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McRae Club records and photographs

Identifier: MSS-111

Scope and Contents

This collection includes annual programs (1894-2014) and meeting minutes (1904-2009). It also includes the constitution and by-laws, rosters (1918-1958), correspondence, newspaper clippings (1904-2007), and financial records (1998-2008). There are also two woodcuts of founder Emma Montgomery McRae and a written history of the organization by Mrs. J. J. Burkholder included and a program from the Woman's Franchise League, 1919. It also includes two photographs of McRae Club members (1989 and 2006).


  • Creation: 1894-2014

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Administrative History

The McRae Club was organized March 2, 1894 by 14 women who met at the home of Mrs. John Bloor in Muncie, Indiana. The objectives of the club were both literary and social as the members sought self-improvement through the writing and presenting of papers on a wide variety of subjects. The McRae Club took its name from Mrs. Emma Montgomery McRae, a well-known Muncie educator, who personified to the members, the genteel qualities of a true lady.

Mrs. McRae was born at Loveland, Ohio, February 12, 1848. When she was five, her parents moved to Indiana. Mrs. McRae completed her education at Wooster College in Ohio, where she received a Master of Arts degree. Mrs. McRae served as principal of Muncie High School for six years, where she met and married the Superintendent of the Muncie Schools, Hamilton McRae. She eventually became professor of English literature at Purdue, serving also as Dean of Women for 26 years.

Club members held Mrs. McRae up as a model of intelligence and culture. They gave lengthy papers at each monthly meeting, usually five in an afternoon, followed by discussion. Once a year they gave an anniversary party and invited their husbands to join them. At various holidays, individual members entertained the group in their homes, seeking to outdo one another in the lavishness of their entertaining.

The organization also took pride in its civic contributions; assisting in the development of a free kindergarten, furnishing the Courthouse restroom and the manual training department in Muncie schools and distributing flower seeds to school children.


1.8 Cubic Feet (3 boxes and 1 folder)

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Records, 1904-2007

Series 2: Financial Records, 1998-2008

Series 3: Minutes, 1904-2009

Series 4: Programs, 1894-2014

Series 5: Artifacts, undated

Series 6: McRae Club photographs, 1989-2006

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Francis Pifer on 1990/01/17. An addition was donated by Erma McVicker on 2010/01/07.


Further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

Guide to Women’s History Resources in Archives and Special Collections available online at (

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1990/04/04 by K. Dean. Finding aid revised 2005/04/01 by Jane Gastineau. Finding aid revised 2008/05/01 by Maren L. Read. Finding aid revised 2009/06/24 by Rachel N. Miller. Finding aid revised 2010/01/07 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid completed 2010/01/07 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid revised 2013/08/01 by Leslie Nellis.

McRae Club records and photographs
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA