Guide to the Records of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth, 1887-1963
The records of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth (AGRY) span the years 1887 to 1963, although the bulk of the collection begins in 1914 with the creation of the organization and ends in 1946 with the death of founder and president, Orie Latham Hatcher. Additional records for the Alliance from 1947 to 1963 can be found in the Amber Arthun Warburton papers also located in the Rubenstein Library.
The records reflect the organization's pioneering efforts in the American vocational guidance movement, particularly in relation to occupations for southern women and rural youth guidance. The records of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth comprise an extensive set of organizational records for AGRY and its predecessors, the Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women (VBVW) and the Southern Woman's Educational Alliance (SWEA). Series include correspondence, administrative files, project files, conference files, subject files, writings and speeches, publications, clippings, press releases, and photographic materials. The records document the organization's evolution from its early focus on increasing vocational opportunities for educated southern women and rural high school girls to its later activities in providing county-wide vocational programming for rural youth.
The organization was created by Hatcher who dominated its administration until her death. The Alliance was her organization and her life as well. This relationship is evident throughout the records, particularly in the earlier records when it is often difficult to discern the difference between Alliance records and Hatcher's personal papers. Because these distinctions are ambiguous and often contradictory, no attempt has been made to provide a separate category of personal papers. The Virginia DeMott Cox papers held in the Rubenstein Library contain several oral history tapes which reveal a more personal side of Hatcher and her work with the Alliance.
Although the Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women was created by Hatcher and several other Richmond women in 1914, the roots of the organization can be traced back to Hatcher's work with the Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls. As one of the association's founders in 1906, Hatcher was quickly elected to chair several successive committees designed to evaluate educational standards in Virginia's women's schools. Several surveys on women's colleges done by these committees clearly showed that educational standards in southern women's colleges were far below their northern counterparts and in fact did little to prepare women for careers other than teaching and homemaking. Hatcher's tenure at Bryn Mawr had exposed her to the women's employment bureaus which were emerging in the North. The Virginia Bureau was thus created out of Hatcher's desire to reform women's education so that it provided a means to meaningful employment.
To meet this lofty mission, the Bureau sought to open up new career paths for women and to provide a reliable source of information and sound counseling regarding education and occupational training for Virginia women. Early correspondence, administrative files, and newsclippings document the Bureau's projects, such as the speaker's bureau and the scholarship program, as well as the Bureau's relationship with other women's organizations such as the Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls, Southern Collegiate Women (later American Association of University Women), National Federation of Business and Professional Women Clubs (BPW), and the National Council of Women.
Strong ties were developed between the Bureau and these organizations during its formative years. Hatcher chaired national and local committees in most of these organizations, and early correspondence and administrative files center on her work with these organizations particularly concerning educational standards and vocational training in women's colleges. In these early records it is often unclear which of these activities were officially adopted by the Bureau or if they were solely Hatcher's activities. Nevertheless, the Bureau's relationship with these other organizations ultimately served to shape and give credibility to the work of the Bureau.
Because so few schools offered a curriculum that would train women directly for a specific occupation, the Virginia Bureau often lobbied various institutions to include educational programs that would prepare women for work. By working with other women's organizations and by using public opinion, the Bureau was an instrumental force in persuading the Medical School of Virginia to admit women to its dentistry, pharmacy, and medical programs, and in fact recruited the school's first twelve female students. In a similar manner, the Bureau was also able to influence the Richmond School of Social Economy to change to the Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health and for the Smithdeal Business College in Richmond to create a secretarial school which would serve women wanting to receive professional clerical training. The Bureau's role as a social advocate for change in these schools is reflected in the early correspondence as well as the clippings files.
By 1920, the Bureau's mission had broadened, and it began to see itself as more of a regional group which represented emerging opportunities for southern women. To reflect this broader constituency, the Bureau changed its name to the Southern Woman's Educational Alliance and acquired new visibility through the addition of prominent regional and national figures to its board. By establishing branches in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington, and Richmond, the Alliance was able to broaden its base of support. The primary functions of the branches were fundraising and promotion. Consequently, prominent and wealthy women such as Irene Gibson, her sister Lady Astor, and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson were recruited to help organize the branches.
