The Catholic University of America

Daughters of Isabella

An inventory of the Daughters of Isabella at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives

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Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065



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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Daughters of Isabella
Title: Daughters of Isabella Collection
Dates: 1897,(1903-2006), 2006
Extent: 118 linear feet; 86 boxes
Abstract: The Daughters of Isabella collection documents the organization's history from its beginnings in 1897 until approximately 2006. Materials include foundation documents; legal documentation; financial records; Board of Directors' minutes; convention minutes, workbooks, and programs; English and French constitutions; English and French ceremonials; state and local circle records; disbanded circle records; scrapbooks; newspaper clippings; photographs and slides; videos; and artifacts.
Language: English, French, Spanish, Latin

Historical Note

The Daughters of Isabella (DOI) is a Catholic laywomen's charitable organization established in 1897 in New Haven, Connecticut, as a ladies' auxiliary to the Knights of Columbus Russell Council #65. The organization's namesake is Queen Isabella of Spain, patroness and financier of Christopher Columbus. In 1904, the organization incorporated as "Daughters of Isabella #1, Auxiliary to Russell Council #65, Knights of Columbus." In 1907, the organization changed its name to "National Circle, Daughters of Isabella" and revised its charter to authorize it to form other circles with the name "Daughters of Isabella" throughout the United States and any other country. The revised charter was submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly and approved on July 25, 1907.

In 1903, another Daughters of Isabella was incorporated in Utica, New York with the authority to establish circles in any state. This authority led to a legal dispute between the Connecticut and New York organizations about the right to the Isabella name. The National Circle first won an injunction in 1905 against the Utica Daughters from opening courts in Connecticut with the name Isabella. In 1915, the Connecticut National Circle requested a preliminary injunction against the Utica Daughters to prohibit their use of the name Isabella anywhere in the U.S. A New York judge refused the injunction. A two week trial followed in March 1917 in Albany, New York, and in 1918 the case was decided in Utica's favor. Charles Roberts, attorney for the Daughters of Isabella, National Circle, appealed to the Second Circuit of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court reversed the New York ruling. Utica requested a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court but was denied. In 1921, the Utica organization changed its name to the Catholic Daughters of America (CDA). In the following years, several CDA courts with the name of Isabella dissolved and joined the DOI to preserve their name. Clergy, bishops, and even Archbishop John Francis Noll (1875-1956) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, urged the Daughters of Isabella to merge with the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, but the organizations have remained separate.

The Daughters of Isabella is organized into three circles: the International Circle, which is the main governing body convening biennially; state circles, which also convene biennially; and local or subordinate circles, which meet monthly to conduct business and social, charitable, and spiritual programs. The organization is led by an International Regent who sits on the Board with other international officers, such as Vice Regent, Past Regent, and Secretary/Treasurer. These officers are elected at the biennial international conventions. The Board meets annually to assist national officers. Constitutions and by-laws were established at the earliest annual conventions. Local circles are governed according to the International Circle's constitution and by-law. A new circle must submit all specific by-laws and its charter to the International Regent and the International Secretary for approval. The charter authorizes the circle to hold meetings, recruit members, collect dues, raise funds, and conduct conferrals. The circle organizer presents the charter to the new circle as part of the Isabellan ritual and the charter remains on display at every meeting.

Each level of circle holds ceremonies to install officers. There are also induction ceremonies for new members. Similar to the Knights of Columbus, the Daughters' induction ceremonies are secret. A secret password is required to verify membership at meetings. Induction ceremonies were first called initiations, and then changed to "conferral of degrees." There are three degrees or stages involving the cross and the crown, symbolic of both Christ and Queen Isabella. Ceremonial odes open and close meetings. Initiation odes occur during prescribed points of the conferral of degrees. Circles display their banners at every meeting. State Circles also have banners which they display at conventions.

The Daughters of Isabella entered Canada in 1924, opening a circle in Quebec. Circles in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick soon followed. In 1984, Juliette Leclair of Montreal was elected the first Canadian International Regent. In 1988, Leclair called a meeting of all DOI Quebec state and local regents to discuss separation from American supervision. She promised that the state and local circles would pay the regents' travel expenses. The DOI Board repudiated this promise, saying the constitution did not give Leclair authority to pay these expenses. Leclair resigned on February 15, 1988. Her letter of resignation is in the DOI Board - Regent's Letters series. She then encouraged Isabellans in Quebec to leave the Order and join her in forming an independent Catholic women's organization. The International Board of the DOI expelled Leclair on March 7, 1988. Leclair established the "Daughters of the Queen of Castille" later in 1988. When DOI protested the similarity in names, she changed it to the Association Marie Reine. Many circles left and the Daughters of Isabella sued Leclair and the circles, claiming that the circles' money belonged to the DOI. Litigation between the DOI and Leclair continued through the terms of two more Regents, until 2003.

In 1951, three DOI circles were established in the Philippines. Mrs. Lorenza Dalupan, the country's first National Regent, led the growth of the Daughters of Isabella in the Philippines. Within 10 years, the DOI had increased its presence in the Philippines to over 25 circles with nearly 2,000 members. The Philippines circles were suspended in 1978 due in part to restrictions on the exportation of the Philippine peso by President Ferdinand Marcos.

Junior Circles for girls ages 10 through 16 were established in 1931 after the Juniors' constitution was approved at the national convention. The Juniors were represented at the International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues meeting in Rome.

The Daughters of Isabella publicized the organization's activities in a variety of publications. The first issue of The National Isabella was published on September 15, 1915, but publication became too costly because of wartime inflation. In 1941, the Daughters of Isabella published inserts in a series of Catholic magazines: The Catholic Woman's World (1941), its successor, Poise (1943), and The Catholic Home Journal (1944-59). The DOI editions of these magazines are all in the Publications series. National Regent Julia Maguire founded and edited a bimonthly magazine, The Isabellan (1961-63). This is also found in the Publications series.

