M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
M.C. LAWTON CIVIC AND CULTURAL CLUB

RECORDS, 1921-2004
(APAP-027)

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Geoffrey A. Huth
April 10, 1990

Finding Aid Revised by
Nicholas Webb
July 13, 2009







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 1.13 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: Items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the M.C. Lawton Civic and Cultural Club, Inc. on April 17, 1990. An additional accession was received from Carol Praylor, President, in September 2004.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Adminstrative History

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder List:


M.C. Lawton Club
Administrative History

Back to table of contents

The M.C. Lawton Club has its beginnings in the Women's Auxiliary of the 15th Infantry, a black unit active during World War I.  At the end of the war, the members of the auxiliary decided to continue to associate as they had for the previous four years.  In April 1919, the club was founded as the Marie C. Lawton Club in Albany, N.Y., as a branch of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs.  The club's goals were to "promote the welfare of people wherein needed, and to assist in civic affairs."[1] The club was the first black organization in Albany actively involved in "community service, educational advancement, race relations and self-development."[2] An important activity of the club was its annual concert showcasing promising young black musicians.  The Club regularly sponsored dances to support causes such as scholarships for college students and Haiti.  In 1926/1927, the Club was involved in advocacy on a number of important issues including performances by minstrels in the Albany Public Schools and housing conditions in the city.  Out of this work the Club developed a five-point plan whcih was eventually taken over by the Albany Inter-Racial Council.  By 1955, the club had consistently begun to use the name M.C. Lawton Civic and Cultural Club.

The M.C. Lawton Club has close ties to other civic and cultural clubs in the Capital District, including the Albany Inter-Racial Council and the Community Chest.  The club is affiliated with the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, Inc.; the Northeastern Association of Women's Clubs; and the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes

Back to History

1. M.C. Lawton Civic and Cultural Club, Inc.  Constitution, 1955.
2. M.C. Lawton Civic and Cultural Club, Inc.  Musical Program, 1978.


M.C. Lawton Club
Scope & Content Note

Back to table of contents

The minutes (1927-65, 1971-75) of the M.C. Lawton Club are its most substantial records.  The earliest minutes (1919-26) are missing, but the minutes that remain give a good picture of the activities of the organization and how well it met those goals. Only scattered minutes for 2002-2004 are available in this collection. The remainder of the Club's minutes remain in with its members. Especially interesting are the earlier minutes when the club fought for racial justice at the local level in the fields of housing, education, and employment, presenting black speakers such as Countee Cullen to the population as a whole and decrying minstrel shows.

The correspondence (1921-23, 1928-31, 1943, 1950, 1953-59, 1973, 1977-78) primarily concerns routine administrative matters.  Although the correspondence covers a wide range of years, most of the correspondence dates from the 1920's, 1950's, and 1970's, and consists mainly of thank you notes or other routine correspondence.

The reports (1928, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1949, 1973, 1975) are not extensive, but these are full of information about the club's activities.  The musical programs (1936, 1955, 1957, circa 1964, 1968, 1971, 1975-80, 1985-87) contain little additional information other than the programs, which do include brief historical sketches of the club.

For related records, see the records of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, Inc. A photograph from the collection is available for viewing online from the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections database.


M.C. Lawton Club
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 1: Minutes, 1927-2004

Box 1
Folder
1. Minutes, 1927-30
2. Papers removed from 1927-1930 minute book
3. Minutes, 1930-32
4. Papers removed from 1930-1932 minute book
5. Minutes, 1932-36
6. Papers removed from 1932-1936 minute book
7. Minutes, 1937-41
8. Minutes, 1941-51

Box 2
Folder
1. Minutes, 1951-57
2. Papers removed from 1951-1957 minute book
3. Minutes, 1958-65
4. Minutes, 1971-75
5. Minutes and Agenda, 2002-2004


M.C. Lawton Club
Box and Folder List

Back to table of contents

Series 2: Subject Files, 1921-2004

Box 3

Albany Inter-Racial Council, 1929, 1956
Arbor Hill Community Center, 1957
Awards Banquet Hosted by M.C. Lawton Club, 1984
Awards to the M.C. Lawton Club, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1983
Child Health Meeting Notice, 1941
Community Chest of Albany and Rensselaer, 1955-56
Constitution, 1955
Constitution and Handbook, 1999
Correspondence, 1921-23, 1928-31
Correspondence, 1943, 1950, 1953-59
Correspondence, 1973, 1977-78, 2002-2004
Dinner Programs, 1954-56, 1969
Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, Inc., Events Hosted by M.C. Lawton Club, Programs and Financial Report, 1994, 1998, 2002
March on Washington Movement, Brochure, circa 1941
Membership, Correspondence and List, 2003-2004
Mother and Daughter Banquet, Program, circa 1958
Musical Programs, 1936, 1955, 1957, circa 1964, 1968, 1971, 1975-79
Musical Programs, 1980, 1985-87, 1993, 2003
News Clippings, 1939, 1952, 1969, 1973-74, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1988-89
News Clippings, 1939, 1952, 1969, 1973-74, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1988-89, 2002-2003
Photographs
     A photograph from the collection is available for viewing online from the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections database.
President, Carol Praylor, 2002-2003
Presidents and Vice Presidents, List, 2002
Reports, Annual and Historian's, 2002-2003
Reports on Annual Conventions of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, 1949, 1973, 1975
Reports to Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1935
Scholarship Recipients, List, 2003
35th Anniversary Celebration, Invitation, 1955
75th Anniversary Celebration, Program and Roster, 1994-1995
85th Anniversary Celebration, Program, 2003


Reference E-mail | Find Collections | Find Other Historical Resources
About the Department | Department Services and Policies
View Exhibits | View Blog
Department Home Page

Last updated February 17, 2006