Branch activities as documented in the Branch Files series include benefits, forums, exhibits, and festivals. The New York Branch sponsored several opera benefits to help raise funds during the 1 920s. The Rural Mountain Festival, sponsored by the Richmond Branch, was held in 1938. In 1932, the Alliance commissioned noted New York portrait photographer, Doris Ulmann, to photograph rural youth in Kentucky. The photographs were subsequently exhibited by several of the branches and were used to promote discussion of vocational issues and the work of the Alliance. Forty of these original prints signed by Ulmann are located in the Photographic Materials series.
Organizational changes reflected modifications in the organization's goals. Although SWEA continued many of the projects started by the Virginia Bureau, emphasis shifted away from lobbying efforts aimed to open new careers for women and more towards research on women's occupational trends and model guidance counseling programs based on that research. Correspondence during the early 1920s contains letters from faculty and administrators from women's colleges throughout the Northeast and South which describe various approaches (or lack thereof) to providing vocational guidance to students. Administrative files contain information on vocational guidance surveys and on a vocational guidance course for college women which was developed at Goucher College under the auspices of SWEA and tested at Duke University (then Trinity College) and the College of William and Mary. The Publications and Clippings and Press Releases series also contain considerable information regarding Alliance research and activities during this time period.
The desire to get vocational information to women at a time when it would be most useful to their employment and career development eventually led SWEA to explore the role of vocational guidance for high school girls, especially those who would never attend college. This aspect of vocational guidance was particularly relevant in the South, where rural communities were ripe with youth migrating to the cities to look for work.
During the mid to late 1920s, SWEA sponsored several research projects through its Rural Guidance Project which examined vocational trends of rural girls in North Carolina and Virginia. While the Correspondence and Administrative Files series document how the projects were organized, the comprehensive data collected during these projects is extant only in resulting SWEA publications such as Rural Girls in the City for Work and the unpublished manuscript "Fifty Rural High School Girls."
In exploring the vocational needs of rural high school girls, SWEA quickly realized that it would not be effective to separate guidance services for boys and girls in rural schools and therefore shifted its focus to rural youth in general. Although SWEA did not formally change its name until 1937, the organization was working exclusively on rural youth guidance by 1930.
Alliance projects in the late 1920s and 1930s consisted of experimental and demonstration guidance programs in rural schools. These programs examined aspects of rural youth guidance in relation to surrounding communities, of ten comparing several schools in a county-wide approach to vocational guidance for rural youth. These projects included the Konnarock Training School (Smyth Co., Va.), elementary schools in Albemarle Co., Va., Farm Life School (Craven Co., N. C.), and elementary and secondary schools in Breathitt Co., Ky.
Each of these demonstration projects also resulted in substantial Alliance publications which in most cases represent the bulk of extant documentation of each project. The Photographic Materials series contains a large quantity of snapshots taken in these various communities, although most are of poor quality and unidentified. Additional information may also appear scattered throughout Correspondence, Newsclippings, and Administrative Files series.
The Breathitt County Project Files series, however, provides comprehensive documentation of the demonstration project which grew to become the Alliance's main research activity from about 1934 to 1942. The project encompassed a wide range of activities including data collection on students' home life, teacher training workshops, vocational guidance programming through the county's Planning Council, and a visit by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1938. Particularly noteworthy in these materials are the extensive raw data files consisting of approximately 2500 autobiographical surveys of students. Additional files contain charts of data compilations and teacher reports which identify trends in students' educational behavior. Photographs of Breathitt County schools, students, and home life are contained in the Photographic series.
SWEA and AGRY's emphasis on research and dissemination of information was reflected in the increase of published materials produced by the organization. Much of this material is contained in the Publications series. The Alliance constantly produced brochures which highlighted their mission and activities. In the early 1920s, SWEA began to produce series of bulletins which continued through the late 1930s and featured the organization's research on women's occupational trends, social and vocational orientation for college women, educational and vocational needs of rural girls, rural-urban migration, outlook for rural youth, and community cooperation in guidance programming.
With the success of Hatcher's Occupations for Women (1927), the Alliance began to publish book-length research reports. Rural Girls in the City for Work (1930) and Handicaps of Elementary School Girls (1931) resulted from Rural Guidance Project research done in North Carolina. Guidance Work in the Schools of Craven Co., North Carolina (1930), Guiding Rural Boys and Girls (1930), A Mountain School (1930) and others were the product of the Alliance's work in North Carolina and Virginia with experimental county-wide guidance programs. These longer publications were instrumental 1n promoting the pioneering efforts of the Alliance. Clippings of book reviews document the wide-spread acceptance of these publications in a newly emerging field. Several unpublished manuscripts resulting from Alliance research projects are extant in the Writings and Speeches series and include "Occupations for Educated Women in Durham, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina" (1926), a bound copy of "Fifty Rural High School Girls'' (1930), and final drafts of "When Our Young Folks Come Home to the Smaller Communities" (1945).