Another means of publicity for the Daughters of Isabella were drill teams. The teams performed at Isabellan events and some were good enough to compete in state and national contests. Hyacinth Circle #71 in Massachusetts won regional competitions. A program from a 1939 competition is in the Circles series.

The motto of The Daughters of Isabella is "Unity, Friendship and Charity." The organization benefits numerous charities and scholarships. It established the Queen Isabella Foundation at CUA's National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) in 1943. The Daughters of Isabella contributed $100,000 for the Queen Isabella Foundation. The NCSS nominates graduate student candidates for Queen Isabella Foundation scholarships and presents their resumes to the International Regent for approval.

The Daughters of Isabella funded the St. Elizabeth chapel in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, raising $14,000 between 1924 and 1928. In 1958, the Daughters of Isabella donated the statue of Mary Immaculate with Angels over the central doors of the south balcony entrance to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

For many years, a DOI member was eligible after one year of membership to pay into her circle's mortuary fund and have a $100 death benefit paid to her beneficiary upon her death. The Daughters of Isabella later eliminated the mortuary fund and replaced it with commercial insurance.

In 1967, at the time of its 60th anniversary, the Daughters of Isabella had 113,000 members. Membership began to drop in the 1980s and 1990s. The organization published pamphlets, We Invite Women Like You to Join Us, in English and French to recruit new members. It produced informational videotapes for state and local circles. In 1997, the Daughters of Isabella celebrated its centennial anniversary. International Regent Jeanne de Montigny asked for Pope John Paul II's apostolic blessing, which he bestowed on June 1998. The blessing is found in the Artifacts series.

Today, Daughters of Isabella number 60,000 in the United States and Canada.

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Scope and Contents

The Daughters of Isabella collection documents the organization's history from its beginnings in 1897 until approximately 2006. The collection is rich in foundational materials illustrating the organization's often litigious beginnings. Minutes from Board meetings and conventions, financial records, and Daughters of Isabella publications comprise the bulk of the collection. There are also histories of the organization and materials from state and local circles in the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines as well as junior circles. Ceremonial materials, artifacts, and costumes provide a fascinating glimpse of the Daughters' rituals and other activities. Photographs, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks covering all the decades of the organization's existence round out the historical view of the Daughters of Isabella.

The first series consists of foundational materials that document the establishment of the Daughters of Isabella and of early circles Included are the Articles of Incorporation for the National Circle. There is a sub-series for the Constitutions and By-Laws for the National Circle and local circles. The foundation series also contains materials from several early key lawsuits between the Daughters of Isabella and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. There are materials about the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, including their right to establish subordinate courts and their dissolution. Also in this series are documents from several lawsuits: the Daughters of Isabella Connecticut vs. the Daughters of Isabella Utica; the Daughters of Isabella National Circle vs. the Daughters of Isabella Washington, DC, circle; the right to use the Daughters of Isabella name; legal action against the Terre Haute, Indiana, circle; and member expulsions, including actions against the Association Marie Reine in Quebec. There is a wealth of correspondence from the Daughters of Isabella's attorney Charles F. Roberts and later his son Russell. Early circle reports, membership rosters, and charters are included in this series, even the medical records from the first applicants to the Russell Circle from 1897 to 1907. The papers of Mary Booth, the "foundational Regent" of the Daughters of Isabella are located in this series.

The second series is the Board, containing typewritten minutes in loose sheets, bound handwritten and typewritten minutes, and handwritten minutes in stenographer's pads of Board meetings from 1906 to 2006. The Board series also includes Regent's Letters in English from 1914-1990 and in French from 1958-1975 and 1980-1990. There is a folder for Regents' death notices and a folder for the written test administered to candidates seeking an international office in the Daughters of Isabella.

The third and largest series is Circles, which includes charter lists of circles in numerical order showing the original members who chartered the circle. The series also contains correspondence about new circle inquiries arranged by the United States and Canada, with folders for individual states and provinces. If a circle was subsequently organized after a new circle inquiry, it is filed by circle number under its state or province. The Circle series also has Organizer Reports by the Organizer or Deputy State Regent certifying that a subordinate circle was established in their state, with a charter application attached. These reports are organized numerically by circle number.

The Daughters of Isabella Circles series are organized by the United States, Canada, Philippines, and Juniors. There are folders for U.S. state and Canadian provincial circles. Local circles are arranged under their state and province. For example, there is a folder for DOI Circles - United States - Indiana - State Circle. Then there are folders for local circles in Indiana, such as Twin City Circle #59. The folders indicate if a circle has been disbanded. There are folders for DOI Circles arranged by name where the state cannot be identified.

For United States circles, there are materials from the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. These materials include circle histories, scrapbooks and clippings, state convention materials, and circle meeting minutes. Items from the state circle are filed before items from local circles. Because of the volume of materials, there are sub-series for Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

The Connecticut sub-series includes minutes from the annual Connecticut State Circle conventions and regents' meetings for 1911, 1961, 1964-65, 1990s 1980s and 1990s. There is an early membership roster book for Nina Circle #149 dating from 1921 to 1979. There are membership applications for Nina Circle #149 in Connecticut from the 1950s through 1990s. There is a program for the Knights of Columbus of Connecticut First Annual State Field Day in 1905. There are materials from many disbanded Connecticut circles. Disbanded circle records include minute books, cash books, disbursements and receipts, ledger books, treasurer's books, photo albums, and membership rosters. Member record sheets from disbanded circles from the 1980s and 1990s show dues payments.

The Illinois sub-series includes an Illinois State Circle scrapbook from the 1970s. Included in materials from the State of Illinois are the 1910 articles of incorporation for the Daughters of Isabella Illinois Circle. There is a copy of the petition and affiliating agreement made between the National Circle and the Illinois Circle. There are handwritten meeting minutes of the Illinois Circle from 1911-1916.

The Massachusetts sub-series includes meeting minutes books from unidentified circles from the years 1950-56, 1979-1986, and a Daughters of Isabella book club from 1934-35. The Massachusetts sub-series also includes materials from a number of disbanded circles, such as Alcazaba Circle #65 in Attleboro. Disbanded circle materials include minute books and scrapbooks. Hyacinth Circle #71, whose drill team was so successful, is among the disbanded circles in Massachusetts. Hyacinth Circle's records include convention notes and programs, newspaper clippings, photos, and drill competition programs. See also Madeline Flora Gendron Paradis, Alcazaba Circle #65, Massachusetts,l material in Series 12, Box 86.

The Minnesota sub-series has three scrapbooks of clippings from the 1930s and 1940s, photo albums from the State Regent Velleda Kozlik, a scrapbook of postcards and memorabilia from Daughters of Isabella conventions , and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Archbishop (St. Paul Archdiocese) John G. Murray's funeral in 1956. The Minnesota sub-series has a crucifix and holder used at meetings. There is a large body of material from the Little Flower Circle #560 from Duluth, organized by Velleda Kozlik, Minnesota State Regent from 1940-1951. These materials include clippings, financial records, and meeting minutes books. There is a history of the Minnesota State Circle from 1932-1977 compiled and written by Frances Drinkwine and Mary Mulicahy-Faribault, past State Regents.

Notable among the Ohio materials are two large scrapbooks from the Ohio state circle for the years 1972-1975 and ca. 1977.

Notable among the material from Rhode Island is a "Soldiers in Petticoats" rhymed history, 1912-1977, for the Daughters of Isabella 80th birthday.

The Canadian Circles sub-series has materials from the Ontario and Quebec provincial circles as well as local circle materials, such as meeting minutes and scrapbooks. Where there is only one item for a Canadian circle, it is in the provincial circle folder. The Ontario province is divided into three provincial circles: Norontario and Sudest-Ontarien, which include French-speaking circles, and Trillium, which includes circles near Toronto and is primarily English-speaking. In addition, the Canadian sub-series contains DOI Canadian charters from 1926-1930, legal materials pertaining to lawsuits and member expulsions, and a "problems" file from 1928-1933.

The Junior Circles sub-series materials include correspondence and reports about the development of the juniors. There are constitutions governing junior circles and junior ceremonial booklets. Certificates of Institution for Junior Circles and charter lists are arranged by circle number. This sub-series contains "Junior Jewels," an information supplement to The Isabellan about the Junior Circles, from 1961 to 1964. There are also materials from the Youth Section of the Daughters of Isabella National Circle.

Records from the Philippines circles include bank statements, the seventh anniversary yearbook of Holy Rosary Circle #856, a program from the 1973 annual meeting of the Philippine National Circle and a color photograph album of the 1971 funeral mass of former Philippines Regent Lorenza Adam Dalupan.

The fourth series, Financial Records, contains numerous account books which are described using terminology found in accompanying notes by the collection donors. These account books include treasurer's books, expense voucher books, petty cash books, receipts books, salary expenditures books, and general ledger books, among others. The financial series also includes audited ledger sheets and CPA financial statements. There are folders for health and life insurance and mortuary benefit release forms. Also included are investment statements and documentation and correspondence for federal tax payments. There are books for the early Russell Council member dues (1905) and expenditures and receipts (1913-1918). An oversized ledger book of litigation expenses for 1921 to 1923 is among these records. In the financial series are reports by the National Secretary and the National Treasurer presented at biennial conventions. Included are several National Circle financial records, among them a Ledger Book for litigation expenses from 1921 to 1923, a Treasurer's Book from 1923 to 1929, and Expense Voucher Books from 1946 to 1972, as well as a Treasurer's Book from 1975-1994 from the Santa Maria Circle #27 (disbanded) in Massachusetts

The fifth series is Donations, which includes a folder of materials about various causes supported by the Daughters of Isabella, such as family prayer, prevention of cerebral palsy, beatification of the Catherine Tekakwitha, "Lily of the Mohawks," and support of Catholic family life. There is also a folder of thank you letters from various organizations that received donations from the Daughters of Isabella. There is a 1987 letter from Archbishop Bernadin thanking the Daughters of Isabella for their pledge of $500,000 towards the new administrative center for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The folder of materials about the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception contains descriptions and histories of the Daughters' Chapel of St. Elizabeth. There are photographs and postcards of the chapel. Also included are booklets and newsletters published by the National Shrine. There is correspondence about DOI donations to the National Shrine, including candlesticks and crucifixes for the Altars of St. Agatha and St. Lucy in the Crypt. There are National Defense Reports from the quarter ending May 1, 1944, arranged by state and then circle number indicating how many hours DOI members donated to various war efforts such as selling war bonds, saving materials, serving with the Red Cross, motor corps, or as an air raid warden. There is also a record of Daughters of Isabella who served during World War II, indicating which state a DOI member was from, her circle, and which branch of service she served in. There is a folder of correspondence with the USO during World War II. There are annual surveys of contributions by the National Circle from 1940 through 1964 and 1973. There is also a 1985 computerized analysis of per capita contributions for every circle within a state. There are records from the DOI's contributions to the National Catholic School of Social Service scholarship fund, including correspondence, scholarship applications, lists of scholarship awardees, and the grades of student awardees.

The sixth series is Audiovisuals, arranged into two sub-series: still, which includes photos and slides, and motion, which includes videos. The collection is rich in photographs of conventions, installations of national officers and local circle activities throughout the decades. There are also photographs of the national headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. There are informational slide presentations about the Daughters of Isabella from 1983, 1984, and 1989. There is also an undated slide presentation by the National Council of Catholic Women and the National Cancer Institute entitled, "Progress against Breast Cancer." There is an undated recruitment video called "Come join us!" as well as a 1997 video on the Daughters of Isabella History Style Review.

The seventh series is Ceremonials, with descriptions of ceremonies and installation exercises in booklet form. There are also early handwritten descriptions of installation exercises. A 1918 Installation Exercises booklet has "pamphlet used in 1918 Court Case in Albany" on its envelope. This series includes the 1953 "Secret Work," encoded secret rites that members perform to verify membership. There are passwords that were used between 1935 and 1974. The ceremonials series also includes lyrics and music for various odes. Notable in the ceremonials series is a 1921 letter by the Iowa Board of Health, Bureau of Venereal Disease Control recommending the continuation of the third conferral degree to prevent mixed marriages and contribute towards social hygiene.

The eight series is the Subject Files, including programs and invitations to various bishops' installations. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas folder contains the 1935 letter by John Francis Noll expressing sympathy with a merger of the DOI and CDA. There is 1987 correspondence between the CDA and DOI International Regent Juliette Leclair about consolidating the organizations. There is a pamphlet of memorial services for deceased CDA members, CDA constitutions and by-laws, recruitment materials, and CDA Junior materials. The Fraternal Organizations folder contains booklets, Steps to Leadership for Active Members of Fraternal, Religious, and Civic Organizations, 1950. There is a program from the 1926 International Eucharistic Congress in Chicago which DOI volunteers helped organize. The Knights of Columbus folder contains programs from the organization's 100th anniversary in 1982, various issues of the Columbia magazine, and materials from the Knights' 1984 annual meeting of state deputies. The National Council of Catholic Women folder has early correspondence with the Daughters of Isabella and various issues of the bi-monthly publication, Catholic Woman. The National Catholic Council of Catholic Women Youth Program folder contains transcripts from "The Call to Youth" radio programs from 1937 and 1939. Folders on Queen Isabella contain the 1987 booklet, Isabella of Castille: an historical tribute by John Paul Paine, various typewritten biographies of Isabella, and correspondence regarding portraits of the Queen. Portraits of Queen Isabella are also in the Oversize series. There are correspondence and copies of congressional resolutions establishing April 22, her birthday, as Queen Isabella Day. John Paul Paine had advocated that the DOI publicize its namesake by asking the government to make her birthday Queen Isabella Day. Carol Dorr Clement's book on the Daughters of Isabella is found in the Subject Files series.

The ninth series is Conventions, which has minutes from national conventions which are both handwritten and typewritten or published in pamphlet and bound volumes. This series also includes Reports by Representatives of the National Circle of the Daughters of Isabella attending other national conferences which were presented at conventions in 1960, 1962, and 1964. In addition, there are reports of the Committee on Law presented at the national conventions for the years 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964. The Series includes the Supreme Regent's Report presented at the 1968 convention as well as an undated report by Julia Maguire. There is a folder of material concerning convention arrangements. Also included in the Convention series is a workbook from the 1991 meeting of International Officers, State Regents and State Vice-Regents. The Convention series also contains a sub-series for convention programs and mass booklets for conventions in the 1930s through 1990s. There is an additional sub-series for convention workbooks that were issued for the years 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000.

The tenth series, Printed Materials, has three subseries. The first includes publications such as the Daughters of Isabella editions of Poise, The Catholic Home Journal, and The Catholic Woman's World. The organization's first publication, The National Isabella (1915-1916) is in this series as is the bi-monthly magazine, The Isabellan, founded by National Regent Julia Maguire. Also in the publications series are publicity and recruitment materials, including Spiritual Benefits and We Invite Women Like You to Join Us. The second subseries is Histories, that contains a report of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of June 1947, and programs from the 75th and 80th anniversary celebrations. The series also contains computerized membership analyses by age (1985, 1992) and circles by state (1993- 1994). This series also includes Robert Rolbillard's 1995 master's thesis on the history of the Daughters of Isabella, The Daughters of Isabella in Chicago, 1910-1935: laywomen and Catholic culture in an urban portrait of twentieth-century America, and the materials, questionnaire responses, files, and notes he used. There are histories of the national organization covering the first period from 1897 to 1920, the second period from 1920 to 1940, the third period from 1940 to 1960, and the fourth period from 1960 to 1980. Another folder contains stories of the national organization written between 1923 and 1984. Finally, there is a folder with histories that are not dated. The third subseries has Miscellaneous Clippings and Scrapbooks series contains loose clippings about the Daughters of Isabella at the national level as well as clippings pasted into scrapbooks. Portraits of Queen Isabella are in this sub-series.

The eleventh series is Memorabilia. This is rich in materials, including five boxes of Isabellan costumes; armbands, banners, and pennants; and ribbons for Regents, Past Regents, State Regents, and convention delegates. There is a guest register from the National Headquarters in Connecticut. There are many gift items that were available for purchase, such as pens, block stamps, and stationery. There is even a windshield protector. There are many artifacts from the 100th anniversary in 1997, such as tote bags, t-shirts, playing cards, a desk flag, a coin, and pins and magnets. Included in this series is the 100th anniversary apostolic blessing.

The twelfth series ia an Addendum that contains a donation of materials, mostly scrapbooks and photographs from Madeline Flora Gendron Paradis of Attleboro, Massachusetts, who died in 2007. She was an active member of the Daughters of Isabella (Alcazaba Circle #65). There is also material from this group in Series 3, Box 34.

Collection stored off site, extra retreival time needed.

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The Daughters of Isabella Collections consists of 14 series :

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Restrictions on Access

The Daughters of Isabella Collection carries a 5 year restriction on access to material. Also, collection stored off site, extra retreival time needed.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Records received 2005-2008 from Sharon Carlon and Carol Dorr Clement representing the Daughters of Isabella. The addendum material received from Michele M. Gendron in 2012.

