Council of Women’s Organizations Archives Project Completed

In October of 2017 I began a one-semester internship at the Claire T. Carney Archives and Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. As a first semester graduate student of Simmons College of Library and Information Science, pursuing a MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management, I was intrigued and excited about this new career field. I was responsible for processing and creating a digital finding aid in ArchivesSpace for the records of the Council of Women’s Organizations of Greater New Bedford.
Founded by Viola C. Manseau during the Great Depression, the Council was created as an opportunity for multiple area women’s organizations to collaborate by spearheading needed community service projects. To facilitate this goal, a board was established of delegates representing member organizations meeting annually to evaluate, select, and coordinate community service projects. Community service projects included a postcard fundraising effort to benefit The Joshua Project, an effort to raise awareness of child abuse after the murder of local toddler, Joshua Santos.  The postcard featured a portrait of Eloise Pina, a valued community member and longtime board member of the Council.
Though I had limited knowledge, the professional and student staff were supportive in guiding me to utilize traditional archival processing and metadata standards. Their expertise, combined with concurrent coursework, provided me with the practical experience needed to evaluate personal interest, best practices, and confirmation of the value of archives as an institution and profession.
-Racine Amos,Graduate Student, Simmons School of Library and Information Science

For the online finding for the collection, see

The Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections serves as the permanent repository for records of the various women’s groups that are and have been members of the Council of Women’s Organizations of Greater New Bedford.  To date, in addition to this collection, we have the records of the local chapters of the American Business Women’s Association, the Catholic Woman’s Club, the Polish Women’s Business and Professional Club, Church Women United, the New Bedford Garden Club, and the Polish and American World War Veterans Auxiliary Association. In the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture we have the records of the Hebrew Ladies Helping Hand Society, National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish War Veterans of the United State Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Jewish Professional Women’s Club, Hadassah, and the Sisterhoods of Tifereth Israel, Temple Beth El, and Ahavath Achim. 

– Judy Farrar, University Archivist

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