Austin History Center

The Open Forum Club Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: The Open Forum Club
Title: The Open Forum Club Records
Dates: 1922-2009
Dates (Bulk): 1960-2009
Abstract: The Open Forum Club was organized in 1922 in Austin, Texas by local women for the purpose of discussing subjects of general interest. The meeting minutes, club yearbooks, correspondence, administrative records and scrapbook ephemera in the collection document the activities of the organization from 1922 to 2009.
Accession number: AR.1994.023
Quantity: 2.2 linear feet (5 boxes and 1 scrapbook)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oversized Volumes
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Open Forum Club began in 1922 with the motto, "Nothing Human is Foreign to Us." It was comprised of elected members of women from the Austin, Texas community and met monthly for luncheons and talks. Topics of the lectures prepared by the members included science, literature, and the arts.

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily consists of meeting minutes, club yearbooks, correspondence, and scrapbook ephemera created by the The Open Forum Club. These materials give insight into the wide variety of topics the women covered in their meetings.


Items are arranged chronologically within each series.
Arranged into four series
I. Open Forum Club Minutes
II. Open Forum Club Yearbooks
III. Correspondence and Scrapbook Items
IV. Scrapbook


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Davies, Harriet, 1887-1986.
Dobie, Bertha, 1890-1974.
Gebauer, Dorothy.
Hearon, Shelby, 1931-.
Jesse, Janet Collett.
Peck, Margaret.
Pennybacker, Percy V., Mrs., 1861-1938.
Rostow, Elspeth Davies.
Scarbrough, Margaret Caldwell.
Spurr, Patricia Chapman Orton.
Webb, Terrell Louise Dobbs Maverick.
Open Forum Club.
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Women--Societies and clubs.
Document Types:

Related Material

Austin Files- AF-Women-Societies and Clubs W4800 (7) Open Forum.

General Collection- A 725.17 DA - Daniel, Jean Houston. The Governor's Mansion of Texas: Speech Delivered Before the Open Forum, Austin, Texas, March 8, 1960.Waco, TX: 1960.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by a member of the organization.

Preferred Citation

Open Forum Club Records (AR.1994.023). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #:DO/1988/018, DO/1984/117

Donation Date: 1984, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2012

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Rita Murphy, Karen Wyckoff, Sue Soy Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Mark Lambert, 2007-08-16; Catherine Causier, 2008-12-11.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I Open Forum Club Minutes, 1922-2008

Box Folder
1 1 Minutes, 1922-1947
2 Secretary's Book (minutes), 1947-1951
3 Secretary's Book (minutes), 1951-1963
Box Folder
2 1 Secretary's Book (minutes), 1963-1975
2 Secretary's Book (minutes), 1975-1988
Box Folder
3 1 Secretary's Book (minutes), 1988-2002
2 Secretary's Book (minutes), 2001-2008

II. Open Forum Club Yearbooks, 1922-2006

Box Folder
4 1 Yearbooks, 1922-1959
2 Yearbooks, 1960-1980
3 Yearbooks, 1981-1999
4 Yearbooks, 2000-2006

III. Correspondence and Items removed from Secretary's Book and Scrapbook, 1950-2009

Box Folder
5 1 Agendas, 1977-2005
2 Correspondence, 1950-1974
3 Correspondence, 1979-2003
4 General Meeting Minutes, 1976-2003
5 Executive Committee, 1972-2005
6 Membership Committee, 1960-1973
7 Membership Committee, circa 1970s-2006
8 Luncheon Committee, 1966-1988, circa 1970s
9 Nominations Committee, 1975
10 Program Committee, 1975
11 Memoranda, 2002, undated
12 Lists of Officers, 1965-2005
13 Schedules, 1984-1985, 1996-1997
14 Treasurer's Report, 1960-1961
15 Obituaries, 1986-2006
16 Clippings, 2009
17 Speeches, 1992-1993, undated

IV. Open Forum Scrapbook, 1922-2006

Oversized Volumes Scrapbook, 1922-2006