RG 195: Records of the Potomac Woman’s Club, 1953-2012

Collection Number
RG 195
The Potomac Woman’s Club (PWC) is a social organization founded in 1953 by Nell Broyhill, who was wife of the developer M.T. Broyhill and mother of local political leader Joel Broyhill. The PWC began with 75 charter members and served as a social outlet for the women moving into the Broyhill firm’s new neighborhoods. Its stated purpose is to “be for mutual improvement and the advancement of civic and social welfare of the community.”

In its early years, PWC meetings were held at members’ homes, located near the Washington Golf and Country Club, and later moved to the Church of the Covenant. The PWC’s early activities included a welfare project with the Arlington Children’s Shelter; the “Live—and Learn” campaign, which was a series of Civil Defense courses open to the public about preparation for atomic attack and first aid; and community issues such as traffic safety. The PWC organized fashion shows, bridge parties, luncheons, speaker events, and card parties to raise money for various charities and scholarships. Over the years, club activities included support for the Arlington Tuberculosis Association, the Cancer Society, and the Arlington Hospital, often in conjunction with other local, state, and national women’s groups.

The PWC is affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Cubs (GFWC), the Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs (VFWC), and its Northern District. The club was still active as of May 2018.
Scope and Content
Record Group 195, which measures 2.1 linear feet and oversize materials, contains the records of the Potomac Woman’s Club dating from its founding in 1953 through 2012 when the material was donated. The collection includes minutes from executive and general meetings spanning 1953-2012, financial and administrative documents, installation banquet programs and event photos, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and the club’s newsletter the Potomac Patter. Series 1, Reports and Meeting Minutes, includes reports from the Card Party Luncheons (1979, 1982), the Yearbook Committee (1980), the Craft Workshop (1985), and the Book Review Group (1986). Series 3, Administrative Materials, includes typed and handwritten descriptions of officer duties and organization procedures, including a month-by-month (May to May calendar year, n.d.) list of officer tasks and meeting, memorial programs for Theresa V. Swain and Rebecca Parks Moist, and memorabilia from Alta Parker. Series 3 also contains material that indicates a connection with the Police Wives’ Club.
Arrangement and Description
The collection is arranged into seven series and was processed in two phases. Each series and material within files generally follows a chronological order. Folder titles in brackets ([ ]) were added by the archivists for clarification.

Series 1, Reports and Meeting Minutes, contains annual and committee reports and the general and executive board meeting minutes. This series is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Series 2, Financial Materials, includes a variety of financial documents (i.e., receipts, budgets, treasurer’s reports, and ledgers). Arrangement is by type of material and then generally chronological.

Series 3, Administrative Materials, contains administrative files such as the club’s constitution and bylaws along with member files and procedural documentation. This series is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Series 4, Events and Activities, consists largely of programs from PWC events and notes corresponding to those events as well as a few photographs.

Series 5, Club Newsletter, is a complete run of the PWC’s newsletter Potomac Patter from its inception in 1954 to the time the collection was donated in 2012. Arrangement is chronological.

Series 6, Club Yearbooks, consists of a complete run of the PWC’s yearbooks from 1954 to time of donation in 2012, documenting its leadership and members over the course of PWC’s history. Arrangement is chronological.

Series 7, Scrapbooks, includes three club scrapbooks (1953-1956, 1963-1964, and 1976-1997), which document participation in regional and national conferences as well as local events, activities, meetings, and awards through newspaper clippings, photographs, ephemera, and the Potomac Patter.
This collection was donated by Joyce Tannahill of the Potomac Woman’s Club in May 2012.
There may be restrictions on the financial documents in Series 2, which contain bank account and/or credit card information in files 2, 4 through 9, and 15 through 17.
Related Collections
Researchers interested in Arlington Women’s organizations may also consult: RG 33, American Association of University Women, Arlington Branch; RG 44, Arlington League of Women Voters; RG 49, Woman’s Club of Lyon Village; RG 50, Women’s Club of Waycroft; RG 73, Williamsburg Woman’s Club of Arlington; RG 131, Zonta Club of Arlington County, Virginia; RG 156, Soroptimist International of Arlington, and several others.