Thursday, August 31, 2017

Altrusa International Records

The Altrusa International Records collection provides online access to a selection of digitized records from Altrusa International, Inc. ranging in date from 1917 to 2011. The collection contains a variety of records documenting the history and activities of Altrusa International including constitutions and bylaws, correspondence, member directories, reports, and other administrative records; Board of Directors meeting minutes and proceedings; anniversary programs, certificates, and other commemorative materials; annual convention programs, minutes, and proceedings; newsletters; subject files; photographs; and video recordings.


Clicking on the image will allow you to browse the collection.

Altrusa International was founded in 1917 in Nashville, Tennessee as a non-profit organization for business and professional women that focused primarily on community service. The club aims to improve economic well-being and quality of life through community service and literacy. The first local clubs were organized cooperatively by Dr. Alfred Durham, a Kiwanis member who organized clubs in Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, Dayton, OH, and Indianapolis, IN, and Mamie L. Bass, who had served as the Superintendent of the Women's Division of the United States Employment Services. In 1918, the Altrusa Institute held its first convention in Indianapolis. The Altrusa Institute was later renamed the National Association of Altrusa Clubs and adopted the organization's first bylaws. By 1922, Altrusa had twenty national divisions, and the first international division was founded in Mexico in 1935. In 1966, ASTRA service clubs were established to encourage young people ages 13 to 21 to participate in community service. In 1989, Altrusa International adopted a resolution to promote environmental concerns through service projects. In 2011, Altrusa launched a new branding and marketing campaign to increase the organization’s image in local communities and to reach out to an evolving membership. Altrusa International celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2017.