Processing Information

Processing completed in 2010-2011 by Ingrid Jamison. EAD markup completed in August 2011 by Sarah Rice Scott. Revised by W.J. Shepherd in 2012 and 2015.

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Related Material

Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA)

Catholic Daughters of the Americas - District of Columbia Court

International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (IFCA)

National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW)

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Bergman, Mary (Past International Regent)
Booth, Mary Smith (National Regent)
Bouchard, Rita (Regent)
Boyd, Minerva Cashen (National Regent)
Breton, Joan (International Regent, 2002-2006)
Clement, Carol Dorr
Colwell, Daniel (K of C Supreme Secretary who wrote a ceremonial ritual for Russell Circle)
Dalupan, Lorenza (First Philippine National Regent)
Davitt, Mary F. (National Treasurer)
de Montigny, Jeanne (International Regent, 1994-1998)
Finnigan, Agnes (First National Regent, 1906)
Hagen, Janet (International Secretary, 1976-1984)
Howard, Helen McCrehen (National Regent, 1952-1956)
Kennedy, Charlotte (first Regent of first local circle, Ladies Auxiliary to Russell council #65)
Kozlik, Velleda (Minnesota State Regent, 1940-1951)
Leclair, Juliette Crete (International Regent, 1980-1988)
Leger, Elaine (International Regent, 2006)
Maguire, Julia Maguire (National/Supreme Regent, 1956-1964)
Manning, Carolyn (National Regent)
Noll, John Francis (Archbishop)
Paine, John Paul (advocate for Queen Isabella Day and author, "Isabella of Castile: an historical tribute," 1978)
Perez, Virginia (Second Philippine National Regent)
Phelan, Mary C. (National Chancellor, 1929-1933)
Riley, Mary F. (National Secretary)
Roberts, Charles F. (Attorney)
Roberts, Russell Roberts (Attorney)
Robillard, Robert
Sheltra, Frances (International Regent, 1998-2002)
Walsh, Anna Hogan (Supreme Regent, Maguire's successor)
Ward, Martine (Supreme Regent, 1972-1974; International Regent, 1974-1976)
Whitney, Mary (International Regent)

Catholic Daughters of the Americas
Daughters of Isabella
Knights of Columbus
National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS)
National Catholic Welfare Conference
National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW)

Catholic Daughters of the Americas
Catholic Women
Catholic Women - United States - Periodicals
Charities --Canada
Charities --United States
Daughters of Isabella
Isabella I, Queen of Spain, 1451-1504
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.)
Women - North America - Societies and Clubs -- History

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Clement, Carol Dorr. Daughters of Isabella: Our Legacy, Our Future 1897-2007. New Haven, CT: 2008.

'Daughters of Isabella.' Retrieved from:

'Daughters of Isabella,' New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 4, 2003, pp. 533-34.

Henold, Mary J. '"Woman-Go Forth!":Catholic Women's Organizations and Their Clergy Advisors in the Era of the "Emergining Laywoman,"' U.S. Catholic Historian, (32:3), Fall 2014, pp. 151-173.

Marthaler, Berard L. and Carol Dorr Clement. Catholic Daughters of the Americas: A Century in Review. Rockville, MD: Mercury Pub. Services, 2003.

