Skip to main content

Altrusa International of Lafayette, Indiana records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 127

Scope and Contents

The Altrusa International of Lafayette, Indiana records (1922-2014; 3.2 cubic feet) document the members and activities of the organization from its inception.  Also documented are some of the milestones of individual members and the local chapter’s involvement with the regional district chapter and Altrusa International.  Due to the fact that the organization restricted membership to prominent women within the community, the collection could be useful for researchers interested in determining women leaders within the greater Lafayette and Purdue community.  This fact could also provide insight into the types of jobs and professions held by women in the greater Lafayette community over the years.  The records would also be useful to researchers interested in philanthropy in the Lafayette community and women’s clubs and service organizations more generally.  Types of materials include: papers, photographs, scrapbooks, and publications, etc.  The records are organized into three series.


  • 1922-2014
  • Other: Date acquired: 04/01/2016


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

Copyrights belong to Purdue University pending deed of gift, excluding some publications by Altrusa International.  Please an archivist for more information.

Historical Information

The Lafayette Chapter of Altrusa International was founded in 1922 with Ruby Dautel serving as the first president.  This early founding date makes the Lafayette chapter one of the earliest members of the national Altrusa Organization.  Altrusa was first started in 1917 in Nashville, Tennessee by Dr. Alfred Durham in an effort to foster fellowship among professional and business women, since no such clubs for women existed at the time.  In 1918, Durham was joined at the helm by Mamie Bass, the superintendent of the Women’s Division of the U.S. Employment Service.  Bass instilled in the club its philosophy of service and personal achievement and organized the first Altrusa convention in 1918 in Indianapolis where she became the first elected president of the national organization.  Since that time, Altrusa has gone international and now has thousands of members in several countries.  The Lafayette Chapter of Altrusa has remained an active member of the sixth district which encompasses member clubs in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.  Altrusa of Lafayette has been active in the support of vocational training and scholarships for young women, literacy programs, and various other projects during its tenure.


3.229 Cubic Feet (Four full-width letter-size manuscript boxes, one half-width letter-size manuscript box, one shoebox, one flat box, and one cubic foot box)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

1.  Administrative, 1922-2012 (1.4 cubic feet). The administrative series includes meeting minutes, membership information, and documents regarding the inception of the club and its original members.  Many of the founding and early members of the Lafayette chapter were prominent women at Purdue University.  This series provides insight into the activities and goals of the club as well as the women involved with it. Materials in the series are arranged chronologically and by type.  Please note that the filing system used for the meeting minutes appears to have changed periodically from a fiscal year to a calendar year; this system and order has been retained. 2.  Publications, 1939-2014 (0.5 cubic feet).  The publications series includes various publications and handouts produced by Altrusa International and the Lafayette chapter more specifically.  These include the monthly newsletter Trusa Tracks, the District Six Bulletin, and the annual yearbooks.  This series provides information on membership and leaders within the organization, as well as insight into the various activities with which they were involved.  Materials in this series are arranged chronologically and by type. 3.  Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1922-2011 (1.3 cubic feet).  The photographs and scrapbooks series consists of loose photographs and scrapbooks that were compiled by the club.  Scrapbooks contain news clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous other items relating to the activities of Altrusa of Lafayette.  Materials in this series have been organized by type.

Source of Acquisition

Sarah Cauble Johnson

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained.  The records have been grouped by type.  All materials have been placed in archival housing.  Loose photographs have been separated and placed in sleeves for preservation purposes.
Altrusa International of Lafayette, Indiana records
In Progress
Virginia Pleasant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States