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Junior League of Dayton Records (MS-516)

Identifier: MS-516

Scope and Contents

The Junior League of Dayton Records document the growth, membership, and community involvement of the Junior League of Dayton from 1919 to 2015. The collection is arranged into seven series. Series V: Visual Materials, is the largest of the series and documents programs, events, and outings planned by the organization through a variety of images, awards, and albums. Of particular note is Series III Publications, which includes copies of newsletters and annual reports dating back to the beginning of the organization.

Series I, Administration, 1919-2015, consists of committee and council files containing meeting minutes, correspondence, and program information. The heart of the series are the meeting minutes spanning 1919-2008. Also in this series is a significant amount of documentation from the Town Hall Committee, which was instrumental in planning the Town Hall Lecture series known for bringing quality performances to Dayton. Additional materials include correspondence, financial information, project descriptions, membership files, volunteer activities, and Junior League Store records. The series is arranged alphabetically by file name.

Series II, Ledgers, 1920-1993, consists of 26 handwritten ledgers containing treasurer’s notes, community trust fund information, administrative spending, and various committee funds through the 1990s. Ledgers are ordered in the inventory by alphabetically by function, but the box numbers will not be in sequential order on the inventory to accommodate the various sizes of the physical ledgers.

Series III, Publications, 1919-2015, contains both internal and external publications regarding the Junior League of Dayton. It is divided into four subseries, the contents of which are arranged alphabetically by title.

Subseries IIIA, General Publications, 1943-2015 (bulk 1980-1992), includes books, programs, cookbooks, magazines, and guides created by or in partnership with the League for members and the community.

Subseries IIIB, Annual Reports, 1919-2007, contains reports and updates available to the community. The reports cover a near complete span from 1919 through the 1990s. Note that Bylaws and membership lists for the following year are also included in each annual report, starting with the 1961-1962 report.

Subseries IIIC, Newsletters, 1927-2015, consists of multiple newsletters produced by the organization, including Dayton Junior League News (1927-1943) and a large collection of The Windtunnel (1954-2015).

Subseries IIID, Newspaper Articles, 1920-2014, contains local news coverage of Junior League events, achievements, promotions, member information, and updates, as well as copies of Fire and Drum (1976), a bicentennial newspaper sponsored by the organization. Also included are several newspaper clipping scrapbooks. Scrapbooks are arranged chronologically in the inventory, but the box numbers will not be sequential due to the various size requirements of each book.

Series IV, Events, 1926-2011, contains documents, flyers, programs, displays, and publications pertaining to events planned by the Junior League of Dayton for members and the community. Of particular note are the organizations’ event files for its 70th through 90th anniversaries. Advertisements, marketing, and speaker portraits from the Town Hall Lecture Series (seasons 11-55) are also included in this series. Event scrapbooks and oversized materials are located at the end of the series. See the following series for visual materials on these events.

Series V, Visual Material, 1920-2010, includes photographs, negatives, and display materials produced throughout the existence of the League. The materials provide visual representation of the League’s growth and areas of focus. The series is divided into three subseries of formats.

Subseries VA, Photographs and Negatives, 1920-2006, contains negatives, photographs, and scrapbooks of members, events, and projects created by the League. Scrapbooks are arranged by size to fit appropriately into archival boxes.

Subseries VB, Slides, 1970s-1990s, includes images taken and used by the organization, ranging from historical images of Dayton to League gatherings.

Subseries VC, Awards, 1946-2010, consists of certificates, resolutions, proclamations, and plaques awarded to the Junior League of Dayton for their community efforts. Oversized materials are located at the end of the series.

Series VI, 1966-2014, Audio/Visual Material, consists of audio, video, film, and electronic file formats. Film reels, videocassette tapes, audiocassette tapes, floppy disks, CDs, and flash drives used by the League to document events and special audio/visual information. See Restrictions on Access and Separated Materials for more information regarding access to this series.

Series VII, Memorabilia, contains artifacts and textiles owned by the League, such as a large quilt and aprons worn by League members and volunteers.


  • Creation: 1919-2015


Conditions Governing Access

Oversize materials in this collection are stored off-site; therefore, please notify us at least two days in advance if requesting oversize materials (marked as “OS”).

Access to electronic files in this collection, indicated by an e-number (e.g., ms516_e0001), are restricted until they are fully processed.

Due to preservation concerns, original audio and video materials cannot be played in the reading room. Patrons may have access to reference copies. Items without reference copies can be digitized at the request of the patron for the cost of creating a digital copy. Please provide us at least two weeks advance notice if you would like to request an audio or video reference copy. Use of digitized content is subject to conditions governing use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder. Use of these materials in publications, broadcasts, and other projects are subject to the terms of a signed use agreement, as well as duplication and publication fees.

Historical Note

The Junior League of Dayton, affiliated with the Junior League of America, was organized in February, 1920 as the second of its kind in Ohio. The League was created as a nonprofit community organization for young women to volunteer locally and raise funds to support activities, projects, and other local nonprofit groups. The organization raises funds through monetary donations, fundraisers, ticket sales, and grants, as well as through the sale of Junior League of Dayton cookbooks.