Robillard, Robert. The Daughter's of Isabella in Chicago, 1910-1935: Laywomen and Catholic culture in an urban portrait of twentieth-century America. Master's thesis, Evanston, IL: May 1995.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Foundational Material, 1897-1991 (5 Boxes)
Box Item
1   Articles of incorporation: National Circle in NY State (incl. Dissolution of Nat'l Circle (CDA) in NY)
    Auxiliary Societies prohibition, 1909-
    CDA (incl. Dissolution - original items)
    CDA - right to establish subordinate courts
    Constitution and By-laws: National Circle
    Constitution and By-laws: Subordinate Circles
    DOI CT vs. DOI Utica
    DOI Manual for State Regents (organization, organizer cards, instructions for organizing new circles, etc.)
    DOI Name Change (1960s, from DOI Nat'l Circle to DOI)
    DOI Name, Right to Use
    DOI National Circle vs. DC Circle
    Early Circle Listings
    Early Local Circle Reports
    Early Subordinate Circle chartering, incl. DOI CT vs. DOI NY and Nat'l Circle vs. San Salvatore Circle
    Expulsions: Members and Circles (incl. Quebec in the 1980s - Clement, pp. 113-16.
    Headquarters Property
    Inventories of papers in Regent transfer, 1929, 1939
    Legal: Jean De Arc Circle, Terre Haute, IN
    Mary Booth ("foundational regent")
    MA Circle No. 1, Federal Council, articles of incorporation
    Miscellaneous Foundation Documents, incl. "Humor"
    National Circle Charter and Amendments
Box Item
2   National Circle vs. D of I, Volumes II and III
    Organizer Manual
    Parliamentary Law
    Regents' Correspondence (incl. "Acting Past" on Board)
    Regent's End of Year Report (recruitment incentives and instructions for organizing)
    Registering CT charter in other states (to organize circles and also insurance questions)
    Resolution incorporating DOI in CT (1904, 1907, w. amendments, incl. Right to form subordinate chapters)
    Roberts Correspondence (attorneys Charles F. and Russell)
    Russell Circle early records, 1899-1907 (incl. Member applicants' medical records)
    State laws re: charities, insurance
Box Item
3   By-laws, (Early Years), 1897, 1923, n.d.
    Constitutions and By-Laws - State and Subordinate Circles, Early Years, n.d.
    Constitutions - Amendments, 1970, 1972, 1978, n.d.
    Constitutions and By-Laws, French, 1941-, 1975, 1977-2002
    Constitutions and By-Laws-- National, State, and Subordinate Circles, 1907, 1909
    Constitutions and By-Laws -- National Circles, 1914, 1915, 1917
    Constitutions and By-Laws - National and Subordinate Circles, 1919-1939
    Constitutions and By-Laws - National, State, and Subordinate Circles, 1941-1960
    Constitutions and By-Laws - Supreme, State, and Subordinate Circles, 1941-1960
    Constitutions and By-Laws - Supreme, State, and Subordinate Circles, 1963-69
Box Item
4   Constitutions and By-Laws - International, State, and Subordinate Circles, 1975-77
    Constitutions and By-Laws - International, State, and Local Circles, 1980-1994
    Parliamentary Law, 1948, 1945, 1948, 1955, 1962
    "Thumb Prints of Parliamentary Points," 1930
Box Item
5   Early Membership Rosters Books, I: Circles 1-174, II: 76-276
Series 2: Board Records, 1906-2006 (4 Boxes)
Box Item
6   Board Minutes - Handwritten Bound, 1906, 1913-1923, 1924-1932, 1932-1938, 1938-1945, 1945-1954, 1954-1960
    Board Minutes - Typed, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s
Box Item
7   Board Minutes - Typed, 1970-75, 1976-1987
    Board Minutes - Handwritten Bound, 1960-62
    Board Minutes - Handwritten Stenographer Pads, 1960s
Box Item
8   Board Minutes - Typed in Binders, 1976-87, 1985-1988, 1988-1990, 1991-1994, 1994-1999, 2000-2006
    Board Minutes, 2006
    Board Meeting Workbook, 1973
Box Item
9   International Officers' Test, n.d.
    Regents' Death Notices, various years
    Regent's Letters, 1914-1929, 1930-1939, 1940-1949, 1950-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1984, 1985-1989 1990
    Regent's Letters - French, 1958-1975, 1980-1984, 1985-1990
Series 3: Circle Materials: U.S./State and Local; Canada/Provincial and Local; Philippines; Juniors, 1907-1986 (38 Boxes)
Box Item
10   Charter Lists
    New Circle Inquires - United States
    New Circle Inquiries - Canada
    Organizer Reports - Circles 1-98, 1907-1919
    Organizer Reports - Circles 100-199, 1919-1922
    Organizer Reports - Circles 200-298, 1922-24
    Organizer Reports - Circles 300-399, 1924-27
    Organizer Reports - Circles 400-496, 1927-1929
    Organizer Reports - Circles 500-599, 1929-1936
    Organizer Reports - Circles 600-696, 1936-1944
Box Item
11   Organizer Reports - Circles 700-799, 1944-1949
    Organizer Reports - Circles 800-897, 1949-1953
    Organizer Reports - Circles 900-993, 1953-1958
    Organizer Reports - Circles 1000-1099, 1958-1964
    Organizer Reports - Circles 1100-1199, 1964-1973
    Organizer Reports - Circles 1200-1292, 1973-1980
    Organizer Reports - Circles 1322-1350, 1984-1986
Box Item
12   Juniors
    Juniors - Ceremonials
    Juniors - Certificates of Institution
    Juniors - Charter Lists
    Juniors - Constitutions
    Junior Jewels, 1961-1964
    Juniors - Regent's Annual Status Report, 1933-1974
    Youth Section
Box Item
13   Charters (Canada), 1926-1930
    Quebec Provincial Circle (Canada),
    Legal - Lawsuits (Canada)
    Legal - Marie Reine-Bouchard explanation of papers (Canada)
    Member Expulsions (Canada)
    Problems (Canada)
Box Item
14   Ontario Provincial Circle (Canada)
    Ontario -- Sudest Ontarien Provincial Circle (Canada)
    Ontario - Trillium Provincial Circle (Canada)
    Provincial Conventions (Canada)
15   Ontario Circles: D'Youville Circle #1377 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: Little Flower Circle #872 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: Lecuyer Cercle #694 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: Niagara Falls Circle #872 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: Our Lady of Peace Circles #1294 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: Saint Anthony of Padua Circle #1044 (Canada)
16   Ontario Circles: St. Jude #1348 (Canada)
    Ontario Circles: St. Victor #704 (Canada)
17   United States Circles [Items A-M (alphabetical by state)]
18   United States Circles [Items N-Z (alphabetical by state)]
19   United States Circles [Items: Disbanded (alphabetical by name, state not verified)]
