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION, 1918-2004 (#1.1-1.19) includes correspondence directly following the death of Tinker (including an announcement telegram sent to relatives and friends); Tinker's will with estate-related information; detailed notes following events after Tinker's death, written by lawyer William Woart Lancaster; correspondence between Annie "Dan" Tinker and Lancaster before her death; correspondence between Kate Bertolini (Tinker's heir) and Lancaster; and documents chronicling the development of the organization before and after its inception. The series also contains the certificate of incorporation and organizational history booklets. Most folder titles were created by the archivist; original titles are enclosed with quotation marks. Folders are arranged in chronological order.
Series II, ADMINISTRATION, 1939-2012 (#2.1-4.2, E.1) includes clippings; correspondence; monthly written beneficiary letters; event planning files for events such as the Great Women Award Dinner, lunches, and teas; and fundraising direct mail letters, statistics, and related correspondence. Most folder titles were created by the archivist; original titles are enclosed with quotation marks. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within. In addition, the organization's web site will be captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection Service (WAX). Additional material received on floppy discs will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in this series.
Series III, BOARD OF TRUSTEES, 1924-2011 (#4.3-7.4) includes meeting minutes with beneficiary lists and distribution of funds, agendas, trustee lists, narratives of potential beneficiaries, and financial reports; correspondence about a Tinker estate-related lawsuit (Arnold v. Bertolini) over expenses, and other board issues; trustee member files; mission statement; and by-laws. Most folder titles were created by the archivist; original titles are enclosed with quotation marks. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within.
Series IV, FINANCIAL, 1927-2010 (#7.5-11.4) includes federal tax returns, frequently attached to New York State Department of Social Welfare annual reports; financial statements (see also minutes in Series III); and ledgers documenting stock and bond purchases, receipts and disbursements, and beneficiary check disbursements. Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically within.
Series V, DECEASED BENEFICIARY FILES, 1933-2013 (#11.5-18.21) includes an early notebook with personal histories and home visitation notes; rosters with beneficiary names and allocated funds; and individual files for deceased beneficiaries. Beneficiary files include staff notes; correspondence; clippings; funeral programs and obituaries; and beneficiary applications containing the women's personal, financial, and medical histories. The letters beneficiary women wrote to the organization were often personal, sharing their financial problems, health issues, and relationships with family members and partners. Most beneficiaries lived in New York City and had an arts background: writers, journalists, artists, dancers, fashion designers, etc. Most folder titles were created by the archivist; original titles are enclosed with quotation marks. Folders are arranged with general material in chronological order followed by an alphabetical list of individual deceased beneficiary files.
Series VI, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1903-2012 (#PD.1-PD.6) include portraits of Annie Tinker, some depicting her with her dogs and on the beach; Tinker's gravestone; and organization events such as annual teas, luncheons, Great Women Award Dinner, and Halloween events which were attended by beneficiaries and Board of Trustee members. Folders and albums are arranged in chronological order.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
The Annie Tinker Association for Women was established in 1924 through the estate of Annie Tinker, who expressed in her will a desire to establish a home for retired working women. Annie Rensselaer Tinker was born in 1887 to Henry C. Tinker and Louise Larocque Tinker and grew up in the New York City area where her father was a successful businessman involved in the New York Trust Company and was head of the Liberty National Bank of New York. Upon her father's death, Tinker inherited enough money to live on her own comfortably and traveled a great deal, eventually settling in Paris in her mid-twenties. On February 21, 1924, she died unexpectedly in England at the age of thirty-seven of a cerebral hemorrhage, following an operation to have her tonsils removed. In her will, Tinker left the majority of her estate to her good friend and self-described by Tinker "second mother," Kate (Nelson) Bertolini, with the provision that the money be used for a benevolent home for "ladies who have worked for their living."
With the formation of a Board of Trustees, the Annie R. Tinker Memorial Home was incorporated in July 1924; its original mission was to build a home for retired women. The lack of sufficient funds to buy a house, as well as the widespread financial effects of the Depression upon the population changed this mission. The urgent financial need of so many older women compelled the trustees to begin issuing monthly allowances to a small group of beneficiaries in 1932, enabling these women to live independently, as well as providing additional funding for medical and burial expenses. A majority of the beneficiaries were retired artists living in the New York metropolitan area and this focus has continued throughout the organization's history; however the organization eventually branched out to assist a handful of women scattered throughout the United States and Europe. In 1962, to more appropriately reflect its mission, the name of the organization was changed to the Annie R. Tinker Memorial Fund.
The number of women assisted has expanded over the years, but the organization continues to send yearly birthday and holiday cards and checks to their beneficiaries, and hosts regular social and cultural events to encourage communication among members. The Board of Trustees and the later established National Advisory Council are comprised of women and men who share Annie Tinker's concern for those who contributed so much in their working years. In 2001, the organization's name was changed to the Annie Tinker Association for Women.
The collection is arranged in six series:
- Series I. History and organization, 1918-2004 (#1.1-1.19)
- Series II. Administration, 1939-2012 (#2.1-4.2, E.1)
- Series III. Board of Trustees, 1924-2011 (4.3-7.4)
- Series IV. Financial, 1927-2010 (#7.5-11.4)
- Series V. Deceased beneficiary files, 1933-2013 (#11.5-18.21)
- Series VI. Photographs, 1903-2012 (#PD.1-PD.6)
Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession number: 2013-M65
The records of the Annie Tinker Association for Women were given to the Schlesinger Library by the Annie Tinker Association for Women in April 2013.
Donors: Annie Tinker Association for Women
Accession number: 2013-M65
Processed by: Stacey Flatt
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodicals:
- Newsletters for Annie Tinker Association for Women, 1998-2012
Processed: April 2014
By: Stacey Flatt, with assistance of Emily Underwood.
- Annie Tinker Association for Women. Records of the Annie Tinker Association for Women, 1903-2013 (inclusive), 1990-2000 (bulk): A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Annie Tinker Association for Women.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.
3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA