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Woman's Eastern Shore Society records

Identifier: MS 2864


This collection contains the minutes, reports, correspondence, financial documents, scrapbooks, and ephemera of the Woman's Eastern Shore Society of Maryland. This organization was founded by Anne Rothwell Stewart (d. 1930) in Baltimore in 1926 with the goal of social fellowship and public service for women who were born on Maryland's Eastern Shore or who had family connections in that region.


  • 1926-1986


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Historical Note

The Woman's Eastern Shore Society (WESS) was founded in Baltimore in 1926 by a group of women who were born on Maryland's Eastern Shore or who had family connections in that region. The group's first president was Miss Anne Rothwell Stewart (died 1930). Although WESS's goal was “social fellowship among the members and preservation of traditions and a way of life so dear,” the organization also focused on public service and philanthropic efforts.

By the end of its first year in existence, WESS had 137 members. WESS is organized into chapters based on the counties of the Eastern Shore, and membership in 1994 reached over two hundred. Activities are organized by the club as a whole and also by individual chapters.

Social events include the Annual Banquets, which have been held at Baltimore hotels such as Emerson, Lord Baltimore, and Belvedere. Meetings, “History luncheons,” plays, and pageants have also been organized. The club has published cookbooks as well. WESS created a scholarship fund that supports young Eastern Shore women with their college educations.


10 Linear Feet (8 boxes; 49 volumes)

Language of Materials



Series I: Organizational Records, 1926-1983, undated (Boxes 1-4, Volumes A-GG)

Records of organizational workings of the WESS. Includes limited amount of correspondence, motions, resolutions upon members' deaths, and an agreement to rent meeting space from the Woman's City Club of Baltimore. The bulk of this series is composed of minutes and reports. Minutes of early meetings were recorded in minute books, and reports were held separately and filed. Annual reports were filed separately for the years 1933-1974. Starting in 1976, reports and minutes were kept on loose sheets in binders. (Some binders were dismantled due to poor condition, and sheets placed in file boxes.)

Series II: Financial Records, 1926-1974 (Box 5, Volumes HH-KK)

Series contains receipts and disbursements and annual audit reports of the WESS. Treasurer's reports, however, remain with other meeting reports (in Series I).

Series III: Scholarship Records, 1926-1986 (Box 6)

Series includes records concerning those young Eastern Shore women who applied for and won college scholarships. Student files include scholarship applications, progress reports, and correspondence from the students.

Series IV: County Chapter-Related Records, 1927-1977 (Box 7, Volumes LL-GGG)

County chapters often maintained their own records. These records (research papers, minutes, treasurers' records, and albums with news clippings, ephemera, and photographs) are arranged alphabetically by county name, and further divided according to document type. The bulk of this series is made up of 22 clippings scrapbooks created by individual county chapters.

Series V: Ephemera (Box 8)

This series is made up of ephemera relating to the WESS. It includes printed invitations, programs, playscripts, ballots, membership rosters, and research papers. One file contains printed ephemera not directly related to the Woman's Eastern Shore Society of Maryland but collected by members (rosters for Needlework Guild, postcards from Old Trinity Church, etc.). Assorted ephemera can also be found throughout the scrapbooks (Series IV).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Woman's Eastern Shore Society of Maryland via Mary Virginia Slaughter in August 1990.

Related Materials

MS 0938, Woman's Eastern Shore Society scrapbooks, 1926-1956

MS 0948, Dorchester County scrapbook, 1933-1944

MS 3037, Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City collection, 1913-1951

Processing Information

Some items have been removed during processing. Newspapers available elsewhere nearby were not retained. Several items were transferred to Prints and Photographs and to Reference.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the minutes, reports, correspondence, financial documents, scrapbooks, and ephemera relating to the activities of the Woman's Eastern Shore Society of Maryland (WESS). This collection spans the years 1926-1986.

The bulk of the records is made up of voluminous minutes and meeting reports. The WESS board met regularly throughout the year (with a few months off in summer), with county chapter representatives and committee heads submitting activity reports. The WESS's filing methods have been preserved in processing. In the early years, minutes were recorded in books and reports filed separately. Starting in 1976, however, minutes and reports were held together in three-ring binders. Some binders were dismantled due to poor condition and their contents filed in boxes. Annual meetings were held and reports were filed separately for the years 1933-1974.

The scrapbooks (Series IV) created by the specific county chapters are the second largest body of records generated by the WESS. These scrapbooks contain mostly news clippings about the Eastern Shore, but ephemera is present as well. No preservation copying or dismantling has been done. Some loose items are present within books.

Guide to the Woman's Eastern Shore Society records
Under Revision
Jessica M. Pigza
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-20: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States