Another strategy for publicizing the work of the Alliance was through local and national radio broadcasts. Shows were broadcast from Richmond, New York, and Washington, D.C., and gave information on specific occupations and discussed vocational guidance issues. Broadcast scripts contained in the Writings and Speeches series feature youths interviewing each other and Hatcher about career goals, a dialogue between Eleanor Roosevelt and Hatcher on the future of rural youth (1938), and a presentation by Amelia Earhart on women in aviation (1931).
Prior to these Alliance projects and publications, there had been little research at all done in the area of rural youth guidance. AGRY's research was breaking new ground and calling attention to this unexplored area of guidance and consequently carving out an authoritative niche for the Alliance among occupational, educational, and guidance organizations. The Correspondence, Clippings and Press Releases, and Subject Files series demonstrate the Alliance's shift away from relationships with women's organizations in the late 1920s and towards guidance and educational organizations such as the American Council for Guidance and Personnel Associations (CGPA), National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA), National Occupational Conference (NOC), National Education Association (NEA), and the U.S. Department of Education in the 1930s. In many of these organizations, Hatcher chaired committees on rural youth, and representatives from these groups served on AGRY's Board of Trustees.
Conference activity took on an increasingly important role in fulfilling the organization's mission of gathering and disseminating information on various vocational topics. From about 1918, the Virginia Bureau co-sponsored conferences with the Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls, National Committee of Bureaus of Occupation for Trained Women, and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. During the 1920s SWEA sponsored several conferences on occupational trends for women, developing guidance programs for women's colleges and schools, and effective guidance aids f or rural girls.
During the 1930s and 1940s, SWEA and AGRY s conference activity increased significantly. Alliance members participated in conferences sponsored by NVGA, CGPA, NOC, and NEA by chairing sessions and presenting papers on rural youth guidance. In addition, the Alliance sponsored several series of guidance conferences and forums on its own. Notable among these are the Pine Mountain Guidance Institutes, 1937-1942; Rural-Urban Institutes on Youth Migration, 1938-1939; luncheon forums for Washington (D.C.) youth-serving agencies, 1942-1947; and the Rural Guidance Institute held in conjunction with the group's annual board meetings.
With the exception of the Pine Mountain Guidance Institute which is documented in its own series, conference activities are reflected in the Conference Files series. Information on pre-1930s conferences is slim, but additional information on all conferences can be gleaned from the Correspondence and Clippings and Press Releases series. Copies of papers delivered by Alliance members and others are located in the Writings and Speeches series: a complete set of conference proceedings and findings is contained in the Publications series.
The Alliance's pioneering efforts in the field of rural youth guidance served to establish the organization as a national authority. After Hatcher's death in 1946, the group continued its research projects, publications, and conference activities under the direction of Amber Arthun Warburton who became the organization's executive secretary. Materials dating past Hatcher's reign in the Alliance are fairly insignificant in the AGRY records and consist mainly of routine administrative correspondence. A more complete set of AGRY organizational records dating from 1947-1963 is located in the Amber Arthun Warburton Papers. These records continue several series started in the AGRY records such as executive board minutes, publications, project files, and correspondence.
- Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth Records, 1887-1963
- Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth
- 21.2 Linear Feet,, ca. 15,900 Items
- Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Correspondence Series, 1914-1963 and undated.
- Administrative Files Series, 1919-1963 and undated.
- Branch Files Series, 1924-1940 and undated.
- Conference Files Series, 1918-1947.
- Breathitt Co. (KY) Project Files Series, 1933-1944.
- Pine Mountain Guidance Institute Files Series, 1936-1945 and undated.
- Subject Files Series, 1919-1946 and undated.
- Writings and Speeches Series, 1919-1945 and undated.
- Publications Series, circa 1918-1943
- Clippings and Press Releases Series, 1914-1946 and undated.
- Photographic Materials Series, circa 1887-1930s
- Oversize Materials Series, 1920-1942 and undated.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The status of copyright interests in these records is unknown. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Rubenstein Library.
