Archive | From the Archives

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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Keeley clipping

“I’ve Been to Dwight!”

Time was when this statement meant that the speaker was a recovering alcoholic making a triumphal return from Dwight, Illinois, after undergoing the famous “Keeley Gold Cure” in that small but bustling town. For me, it means I’m back from a conference of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society (ADHS), held in Dwight from July […]

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Conference Logo

Willard Archives Research Presented at GHI Conference

In late April, 2016, the German Historical Institute (GHI) in Washington D.C. hosted a conference entitled Forging Bonds Across Borders: Mobilizing for Women’s Rights and Social Justice in the 19th Century Transatlantic World. Co-sponsored by the University of Maryland at College Park and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, the conference brought scholars from around […]

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Bachman-Sanders at work in the Willard Archives

Research Notes: The Wheel Frances Willard

I first encountered Frances Willard in 2014 when I stumbled upon her 1895 book, A Wheel Within A Wheel: How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle.  I was captivated by her use of metaphor and the role she granted the bicycle in her progressive vision, and she inadvertently shaped the direction of my dissertation research […]

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Professor Kohiyama at Willard Archives

Research Notes: A Visitor from Japan

The Frances Willard Memorial Library and Archives was happy to welcome Professor Rui Kohiyama to our Reading Room earlier this month. Professor Kohiyama teaches American and Gender Studies at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, and has done much research on missionaries and the WCTU in Japan. She has been in email contact with the Archives for […]

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