MS 85 Writers’ Club of San Diego Records

Summary Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection
Writers’ Club of San Diego.
Writers’ Club of San Diego Records
MS 85
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Linear feet (2 boxes)
This collection on the Writers’ Club of San Diego, established in 1915 to encourage and promote the work of local writers, includes a variety of official and business documents, club and member correspondence, and works composed by club members.

Preferred Citation

Writers’ Club of San Diego Records, MS 85, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

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Biographical / Historical Notes

The Writers’ Club of San Diego was inspired in the summer of 1915 by the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, and was incorporated in December of that year. The group’s objectives were “to endeavor by mutual help and encouragement to maintain high ideals of work,” “to strive to secure suitable marketing for such [manuscripts] as have passed the censorship of the Club,” and “to offer the hospitality of the club to visitors of San Diego who have attained eminence in the intellectual world.” The Club was originally comprised of women although men were allowed to become members in the 1930s. To qualify for active membership, one had to have received remuneration for an original manuscript. Club officers were elected on an annual basis. The Club held regular meetings semi-monthly; meetings involved administrative matters, readings and criticisms of members’ works, and sometimes an invited speaker. Club members published a variety of writings, including fiction, poetry, book reviews, travel writing, educational articles, and children’s works.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists of a variety of documents detailing the establishment of the club, its members, and its business practices and regular activities. Highlights include the Club’s Articles of Incorporation, Club constitution, a membership pledge signed by charter members, meeting minutes, Board of Directors meeting minutes, yearbooks, scrapbooks, members’ writings of poetry and non-fiction, and extensive newspaper clippings about the club’s meetings, activities, and events.

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The items in this collection are arranged by subject.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

San Diego History Center Document Collection June 2, 2011

1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 641112.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer Ho on June 2, 2011.

Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

Scrapbooks were previously separated from the collection and are located in SB 63. The scrapbooks include:

Five scrapbooks with dates ranging from 1939-1969 – four created by Mrs. May Chapman Starkey and one by Helen W. Dinsmore, the Club’s historian. Newspaper clippings concerning the Club and its members; poetic works by Club members; “year books” created and distributed by the organization; documents from the Club such as the typed “Constitution and By-laws”; letters to members; and some black and white photographs depicting members and Club activites.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Writers’ Club of San Diego.

Geographic Name(s)

  • San Diego (Calif.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Arsenault, Florence Crosby
  • Atwood, Lovina
  • Bothell, Elysabeth A. M.
  • Davidson, Winifred
  • Frazee, Mary
  • Gatrell, Fannie
  • Gray, Kate Joy
  • Gue, Belle Wiley
  • Jordan, Mabel Woolever
  • Lester, Hannah
  • Lorraine, Lilith, 1894-1967
  • Loucks, Effie Wells
  • McDowell, Belle Lane
  • McNeil, Elizabeth S.
  • Nida, Stella Humphrey
  • Penman, Satella Jacques
  • Stanford, Ida Ghent
  • Starkey, May Chapman
  • Strutton Elliot, Rebecca
  • Thorpe, Leona Edginton
  • Thorpe, Rose Hartwick
  • Trelease, Olive W.
  • Yates, Maribel


  • Fiction — Authorship — Poetry
  • Fiction authorship
  • Women — Societies and clubs
  • Women writers

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some meeting minutes are faded. (June 2, 2011)

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Collection Inventory

Club history and official documents, 1915–1950


Article of Incorporation

Club histories as written by group members

Constitution and By-laws

Suggested amendments to constitution

Club officers and members, 1916–1958 and undated


New member listing

Membership nominations

Pledge of membership

Resignation letters

Meeting minutes (regular, special and Board of Directors meetings), 1915 July 14–1918 October 3 1:3
Meeting minutes (regular and special meetings), 1918 November 21–1919 February 2 and undated 1:4
Meeting minutes (regular meetings), 1919 April 3-July 3 1:5
Meeting minutes (regular meetings), 1919 July 17-September 4 1:6
Meeting minutes (regular and Board of Directors meetings), 1919 September 4-1920 May 20 1:7
Meeting minutes (regular and Board of Directors meetings), 1920 June 3-1921 March 17 1:8
Meeting minutes (regular and Board of Directors meetings), 1921 April 7-1922 July 6 1:9
Meeting minutes (regular and Board of Directors meetings), 1927 September 14-1928 April 11 1:10
Meeting minutes (regular, business and Board of Directors meetings), 1928 April 25-1930 April 23 1:11
Meeting minutes (regular and business meetings), 1930 May 14-1933 January 11 1:12
Meeting minutes (regular meetings), 1933 January 25-1935 June 18 1:13
Meeting minutes (regular and business meetings), 1941 January 8-1942 April 8 1:14
Meeting minutes (regular, business and special meetings), 1942 April 22-1943 September 8 2:1
Meeting minutes (regular, business and Board of Directors meetings), 1943 September 22-1944 October 11 2:2
Meeting minutes (regular, business and Board of Directors meetings), 1944 October 25-1945 May 23 2:3
Meeting minutes (regular and business meetings), 1945 September 26-1946 April 10 2:4
Meeting minutes (regular and business meetings), 1946 April 24-1947 May 24 2:5
Meeting minutes (regular, business and special meetings), 1947 September 24-1949 May 25


History of Writers’ Club, June 1948-June 1949 (part of year-end report in minutes).

Meeting minutes (regular, business and special meetings), 1949 June 8-1950 June 14


Report for 1949-1950 (part of minutes).

Meeting minutes (regular, business and special meetings), 1951 September 12-1954 June 9 2:8
Meeting minutes (regular and special meetings), 1954 September 8-1958 September 25 2:9
Correspondence, 1916 Dec 28–1962 Aug 27


Thank you letters and cards

Club correspondence

Personal correspondence and postcards

Reports, 1917–1950 and undated


Annual report

Secretary’s report

Treasurer’s report

Yearbooks (rosters), 1917-1965 2:12
Writings, 1951 February 14 and undated


Writings from poetry workshop

Writings on San Diego

Newspaper clippings, 1919-1954 2:14
Scrapbook, 1929 June 8-1937 May 8 and undated


Newspaper clippings

Photographs of members

Miscellanea, 1919 March 20–1946 and undated


Event programs

Bond certificates

Book order form


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