Official and routine correspondence with researchers, educators, administrators, public officials, conference organizers, and other Alliance members. Contains incoming letters and copies of outgoing correspondence chiefly with Hatcher or her secretary. Subjects range from requests for information to routine conference arrangements to discussion of vocational guidance policies at various schools and government agencies. Chronological arrangement.
Includes minutes of executive bodies, annual statistical reports, financial records, project files, and subject files on routine administrative matters. Project files contain information on early Bureau and SWEA activities such as student scholarships, Speaker's Bureau, vocational orientation courses, Rural Guidance Project, Rural Youth Study, and Hatcher's work with the Va. Assn. of Colleges and Schools for Girls. Series chiefly spans 1919-1949 . Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Includes meeting minutes and reports, membership and dues lists, news clippings, brochures and routine correspondence of Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Richmond, and Washington, D.C., branches of SWEA and AGRY. Arranged alphabetically by branch, thereunder alphabetically by subject.
Contains information on conferences, institutes and forums sponsored by the Alliance or in which Alliance members participated on the program. Arranged chronologically by conference, files contain brochures, programs, reports, published proceedings and findings. Files may also include additional routine materials such as registration lists, memoranda, drafts of papers to be presented, and related reference materials. Arranged chronologically by date of conference.
Correspondence, apporox. 2500 autobiographical surveys of students' home life and education, teachers' diaries and reports, publications, and newspaper clippings documenting the Alliance's efforts of vocational research and programming in the county's public school system. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Correspondence, research reports, program brochures, published reports, printed materials, and news clippings documenting the annual guidance institute and other vocational workshops sponsored by the Alliance and held at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County, Ky. Files contain proceedings and findings of the institutes as well as information on the Pine Mountain Settlement School and Harlan County, Ky. vocational programming. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Contains chiefly printed materials such as pamphlets, articles, research reports, newsletters, and memoranda related to occupational and women's organizations, women's occupations, rural youth, rural education, negro occupations, vocational education, war work, social work, and vocational guidance. Files on organizations such as the American Association of University Women, American Council of Guidance and Personnel Associations, National Information Bureau, Richmond Urban League and the YWCA contain pamphlets, minutes, newsletters, and reports which help to document any formal or informal working relationships with the Alliance. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Contains notes and texts for speeches by Alliance members, chiefly Hatcher; copies of addresses presented by non-Alliance members at Alliance meetings; unpublished manuscripts and manuscript fragments; copies of scholarly articles published by Hatcher in educational, vocational, and women's journals; and radio broadcast scripts. Miscellaneous writings and speeches by Alliance members outline the history, purpose, and various activities of the Alliance. Miscellaneous writings and speeches by others contain information on more general subjects such as southern women, youth in industry, migrant war workers, postwar economic outlook and rural education. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Materials published and distributed by the Alliance are divided into two groups. Smaller publications such as brochures, newsletters and conference proceedings are arranged alphabetically by type. Books and longer research reports are arranged chronologically by date of publication. Twenty-five Years of Work (1939) provides an extensive history of the organization. Miscellaneous file includes My Autobiography, a collection of forms used by the Alliance to gather data on rural youth, and A Syllabus for a General Course in Vocational Guidance. Also included are lists of publications.
Contains copies of articles published in newspapers and periodicals, book publishers' advertisements for Alliance publications, typescript copies of press releases concerning activities and publications of the Alliance, and lists of periodicals to whom the press releases were sent. Divided into two groups: general and book reviews. Each group arranged chronologically.
Chiefly snapshots, negatives, and fine prints of rural life, esp. rural youth, in Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Bulk of photographs and corresponding negatives were taken by Alliance members where workshops or research was conducted such as Breathitt Co., Ky., Pine Mountain, Ky., Craven Co., N.C., Ocracoke, N.C., Konnarock Training School (Va.), Pleasant Hill Academy (Tenn.), and other mountain or rural mission schools. Many are unidentified. Also contains 40 original matted and signed prints by Doris Ulmann taken in Kingdom Come, Ky., some of which feature Appalachian folksinger John Jacob Niles. Includes miscellaneous notes and copies of photographs intended for publication. Also included are two pictures of Hatcher and friends taken in 1837and 1901. Arranged by type (photographs, negatives, notes, Ulmann prints).
Contains materials from other series which are too large to fit in standard size boxes. Each folder in oversize box has a corresponding file in one of the series identified above. Arrangement reflects order of series.
Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth
|1914, May||Organizational meeting of the Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women (initially known as the Women's Occupational Bureau), Richmond, Virginia.|
|1915, March||Orie Latham Hatcher becomes president of Bureau.|
|1918, March 17||Bureau incorporated.|
|1920||Unofficial name change to Bureau of Vocations for Women.|
|1921||Official name change to Southern Woman's Educational Alliance.|
|1922, March||Chicago branch established.|
|1923, November||New York branch established.|
|1924, January||Atlanta and Washington, D.C., branches established.|
|1929, June||Richmond branch established.|
|1929||Chicago junior auxiliary branch established.|
|1931||University of Chicago branch established.|
|1937, November||Official name change to Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth.|
|1937||Washington branch re-established.|
|1946, April||Howard Dawson becomes acting president of Alliance Board after Hatcher's death.|
|1947, February||Position of Executive Secretary established to assume Hatcher's former duties. Amber Arthun Warburton hired for position.|
|1963, September||AGRY disbands.|
Orie Latham Hatcher
|1868, December 10||Born, Petersburg. Va.|
|1884||Graduated from Richmond (Va.) Female Institute.|
|1885-1888||A.B., Vassar College.|
|19ca. 1888- 1892||Teacher, Miss Belle Peer's School, Louisville, Ky.|
|1893-1894||Teacher, Richmond Female Seminary.|
|1894||Professor of history, English language, and literature, Women's College, Richmond, Va.|
|1901-1903||PhD., University of Chicago, English Literature.|
|1904-1915||Employed at Bryn Mawr College (Pa.) as part-time reader, lecturer, associate professor of English (1912 1915), and chair of comparative literature department (1910-1915).|
|1906||Helped organize the Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls.|
|1907 - 1914||Chair, Committee on Standardization, Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls.|
|1915||Left Bryn Mawr to become full-time director/president of Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women.|
|1917||Co-founder and executive board member of Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health.|
|1917 - 1919||Chair, Advisory board, Smithdeal Secretarial School, Smithdeal Business College, Richmond, Va.|
|1918 - 1919||President, Board of Advisors, Stokes Home for Girls, Richmond, Va.|
|1920- 1924||Vice-president, National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs.|
|1928 - 1938||Chair, Rural Section, National Vocational Guidance Association.|
|1932 - 1935||Executive Board member, National Council of Women.|
|1933-1937||Board of Trustees, National Vocational Guidance Association.|
|1933-1939||Member, National Occupational Conference.|
|1934||Consultant for the Youth Conference of the Department of the Interior.|
|1935-1936||Board of representatives, Council of Guidance and Personnel Associations.|
|1936-1942||Technical director, Pine Mountain Guidance Institutes, Harlan County, Ky.|
|1940, 1941||Member, White House Conference on Children in a Democracy.|
|1941, 1942, 1943||Chair, Institute for Rural Guidance, Washington, D.C.|
|1942-1946||Chair, Luncheon Forums of the Washington Youth Service Agencies.|
|1944||Member, White House Conference on Rural Education.|
|1946, April 1||Died, Richmond, Va.|
- Business and Professional Women's Clubs.
- American Association of University Women.
- National Vocational Guidance Association.
- American Personnel and Guidance Association.
- Virginia Association of Colleges and Schools for Girls.
- Niles, John Jacob.
- Vocational education--Southern States.
- Vocational guidance--Southern States.
- Rural youth--Southern States.
- Southern States--Rural conditions.
- Women--Education--Southern States.
- Women--Employment--Southern States.
- Rural women--Education.
- Rural women--Research.
- Rural women--Vocational guidance.
- Rural women--Photographs.
- Women social reformers.
- Higher education of women.
- Vocational guidance for women.
- Rural-urban migration.
- Rural schools--Southern States.
- Rural youth--Education.
- Rural youth--Vocational guidance.
- Rural youth research.
- Rural youth--Photographs.
- Vocational guidance--Research.
- Vocational guidance--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Virginia Bureau of Vocations for Women.
- Southern Woman's Educational Alliance.
- Hatcher, Orie Latham.
- Ulmann, Doris.
- Virginia--Henrico County--Richmond.
- The Amber Arthun Warburton Papers, 1917-1976 ( Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, NC 27708 )
[Identification of item], The Records of the Alliance for Guidance of Rural Youth, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Processed by: Virginia Daley
Completed June 1988
Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.