20   Colorado Circles
21   Connecticut Circles [Items: A-K (alphabetical by circle name)]
22   Connecticut Circles [Items N-S (alphabetical by circle name)]
23   Connecticut Circles (Immaculate Conception Circle #733)
24   Connecticut Circles (Isabella Circle #12)
25   Connecticut Circles (Our Lady of Victory Circle #663)
26   Connecticut Circles [Santa Maria Circle #27 (disbanded)]
27   Connecticut Circles [Silver City Circle #16 (disbanded)]
28   Connecticut Circles [Star of the Sea Circle #633 (disbanded)]
29   Illinois Circles [Items A-C (alphabetical by circle name)]
30   Illinois Circles [Items M-P (alphabetical by circle name)]
31   Illinois Circles [Items Q-S (alphabetical by circle name)]
46   Illinois Circles (Blessed Sacrament Circle #649)
32   Indiana Circles
33   Kansas Circles
34   Massachusetts Circles [Items A (circles beginning with "A," alphabetical by circle name)]
35   Massachusetts Circles [Items B-M (alphabetical by circle name)]
36   Massachusetts Circles [Items P-S (alphabetical by circle name)]
37   Massachusetts Circles [Hyacinth Circle #71 (disbanded)]
38   Massachusetts Circles [Hyacinth Circle #71 (disbanded)]
39   Massachusetts Circles (J'eanne d'Arc Circle #44)
40   Massachusetts Circles (Magna Circle #381)
41   Minnesota Circles [Items A-S (alphabetical by circle name)]
    Minnesota Circles (Crucifix used at meetings)
42   Minnesota Circles (Scrapbooks)
    Minnesota Circles (Photo albums)
    Minnesota Circles (Clippings)
43   Minnesota Circles (Little Flower Circle #560)
47-48   Ohio Circles
44   Rhode Island Circles
45   Wisconsin Circles
Series 4: Financial Records (National Circle only, all records except donations) 1901-1992 (7 Boxes)
Box Item
49   Audited ledger sheets, 1966-68, 1968-1970, 1970-71, 1972-74
    National Treasurer's sheets, 1917-1921
    Treasurer's Book, 1921-1923
    Treasurer's Sheets, 1918-1921
    Voucher Sheets, 1968-1969
    General Ledger Entry Sheets, 1973-1974
Box Item
50   National Circle Treasurer's Book, 1907-1917
    Treasurer's Book, 1923-1926, 1927-1939, 1970-1971
    Treasurer's Book, (oversized) 1923-1929
    Treasurer's Voucher Book, 1926-1928
    Salary Expenditures Book, 1961-1970s
    Treasurer's Voucher Book, 1967-1971
Box Item
51   General ledger receipts and expenditure sheets, 1939-1945, 1945-46, 1946-48, 1948-1950, 1950-52, 1952-54, 1954-56, 1956-58, 1960-62
Box Item
52   Reports of the National Secretary and Treasurer, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1964
Box Item
53   Expense Voucher Books,(oversized) 1946-1972
    Checkbook Stubs, 1903-1904
    Donations to Missions Account Book, 1930s, 1937-1944
    Expenditures Book, 1945-1971
    General Fund Receipts Book, 1945-1968
    International Accounts Book, 1973-74
    Jewelry Tax Book, 1941-1965
    Ledger Book, Russell Circle #1, 1901-05
    Ledger Book (litigation exp) (oversized), 1921-1923
    Per capita tax charges and endowment fund for Catholic Sisters College at Washington, DC, Account Books, 1918-1923
    Petty cash book, 1937-1948
    Receipts Book, national, 1914-1915
    Russell Council Expenditures and Receipts Book, 1913-1918
    Russell Council Member Dues Book, 1905
    Secretary's Book, 1923-1926, 1970-74, 1970
    State Circles' Income and Expenditures, 1974-1975
Box Item
54   Bank Statements and Invoices, 1970s-1980s
    Canada - Invoices
    Canada - Ledgers, French
    Connecticut Sales and Use Tax Returns, 1947-1961, 1969-1976
    CPA Financial Statements, 1962, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
    CPA Financial Statements, Quebec, (English and French) 1978-1970
    CPA Financial Statements - Documentation -- Seward and Monde, 1971
    CPA Financial Statements - Quebec Provincial Circle, 1978-1979
    Federal Treasury Bonds, 1967
    Federal Income Tax Exemption, 1947-1971
    Headquarters Inventory, Permits, Invoices, 1947-1968
    Insurance Claims, 1960s-1990s
    Insurance - Health, 1970s-1980s
    Insurance - Life, Canada, (English and French) 1982-1985
    Investment Statements, 1960-1979
    Invoices, (French) 1992
    Mortuary Benefit Release Forms, n.d.
    Procedures, n.d.
    Proposed Budget, 1974-1975
    Taxes - Correspondence, 1947-1971
    Treasurer's Report to Regent, 1967-1968
    U.S. Treasury Department Correspondence, 1934-1968
55   Ledger Book for litigation expenses, 1921 to 1923
    Treasurer's Book 1923 to 1929
    Expense Voucher Books 1946 to 1972
    Treasurer's Book (from the Santa Maria Circle #27 in Massachusetts( 1975-1994
Series 5; Donations, 1926-1991 (1 BOX)
Box Item
56   Anna Walsh Scholarship Fund, 1970s
    Appeals for donations, 1963-1971, n.d.
    Causes, various years
    Contributions Analysis, 1985
    National Catholic School of Social Service, General, 1931-1971
    National Catholic School of Social Service, Great Women of India (donation by possible NCSSS scholarship recipient)
    National Catholic School of Social Service - Scholarship Applications, 1931-1962
    National Catholic School of Social Service - Scholarships Awarded, 1956-1991
    National Catholic School of Social Service - Faculty Scholarship Correspondence, 1950-1962
    National Catholic School of Social Service - Students' Grades, 1940-1954
    National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1987 1987
    National Defense Reports, 1944
    National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 1926-1991, n.d.
    Papal Volunteers
    Surveys of Contributions, 1940-1964, 1973
    Thank you letters, 1926-1983, n.d.
    World War II Service
Series 6: Audiovisual: Still: Photos/Slides; Motion: Video, 1983-1997 (5 Boxes)
Box Item
57   36ieme Congress Provincial North Bay Video (VHS), n.d.
    Come join us!" Video (VHS), n.d.
    Daughters of Isabella History Style Review, Video (VHS), April 20, 1997
    Daughters of Isabella Slides, (111), 1983
    Daughters of Isabella Slides, (114), 1989
    Miscellaneous Slides, 1987, n.d.
    National Council of Catholic Women and the National Cancer Institute: "Progress against Breast Cancer" slides (80), n.d.
58   Daughters of Isabella Slides, (114), 1984
59   Daughters of Isabella Photos, n.d.
60   Daughters of Isabella Photos, n.d.
61   Daughters of Isabella Photos, n.d.
Series 7: Ceremonial Materials, 1918-1983 (2 Boxes)
Box Item
62   Complete Ceremonial, 1925, 1929, 1931, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1978, 1982, 1996,
    Complete Ceremonial (French), 1941, 1948, 1952, 1958, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1983
    Conferral of Degrees-U.S. Public Health Service cooperating with the Iowa Board of Health, Bureau of Venereal Disease Control Letter concerning continuation of third degree, 1921
    Deceased Sisters' Service, n.d.
    "Initiation Stunts" by Lieut. Beale Cormack, New York: Fitzgerald Publishing Corporation, 1923
    Installation Exercises, 1918, 1927, 1949, n.d.
    Installation Exercises (French), n.d.
    Manual of Exercises for Subordinate Circles, n.d.
    Manual of Exercises for Subordinate Circles (French), n.d.
    Passwords, 1935-1974
    Plays ("Incident before Granada" a one act play), 1936
    Secret Work, 1953, (secret rites to indicate membership, encoded), n.d.
Box Item
63   Music -- Correspondence
    Ceremonial Odes, Supreme Circle (lyrics and music), n.d
    Filles d'Isabelle Cercle Supreme Ode d'entrée, French (lyrics and music), n.d
    First Degree and Opening Ode, loose sheets (lyrics and music), n.d
    Initiation Odes, National Circle, Daughters of Isabella (lyrics and music), (incl. printer's copy), various years
    Junior Circle Opening and Closing Odes (lyrics), n.d.
    Music -- National Circle, Odes (lyrics), n.d.
    Ode to Isabella's Daughters, by J. Frost Waddell, Past Grand Knight, Sedalia Council No. 831 (lyrics), n.d.
    Supreme Circle Odes,(lyrics), n.d.
    Vocal and instrumental sheet music,(lyrics and music), various years
    11. We're the Daughters of Isabella (lyrics and music), 1937
Series 8: Subject Files, 1923-1990 (various dates) (2 Boxes)
Box Item
64   Bishops (installation programs and invitations),
    Catholic Daughters of the Americas
    Daughters of the Queen of Heaven
    Fraternal Organizations
    International Eucharistic Congress, 1926
    International Federation of Catholic Youth
    International Union of Catholic Women
    Knights of Columbus
    National Council of Catholic Men
    National Council of Catholic Women
    National Catholic Council of Catholic Women Youth Program
    Queen Isabella
    Queen Isabella Day
    Queen Isabella Monument
    Queen Isabella Photos
    Queen Isabella Sainthood
    Sympathy Letters of U.S. President's Wives
65   Catholic Builders of the Nation, Volumes I - V, 1923
    Proceedings of the National Conference of Catholic Charities, 1930-32, 1934-1938
Series 9: Conventions, 1911-2004 (5 Boxes)
66   Convention Minutes, n.d.
    Convention Minutes, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952
67   Convention Minutes, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004
68   Convention Arrangements
    Convention Minutes - Bound, 1921-1937, 1939-1956, 1958-1970, 1923-1972
    Meeting of International Officers, State Regents and State Vice-Regents, Minutes - Bound, 1991
    Regent's Report, 1943, ca. 1963, 1968, 1978
    Reports by Representatives of the National Circle of the Daughters of Isabella attending other national conferences, 1960, 1962, 1964,
    Reports of the Committee on Law, 1929-1964
69   Convention Workbooks, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000
70   Convention Programs and Mass Booklets, 1930s-1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
Series 10: Printed Materials (including Pubs, Clippings/Scrapbooks, and Histories), 1915-1994 (6 Boxes)
Boxes 71-74: Publications
Box 74: Histories (1897-1994)
Boxes 75-76: Clippings/Scrapbooks
Box Item
71   Letterhead, n.d.
    Catholic Press Association Membership Certificate, 1962
    National Circle News Sheet, 1932- 1941
    Publicity, various years
    Recruitment, various years
    Spiritual Benefits, various years
Box Item
72   The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition - Loose Articles, various years
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, February 1944-December 1945
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1946-1947
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1948-1949
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1950-1951
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1952-1953
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1954-1955
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1956-1967
Box Item
73   The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1956-1957
    The Catholic Home Journal, Daughters of Isabella Edition, 1958-1959
    The Catholic Woman's World, Daughters of Isabella Edition, August, November 1941
    Daughters of Isabella Bulletin, September 1990, April 1993
    Daughters of Isabella Newsletter, 1989-1993, 1994
    The Isabellan, 1961-1963
    The National Isabella, 1915-1916
    Poise, Daughters of Isabella Edition, February, March, April, June, November 1943
Box Item
74   Anniversary Programs, 1972, 1977
    Histories - Periods, (1st: 1897-1920), (2nd: 1920-1940), (3rd:1940-1960), (4th: 1960-1980)
    Histories, 1923-1984
    Histories, n.d.
    Membership Analysis, 1992-1994
    Robillard, Robert
Box Item
75   Clippings/Scrapbooks n.d.
Box Item
76   Clippings/Scrapbooks n.d.
Series 11: Memorabilia, n.d. (9 Boxes)
Box Item
Boxes 77-85   Memorabilia, n.d.
Series 12-Addemdum: Madeline Flora Gendron Paradis, Alcazaba Circle #65, Massachusetts, 1953-1993, n.d. (1 Box)
Box Item
Box 86   Scrapbook, 1953-1991
    Photograph Album, ca. 1985-1988
    Photograph Album, 1974-1975
    Photograph Album, ca. 1983-1984
    Framed Certificate of Appreciation, 1993
    Photographs-Rolled, n.d.


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents



Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Foundational Material, 1897-1991

Series 2: Board Records, 1906-2006

Series 3: Circle Materials: U.S./State and Local; Canada/Provincial and Local; Philippines; Juniors, 1907-1986

Series 4: Financial Records (National Circle only, all records except donations) 1901-1992

Series 5; Donations, 1926-1991

Series 6: Audiovisual: Still: Photos/Slides; Motion: Video, 1983-1997

Series 7: Ceremonial Materials, 1918-1983

Series 8: Subject Files, 1923-1990 (various dates)

Series 9: Conventions, 1911-2004

Series 10: Printed Materials (including Pubs, Clippings/Scrapbooks, and Histories), 1915-1994

Series 11: Memorabilia, n.d.

Series 12-Addemdum: Madeline Flora Gendron Paradis, Alcazaba Circle #65, Massachusetts, 1953-1993, n.d.

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