The first president of the organization was Katharine Kennedy Brown, a prominent and powerful political advocate, who led the League its first two years. League members assisted with several community projects throughout the 1920s, including the creation of the Gauze Stretching Committee at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) and the opening of the Dayton Art Institute in 1929. The Great Depression halted the undertaking of new projects and all monies raised were donated to the Emergency Food and Relief Fund. Despite hard times, the League was still able to establish the Occupational Therapy Department at MVH for disabled children and perform puppet shows and theatre productions to students in the community. During World War II, the League sponsored the Army-Navy Officers Club as a support group for members and officers’ wives, then established the Volunteer Services Bureau to coordinate volunteer work aligned with community needs in 1947.

Many new services were provided by League members in the 1950s, including free x-rays, preschool vision screening, and a metropolitan planetarium. The Town Hall Lecture Series started in 1956 and brought quality performances to Dayton for 55 years. The League was heavily supported by grand holiday balls and events at the Dayton Art Institute into the 1960s. They helped provide funds for the Hearing and Speech Mobile Unit and the development of Cox Arboretum. Projects in the 1970s were largely focused on Dayton’s children, from the Day Care Toy Project to “Daybreak”, a haven for teens who ran away from home. The failing Victory Theatre caught the League’s attention, spurring them to establish a volunteer corps and provide funding to help save the historic landmark. Both Sunwatch Indian Village and the Annie Casey Foundation, which supported at risk youth programs, were gifted funds by the League in the 1980s. Holiday programming, including the Deck the Halls events, began in 1988 for the community to enjoy.

An array of projects consumed the League into the 1990s, including Exhibits-to-Go, a hands-on traveling children’s museum, and the Women’s Recovery Center in Xenia, Ohio. POWER (Program Of Wellness Education and Resources) and Holiday Hunt are just two of the many programs that continue today, as the Junior League of Dayton is still an influential, dynamic organization of volunteer women serving the Miami Valley.


63 linear feet

Language of Materials



The Junior League of Dayton Records document a nonprofit organization of women committed to educating the community, developing the potential of women, and improving the quality of life in the Miami Valley. Dayton’s Junior League was the second of its kind in Ohio, in affiliation with the Junior League of America, and was established in 1920. Since its commencement, the League has provided support through member led volunteer work, educational opportunities, fundraisers, and monetary contributions to other nonprofit groups. The collection includes administrative records and publications that date back to the beginning of the organization. Ledgers were used to manage administrative, community, and other funds through the 1990s. Photographs, slides, and negatives of members, meetings, special events, and projects are included from every decade of the League’s existence. The collection also contains newspaper clippings and event information, including extensive coverage of the Town Hall Lecture Series from 1956 to 2011. Floppy disks, video reels, CDs, and other forms of electronic media document events and projects from 1966 to 2014.


The collection is arranged into seven series with a total of seven subseries:

  1. Series I: Administration, 1919-2015
  2. Series II: Ledgers, 1920-1993
  3. Series III: Publications, 1919-2015
  4. Subseries IIIA: General Publications, 1943-2015
  5. Subseries IIIB: Annual Reports, 1919-2007
  6. Subseries IIIC: Newsletters, 1927-2015
  7. Subseries IIID: Newspaper Articles, 1920-2014
  8. Series IV: Events, 1926-2011
  9. Series: V: Visual Material, 1920-2010
  10. Subseries VA: Photographs and Negatives, 1920-2006
  11. Subseries VB: Slides, 1970s-1990s
  12. Subseries VC: Awards and Recognition, 1946-2010
  13. Series VI: Audio/Visual Material, 1966-2014
  14. Series VII: Memorabilia, undated

Physical Location

The collection is located at Med Sci.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection of Junior League of Dayton Records was donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by the Junior League of Dayton in 2015.


Further accruals are expected in the future.

Related Materials

MS-146, Katharine Kennedy Brown Papers

MS-360, Victoria Theatre Collection

MS-404, Katharine Kennedy Brown Collection, Lenz Additions

MS-445, Miami Valley Literacy Council Records

Separated Materials

Magnetic audio and video tapes, and 16 mm film reels in the collection were separated and are located in the film room at Med Sci. Oversize materials are located at Med Sci. Floppy disks, CDs, and flash drives were separated to the E-Archives.

Processing Information

All newsprint was separated from related files and is organized by date. Materials housed in vinyl binders were removed and wrapped in twill tape or placed in 3 ring binder boxes. Acidic covers on financial statements from the 1950s and 1960s were removed, copied, and placed with reports. Similarly, covers with adhesive spines on statements from 1998-2001 were removed, copied. All Town Hall speaker portraits and framed certificates were removed from their frames and filed. Plaques were removed from wooden bases and placed in file folders. Photographs were detached from poster boards and placed with other photos in the collection. The 1935 “Hansel and Grethel” production scrapbook was disassembled and placed in a large folder.

Guide to the Junior League of Dayton Records (MS-516)
Shelby Dixon
2016 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Processing of the Junior League of Dayton Records was made possible in part by generous donations from Junior League of Dayton members in 2015.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA