The Ladies Library Association (known today as The Randolph Women’s Club) was formed in 1855 to encourage reading, intellectual growth, and benevolent service. The Association set up the first library in Randolph with 50 books stored in the bonnet shop of Mrs. Azel Howard.
Today The Randolph Women's Club is a 501c3 non-profit organization reaching into the Randolph community to continue the work of benevolent service, intellectual improvement, and an on-going effort to bring women of all ages, races, and interests together for the well being of us all.
Vision & Mission
The Vision of The Randolph Women’s Club is to honor and advance the legacy of the Club and the Jonathan Belcher House, through education, outreach, and collaboration, and to promote women’s well-being in mind and body. The Mission of the Club is to bring women together.
“Grant that we may meet each time in the spirit of kindness, fellowship and sisterly love. Let our words be sincere, our vision wide, and our aims united.”
Join the Club
Member benefits include:
Free or discount admission to club events
Participation in Book Club celebrating topics related to women
Charitable giving to organizations such as DOVE, Veterans, and high school Scholarships
Annual Intenational Women's Day Luncheon
Participation in a historic organization, dedicated to improving the lives of our neighbors and preserving the Jonathan Belcher House and grounds for current and future generations
History of The Ladies’ Library Association
The Ladies’ Library Association of Randolph has the distinction of being one of the pioneer women’s clubs in this country, the fourth in line of those earliest organized in the General Federation and still active. In the Massachusetts Federation of Women’s Clubs, it ranks second in the date of organization.
The Ladies’ Library Association was the outcome of a meeting of women held on November 22, 1855 to consider the formation of a “society”. The first regular meeting was held on December 3, 1855, when nine Randolph ladies, all in their thirties or younger, met at the home of Mrs. Christopher M. Cordley, wife of the minister of the Congregational Church.
At that time, there was no public library in Randolph, so the name, “The Ladies’ Library Association” was chosen. Under the leadership of Mrs. M.T. Hendry was determined, “to consider the expediency of uniting themselves together for the purpose of mutual intercourse, social entertainment, and the attainment of some benevolent objective.” These objects stood for self-improvement, fellowship, benevolence, reading and intellectual growth. A constitution was adopted, and 41 charter members elected Mrs. Christopher M. Cordley as their first president.
The founders voted to devote the income of the Association to the purchase of books. Their library was established with approximately 50 books. These books were all by the best authors and consisted of biography, history, travel, poetry, and fiction. The first volumes listed are, “The Life of Abraham Lincoln”, “The Life of Napoleon”, “The Life of Horace Mann”, “Recollections of 70 Years”, “Mary the Handmaid of the Lord”, “History of the Civil War”, and one fiction book, “Gayworthies”, were added later. An original list of other books still in existence are catalogued under the following subjects: History, Biography, Religion, Science, Poems, and Miscellaneous...