Archive | From the Archives

WIllard-souvenir-coin-1933

Nominate Frances Willard to be on the U.S. Quarter

By Janet Olson, Archivist On January 13, 2021, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 was signed into law. The bill directs the Treasury Department, through the U.S. Mint, to issue quarter-dollar coins featuring “prominent American women,” effective January 1, 2022 through the end of 2025. The act allows up to five coin designs […]

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Crusade painting header

Launching the “Last Call”: The Women’s Crusade against Alcohol, 1873-1874

by Kristin Jacobsen, Assistant Archivist Patrons nursing their beers in the saloons of Fredonia, New York, on December 15, 1873, were met with a startling sight: more than one hundred local women taking to the streets to prevent drinkers from raising another glass. The women visited all eight liquor dealers in Fredonia – praying, singing […]

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Arriving at the WCTU Admin Building (now Willard Archives), Evanston

Home at Last

Wide-ranging travel has always been part of the WCTU’s history (think of Frances Willard’s speaking tours, and of the WCTU organizers who collected 7.5 million signatures on the Polyglot Petition in the 1880s). Imagine the warm welcome those women received when they got back home to Evanston! These thoughts came to mind on July 26 […]

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WWI Red Cross vehicle donated by WCTU001

The WCTU and WWI

“A Century of Remembering: The Great War” is the theme of Illinois Archives Month (October) 2017. World War I affected every aspect of American society, and is documented in many different ways in archival repositories across the state.  The Frances Willard Memorial Library and Archives offers this brief overview of the role played by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. […]

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One of the refurbished storage rooms holding World WCTU records.

Digging Through History

By Chad Comello Digging through history is a lot like digging through dirt: it’s gonna get messy, but you’ll find some interesting stuff along the way. What is now the archives was once known as the Administration Building, built in 1922 to serve as the WCTU’s bustling headquarters. Now primarily a repository for organizational records, […]

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Coloring book cover

Frances Willard: The Coloring Book

Coloring books for adults do seem to be a thing. They are touted as being beneficial for relaxation, mindfulness, creativity, and even just fun. Realizing that museums and libraries are a hidden source of wonderful, colorable designs, the New York Academy of Medicine Library has launched the second annual #ColorOurCollections week on social media, inviting museums, […]

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Left to right: Postel, Lappas, Dunlap

How They Spent Their Summer Vacations

Great minds think alike, it’s said, and that statement was well illustrated last week in the Willard Archives, when faculty members from three different institutions of higher learning descended on the Archives at the same time. The three professors were doing end-of-summer research on very different projects, but, as is so often the case in […]

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