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The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn Records

Identifier: spe-nhrc-acw

Scope and Contents

The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn Records cover a wide range of activities that include an annual banquet, an annual block beautiful contest and a clean up campaign and other special events. The papers contain correspondence files from 1927 to 1971, financial records, membership rosters, meeting minutes and committee files. Of note are the Water Purification Committee’s attempts to obtain a water filtration plant (later South District Filtration Plant) for the Woodlawn area during the early 1940s.


  • Creation: 1920 - 1972

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn (ACW) founded in 1927 and incorporated in 1936, was perhaps Woodlawn’s most ubiquitous, powerful and enduring community improvement association. Until its dissolution in February 1970, the ACW served as a clearinghouse for information of concern to its member clubs and the Woodlawn community as a whole. The organization also attempted to safeguard and to promote the business, civic, educational and social welfare of Woodlawn.

From 1927 to around the mid-1930s, membership in the ACW was restricted exclusively to clubs and organizations. This restrictive membership practice was gradually modified to allow individuals unaffiliated with either clubs or organizations to apply for membership in the ACW. Despite the liberalization of the ACW’s membership policy, joining the ACW was a still a judicious process as late as 1957. Article II, Section 2 of the ACW’s 1957 constitution and by-laws mandate that,

an organization wishing to join the Associated Clubs of Woodlawn, Inc. shall submit an application in writing, stating the name of the organization, the date of its founding, its aims and purposes, and a list of its officers and their addresses.

Furthermore, attendance at ACW meetings was limited to two delegates from each member organization. In every case the delegates had to include the president and one other member of the club or organization.

On February 9, 1970, the ACW, with the written consent of its members, filed corporate dissolution papers with the Illinois Secretary of State. The ostensible reason for disbanding mentioned that other community improvement programs, notably the Woodlawn Urban Progress Center, “were willing to step in and undertake activity in behalf of improving the Woodlawn neighborhood.” A more accurate explanation would have to take into account a lack of membership, participation and community support for the ACW.

The Historical Society of Woodlawn was a member of the Associated Clubs of Woodlawn (ACW) and papers from this organization are also included here.


4 Linear Feet (in 9 boxes including 1 photograph)

Language of Materials



The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn Records documents the organization’s work to promote business, civic, educational and social welfare in the Woodlawn community. The collection contains committee files, correspondence, meeting minutes, membership rosters, reports.


The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn Records are arranged into 3 Series:

Series 1: Administrative Records, 1920-1972

Series 2: News Clippings and Publications, 1931-1970, undated

Series 3: Committees, circa 1929-1945

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Chicago Public Library, Woodlawn Branch as part of a Dr. Scholl Foundation grant in 1984.

Existence and Location of Copies

Duplicate materials and selected photocopies are also available at the Chicago Public Library, Woodlawn Branch.

Related Materials

Chicago Department of Water Management Records

Clarence S. Darrow Papers

United Woodlawn, Inc. Records

Woodlawn Block Club Council Records

Woodlawn Community Collection

Woodlawn Women’s Club Records

Guide to the The Associated Clubs of Woodlawn Records
Original author unknown, 1984. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875