RepositoryGirl Scouts of the USA Collection and Archive, Cultural & Property Assets Department 420 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10018
Dateafter 1912 (Inclusive date(s))
Administrative/Biographical History ElementIn March 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts of the USA, a national organization that has improved the lives of girls for over 100 years. Juliette Low, a native of Savannah, Georgia, traveled to England and Scotland in 1911 and met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, war-hero and founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in Britain. Juliette Low became an active participant in the fledgling Girl Guides Movement and upon her return to Savannah, decided to bring Girl Guiding to the United States. She believed that American girls should be full citizens in society and lead active lives both inside and outside of the home. She encouraged diversity and felt that Girl Scouting should be available for all girls regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity, and that no disability should prevent a girl’s participation in the program.
During the month of March 1912, 102 girls were officially registered for Girl Guide patrols in Savannah. The organization quickly grew on a national scale, and in 1913, the name was changed from Girl Guides to Girl Scouts. The organization was officially incorporated in 1915 and was known as Girl Scouts, Inc. The name changed once again to Girl Scouts, and finally to Girl Scouts of the USA. In 1950, Girl Scouts of the USA was reincorporated under a congressional charter signed by Harry Truman.
Girl Scouting operates on a federated system with the national organization – Girl Scouts of the USA – headquartered in New York City since 1916, and 112 local Girl Scout councils throughout the United States and its territories. There are American Girl Scouts in over 92 countries around the world, and Girl Scouts of the USA is a member organization of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouting has continued to fulfill its mission in the 21st century: to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Scope and ContentOfficial corporate records of Girl Scouts of the United States of America. The collection includes policies, administrative files, property records, financial data, correspondence, interoffice memorandums, meeting minutes, official reports, statistical data, and microfilm. The records were created during the course of Girl Scouts of the USA's day-to-day business since 1912 and have significant historical value that sheds light on women and girls in the 20th and 21st centuries.
System of ArrangementGirl Scouts of the USA corporate records is arranged into the following record groups.
1. Office of the National Board
2. Office of the CEO
3. Legal records
4. Corporate Management
5. Girl Scout Program
7. Girl Scout Merchandise
8. National Meetings, Conferences, and Conventions
9. National Properties
10. Girl Scout Membership
11. Marketing and Communications
12. Fund Development
13. GSUSA Finance
14. Cultural Resources
15. Human Resources records
16. Legislation and Public Policy
17. Early Girl Scout History
18. Girl Scout Councils
19. Girl Scout Regions
20. Civil Rights
21. World's Fairs
22. Audiovisuals Development
23. Publication Development
24. Relationships with External Entities
25. Research Studies and Data
26. Task Groups
27. International records
28. WAGGGS and Girl Guides
29. Girl Scout Overseas
30. Girl Scout Personalities
Conditions Governing Access and UseNational Board Meeting Minutes from the past 20 years to date are closed to the public. Corporate records including legal documents, property and finance records, and Office of the National Board and Office of the CEO files are closed to the public.
All other records are open to the public and can be accessed by appointment, with permission from the Cultural & Property Research Department.
Advanced notice required, please email email@example.com for research application.
Physical AccessRecords are stored off-site. Advanced notice required for access to materials.
Technical AccessSpecial equipment required to view microfilm, audiovisual materials, and electronic records.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and UseSome materials in this collection is in the public domain. For other materials, copyright restrictions apply. When requesting use of an image, please submit a permission request for at http://www.girlscouts.org/en/contact-us/contact-us/permission-request.html
Languages and Scripts on the MaterialMaterials predominately in English; some publications in Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Polish and Yiddish.
Custodial HistoryThe bulk of the records were kept in Central Records, a corporate record repository at Girl Scout headquarters in New York. They were later placed under the stewardship of the Library/Archives Department in the 1970's and later, the National Historic Preservation Center in 1989 as archival records.
In 2014 the Cultural & Property Assets Department was formed (then known as Cultural Resources Department) and has since managed the records.
A portion of the records were (and still are) stewarded by the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia. Select corporate records had also been sent to the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, New York, primarily for storage, and have since been re-incorporated back into the collection.
Immediate Source of AcquisitionGirl Scouts of the USA departments
AccrualsFurther accruals expected.
Processing InformationThe collection was re-arranged by Diane Russo from 2013-2017 to it's current structure. The previous arrangement (before 2013) did not adhere to the archival standards of provenance and original order, and thus was a factor in impeding access, retrieval, and processing.
Most of the collection is still "unprocessed" and needs work, although for purposes of retrieval, all files are listed in container lists.
Preferred CitationFrom the collection of Girl Scouts of the USA. Used by permission.