University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Friends in Council Records 1875-2006

© 2008 University of Chicago Library


Preservation of this collection was supported with a generous gift from the University of Chicago Service League.

Descriptive Summary


Friends in Council. Records




7.5 linear feet (14 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The records of the Friends in Council include meeting minutes, constitutions and by-laws, annual programs for the club dating back to its inception, as well as various works produced by and about its members (papers prepared for meetings, histories of the club, and correspondence). The collection also contains some information relating to other Friends in Council groups, as well as national women’s organizations.

Information on Use


Series I contains an audiocassette tape that is restricted due to reformatting and equipment requirements.

The remainder of the collection is open for research, with no restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Friends in Council. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Friends in Council of Chicago was a women's association, founded in 1875 and based in Hyde Park. Taking its title from a book by Sir Arthur Helps, its members were dedicated to the study of literature. Each year its members laid out a program of reading and study. For each meeting one member would host at her house, while another would present a paper she had written on the topic for that day, which would then be discussed by the other members. Originally comprised of members from across the Chicago area, the Friends came to include primarily of the wives of prominent Hyde Park residents and faculty members of the University of Chicago.

Scope Note

This collection contains three series, all arranged alphabetically. Series I, Administrative Materials, includes meeting minutes from 1875-2002; constitutions and by-laws; and reports from the secretary and treasurer. Series II, Membership Information and Activities, contains membership lists, membership biographies, correspondence, and a selection of the papers presented by members during their meetings. This series also includes the annual programs of the club, listing membership and paper topics for each year. Series III, History and Memorabilia, contains newspaper clippings, samples of announcements and luncheon placement cards, as well as information relating to other Friends in Council groups and national women’s organizations. Box 14 contains oversized materials from Series III, including a photographic scrapbook, newspaper clippings and a certificate of incorporation.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Subject Headings


Series I: Administrative Materials

Box 1   Folder 1-2

Account book, 1969-1999

Box 1   Folder 3-10

Constitution and by-laws, 1895-1936

Box 1   Folder 11

Meeting minutes, audio cassette tape, 1989-1990

Box 1   Folder 12

Report of Secretary for the first two sessions up to June 6, 1876

Box 1   Folder 13

Report of the Treasurer of Friends in Council, 1879

Box 1   Folder 14

Summary of meetings, 1875-1880

Box 1   Folder 15-16

Records and minutes, 1875-1885

Box 2   Folder 1-6

Records and minutes, 1885-1906

Box 3   Folder 1-4

Records and minutes, 1906-1916

Box 4   Folder 1-8

Records and minutes, 1916-1929

Box 5   Folder 1-6

Records and Minutes of the Friends in Council, 1929-1945

Box 6   Folder 1-11

Records and minutes, 1946-2002

Series II: Membership Information and Activities

Box 7   Folder 1-24

Annual program, 1885-1911

Box 8   Folder 1-14

Annual program, 1911-1926

Box 9   Folder 1-25

Annual program, 1922-1954

Box 10   Folder 1-32

Annual program, 1954-1992

Box 11   Folder 1-13

Annual program, 1992-2006

Box 11   Folder 14-17

Correspondence, 1900-2005

Box 11   Folder 18

Correspondence, Year Book, 1958-2002

Box 12   Folder 1

Member biographies, 2003

Box 12   Folder 2

Membership list of Friends in Council of Chicago, 1875

Box 12   Folder 3-7

Papers, 1970-2005

Box 12   Folder 8

Write-up of annual subjects of readings, 1875-1920

Series III: History and Memorabilia

Box 13   Folder 1

Annual program of the Friends in Council of Quincy, IL, 1918-1919

Box 13   Folder 2

Bruce McKitterick Cole memorial service, program, 2005

Box 13   Folder 3

Certificate of Incorporation and by-laws, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, 1896

Box 13   Folder 4

“Chapter XII – Illinois” from History of Women Suffrage, undated

Box 13   Folder 5

Federation of Women’s Clubs, Chicago and vicinity, calendar and directory, 1916

Box 13   Folder 6

“Friends in Council of Chicago, Looking into the Archives,” 2005

Box 13   Folder 7

Luncheon Place Cards, late 19th-early 20th century

Box 13   Folder 8

Meeting announcement cards, undated

Box 13   Folder 9

Parliamentary Law and Rules of Procedure, 7th Edition by Mary Belle King Sherman, photocopy selection, 1916

Box 13   Folder 10

The Quadrangle Club Address List, March 1926

Box 13   Folder 11

Scrapbook, materials removed from, 1990s

Box 13   Folder 12

“Ten Years in the Friends in Council” by Mr. A.H. Tuthill, 1896

Box 13   Folder 13

“When Chicago Was Young” Chicago Sunday Tribune, June 30, 1935

Box 5   Folder 1

The Chicago Evening Post Literary Review, Friday, September 6, 1929

Box 5   Folder 2

Photographic scrapbook, 1980s-1990s

Box 5   Folder 3

Materials relating to incorporation, 1902-1905