Young Women's Christian Association (University of Washington) Photograph Collection, 1971-1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Young Women's Christian Association (University of Washington)
Young Women's Christian Association (University of Washington) Photograph Collection
1971-1981 (inclusive)
1971-1972 (bulk)
111 photographic prints
25 slides
Collection Number
Photographs of the YWCA at the University of Washington, which provided feminist services and programming in the 1970s.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Additional Reference Guides

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Young Women's Christian Association (University of Washington) was established in 1895 as the first women's organization on campus. In 1930, the YWCA (UW) moved off campus after the state legislature interpreted the "separation of church and state" to prohibit religious organizations from being housed on the university campus. It merged with the YMCA (UW) in 1940, and the two organizations operated jointly for thirty years in Eagleson Hall, located off campus at 15th Ave. NE and E. 42nd St., and later at 4525 19th Ave. N.E. The YWCA (UW) declared its autonomy from the YMCA (UW) in 1970 and moved to 4224 University Way N.E. Over the course of the ensuing decade, the YWCA (UW) pioneered in feminist programming, providing an extensive range of services and activities not only for UW students but for women throughout the Seattle area.

Three examples of the YWCA's progressive programming were Mechanica, the Lesbian Resource Center, and the Aradia Clinic. Mechanica began as a women's cooperative garage and auto mechanics course in 1972, but by 1975, it had evolved into an information service for women seeking to enter apprenticeships in the skilled trades and other non-traditional jobs. The Mechanica staff provided job counseling, promoted affirmative action hiring of women and minorities, and pushed for affirmative action placements in union apprenticeships. In 1980, the program ended due to loss of funding.

The Lesbian Resource Center (LRC) began as the Gay Women's Resource Center in 1971. The center provided peer counseling support services to lesbians in the Seattle-King County area. The LRC also worked to make changes within the YWCA (UW), pushing for more lesbian membership on the board of directors. The Lesbian Resource Center became independent in 1980.

The Aradia Clinic opened in 1972, after a year of organizing by women in the YWCA (UW) who wanted to address the need for a women's health care clinic in the community. The clinic was constructed by over sixty women under the leadership of a female architect. The construction work by the women was indicative of the early spirit of Aradia, which strongly encouraged patients to take their health into their own hands. The Aradia staff offered annual examinations, pregnancy detection and counseling, self-health classes, workshops, and abortion procedures. In 1973, Aradia legally separated from the YWCA (UW), although it continued to be housed in the same building until 1978. The Aradia Women's Health Center was still in operation as of 2004 as a non-profit feminist health center dedicated to the advancement of women's health and reproductive choices.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection documents activities of the YWCA (UW) during the early 1980s, such as a Halloween mask workshop offered by the Women's Cultural Center and remodeling work on the office. The bulk of the collection contains photographs relating to the Lesbian Resource Center, including portraits of co-coordinators Shelley Reddick and Kathy Timmons. There is also a series of photographs of women at work in the skilled trades that were made for a brochure advertising Mechanica's services. (The brochure is part of the YWCA (UW) records, Accession no. 1930-21.) The Aradia Clinic's construction by an all-female crew in 1972 is also documented.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


YWCA (UW) People and ActivitiesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1
Tudi Haasl, accountant
Served in later years as the co-executive director.
1 2-3
Jeanne Mandel, secretary
1 4
2 5-15
Women's Cultural Center and Temple Day Care Center Halloween mask workshop
3 16-21

YWCA (UW) ProgramsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
4 22-38
Aradia Clinic
Eighteen slides of the clinic's construction by an all-female crew.
Lesbian Resource Center - People
Folder item
5 39-46
Mary Eaton
1971-1972, n.d.
6 47-54
Kathy Timmons
7 55-62
Kathy Timmons and Shelley Reddick
1971, n.d.
8 63-71
Kathy Timmons - with others
9 72
Shelley Reddick, Julie Coryell, and Meredith Stannard
10 73-81
Groups of people
Lesbian Resource Center - Events
Folder item
11-13 82-104
Gay Pride Events, Hollywood, CA
14 105-109
Gay Women's West Coast Conference
15 110-116
Protest re: media and advertising
Mechanica Skilled Trades Brochure Photographs
Folder item
16 117-120
17 121-123
18 124-125
19 126-129

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Feminists--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Gay liberation movement--California--Los Angeles--Photographs
  • Lesbian activists--Photographs
  • Lesbians--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Women construction workers--Photographs
  • Women welders--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Women--Employment--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Women--Washington (State)--Seattle--Societies and clubs
  • Corporate Names :
  • Young Women's Christian Association (University of Washington)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)